Welcome to Holland Avenue!

This blog is an invitation to thoughtful homemaking, and it is my goal to encourage resourcefulness and good stewardship in all areas of home life. I want to use my love for design as a way to serve others, and your support of this blog makes that possible. Thank you.

If you want to be notified when new posts go live, click the “follow” button on the sidebar under the “Brighten Your Inbox” header. You can also follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for post announcements and daily encouragement toward thoughtful homemaking.

(Disclaimer before you jump into the home tour: These photos were all taken at different times. I like to switch accessories and art around, so you might see some of the same accessories in different places! One day soon I’d like to clean and style the whole house to take some nice photos, but I’ve had so many more important things to do recently- like live my actual unstyled life. These photos are a very close representation of what each room looks like right this second, but if you want to know what my house actually looks like right now, just picture junk on the dining room table and laundry on the bedroom floor and general unstyled, lived-in, real life happening everywhere.

I’ve linked furniture and decor where I can on the Shop My Home page, and I linked similar items for some of my favorite secondhand finds. If you have questions about sources, feel free to send me a message through my Contact form (but just know that the answer is probably, “Goodwill” 🙂 )

With so much love,

avery- signature

ben and avery couch


Now that we’ve been properly introduced, come on in!

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We live in a 1910 craftsman home with as much charm as there is woodwork. Living in our first house has helped me learn the importance of intention, the joy behind simple tasks, and the pleasure of making a house a home. I’ve painted nearly every wall in this house, and pulled up more carpet staples than I could count. Besides fresh paint and hours of restoring original wood features, all we’ve done to this home is fill it with pieces that tell our story. The majority of furniture and decor in our home is thrifted or secondhand, but I’ll tag sources when I can. My husband and I love living in this big old house, and I’ve loved sharing the journey of discovering my home style.


Front Porch

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Our front porch is unbearably cold in the winter, but in the warmer months it is our favorite place to have morning coffee or cocktails with friends. We’ve had an unseasonably cool summer, so we’ve been enjoying most of our time at home out here. As I write this, I’m sitting on the plaid couch with our puppy, Louie!

This gingham living room set is my absolute favorite secondhand find. It was a Christmas miracle (in May… but whatever…) A woman in our town listed the whole set on Facebook Marketplace for $100. I audibly squealed and immediately messaged her to ask if it was still available. We previously had two plain Ikea chairs out here, and when I saw the listing I hatched a plan to sell the chairs so we could buy this set. I proposed the plan to my husband, and he said yes! I wasted no time listing the chairs and a bathroom cabinet we didn’t need, and they both sold within an hour! We borrowed a friend’s truck and drove to her house to pick up the set. She was very sentimental, as this was the first big furniture purchase she and her husband made together. They were moving to Myanmar to be missionaries, so they had to sell most of their furniture.

I promised to take very good care of the set, and I know we will take it with us wherever we go! The chair is Louie’s favorite perch to search for bunnies.

I’m slowly painting the walls white, but everything has to be done with a brush because of the siding and heavily textured walls. I’m taking it one hour at a time, and maybe one day I will finish! (hopefully)

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The other end of the porch is Granny Central. I found that mustard yellow couch on Facebook Marketplace as well. It is a pull out couch, which means it weighs approximately as much as this house. The handkerchiefs above the couch were part of the centerpieces at our wedding. In college, my style was totally “Granny Chic”. If it had embroidery on it, I wanted it. My style has since matured (or the opposite of matured… given that I no longer gravitate towards old lady things). I don’t use embroidery and pastels and vintage florals as much in other rooms, but there is still a place in my heart for everything “Granny Chic”. I decided to let my granny heart run wild on this end of the porch, and it is just plain fun. No, it isn’t sophisticated or magazine worthy, but it brings a smile to my face every time I see it, and I think that makes it perfect.

The vintage trunk is from an auction here in Iowa, and it houses Ikea toys we bought for when our friends come over with their kids. It is the first thing they run to when they come to our house now!

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Here’s the view of the two spaces together. Our living room is just inside the front door. We’re planning to paint the concrete floors at some point, and I’ll eventually finish painting the walls. But even in the middle of the process, I love this space!

