Meet Austin + Alex, of @hommeboys. They are a design + build team with a focus on designing, building and staging homes. They describe their home as a scene in Alice and Wonderland in which the Mad Hatter is calling for people to change seats. We can't wait to be invited over for a dinner party!
For this installment of View From Here, we sat down with Alix + Austin, to talk their new-ish-found home in Sonoma, how they achieve the work (from home) life balance, and of course, their favorite view in the house.
Tell us about yourselves. When did your love for interiors and beautiful vintage pieces first begin? And why do you think you guys have such knack for it?
We have knack for interior design because we grew with up with families that are very different and interesting when it comes to design. They have collected and surrounded themselves with interesting and unique objects and are bursting at the seams with creativity. We have had many of those possessions passed down to us, in which we covet and design our spaces around. Austin grew up in a very eclectic and culturally diverse house that was filled with wonders and art pieces from all over the globe. That, in turn, led to a college career in architecture and furniture design. Alex's’ family also stems from an artistic background. He began redecorating his own room during high school with his aunt who was an interior designer. Alex grew up in Marin county in which the environment both culturally and naturally led to a natural aesthetic in design. From there we have started our own collecting and coveting of objects and vintage pieces, they help make statements in rooms where most things can be easily found.
SHOP AUSTIN + ALEX'S CURTAINS IN NATURAL
Tell us the story about your Sonoma home…or because it’s a fairly new home, the story you’d like it to tell someday...
As you said, it’s a fairly new place and the narrative we are trying to create is something that is welcoming & cozy yet interesting & stimulating. We want people to feel relaxed while in our space but also want them to have a good time. We also use our space as playground for ideas and concepts, so one of the greatest things is that it’s constantly evolving and that makes it even more fun for the people that visit.
Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “Home is the nicest word there is”. We tend to agree.
Colorful, funky, fresh
How did you come to find this place? What’s the story behind it?
It’s a family owned property sitting on over three and a half acres. We live in the second story of the barn, which houses our apartment and office. Below us is the custom cabinetry shop for the family Design + Build firm and there are gardens, orchards and other family members living on the property. It’s our very own commune!
How would you describe the style of your home? And how much do you draw inspiration from your work? It seems as though your own personal taste could get a bit blurry when you spend so much time immersed in other people’s spaces?
Today we would describe it as mid-century modern meets sonoma wine country with a splash of jungle and eclecticism. But our style is constantly changing so if you would have asked us three months ago it would have been a bohemian jungle. Our inspiration comes from everywhere! Our apartment is our playground for when we find something new that we really like and have the ability to try it out, whether it works or not, or to customize it to our own taste. This allows us to know how to immerse our style into other people’s homes or projects we are working on.
What room or space do you guys spend the most time in and why?
Our apartment! At only 800 sq ft, it’s just one big room with a bedroom and a bath. We typically spend most of our time in the main common space where we can hang out and feel comfortable- it’s relaxing and inviting and we typically never leave!
Is it challenging or liberating to work from home?
A little bit of both. Our office is in the next room from our apartment and we barely make it on time every morning. It’s challenging at times because of how close the proximity is to our office that you have to draw the line between work and “projects” but it’s liberating because we get to determine our own schedule and it’s more flexible which is great when you are working in a creative field. Honestly, we can’t complain. We live in a beautiful area and get to work in that environment all day!
Are you able to shut it down or do you find yourself answering just one more email?
We are millennials, when do we ever shut down?
What do you go or what do you do when you need get inspired right smack in the middle of the week?
Give us an old fashioned and let us mule over Pinterest. Interior design isn’t really like improv, you have time to think about it. Move it, rearrange it, put it down, flip it and reverse it.
We like to think there’s that one view for a person (in their home) is a truly sacred place, be it out your front door or through kitchen window. Tell us about your favorite view from here in your home.
Our apartment has windows on all sides and being on the second story we have a lot of views to look at, but our most favorite view would have to be out our kitchen window. We cook a lot so we are always fussing around our kitchen and we have a giant pine that looks like it’s straight out of the safari wilderness. When that west coast sunset hits it is more magical than we can ever express in words. Its our own paradise and it reminds us of how fortunate we are!