From selecting a perfectly crisp bottle of Spanish Grenache Blanc to tracking down the richest shade of cerulean blue paint for her daughter’s bedroom walls, Sarah McIntosh—owner of the Rosedale eatery épicerie—knows what she likes.
It’s a sensibility evident in both the interiors of épicerie, the Paris-grocery-meets-New-Orleans-café that she opened in late 2012, and the 1930s Cherrywood home she lives in with her husband, Jackson, and their three-month-old daughter, Finley. “I know what I like,” McIntosh is quick to explain. “My style is clean, contemporary, and elegant, with Old World character.”
Raised in Louisiana, McIntosh was educated at Austin’s chapter of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and vetted in externships at Thomas Keller’s esteemed California restaurants Bouchon and Ad Hoc. In Austin, she worked for almost three years at Olivia before moving on to open épicerie, a restaurant with style and cuisine that succinctly summarizes her culinary experience: it’s fried green tomatoes, Napa-style—familiar dishes constructed from high-quality and expertly sourced ingredients, all set to an effortlessly stylish background. Think clean white Windsor-style chairs paired with simple wooden farm tables; tidy rows of hard-to-find artisanal sundries (Santa Rosa Plum and Flowering Thyme Jam, anyone?); perfect interior lighting that feels at once warm and crisp; and plenty of rich, timeless materials like marble, copper, and leather. McIntosh made many of the decisions about the restaurant’s interiors herself, along with architectural design from the office of Michael Hsu.
At McIntosh’s home—a modest two-bedroom house on a quiet street—the eye for detail is carried over. Her interior design strategy has been to spend money where it counts, on details like the perfect shade of paint or the right texture for curtain material; it’s her attention to subtleties like this that makes the home feel both comfortable and cohesive. Sarah and Jackson have moved slowly in redesigning aspects of the house, a lesson in combining intentional investments with thoughtful, aesthetic-elevating DIY projects. Most recently, they completed an overhaul of Finley’s nursery, incorporating lots of rich, dark tones, refurbished wood furniture, and well-placed pops of yellow. McIntosh constructed a stylish glider by affixing a swivel attachment to the base of a vintage chair. Next on the list is the master bedroom, and then, McIntosh interjects hopefully, “a kitchen upgrade!” She rattles off names of luxury appliances, then laughs and says, “Maija Kreishman [senior architect with Michael Hsu] said I had a knack for consistently choosing the most expensive item in any set of options.”
But beyond her Champagne taste, what’s apparent about McIntosh is the genuine curiosity that fuels her passions, from her ad hoc design skills to the entrepreneurial vision and aesthetic that took a little bit of every part of her past and spun it into something entirely her own. As she puts it, “I’m a fast learner. I like to jump in, pick up skills, absorb as much as I possibly can, and then apply it elsewhere.”
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more