Austin, Texas-based designer Claire Zinnecker always seems to radiate creative energy, so we asked her to reveal which spots around the city motivate her to keep up with the demands of blogging and running Claire Zinnecker Design. Read on for her mini-guide to getting inspired in Austin!
If you’ve ever visited Austin, Texas, you probably understand why it is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Its numerous green spaces, diverse outdoor activities and supportive creative community are big draws for tourists and locals alike. You’ll find creative inspiration everywhere you look—from ever-changing wall murals to small, quirky art installations (I love the skirts that are currently appearing on power line poles throughout the city!). There’s a uniquely warm and welcoming vibe when you enter a shop, restaurant or studio—and when you talk to the business owners and employees, you can feel their passion for what they do. That always inspires me to work harder and continue pursuing my dreams! Below are some of my favorite spots for soaking up inspiration in Austin.
Barton Creek Greenbelt: This creek that runs through my city holds lifelong memories for me. As a native “Austinite,” I grew up hiking, swimming, climbing and tubing here. Even now, it is the place I escape to, whether I need to have a good cry or just find some inspiration.
Elizabeth Street Café: Whether I’m here for a date night, a delicious catch-up lunch with girlfriends or just a quick coffee-and-macaron stop, this charming Vietnamese restaurant never disappoints. Plus, the bright décor is an instant mood booster, and the staff is delightful. If you’re visiting me in Austin, be prepared to come here at least once during your stay!
Nannie Inez: I would happily move in to this shop if I could. I mean, it’s just perfection! Everything is sourced from countries around the world, so shoppers can purchase items that they might not have had access to otherwise. As a designer with an avid love of thoughtfully made items, I find this store to be such a breath of fresh air. Co-owner Deeyn Rhodes shows me her latest finds every time I visit, and they’re always amazing. If I let myself, I’d go broke buying everything!
East Austin Succulents: Take one glance at this spot and you’ll immediately understand why it’s one of my favorites. Even if I’m just there for a photo shoot (it’s a perfect location!), I always seem to walk away with at least one new plant. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable, and the plants are affordable. Sometimes I pop in to ask a random plant care question, or to just roam around and get re-energized. If only I could make my house look like this nursery without looking like a crazy plant lady!
Studium, which houses Byron & Blue and Punctum Records, and is adjoined to Wright Bros. Brew & Brew: Since I work from home, I often need to get out to refocus (and escape from my demanding pups!). This east-side spot is what I like to call my second office. The coffee from Brew & Brew is on-point—and being able to peruse well-curated items from Byron & Blue or records from Punctum Records while I refuel doesn’t hurt either. I’m also guaranteed to bump into at least one familiar face here, which always brightens my day.
Photography by Kate Stafford