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Profile in Style | Sarah McIntosh

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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.”

Credits

Photography by Wynn Myers

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