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This is the white hutch in between the two seating areas. I bought it from a friend’s yard sale and painted it white. It houses the vintage dishes from our wedding, my vintage purses, and some random knick knacks I’ve collected or made myself.

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Let’s go inside!

Living Room

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If we’re not on the front porch, we’re probably in the living room. That yellow chair is the comfiest chair in the whole wide world, and was $20 at Goodwill. It is a vintage LaZBoy rocker/recliner, and we will probably never get rid of it.

Our couch is the Lofallet Beige Ektorp with chaise from Ikea. We love it and would definitely choose it again. I love that it has a slipcover, and can easily be washed. It is Ikea’s cheapest sofa, and in our opinion is also the comfiest.

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We sometimes switch around the yellow and blue chairs in the living room, but right now the yellow one is in this corner.

This blue chair is very special to me. I found it in an antique store in Joplin, Missouri, where my husband and I went to college. Every Wednesday, I gave myself an “introvert day” where I would do homework at Starbucks by myself and wander around my favorite antique stores. I usually didn’t buy anything, but once we were engaged I had fun looking for special pieces for our home. Usually those special pieces were just decor and had to fit in my dorm room, but one day I walked in to my favorite store and saw this chair. It was $75, which was way out of my budget, but I was in love. I left it behind, and decided it wasn’t meant to be. UNTIL. I went back the following Wednesday on my Introvert Day and it was marked down to $30! Score! I had $30 cash and couldn’t get it to the register fast enough. I muscled it into my Honda Accord and brought it into my dorm room. It had to replace my desk chair, and I couldn’t open my closet door all the way, but it was mine. I sent it back to Iowa with Ben the next time he came to visit me. (He was living in Iowa while we were engaged.)

Every time I see this chair, I just feel lucky to have it because it was out of the question when I first saw it. It is the perfect shade of blue/green velvet, and was the first thing to get moved into our house. I love finding secondhand pieces because they are so special and always have a story. Sure, you can score great deals at Target sometimes, but you’ll never find something one-of-a-kind.

Let’s go to the dining room!

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The dining and living rooms are separated by BEAUTIFUL built-ins that store our dishes.

This is an older photo, and I’ve since painted my office that you can see to the left of the built-ins through the living room. But everything else in the dining room is current (including the gallery wall!)

We have an 8 foot farm table that was made by one of my high school small group leaders at my home church in Louisville. It is one of the first things people notice when they come into our house. It is either spotless or covered in random junk like sewing projects and board games and random things that need to be put away. There is no in between. (I’ll let you guess which one it is right now since I’m using an older photo! 🙂 )

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This mid-century cabinet functions as a “bar cart” and storage for Ben’s board game collection.

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Here’s a shot of the table, although I no longer have it positioned on an angle like this. This is our favorite meal, a simple charcuterie board with fresh baguette and wine.

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This is also an older picture, and I’ve since changed the gallery wall, but this will give you an idea of the layout. From the dining room, we go to the kitchen! (If you’ve been reading Holland Avenue for a while, you’ll notice that I have the infamous kitchen rug in the dining room. I think it will live here, but I’ve been antsy to try it out in our bedroom. We’ll see. 😉 )

The Kitchen

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This kitchen… What do I say? I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint almost two years ago, and it has led to some crazy opportunities. The Before & After post went viral, and has over 50,000 views. It’s been featured by Apartment Therapy, The Today Show, Country Living, Buzzfeed, Popsugar, and Better Homes & Gardens. (what the actual heck you guys all I did was paint the cabinets) My dad and I installed subway tile this summer, and I’m still in love with every little detail. There is usually an “island” in the middle (the bottom of my hoosier cabinet that I painted to match the cupboards), but I moved it out of the way to take photos for a magazine feature.

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Here’s the opposite corner looking all warm and cozy and less magazine-ready. We usually just use lamps in here, and I love how cozy it is.

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This mustard yellow chair was on the side of the road for our town’s junk day.

I wrote a whole post about it because that stuff doesn’t just happen every day.

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Our coffee shelves are also looking warm and Autumn-y.

