The Forever Designer

Allison Jaffe of Allison Jaffe Interior Design, an Austin-based company, has infused her passion and knowledge of science into her design process to create stunning, one-of-a-kind interiors. In school, she loved her science classes and thought one day she might become a biologist or perhaps geneticist. Although she went own a different track, she still manages to explore and instill this fascination into her breathtaking projects.

Science is intrinsically interwoven into numerous facets of interior design, according to Allison. “For example, understanding how lighting impacts people and their mood or when selecting a sofa, there’s ergonomics involved. It’s all wrapped into science,” she said.

“There’s a lot of psychology involved in design, as well as how I relate to clients,” adds Allison. “Some have a very playful aura about them and some are more serious. I have to adapt my personality and how I communicate to how they naturally operate.”

When it comes to her inspirations, she pulls from her experience traveling the world, from the vibrant, bustling souks of Morocco to the ancient ruins in Belize or the rich culture of Cuba. “I don’t subscribe to blogs or magazines, I go travel. It also helps me to be really sensitive to the backgrounds of my clients, which come from all over the world, and having that cultural awareness allows me to better perform and understand those nuances when designing,” shared Allison. Attention to nuance and clients’ needs always plays an integral role in the design process and, some might say, is Allison’s super power. Behind the scenes, she relies on her finely-tuned intuition.

One of the company’s recent projects serves as a wonderful example. Located in Leander, the project was both a remodel and new construction of a family ranch home that was originally built in the ‘50s and sits on picturesque ranch property along with other buildings. Since the homeowner’s style and sensibility is uniquely her own, the home does not fit within a specific niche, although Allison describes it most closely to traditional, just not high traditional.

“I came into this project to collaborate with the architect for design of the finish out and furnishings, as well as implementing the main goal of unifying the spaces though design. The owner loves the property because of its organic nature. There are peacocks walking around the property and it also has a lot of family memories,” she noted.

With the primary intent that the house reflects its natural surroundings by skillfully bringing the outside in, Allison designed an organic, natural environment with soft neutral colors and well-placed pops of color. The blue sofa in the living room, for one, is symbolic of the live peacocks outside, while the green cabinets in the guest bathroom are an homage to the surrounding trees.

“I get to know the client so well that I’m able to push a little bit and explain why I think something will be magical for the space,” said Allison. “This is why I distinctly call myself an interpreter, from traditional to contemporary, because I have the ability to be flexible within any realm. I can live in your design; I can deliver a design that’s going to be good for you and only you.” This ranch home involved a lot of layering, starting with the flooring and everything the builder installed as the foundation. Limestone was used throughout the house because it’s a natural material prevalent in Texas. Allison used it to create a lovely hand-carved mantle in the living room. “Aesthetically, what it does for the room is give it a sense of grandeur. It’s much more elegant than a standard wood box mantle — again, organic in nature as a non-man-made material,” she explained.

From there, Allison started working on furniture pieces and window treatments. After seeing what pieces the homeowner brought out of storage, Allison was able to space plan and design a room that mixed new and existing pieces for an eclectic but curated motif. “It adds a lot of character when a client has pieces from their travels or special moments from their past,” she said.

The same intention and process was applied to the kitchen, which involved a partial new build. New cabinets, tile, pendant lighting, barstools, backsplash, vent hood cover, paint color — the works. Allison also designed a stylish breakfast nook. As the homeowner entertains a lot on property, including hosting weddings and other events, it was important to have a fantastic working kitchen with plenty of room for people to gather.

Undoubtedly, friends and family as well as the client are luxuriating in this glorious nature’s retreat while Allison is hard at work on a new project for the homeowner.

“I’m the forever designer because so many of my clients come back to me,” Allison explained, a clear indication she’s perfected the process of blending intuition with science. 

Allison Jaffe Interior Design
512-394-5045  |