We'd been bugging our sweet, stylish and all around wonderful employee Holly to do a home tour for several months and it finally happened! We had seen snippets of her 1950s ranch home as she would purchase things from the shop or show us inspiration boards for various rooms, but seeing the whole thing pulled together for a tour was amazing. Holly went to school for interior design, so we knew it would be good, but we really fell in love with her space, especially her sentimental vignettes and wood paneled den. Please enjoy the Q&A with Holly plus the tour of her dreamy, earthy abode. Also, Holly is going to be around the shop a lot more starting in September, and there is nothing like a home tour to introduce a Retro Den gal. Thanks for playing along, Holly!
Who lives in your house (including pets!)? My husband Trenton, me, my dogs–Banjo + Penny, and my two cats–Romeo + Toulouse! It’s a full house!
What do you love most about your space? Probably the add-on in the back of the house. The wood paneling was a little intimidating at first, but I actually really like it now and feel like it gives a good amount of warmth and texture to the room. I love having 7 giant windows; that room faces south so it's perfect for plants and feels similar to a sunroom but much more cozy since that’s really where we spend most of our time at home.
What is your favorite home project you've completed? Replacing the carpet in the den and updating the windows! Both were something we knew we wanted done when we bought the house. The carpet was a shaggy, dirty beige color; it also collected dirt easily (not ideal for a room that leads you to the backyard). We JUST replaced the light fixtures/fans in the dining room, den, guest room, and master bedroom–they look so much better!! (Sorry we didn't get the update done before photos–you’ll have to suffer seeing my ugly 80’s fans and chandelier.)
You decorate with objects that have meaning and history. Tell us about one of these special pieces. My favorite piece of furniture I inherited is probably the matching mid-century modern dressers in our master bedroom. They were my great grandparents. I found them in my grandparents shed one day and told my grandpa I had to have them. He’s the nicest ever and told me they were mine!
We know you love thrifting and vintage shopping–tell us about your favorite find. It changes periodically with new finds, but I really love the desk in our office (it's exactly what I wanted for the space–thanks Daly!), and also the trunk-made-cat-box in the office closet. I love my cats but I hate litter and unsightly litter boxes. This was one of my favorite small projects as well.
Favorite places to find furniture and home decor in Tulsa? I know I sound biased because I work there, but Retro Den has been one of my favorites for years. I was coming here long before I interned with you guys and then won your hearts over! Hehe.
Also, antique stores have a special place in my heart. My mom and my grandma were both antique shop lovers, and I grew up spending entire Saturdays or Sundays antique shopping. Jo & June, Jenkins & Co., and of course thrift stores!
Tell us about your experience decorating with wood paneling. It was a challenge at first. I love wood furniture and even mixing wood tones, but having a room entirely covered in wood paneling was intimidating, especially when it came to adding wood pieces into the room. I wanted to modernize the room a little and also try to brighten the space. I added a lot of white vases, books and artwork to the built ins to brighten them up. We replaced the old, flimsy blinds that took forever to open and shut and instead replaced them with white roller shades to match the updated, white windows–best idea I’ve ever had!
Where do you get inspiration for decorating your home? Nature. I love moody tones like earthy greens, deep blues, mustard yellows, etc. Also, architecture, traveling, local shops like Jo & June and Jenkins and Co, and of course design blogs and Pinterest!
What are your favorite design blogs and/or Instagram accounts to follow?
- A few of my go-to blogs are: Apartment Therapy, Design Sponge, Jungalow, Dwell
How would you describe your decorating style? Organic + bohemian + midcentury modern…?? It’s hard to pick just one. I do a lot of mixing and matching but prefer to keep most things neutral in color. I also love minimalism–it puts my mind at ease, seriously.
Do you have a process you follow when decorating a space?
- I usually have a pretty good vision of what I want to achieve with a space. I’m an extremely visual person, which has pros and cons, but I tend to make a lot of mood boards when I’m considering making a big change to a space. It helps to visualize the pieces together without actually having to rearrange your whole space or painting a whole wall green before you’re REALLY sure.
- Also, anytime I find something, I like to make sure I absolutely love it. I have to picture it in my space–will it have a place to go? Do I love it? Will I regret leaving without it?
- Everything has a place and a purpose. Clutter gives me anxiety so I like to minimize clutter whenever I can; that means if I bring something new home I may have to get rid of something I no longer love or need anymore.
You attended interior design school. Tell us about a "design rule" you often break. I think one rule some people struggle with is thinking you have to pick a single “time period” or “style” for a room or space. To me that’s bogus–haha! It’s totally okay to put your mid-century modern chair in the same space as your grandmother's vintage dresser that you’re using as a media unit. A good mix makes your space interesting and adds character.
Why do you think it's important to have vintage pieces in your home? Bringing vintage pieces into a space adds character and charm. I love shopping Target's home section as much as the next person (thanks Opalhouse), but having all brand new pieces in your home can be too cold and seems less personal and warm.
Why do you think it's important, worthwhile to have a beautiful home? I’m an introvert, which means I prefer to spend the majority of my time at home. Being so, having a space I think is pretty, comfortable, and welcoming is important to me. I want to love the space where I spend the majority of my time! I also grew up watching both my mom and my grandma spend a lot of time making their houses beautiful and welcoming; I think it just became part of my nature to feel the same way they did.
What do you love about Tulsa right now? All the local restaurants and shops–the soon to be Gathering Place, downtown, Boxyard!