The Brady House is a historic building with a bit of an infamous past. The 1915 Arts and Crafts bungalow in the Judge’s Hill district was built for Judge John Brady, who after losing a reelection bid in 1923 began what his wife called a “downward slide.” That included murdering his mistress in 1929 outside a local boarding house. Brady did a short prison stint, then returned to live in the house until his death in 1946. Its age and attachment to a salacious piece of Austin history have helped ensure a historic designation for the home. Nonetheless, it stood uninhab-ited for more than a decade before current owners Katie Bullard and her husband, Jeff, who run construction, remodeling and design ﬁ rm Avenue B Development, bought the home. One of the couple’s specialties is renovation and design of older homes, so the size of the project —which was considerable—didn’t intimidate them. “Every house has a certain personality,” Bullard says. “With this house, it’s very elegant but also very simple.” The duo saved as many of the original compo-nents as they could and drew inspiration from that elegant simplicity.
- Bullard is a self-confessed lover of lighting. She picked each light ﬁ xture speciﬁ cally for its location in the home, and purchased this elegant and airy chandelier from Circa Lighting.
- “What I like to do is mix and match—you have a traditional loveseat with very modern white leather chairs, and yet they work together,” Bullard says. All four chairs come from Collectic Home.
- A bright pillow from Collectic Home is the perfect accent among subtle gray and white chairs.
- “The charcoal and white rug grounds the room and adds patterns where the furniture essentially all reads as solid fabric,” Bullard says. “It also plays well off the charcoal and white wallpapered foyer.”
- “Doses of drama” in small amounts liven up a room without overwhelming it, Bullard says. The charcoal and white fretwork-patterned wallpaper in the foyer marries the classic feel of the house with a modern look.
- “We like to save and restore as much of the character [in an older home] as possible, while still modernizing it,” Bullard says. “A lot of the wainscoting had been removed, but it was in the basement. We ﬁ gured out which pieces we could save and what we had to have made to match the original.”
- Happily for the Bullards, the piano was already in the home when they bought it. Carole King once rented the home and had played on it, although it took a lot of TLC to bring it back to playing condition.
Austin Home Magazine, Spring 2013