Molly Richardson’s Austin apartment exudes fun, girly, and bright energy. As a marketing head with who originally studied interior design, Molly has created a home filled with the things she loves: color, geometric patterns, art, and decorative finds.
Molly began her college experience studying interior design at the University of Oklahoma. After her freshman year she transferred to the University of Texas where she studied public relations and fell in love with the weird and artistic city of Austin.
Graduation hurled her into a tough economy, so she took a job to pay the bills; since then, she has worked in a variety of marketing positions. This all brought Molly to where she is today as the marketing head of the startup Rebilly. On days off you can find Molly at the park with her pup, binge watching House of Cards on Netflix with her boyfriend, or writing about interior design and her latest Craigslist find on her blog, Awfully Big Adventure.
Keep reading to find out more about Molly’s approach to decorating her space, how she balances startup life and blogging, and life in the heart of Austin.
Name: Molly Richardson
Current job/company: Head of Marketing, Rebilly
Education: University of Texas in Austin, Public Relations
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
My first job out of college was completely unrelated to what I ever thought I’d do—managing an executive office. I was totally clueless about the job market and graduated at a tough time with the economy, so I took the first job that would have me and made me just enough money to move into my first big girl apartment with my best friend. I barely had two pennies to rub together, but remember those post-grad years as some of the most fun I’ve ever had.
Currently you’re the head of marketing for a startup. What does a typical day look like for you?
There is never a typical day! The best part is the creativity that is involved with discovering our brand identity and how we want to communicate ourselves when we go to market. It is thrilling and fun and scary. Always exciting though!
You also have a blog called Awfully Big Adventure. Tell us a bit about it! How do you balance writing for your blog on top of everything else?
My blog is a creative outlet where I ramble about my life and my favorite hobby, interior decorating. As far as balancing goes, I try not to “balance” it into my life. Because it is my creative outlet, the blog is something I nly work on if I am feeling inspired or motivated. I’ve found that if I force myself to post, I am really dissatisfied with the end product. I have the same philosophy with reading—it should be fun! So if I’m slogging through a chapter, I put the book down for a couple of days until I find myself wanting to pick it back up.
Austin is a city proud of its art, music, and weirdness. What is your favorite part of living there? What makes it different than other cities?
Willie Nelson probably said it best, “There’s a freedom you begin to feel the closer you get to Austin, Texas.” It’s hard to describe, but there’s a palpable happiness here. It’s a very relaxed place that values simple pleasures, and something about that laid-back state of mind translates into happy, happy Austinites. I love how dog-friendly Austin is. My dog is my best buddy and I love being able to bring him along to most places! Also, like no one wears heels. Maybe that’s the secret to happiness—stop wearing heels!
Now, tell us about your home! Do you rent or own? How would you describe your style?
My house is a teeny one-bedroom apartment that I rent in the heart of central Austin. I adore my neighborhood and was willing to sacrifice space for easy access to a great neighborhood park, shops, restaurants, and, most importantly, iced coffee. I describe my style as “organized eclectic.” I love layers, textures and color. I’m definitely a maximalist, but in such a small space I need to stay organized if I’m going to be able to function.
When decorating, did you keep a budget in mind? Where do you invest and where do you bargain?
Absolutely. Unfortunately, I haven’t reached Scrooge McDuck levels of wealth yet—still waiting for my room of gold coins that I will one day be able to swim around in. Until then, I’ll continue to use IKEA, Craigslist, Target, the West Elm outlet, and sidewalk sales at my favorite vintage shops to furnish and decorate my place.
I also received some family pieces from my parents when I first moved out. Lucky for me, they have great taste and had some awesome art and furniture to spare. If I were ready to specify an area to splurge, I’d say it should be on the items that get the most use. A nice couch and good sheets that only get better with time.
What were your design goals during the furnishing and decorating process? Did you face any challenges?
