Hope you’re ready for another Tour Sneak Preview – a new series of mine that gives you a more personal snapshot into the stories of the people who live and breath inside these remarkable Austin homes.
I’m particularly excited to showcase today’s tour for a couple reasons.
1) It took a couple months of planning and anticipation – I got teased day-by-day on a big remodeling project going on in the backyard through Instagram…
2) I just got that sense that the homeowners were just my kind of people.
You ever get that feeling? That, “Oh my, if we hung out I just know we’d be the best of friends,” vibe? I totally had that with Caroline and Jose Vasquez (today’s home tourees). When reaching out to folks for House Tour features, I typically send a pretty standard ho-hum email…
“My name is Chris…I’d like to feature your house on a blog called Apartment Therapy”
Sometimes though, in the “these are my kind of people moments” I send something a little more me – which is hyper, energetic, and perhaps a touch…whoa, whoa, settle down dude…how much coffee and cake did you have this morning?
I wanted to send that kind of email to Caroline and Jose, but I sent along the standard one instead – just in case my first impression was wrong.
That first impression wasn’t wrong though – it rarely is. In fact, it was confirmed when I ran into them at a Feliz Sale event at West Elm – formally meeting them for the first time.
I probably took up too much of their time gabbing…probably was too hyped up on the churros with hot chocolate and peanut butter cayenne macarons from Walton’s that were being served. And yes, I totally got seconds. But we both seemed to get along great and have some good conversation.
The scheduling for Caroline and Jose’s tour, was dependent on the completion of a huge new project. A project that involved Jose himself building up two complete studio structures in their backyard with his own bare hands – and I’m sure a couple power tools.
It was ambitious, it took time, but oh, was it ever worth the wait.
When I arrived at Caroline and Jose’s home on an early Sunday morning, Caroline had just pulled out some chocolate chip cookies from the oven.
I told you these were my kind of people.
Caroline and Jose introduced me to their two beautiful children, Paloma and Valentin.
Paloma was a bit shy for the camera at first, so I had to be sneaky and try to catch a few photos while she wasn’t looking.
Gracious every step of the way, Caroline and Jose told me the details and story not only of their home but their life. The good hearted Austin people I meet seem to always have an inspiring story or two to tell. The golden hearts of Caroline and Jose seemed to have a lifetime of them.
The two met at a concert here in Austin – at La Zona Rosa for a Grupo Fantasma show to be exact. They immediately hit it off, each telling the other they wanted to make and design things for a living. On their very first date, they found themselves sketching and drawing out ideas onto their dinner napkins. If you don’t think true love exists, you haven’t met Caroline and Jose.
Their story goes on, from building and crafting projects on the outdoor balcony of their tiny studio – without realizing exactly how much sawdust can indeed accumulate and become airborne from a couple spur-of-the-moment projects – to buying this very home here in Austin, and making the space work for their lifestyle.
They laugh at the tough times – like when a toilet in the home needed replacing when they were short on money.
Jose brought a new toilet to the home, but opened the box the wrong way – sending 50 pounds of porcelain shattering onto the ground. Jose went back to the store and bought another toilet, quickly trying to cleanup and fix things before Caroline arrived home. “What are you doing?” Caroline asked. “Oh nothing,” Jose replied – which of course any wife knows means definitely something. She caught him knee deep in it all, just moments later.
I’m sure even on the end of that day, they shrugged and smiled it off.
Caroline and Jose have made their craft, their life and their business. Creating their own ceramics and wood furniture business called Paloma’s Nest (named after their daughter) and running 5 years strong.
Their wares are just as heartfelt and inspiring as themselves.
Caroline and Jose are also Etsy Educators and part of a new program that teaches other artists and creatives how to monetize their craft. They help show people that being an artist doesn’t mean you have to be starving.
Some people think that good fortune finds certain people, but after meeting Caroline and Jose you’ll know that good people make their own good fortune.
I’m excited to show you more of Caroline and Jose’s great home and the amazing workspace and studio they have built out back in a formal Apartment Therapy post in a couple weeks (the queue is really full right now). Until then, enjoy some more of my favorite outtakes and moments from the wonderful morning I spent getting to know this inspiring family.