From the oversized, boldly colored mural to seven outdoor patios and authentic decor sourced from Mexico, Casa Cartel is the ultimate luxury rental. Built in the mid-1970s by Austinite Abraham Kennedy and renovated over a 20-month period by designer Chris McCray, founder of McCray & Co., and Jantzen Matzdorff from TLC’s “Flip That House,” the 6,000 sq.-ft. home has a palpable sense of magic.
Kennedy’s own boldness in his decisions continuously inspired Matzdorff and McCray during the renovation. The kitchen was completely gutted and updated for large groups and parties. Now, there are commercial-grade appliances, two dishwashers, a wine refrigerator, poured-in-place concrete counters, and tiles from Clay Imports which were made in Mexico, along with posters and calendars from Kennedy’s restaurant, El Gallo, which shuttered in 2017 after 60 years in business.
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Photos by Erin Holsonback