Inside Natalie Davis’s Studio…and Butcher Shop

Yes, for reals.

Recently, the Austin-based designer Natalie Davis moved into a new 300-square-foot studio space—HQ for her unfussy leather-good line Canoe—and she and her husband Ben opened a butcher shop, Salt and Time. But wait, there’s more: Jay Colombo, the architect who designed the meat haven, works for the same firm that did the studio complex, and the spaces have common elements (like polished concrete floors and expansive white walls). Not surprisingly, Natalie’s channeling similar vibes for both spaces: clean, natural, and vintage-inspired. —meghana gandhi

The Inspo: Georgia O’Keeffe and Ghost Ranch

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Georgia O’Keeffe’s studio at Ghost Ranch.

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Sleek, minimalist stools at the butcher shop.

“Georgia O’Keeffe is a total idol of mine. The way she lived her life and set up Ghost Ranch and her studio are so inspiring because they were so pared down; only the things she needed were there. I still joke with Ben that in my head the butcher shop is Georgia O’Keeffe’s butcher shop—I think she really celebrated where she was living. Part of the butcher shop is this nod to Texas—this idea of it as the West, the range, the cattle. I’m on the prowl for skull heads (lamb, goat, and chicken) to fill up some of the shop’s big white walls—an utterly bizarro mission—and I’m going out with a photographer friend to photograph some cattle on a ranch outside of Austin.”

The Inspo: Tools and Techniques

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A damn cool tool wall, for inspiration!

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Natalie’s collection of tools.

“One of the overall things for the studio is creating a utilitarian space, where the tools are really the décor in a way. My blog is called Tool and Tack, and I’m obsessed with getting the right tool for the job and building this collection of tools. As for the shop, there are three giant windows straight into the cutting room so that customers can watch the butchers work. There’s total transparency to build trust with our customers.”

The Inspo: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose

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A super-slick idea for the studio!

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Vintage meat case at the butcher shop.

“I’m waiting for the antique event Round Top to look for the kinds of pieces that have a lot of history to them—the older pieces that have been through multiple lives, like vintage leather tools, old barn wood—that I can re-purpose to make a showroom wall and inspiration board. In the butcher shop, we have a lot of older equipment that we’re waiting to install—equipment that has a story to it. When you’re in this business, you’re standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Score Natalie’s amazing edition: an envelope-style wallet made-by-hand in Austin!

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