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Salvage Love

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The first year out of college is a wildcard for most people. Whether spent bumming around Europe with a backpack or slogging through a suffocating desk job, it’s often a year with little bearing on life’s next chapter. But Blake Dollahite—and his father—saw an opportunity in this transitional time to build a foundation for his future. With a small bank loan and a lot of helping hands, Dollahite dove into his first year of freedom by shackling himself to a rundown Austin bungalow and preparing to make it home.

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  From the side door of his restored two-bedroom bungalow, Dollahite watches his 
dog West inspect the newly installed low-maintenance landscaping and brick patio.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    From the side door of his restored two-bedroom bungalow, Dollahite watches his dog West inspect the newly installed low-maintenance landscaping and brick patio.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Dollahite perches on the steps to his living room beside his dog, who saw him through the entire renovation.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Dollahite perches on the steps to his living room beside his dog, who saw him through the entire renovation.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Almost every element of the interior—from the kitchen cabinetry to the art on the walls—was created by Dollahite himself.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Almost every element of the interior—from the kitchen cabinetry to the art on the walls—was created by Dollahite himself.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  The bedroom takes up the small second floor of the house.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    The bedroom takes up the small second floor of the house.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  From the stairs West looks across the living room over the salvaged pine floors, which run throughout the house.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    From the stairs West looks across the living room over the salvaged pine floors, which run throughout the house.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  The media cabinet and lightbox coffee table exemplify Dollahite’s furniture-making talents. After finishing the house he founded a studio, Rural Theory, to apply his talents elsewhere.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    The media cabinet and lightbox coffee table exemplify Dollahite’s furniture-making talents. After finishing the house he founded a studio, Rural Theory, to apply his talents elsewhere.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Dollahite’s house sits on a tree-lined block in the north Austin neighborhood of Hyde Park. His remodel retained the old Texas feel of the exterior, with modern touches inside.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Dollahite’s house sits on a tree-lined block in the north Austin neighborhood of Hyde Park. His remodel retained the old Texas feel of the exterior, with modern touches inside.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Dollahite tackled landscaping last, installing climate-sensitive plants in metal planters he designed himself.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Dollahite tackled landscaping last, installing climate-sensitive plants in metal planters he designed himself.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Dollahite kept most rooms spare, allowing each piece of furniture and art to have a presence. In the dining room, the table is its own centerpiece.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Dollahite kept most rooms spare, allowing each piece of furniture and art to have a presence. In the dining room, the table is its own centerpiece.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Patches of sod amid white gravel keep water needs low.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Patches of sod amid white gravel keep water needs low.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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