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When Kendall and Nancy Schmitt of Houston design studio Nancy Rae Interiors were asked to refresh our model home at Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hills, they accepted the opportunity with open arms. The Richmond is a 4-bedroom and 3-bathroom home that boasts 2,638 sq.ft., and a 3-car garage. As soon as this mother-daughter duo stepped foot into the space, they knew they wanted to take this home to a place that was more contemporary for today’s homebuyer. After coming up with design concepts and pitching their ideas to the Empire team, Kendall and Nancy achieved a look that appeals to everyone, no matter their preferred design style. “By using neutrals and a mix of blues in a community where there’s young buyers, empty nesters and growing families, we were able to keep the color scheme universally appealing,” says Kendall.


Because each buyer has different intentions for the spaces in their homes, Kendall and Nancy made sure this open-concept floor plan showcased a variety of furniture so that those who tour the model can visualize how they’d use each room. Modern finishes that have a touch of sparkle were paired with medium-tone woods and silver accents to create memory points as buyers are led from one space to another. To replicate this contemporary design, Kendall and Nancy share the key pieces you need to purchase for your home.

The Flex Room

From the moment you lay eyes on The Richmond’s flex room, you’ll be immediately drawn to the space. The room features an intimate lounge area where adults can unwind or play games, and a kids’ study with floating shelves and built-in desks. If buyers have younger children, the space can be easily reconfigured into a playroom. It’s meant to be a true multi-purpose room, adaptable to residents’ varied needs.

Teaque Chair in Nabor Silver, High Fashion Home.

Modern Round Cocktail Table, High Fashion Home.

Bamba Ottoman, Article.

The Living Room

Home to a large sectional, lounge chairs, ottomans and a coffee table, the size of the living space is realized as soon as you walk into the room. As a result of its open-concept layout, the space imparts an immediate sense of grandeur and fluidity. Homeowners can rearrange furniture pieces whichever way they’d like — for optimal enjoyment or specific entertainment needs.

The Kitchen

Featuring lightened countertops and a neutral color scheme, the kitchen gives off an open and airy feel. “The sink and island were strategically placed to face the living room to maximize the home’s open-concept way of living,” says Kendall. Black hardware contrasts the white shaker kitchen cabinets, while a patterned backsplash was used to add some dimension and texture to the room.

Sanders Upholstered Low Profile Standard Bed by Andover Mills in Black, Wayfair.

Elin 6 Drawer by Joss & Main in White, Wayfair.

Zephyr Bedside Storage Chest, Domicile Furniture.

The Primary Bedroom

Boasting a spa-like ensuite, a large L-shaped walk-in closet and a reading nook, The Richmond’s primary bedroom is a true retreat. The room’s three large windows allow an abundance of natural light to pour in and provide views of the home’s backyard. A wall treatment was installed to make the bed stand out, and larger nightstands were added to accentuate the size of the room. “Bringing color into the primary bedroom through the use of paint and bedding allowed us to create some contrast in the space,” says Kendall.

The Office

The office is another room in the home that can suit a variety of needs. Convert it into a home gym, an art room or a nursery — the possibilities are endless. “We set this space up as a traditional study where someone might work from home,” says Kendall. “The ‘WFH’ movement is huge in the Austin market with so many people working remotely, so we wanted to show homeowners how they could utilize this space for that purpose.” Layered rugs and warm woods were incorporated into this room to create a homey and comfortable design.


Next, learn how to get the Modern Glam look at Empire Mueller’s model home. You can also download these top interior design apps to help you decorate your home, or discover what there is to know about perfectly lighting every room.


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Liz, Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Liz, Nicole and Karla

New Home Specialists


Hi! We are your New Home Specialists. Ask us about updates on our release, model home openings, special incentives and other Empire communities information.

T 647-372-0619