My design goal was always to create an inviting, interesting, and comfortable place to come home to. I’d say my biggest challenge was just working with the small space. Typically I’d like to rearrange furniture to refresh and change up the space, but in my current apartment I’m really only able to work with one furniture layout. My other personal challenge is trying to not look at the popcorn ceiling every minute of every day. Why was that ever a thing?
You live in such a cozy apartment! What tips do you have for making your small space work?
I think this is the part where many people would say they feel the need to edit in small spaces. I don’t think that’s true for everyone. If you live in a small space and still want a bunch of art on the walls, pillows on your couch, books on your bookshelf, go for it! Just because your the space is small doesn’t mean it can’t be filled with lots of things that make you happy.
What is your favorite part about your space?
My favorite part is my dining room. It’s also my office space when I work from home. Sitting in the dining room gives me a good view out the window and a great view of my pup curled up on the couch.
What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
This is tough! There are a few things. Study abroad! Apply to jobs prior to graduating. And for goodness sake, please find time in your schedule to take that Children’s Literature class so that you can have a legitimate excuse for re-reading Harry Potter.
Molly Richardson is The Everygirl…
Cold brew coffee with a little bit of natural sweetener and half and half. Every. Day.
Morning or night?
Morning! I’m a terribly annoying, energetic morning person.
Favorite place you’ve traveled?
I love the beach! Seaside, Florida is the most picturesque little beach town. I adore it. White beaches, clear water, everything is in walking or biking distance, fresh seafood… take me back!
Perfect weekend in Austin?
The best Friday nights usually involve impromptu margaritas, so I’d spend the night at our neighborhood Mexican restaurant with my boyfriend, Matt, and our closest friends. Saturday morning, we’d wake up, take the dog down the street for a walk and to pick up some coffee and breakfast tacos. Saturday should also include a yoga class, a nap, and some boutique shopping. Maybe a pedicure!
Saturday night I’d steal Matt for a date night. We’d walk up South Congress (dog in tow as always) and grab dinner on a patio or at a food truck. On the way home, we’d pick up some ice cream and finish the night watching Bob’s Burgers or whatever we’re currently streaming on Netflix. Sunday I’d take the dog around the lake and then head to the spa for a day of relaxation before reality hits on Monday. So, even in fantasyland my weekends revolve around my dog—sounds about right.
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order?
Tempted to say J.K. Rowling, because I am a Harry Potter nerd for life! But in reality, I’d really like to sit down with my aunt who passed when I was four. I’ve heard my whole life how similar we are, and wish that I could have known her. I’d order fish fajitas for us to share to see if we are truly the same person, because if we are, then she’d love them.
Pink basket, Target similar here
Striped blanket, IKEA
Gold throw pillows, Crate and Barrel
Blue chair, vintage
White Parsons side table, West Elm Outlet
Floor lamp, Target
Peter Pan print, Litographs via Central Square Records
Jute rug, Rugs USA
Persian rug, vintage via Cragslist
Coffee table, vintage via Uptown Modern
Indigo throw pillow, Sealight Designs
Black and white throw pillow, IKEA
Ansel Adams Redwoods print, similar here
“Sorority Sue’s” original art, vintage
Dallas neighborhoods print, NativeMaps via We Are 1976
Expedit shelves, IKEA
Brass tray, Target
Mercury glass mason jar, DIY
Rug, World Market
Fabric elephant hanger, World Market
Georgia O’Keeffe poster, similar here
Curtains, IKEA, similar here
Entry table, IKEA
Tin star picture frame, Tesoros Trading Company
Fritz Scholder poster, vintage, similar here
Painted nightstand, El Paso Import Company
Texas print, We Are 1976
Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles poster, vintage
Small tiki print, We Are1976
Euro shams, West Elm
White perscale sheets, Target
Grey textured pillows, Target
Striped lumbar pillow, DIY
I Wanna Be With You Everywhere print, Pretty Letters Shop
Coffee table books, Half Price Books
Duvet, Pottery Barn