What's Old is New Again

Step inside the glamorous bungalow of Elizabeth Mollen, Creator of Stone Textile.

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In Elizabeth Mollen’s master bedroom, atop her smooth black dresser, sits a white sculpture head wrapped in a vintage turban. Its face is serene, and its eyes are closed, which seems almost like a pity, given its breathtaking surroundings. But the sculpture is special because it belonged to Mollen’s grandparents—and it therefore seems as good an entry point as any into the details of Mollen’s sophisticated, vintage-inspired home, which somehow feels exactly as modern as it does imbued with a sense of the past.

Mollen is a designer in more than one sense of the word—as the owner of her own decorating firm, she helps her clients with residential, e-design, and interiors projects. But she is also a creator of a home product line called Stone Textile, which she launched after working in the fashion and accessories industry in New York and Los Angeles. The spaces she helps shape for her clients are rich in texture and alive with the unexpected past—a vintage rod iron bedframe topped with geometric, bold linens, or a stack of old suitcases used as a bedside table.

But for her own product line, Stone Textile, Mollen reaches into a far more specific corner of the past—the one occupied by the memory of her grandparents. Indeed, Stone Textile is named after her grandparents; Stone is a family name. “My grandmother was an antiques dealer in Chicago for many years,” Mollen explains. “I inherited her love for vintage and her appreciation for fine antiques. She was also a businesswoman in the 1960s and 70s, a time where it was rare for women to have their own businesses. She was a true inspiration.” The patterns in Mollen’s fabrics do reflect both vintage architecture and antique jewelry, and Mollen says this is no accident. “I am continually inspired by the Art Deco era: the fashion, the jewelry, and the architecture,” Mollen says.

That inspiration pours from every corner of her two bedroom, 1,800-square foot home in south central Austin. And it started, Mollen says, with a crush on a set of chairs: “I bought my vintage Milo Baughman brass dining chairs before we closed on our house,” she says. “The upholstery was actually in great shape and I knew they would be gone the next day. I will have these chairs forever.” Plus, she adds that the chairs fit into her overall design rules: “Incorporating old pieces with new pieces is key when decorating a room.”

The old and the new meet seamlessly in Mollen’s world, somehow coming together to create something more than their parts. A set of pink nesting tables rests between two chairs re-covered in her own line of fabric. Vintage gold fixtures hang from the ceiling, and modern art warms the walls.

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In the kitchen, Mollen explains, she and her husband painted the cabinets white (Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White, to be exact) themselves, to help reflect the light afforded to them by their West-facing living and dining area. And inside an enclosed spiral staircase by the front door, Mollen has hung a petite gallery wall of geometric, eye-catching framed prints. The staircase, Mollen says with a laugh, was actually covered in fabric when they bought the house.

The bedroom is a similar mix of old and new, though Mollen wasn’t afraid to go dark on the walls, and the effect is truly cozy as well as chic. A pair of framed panels of Calico Wallpaper adorn the vintage bedframe and help to break up the moody gray of the walls, while a sunlit reading nook feels just right set apart by a cowhide rug and oversized lamp from Dwell Studio. Equally at home in a West Elm or on a Craigslist hunt, Mollen’s mix is truly high-low, like any good fashionista’s.

Fashion and fabric mean a lot to Mollen—because of her background, which includes a degree in textile and apparel design and a stint at Rebecca Taylor in NYC, textiles seemed like a natural next step to her. “I still enjoy reading fashion magazines and looking at the runways shows on Style.com,” Mollen says. “When I started my product line, it was my goal to create unique and dimensional throw pillows inspired by some of my favorite fashion silhouettes. Stone Textile pieces have a level of elegance and simplicitythat complement an environment, enhance the table, and add a bit of attitude toward life.”

Mollen says her move from Los Angeles to Austin is what inspired her to make the switch from fashion to interiors. “I wanted to bring my love for fashion into the world of interiors and create products that accessorized the room,” she says. “All of my pillows are inspired by current and vintage fashion trends and silhouettes. I wanted to step outside the box and create something more interesting and dimensional.” The results are drool-worthy pillows, throws, and fabrics that do feel like retro fashion trends—and also, again, like something new.

When describing her own style, Mollen tends to label it modern eclectic. “I love the clean lines of modern pieces especially furniture from the 1970s,” Mollen says. “I also have an appreciation for more ornate vintage pieces. I wanted to bring those two worlds together in my own home and in my clients’ homes.” But with Mollen, what’s new is anchored in the past: in her shining, refinished kitchen sits a vintage file cabinet with yellowing, curling labels, which Mollen chose to leave alone—in Mollen’s home, nothing is too perfect, and yet nothing feels out of place.


  • Photography by Casey Dunn
  • Styling by Elizabeth Mollen

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