Toys and Art Make Merry in a Texas Home

Toys and Art Make Merry in a Texas Home

A whimsical wall of toys, a hand-painted nursery mural along with a chandelier in a chicken coop are just a taste of the playful nature of this Texas family’s home. Brian Gibb of The Public Trust and photographer Misty Keasler are a creative couple whose modern yet lighthearted family home is built on the base of their developing art collection. As part of the art community, Gibb and Keasler are motivated by modern art and style, and the belief that art enriches life. With a curated furniture assortment and quirky accessories, each corner of this home glows with colour, artwork and personality.

at a Glance

Who lives here: Misty Keasler, Brian Gibb, daughter Sydney (with another kid on the road), 2 cats and a brood of backyard cows
Location: Richardson, Texas
Size: 1,700 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

Lindsay von Hagel

Sydney, 18 months old, rides an inflatable rocking horse before a mural Gibb painted. The rocking chair was the chair Keasler was rocked to sleep as a baby. His mother saved it all these years and gave it to the bunch after Sydney was born.

A collection of framed original drawings and limited-edition filled toys complete the space.

Here is the couple’s favourite room in the home due to the love and attention put into every last detail. “That is also where we place Sydney to bed each night,” states Keasler, “and that is the sweetest thing on the planet.”

Paper lantern: Midsummer, Tord Boontje; inflatable rocking horse: RodyToy; sofa: Eurway

Lindsay von Hagel

This decorative display door on the outside of Sydney’s area allows her parents to listen to when she’s crying. It also can help keep the cats out. It also adds visual appeal to an art-filled hallway.

Display door: Georgian, Home Depot

Lindsay von Hagel

After deciding to raise chickens in their backyard, the few found an Austin woodworker on Craigslist to build this modern chicken coop.

It measures 6 feet by 9 feet and can be outfitted with five cozy nesting boxes, which can be retrieved easily from the outside for retrieving eggs.

Keasler’s blog, Urban Chicken Farmer, documents their experiences in raising chickens.

More about modern chicken coops

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Keasler repurposed one of her older chandeliers to glam up the coop.

The hens love sitting comfortably on the roosting bars that were added. The Polish chicken, at left, is a striking breed famous for its crest of feathers and is one of their family’s favorites. Over time, they’ve become much more connected to the birds than they ever believed possible, and they consider them family pets.

Lindsay von Hagel

The couple’s art collection is displayed in each area, such as this particular guest room, where first paintings, drawings and photos decorate each wall. “Beyond just the aesthetic quality, it is incredibly significant for us to know that we’re supporting artists and the galleries that represent them in our house,” Gibb says.

The geometric daybed serves double duty as a guest bed and a comfortable spot for afternoon reading. Keasler bought the hand-carved soapstone chess set on a photo assignment in Kenya.

Photograph: “Portrait of Homeowner,” George Krause; coloured pencil drawing, Saskia Jorda; watercolor, Jane Almirall; daybed, cushions: West Elm; floor lamps: Ikea

Lindsay von Hagel

The guest bedroom also doubles as a library, where Keasler and Gibb store hundreds of art books. A traditional Eames rocker functions as a sculptural piece against the tough lines of their bookshelves.

Rocking chair: first Eames, consignment; bookshelves: Expedit, Ikea

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A contemporary-style black cabinet unfolds to show a pop of crimson and a little study area. A 1970s estate sale wingback chair along with also a 100-year-old taxidermal otter complete the unique corner.

Desk: Williams Sonoma Home

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In the dining area, a very simple farm table sits under a modern fan. With a baby on the road, the couple says they’re trending toward a less-is-more look, which allows their ever-expanding art set to glow.

A sizable Labbit Stool brings a little bit of comedy and pop art to the seating space, and also functions as a booster for little Sydney.

Stool: Labbit Stool with ‘Stache, limited edition from kidrobot; dining table, seats: Ikea; pilot fan: Home Depot; photos: Kelli Connell (left wall), Susan Kae Grant (right wall)

Lindsay von Hagel

Adjacent to the dining area, a creative vignette of original artwork pieces, a modern record player and a collection of books and toys for Sydney are set low to the floor for easy access.

Illustration at far left: Mylan Nguyan; painting far right: Brian Gibb; bookshelf: Expedit, Ikea

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The couple kept the first tile in the guest bathroom, painting a wall a calming sea foam shade to complement it.

While working on the book Love Hotels: The Hidden Fantasy Rooms of Japan in Japan,Keasler picked this up ceramic mermaid from one of the local boutiques.

Wall paint: Tropical Dream, Behr; shower curtain: Ikea

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The kitchen has been the largest renovation project in this 1950s house. Keasler and Gibb completely gutted and replaced everything with budget-friendly Ikea cabinetry and appliances paired with grey Silestone countertops along with a dusky blue glass backsplash. The supersize farm sink along with the sculptural faucet add whimsy and interest for this sleek and modern space.

Stained glass portrait of Sydney: Maria Sheets

Lindsay von Hagel

Lindsay von Hagel

For additional storage and counter space, the few added this freestanding cabinet and bar manufactured from stainless steel and butcher block. It sits facing Keasler and Gibb’s toy wall — an impressive assortment of limited-edition designer toys.

Kitchen island, light: Ikea

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A low platform bed makes the master bedroom look larger. Keasler was ecstatic when she found that the clean-lined bench that fit perfectly to the area’s alcove, making the most of an otherwise embarrassing area.

Gibb replaced the house’s authentic bathroom door with a custom-made frosted glass door, seen at left.

Tree photo: Misty Keasler; bench: Home Decorator’s Collection; carpeting: The Dump; bedding: West Elm; Baby Makes Three cushion: custom

Lindsay von Hagel

Midcentury houses are not known for their grand master bathrooms. Removing all of the original built-in cabinetry and replacing it with this specific appropriate-size freestanding vanity helped maximize the space.

An original mirror example by Billy Zinser is showcased on the main wall.

Vanity: Expo Design Center (currently closed); around mirror: Ikea

Lindsay von Hagel

Gibb made these first toy replicas of himself and Keasler.

“With both of us working in the art world for so long as we’ve got, we have gathered an art collection that has outgrown our wall area, but we have been able to resist the urge to cover every available square inch with art,” Gibb says. The couple will undoubtedly continue curating their walls and enjoying living in such a community oriented and culturally varied city.

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