My family and I have spent a lot of time this summer visiting my parents in my hometown of Abilene, Texas. Between eight years of living in Florida followed by two years of Covid, we had some making up to do. Abilene is a small but growing town located smack-dab in the middle of the state, an approximate three-hour drive from Dallas. In June, my Mom and I toured the local Parade of Homes and had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca and Lucas Gibbs of Gibbs Design + Build. The husband-wife team were exhibiting a stunning custom build they had recently completed for a client just outside town. While I’ve seen a lot of beautiful homes in some of the poshest cities in America, the quality craftsmanship and beauty displayed in the Gibbs’ work is second to none. I was intrigued and eager to learn more.
Lucas and Rebecca met in Abilene during college where they studied Pre-Architecture, Interior Design, Architecture History, and Business Management. Rebecca is an interior designer with a distinctive style that is luxurious yet fresh and down-to-earth. She incorporates a layering and mixing of styles throughout her work in order to create a distinctive style that is a beautiful tribute to the surrounding West Texas landscape. Lucas is a master carpenter who produces the highest quality cabinetry and millwork with beautiful custom detailing. He has a Masters in Sustainable Building Practices and an AP accreditation in Residential Design through LEED. Together, the pair constantly strive to build beautiful homes that will last for generations.
I’m delighted to introduce Rebecca Gibbs today for a Q&A… Welcome, Rebecca!
Q: When did you know you wanted to become an interior designer?
A: When I was a little girl, I was always so enamored by how a bit of rethinking and scooting furniture could transform my room.
Q: What brought you to Abilene, and how does West Texas influence your style?
A: I came to Abilene, Texas to attend Abilene Christian University in 2004. I met Lucas there and we have made our home here. I am absolutely inspired and influenced by our West Texas landscape. The beautiful color palette of blues, muted greens, browns, earthy hues and warm chalky grays are my forever go-tos for paint and fabrics. The rustic and wide open landscape also forever inspires me. I love a design that is simple in its bones, well thought out in its function and then beautiful and layered in a natural and effortless way.
Q: Who are your favorite designers past and present?
A: Where to start?! So inspired by so many. Gil Schafer, Rita Konig, Steven Gambrel, Peter Block, Mcalpine House (can’t tell you how many times I’ve studied Mcalpines website over the past ten years), Nickey Keyhoe, Billy Cotton… I adore everything Salvesen Graham does, and have been so inspired by the work Devol Kitchens has done in the last five years.
Q: How did you meet your husband, and what is it like working together?
A: We met in college. He was pre-architecture and I was interior design so we had so many classes together. It’s very easy working with him–he is hilarious and very laid back. He knows his craft well and is always looking to improve. While working for a carpenter’s shop in college he really discovered how much he loved working with his hands. He is like an old school home builder in that he is also the finish carpenter. Before he built his first house, he worked for all the different subs for 3-6 months each. He learned so much during those years and now uses all of those subs on his builds and has a great relationship with each of them.
Q: What are some of the benefits for your clients in choosing to work with a husband/wife architectural/design team?
A: Definitely more communication between designer and builder since we are roomies! Professionally, we stay in our own lanes and trust each other completely. I design and he builds. He doesn’t question anything I design and I know that anything he creates will be done beautifully. I actually have a hard time working with any other contractors. He definitely has set my expectations high.
Q: In addition to new construction, do y’all also do major renovations?
A: Yes, we do. We are currently working on a really special Lakehouse remodel for a client here in Abilene. It had a funky cool early 90’s vibe that needed to die, haha. There were lots of purple faux finishes and piano key cushions on either side of the fireplace! Also a strange layout that did not take advantage of the killer view of the lake. We are changing that! It started out as a bit of room rearranging and has grown into a complete gut.
Q: The homes you and Lucas create are exquisite, and Lucas’ millwork is second to none. What is your secret to providing big city quality in a small town?
A: Thank you so much! The people that we end up working with are all very trusting of what we do. We are lucky to have them “commission” us to create their forever homes. Lucas is not just a builder, he is an artist that takes so much pride in creating something well.
Q: How do you create homes that are designed and built to last a lifetime?
A: We are not in the business of cranking out the projects quickly. We absolutely buy into quality over quantity. Taking our time to make sure things are done well and that these homes will still be here in a hundred years is a big driving factor for us. Also, Lucas has a masters in Sustainable Building Practices that is basically a fancy way of saying “Green.” He implements “smarter” building practices in each of the builds and never sacrifices the quality. We are pretty picky about our windows and woodwork materials.
Q: You have four boys! What are your tips for living beautifully with young children, and how do you balance your time?
A: 1. Fabrics that don’t show the dirt and wear. Wipeable everything. And being okay with patina for the things that scratch and stain.
2. Having grace with the tiny humans and yourself.
3. Splitting up design time and mom time has always been necessary for me. I pay for childcare Tuesdays-Thursdays about 20-25 hours and am with them the rest of the time. I just don’t do any design while they are with me at this stage. I just really don’t like the feeling of my brain being pulled in two different directions.
Q: Where do you see Gibbs Design + Build in the next five years?
A: Definitely still in Abilene and hopefully into a cute shop downtown! We are currently in two upstairs bedrooms and a little office and looking forward to more space and a little retail storefront. It’s in the works, but our client work takes priority so it’ll take some time.
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for joining us today!
For additional information, please visit Gibbs Design + Build and follow @rebeccagibbs.design and @lucasgibbs.build on Instagram for ongoing inspiration.
Oh so beautiful! Cozy and casual yet elegant!
Beautiful work! The craftsmanship is apparent. Really appreciate her mix of paint/wood tones in cabinetry. The marble tiled shower is my fav!!
Such a gifted duo! Incredible craftsmanship and artisan style. Thank you for sharing their efforts. Wow!
As a fellow Texan, what can I say but, “Alright, Alright, Alright!” Seriously though, this is brilliant. Joanna and Chip Gaines watch out!