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Zinnecker opted for Pure White Caesarstone for the countertops to balance the simple Scandi-inspired pale maple plywood cabinets.CYPRUM FAUCET by Dornbrachtdornbracht.com HOLY WAFER HARDWARE (on cabinets) by Superfront superfront.com

written by SARAH COFFEY

photography by MOLLY WINTERS
When Austin designer Claire Zinnecker renovated her bungalow, she found smart ways to save, splurge, and craft creative details herself.

DOOR PAINTED NO 22 by Farrow & Ball us.farrow-ball.com


of renovating my little 1930s bungalow has been the chance to do something for myself,” says Austin designer

claire zinnecker

who has overseen her fair share of renovations. “On the flip side,” she recalls, of waking up at 4 am wondering if copper panel fronting on her dishwasher was indeed the best choice, “it was much harder to make decisions for myself than for a client.” Ultimately, her can-do attitude pulled her through. She found smart ways to save money, forgoing kitchen tile in favor of the home’s original shiplap paneling and using maple plywood for her custom cabinets. To let in and reflect light, she carved out a window above the kitchen sink and used white Caesarstone for her kitchen counters and dining table. She bought a Dornbracht faucet for the kitchen sink and used copper pipe for the bathroom faucet, balancing splurges with savings.


, Zinnecker curated the DIY section of Camille Styles’ blog for years. In every project she always adds something custom, and her own renovation was no exception. In the living room, she designed a bespoke sofa and sewed a comfortable pale pink cushion, while Austin craftsman Travis Norman built the frame. In the entryway, she hung the

gallery wall

herself. The desk is a DIY project made with whitewood boards and IKEA legs. In the bathroom, Zinnecker removed the banding from her Alape sink for a streamlined look and had her contractor install a copper pipe faucet above it.

In the kitchen Zinnecker mixed brass, copper, and leather details.

COPPER-PLATED COLANDER  by Anthropologie from $30anthropologie.com

Zinnecker lounges in the living room with her dogs, Monte and Emma.

“ONCE, WE WERE” by Lani Trock


Center and hang a large frame as your starting point. Working outward, hang others around it using a level. Include a few empty thrift store frames.

2. select

Once you’ve hung a wall of frames, select and remove a few of your empty frames, painting them to add color to your wall.

3. style

Rehang your freshly painted frames, then post mementos inside them using double-sided photo tape or washi tape.


, white walls create a clean backdrop for displays. “I did my whole house in the same white—Benjamin Moore Frostine AF5,” Zinnecker says. “The monochromatic backdrop lets me bring color in through finishes, rugs and accessories.” Known for her love of metallics, Zinnecker is a fan of mixing copper, brass and rose gold together. “A lot of people get hung up on matching metal finishes,” she says. “But it’s not really possible if you’re buying from different suppliers.” It’s that sense of not being too precious about anything that gives Zinnecker’s home its life and makes it work as an outlet for her design work. Her takeaway? “Don’t do what I did and live in the house while you’re renovating!

Zinnecker’s home mixes vintage pieces, DIY designs, custom-made furniture, and the occasional splurge for a handcrafted modern feel.

LUCIA CHAIR by Industry West $89 industrywest.com

BRASS SCISSORS (farthest pair to the right) by Hay $16 theline.com LEATHER HANDLED SCISSORS (top left) by Old with the New oldwithnew.com