Impulsiveness Works for Work-at-Home Texans
Sara Garza and Rocky are people. They transferred four times in the past 3 years in pursuit of the perfect rental. Then, after looking online for a house to really purchase, they bought the first one they looked at in individual, a 1926 home with great bones to accommodate their wedding photography company, which they operate from home. “We just dove right in,” says Sara.
After they moved in, Rocky picked up a couple woodworking tips from his useful father-in-law and set out to construct almost every piece of furniture they would need, including a coffee table, a computer desk and a wood seat. Even their decorating strategy — a great deal of Southwest textiles and pottery — includes a certain impulsiveness. “If we adore it, we buy it and find a location for it,” Sara says.
at a Glance
Who lives here: Rocky and Sara Garza and their goldendoodle, Samson
Location: Oak Cliff area of Dallas
Size: 1,800 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Year constructed: 1926
The lobby of the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon, and The Brick House blog inspired the living room. Rocky hand crafted many of these furniture pieces, including the coffee table, which he constructed from reclaimed wood decking from Sara’s parents’ house.
Sofa: Lorimer 2-Piece Chaise Sectional, West Elm
The couple’s goldendoodle, Samson strikes a pose before a Native American portrait which Sara’s grandmother painted.
Striped blanket: Eivor Throw, Ikea
Simple window treatments and one bloom permit the eye to concentrate on carefully selected midcentury furniture pieces, like this console with record player, which Sara uses during the day.
Southwestern pottery, such as the black and white piece on top of the console, is found throughout the home. Some of the bits came from Sara’s mother’s house.
The couple stuffed in an original doorway in the entrance here and produced a wall for art and travel photos. Rocky built the bench with wood and metal hairpin legs. A tall Southwest-style terra-cotta pot softens the corner of the gallery wall.
“Make Art Not War” poster: Shepard Fairey, Syracuse Cultural Workers
The dining room was originally two rooms: a breakfast nook off the kitchen and a formal dining room. The Garzas removed the dividing wall and created an open-concept dining area where they could entertain large groups.
“I think we understood the fullness of owning this home if we were sitting at our first dinner party, seeing everyone around us now use our house and enjoy what we had done for this,” says Sara.
Sara’s father built the bar for the bunch as a housewarming gift. The copper samovar is among the many family heirlooms which came from Sara’s grandmother. A world map hangs over the bar, with vibrant little hooks marking the couple’s journeys. This past year they visited Paris and Marfa, Texas.
A lot of the furniture in this room is handmade. Rocky constructed the dining table, which seats 10, with wood by a Fort Worth, Texas, warehouse. He also constructed the wall-mounted console with sliding doors along the wall. “I started building furniture when we moved to the home for funding reasons, but today I really like it. My father-in-law has taught me a lot about how to use wood. Every Christmas he receives me a new tool,” says Rocky.
Sara studied interior design and architecture in college, then worked at an architecture firm in Dallas before going to work full time for a wedding photographer.
Chairs: Ronnie Wire Base Chairs, Overstock.com; lighting: Warehouse Pendant with Wire Cage, Barn Light Electric
Natural wood accents, Southwestern textiles and a suspended philodendron from the corner fill this out breezy and bright white principal suite. “Rocky and I have a very similar style, so for the most part we typically both adore or hate something,” Sara says. “Making design decisions collectively is simple.”
Rocky constructed the headboard from reclaimed wood and attached it to an existing platform bed. Two non wood stumps serve as side tables, along with the throw cushion covered in a woven Southwestern cloth was picked up at a local estate sale. “Many of our items have come from estate sales, my granny’s home, or is something Rocky has built,” says Sara. “We have not actually splurged on anything yet for your home.”
Bed frame: West Elm
The couple built narrow wall-mounted shelves in their hallway toilet. Wires connected to the ceiling loop with two eyebolts give additional support for those shelves. A hexagonal midcentury brass fixture holds a screen-printed hand towel.
A chalkboard accent wall in the house office provides a space for travel photos. “We are going to continue adding to it as we make our way around the world,” Sara says.
Sara’s mother reupholstered these two classic chairs in purple fabric covered with camera silhouettes.
Upholstery: City Craft; cardboard moose head: Curiosite
The computer desk is still just another one of Rocky’s inventions. Here the couple edits wedding photos, stays in touch with customers and blogs about their house on Our Cozy Casa. Their classic camera collection is exhibited on a wall-mounted shelf, another one of Rocky’s endeavors.
The couple enjoys spending time on the brick terrace in their own backyard. Rocky also uses the backyard as his workshop, and also a small but usable shed houses his woodworking resources. Vegetable beds were raised by two back up to the fence. “One of my favorite items is that the red midcentury fireplace I discovered on Craigslist,” says Rocky. A bright blue indoor-outdoor rug completes the look.
Outdoor Shade: Cost Plus World Market
“Oak Cliff is kind of like a little city within a city. There’s such a feeling of community, and everyone supports everything neighborhood,” says Sara, shown here with Rocky and Samson. “It also helps that our neighborhood has a few of the best restaurants in Dallas!”
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