SET IN EAST AUSTIN, walking distance from one of the city’s buzzy nightlife hubs, Katrina Boschenko’s townhouse belies none of the area’s boisterous energy. Instead, it’s a three-story Airbnb Plus oasis designed to be calming, with boho-style touches inspired by her favorite travel destinations, including Tulum and Bali. Subdued shades are the host’s go-to — “a natural environment is so soothing,” says the former tech director turned interior designer — but her approach to beige is anything but boring. Think tone-on-tone pieces with tons of texture, and clean-lined modern accents paired with artful antiques passed down from family members or picked up on trips.
“My father is a Russian immigrant and my mother worked in the airline industry, so while I grew up in Indianapolis, I also traveled a lot,” she says. “Being exposed to the outside world from a young age helped me develop an appreciation for all kinds of textiles, prints, and ceramics.” The result is a home that’s airy and inviting and just the right amount of eclectic: “It’s personality-packed without being cluttered. I never want visitors to feel like they’re invading someone else’s space. I just want them to look around, feel relaxed, and be inspired.”
Go with the Flow
Before Boschenko installed an artisan-made shelf in this high-traffic stairway area, she had set it up for seating, with two chairs and a side table. “It was bulky and no one ever sat there, so I streamlined it,” she says. “Look at how you’re using your space, and don’t force something that isn’t really serving a purpose.”
Stay Light and Loungey
Cream-colored floral wallpaper is an ethereal backdrop for this hangout zone, and an oversize white sofa and natural wood accents make it even loftier. “If you stick with a restrained color palette, you can add a few offbeat pieces — like this peacock table and lantern floor lamp (above left) — without having the room veer too crazy,” says Boschenko. “A living room is meant for interacting, so I love to sprinkle in conversation stirrers.”
Keep the Kitchen Simple
White cabinets plus floaty pendants equals a calming cookspace.
“I mixed in a few distressed pieces to bring in a little of Austin’s industrial style.” — Katrina Boschenko
Make Your Space Sparkle
A giant bronze mirror floods the dining room with light and dresses up the mostly white seating area. “I wanted to evoke a little drama in here,” says Boschenko. “Place a plant next to a big piece like this if you want to soften the look and keep it from overpowering your space.”
Kick Up the Character
You can’t go wrong with crisp white bedding and cool graphic prints. For an added layer, bring in a piece or two that looks a little lived-in (like a vintage chair) or feels personal. “The guitar gives this room an interesting POV,” says Boschenko. “It’s a nod to the musical side of my family. I had a violin growing up and never touched it, but my grandfather, who owned this guitar, played four instruments.”
Add a Little Edge
This is the only room with a concrete floor, so Boschenko took the boho scheme in a slightly more rugged direction. “I bought the weathered dresser on Craigslist, the black rocker is a family heirloom, and the headboard is wrapped with a repurposed rug,” she says.
“The table is the one I grew up with. Using pieces from childhood helps a house feel like a home.” — Katrina Boschenko
Bring In Something Sculptural
A big, scrolly bed gives this room an artsy vibe. “The posts reminded me of tall spires from the Sagrada Família in Barcelona,” says Boschenko. To help a busy piece blend in, surround it with accents in similar shades (like the mocha walls, wood frame, and natural-dyed linen drapes here).
Create a Cozy Corner
A rich paint color sets a dreamy tone in a bedroom. “These walls used to be white, but a trip to Morocco prompted me to try an earthier shade. This one [Frontenac Brick by Benjamin Moore] feels like a big hug,” says Boschenko. Set an arc lamp next to a sheepskin-topped seat, and you’ve got a restful reading spot.
Spotlight Your Surroundings
The yard’s pecan trees “are the big draw,” says Boschenko, so she went with all-white patio pieces that don’t compete for attention.
About the author: Betsy Goldberg is the deputy editor (Home) of Airbnb Magazine. Previously she was the deputy editor of Real Simple and HGTV Magazine, editorial content director at Bed Bath & Beyond, and an editor at UsWeekly, Modern Bride, and New York Magazine. She is co-author of BusinessWeek’s Guide to the Best Business Schools. Her writing has also appeared in Glamour, Health, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Money.