From the kitchen, we go to the mudroom! I don’t have any pictures of it- and there isn’t anything special about it. Soon, I will have photos of the basement stairs that I am “updating”. By “updating” I mean I’m painting the walls and adding some cute hooks. I’m using contact paper from Dollar Tree as wallpaper. The panelling has been primed and just needs to be painted.

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Next to the basement stairs is our “Airplane Bathroom”. We call it that because it is approximately the size of an airplane bathroom!

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One day I might paint the linoleum floor in here. Ben and I joke that I should do a dramatic “before and after” post for this bathroom. Or try to do as big of a renovation as possible for $20. It could be done.

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The laundry room cabinet is Duck Egg Blue by Annie Sloan (same as the kitchen).

Next up…

The Office

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My office has had a black accent wall for a while now, but I recently painted the other walls sage. The color is Early Riser from Magnolia Home paint. I LOVE IT. I want to paint everything this color now. It is the perfect complement to our woodwork. It is soothing, and looks incredible with the black, white, brass, and greenery accents. IMG_7438IMG_7439

Louie is my little helper.

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That’s it for the first floor. Let’s go upstairs!

Speaking of the stairs, they are my biggest unfinished project. I started stripping and refinishing the wood in July 2016. I worked on it for a few days, then got frustrated and stopped. I picked it up again this Spring and worked on it for a few more evenings… then got frustrated and stopped. I’m finally happy with the paint color I chose, although it is pretty similar to the new color in my office. If I have enough paint left over after we paint the bathroom, I might give the stairs a coat of the same color.

Here is the progression from red paint… to mostly stripped and testing the turquoise… to mostly stripped and testing the turquoise and ripped up carpet… to stained wood and turquoise paint and hardwoods… to where it currently is. Stained wood, sage paint, and hardwoods. I finished staining the wood on the landing (pictured here), and everything is painted sage, but I still have to finish stripping, sanding, and staining the wood coming down the stairs. Refinishing wood is no joke, you guys.

The Bathroom

At the top of the stairs is our bathroom! It currently has an accent wall in the “Early Riser” Magnolia paint that I painted from a sample tin. We plan to paint the whole bathroom this color and eventually replace the floors with the cheap wood-like laminate that clicks together.

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Guest Bedroom

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This room has been so much fun to put together. I was going for a vintage bed and breakfast vibe with modern touches. We took up the wall to wall carpet a few months ago and it COMPLETELY changed this room. I knew it would make a difference, but WOW.

Small Guest Bedroom

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This room is pretty small and simple. A twin bed. Hardwood floors. Gray walls. That’s about it. There aren’t any sheets on the bed in this photo, but I promise we give our guests sheets! I’m planning to style this room soon before we have a house full of guests, but it usually stays simple and sweet!

Master Bedroom

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I recently finished this room for the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge as a Guest Participant. The full Before & After Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom post contains links to all six weeks of the challenge at the very beginning! The first step to the transformation was painting a moody accent wall. 

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I sewed new pillow covers with fabric from Mood in New York City.

Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom- One Room ChallengeIkea Dresser Hack- One Room Challenge

We bought the basic Ikea Tarva dresser and gave it new life with walnut stain and modern hardware!

But my favorite part of this update was the transformation of the attached sunroom…

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Master Bedroom Sunroom

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This room has three walls of windows and beautiful original hardwood floors, but the damaged wood trim and dated wallpaper made it feel sad. I completely transformed this room with the power of paint, and a hand-painted mural!

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This mural cost $10 in acrylic craft paint, and I spent four days sketching and painting. I shared more about the sunroom transformation in my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Before & After: One Room Challenge Week 6 post.

Back Porch

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I’m looking forward to pumpkin and mums season! This is a photo from last fall. I love pumpkins that aren’t bright orange, and I found a patch last year that has toooons of unique colors! We will have to make a trip once fall actually arrives.

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Here are the posts for a few of my favorite room transformations we’ve completed!

Before & After: A Bright, Affordable DIY Kitchen Update

Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Before & After: One Room Challenge Week 6

Our Guest Room Has New Floors! (Kind of)

You’re invited to follow the Holland Avenue Home instagram for daily snapshots of life and work.

Thank you for visiting, and come back soon!

 

 

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