Glamorous Revival

How a chic couple with vision turned a historic West Austin abode in need of work into the home of their dreams.


Diego Mendez-Sabre is a man of eclectic interests, pursuits, and, perhaps not surprisingly, tastes. The central Austin home he shares with his husband Gerard Subirà is reflective of the many facets of who they are, and a respite for the internationally traveling couple—a space that is uniquely their own, and uniquely shared, as well.

Mendez-Sabre and Subirà also work together at Latin Field, their marketing research firm, and they also just launched a skin care line called Haute Custom Beauty. It was an instant connection when they first met. “As cliché as it sounds, within one hour of knowing him I absolutely knew he was the one, in fact there’s this quote I randomly read on Facebook just a couple of days after we met, and it absolutely resonated with him which was, ‘One day, someone will walk into your life and make you see why it never worked out with anyone else.’ I still keep a screenshot of this quote with me, “ Mendez-Sabre recalls.

When it came to designing their home, Mendez-Sabre took the lead as he has also long been interested in design, though he never studied it formally. His long-time friend and celebrated designer Tracey Overbeck Stead also helped along the way in the remodel process. Scattered throughout their art-deco, modern, comfortable home are his own creations—an architectural lighting fixture in the living room, a lamp with mounted fluorite crystals in the dining room. Like so much else in their lives, it is a process the guys share—Mendez-Sabre will design the piece, and leave Subirà to wrestle with the wiring. But Mendez-Sabre has always found the design process meditative: “I like to work with my hands when I’m stressed,” he explains. Subirà laughs, and adds, “I go to the spa, get a massage; he builds something.”


The house is also an incredibly inviting mix of hi-low—in a sitting area that was once the house’s formal dining room, white turtle shells from the Nate Berkus Target line keep watch over a pair of Milo Baughman chairs. “I definitely like to do both,” Mendez-Sabre says. “Some things are new, something things are really old, some things are heirlooms.” And some things, Mendez-Sabre simply modified to fit the couple’s needs—when they couldn’t get a big enough couch through a small door in a media room, they simply built in cozy benches along the walls. When they couldn’t find a dining room table big enough, Mendez-Sabre added shimmering gold extensions to an art deco table so that it might echo lamps he had designed years before. A gorgeous blue tea set that invites constant commentary, Mendez-Sabre says with a laugh, is something he grabbed at a garage sale and spray-painted.

It was more than eight years ago when Mendez-Sabre saw the house, which itself is a historic Austin site, come on the market. He wanted it even before he saw it—he says he just knew. “And when I saw it, it was probably in worse shape than I imagined, and still I was like, that’s it.” The walls were peach, the now gorgeous hardwood-floors covered in dark green carpet. Mendez-Sabre and Subirà converted a kitchen to the media room, an under-stair area to a powder bath, and a screened-in porch to a dining room. They bent the house gently to their own needs, much the way a designer might bend a piece of metal, coaxing it into something new, something utterly his own.


Photography by Jessica Pages

Related Articles

  • 0f8dfbf1-b6d6-4c56-b842-05d45acda39c.gif
  • image1.JPG
  • Elite 25_300x250.gif
  • unnamed-37.jpg
  • Copenhagen_Feb2015.jpg



  • 1cb151d1-621d-47f9-941e-7259eea04612.gif
  • Subscribe.jpg
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 2.07.04 PM.png

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.


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...


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.



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,...


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...