Warm and Welcoming: An Antique Dealer's Eclectic Home
The forces that draw us home are often mysterious and unseen. Seventeen years ago, a charming white wicker rocking chair led Holly Kuhn to a house she would one day call her own—not that she realized it at the time. The mother of three had just begun her antiques business a year earlier, hauling trailers of treasures from Texas and Oklahoma and selling them in her new Denver retail store.
When Kuhn delivered the rocking chair to her customers, she felt a strong connection to their traditional Cherry Hills Village home. “I thought the house was really lovely—and also just a little quirky, which appealed to me,” she says.
At the time Kuhn was busy feathering her own nest and developing her unique brand of fresh vintage design in her store, Old Glory Antiques. “I’ve always loved making a home personal, and looking for unusual, one-of-a-kind pieces,” she says. “I’m drawn to things that are beautiful, but home furnishings have to be comfortable and practical, too.”
Fast forward to 2014, when those customers from years before told Kuhn they were ready to put the five-bedroom home on the market. “The minute I walked in the door I loved it all over again,” she says. Built in the 1980s, the house had been updated several times—most recently with the addition of a new wing housing a spacious master suite and sitting area.
The home needed very few renovations. “We opened up a wall in the kitchen and put in an island, and our family loves to congregate there,” Kuhn says. She also refinished the hardwood floors and replaced many of the light fixtures.
The home’s 5,000-square-foot floorplan allowed Kuhn free range to create vignettes with a mixture of antiques, reproductions and modern pieces. Furnishings throughout the home evoke rich history, like an old map chest that holds her work papers or an ancient European cabinet with dozens of little drawers. “We think it might have once been a fixture in a hardware store,” Kuhn says. “I love things with a story.”
Kuhn chose accessories in pale neutrals to lighten up the entryway, piling pillows sewn from vintage fabrics on an antique European bench. The mirror, from Old Glory Antiques, is made from reclaimed ceiling tins.
The three-legged wooden table tucked in a corner of the living room is an antique that Kuhn topped with an arrangement of old books, wooden artifacts and a vintage metal lamp from Watson & Company. The framed prints are reproductions of English garden designs, and the chair is from The Americana Collection at Old Glory Antiques.
Cedar shingles and crisp white trim define the traditional lines of the Cherry Hills Village home. Builders from BOA Construction matched the "witch's hat" roof line for the new wing that houses the master suite.
Train signs referencing Denver streets are reproductions that Kuhn framed in black to complement the rough-hewn antique chest from Scandinavian Antiques. "It's European, and we think it might have once been in a hardware store because of all the little worn drawers," Kuhn says. A 12-foot antique dining table is surrounded by metal side chairs; the boldly patterned rug underfoot is from West Elm. The head chairs, from The Americana Collection at Old Glory Antiques, are upholstered in vintage grain sacks.
Kuhn calls the living area "a masculine room," where her husband and children love to spend time. The leather tufted sofa was a find from the Restoration Hardware outlet store that Kuhn layered with pillows made from mismatched fabrics and paired with an antique coffee table and leather chair from HW Home. A round ottoman is upholstered in old grain sack fabric and burlap. The European wicker basket, from Old Glory Antiques, was once used in a commercial laundry. The framed prints are from Djuna, and the rug is from Artisan Rug Gallery.
Kuhn claimed a corner of the living room for her office, using a reproduction round table as a desk and repurposing an old map chest to store work papers. "The chest had that wonderful patina when I bought it," she says. "I had the top refinished and added casters to the legs so we can move it easily." The velvet sofa, blue leather chair and rug are from HW Home. The upholstered bench, metal table lamp, mirror and old tin ceiling tiles on the wall are from Old Glory Antiques.
Kuhn has a flair for creating charming vignettes from old items. "I'm not a painter, but I love old, worn, used paintbrushes," she says. "These are from an artist in California who paints with wonderful colors. I also collect old trophies. You can use them to hold all kinds of things."
After removing a wall to open up the kitchen, Kuhn added a glossy white subway tile backsplash and new stainless appliances, including a Wolf stove. The beadboard ceiling was original and Kuhn kept existing cabinets, finishing them with burnished gold hardware and topping them with gray soapstone countertops. She had a carpenter add six inches of height and a lower shelf to an antique table to make an island. The sign camouflaging the oven hood is an antique that once hung in a store in England.
A recent addition of a master suite includes a spacious sitting area topped with a conical roof; the curved window seats feature hidden storage underneath. Kuhn layered a framed antique key, old sheet music and an oval mirror on the mantel above a cozy, marble-trimmed fireplace. Leather chairs with nailhead trim and an antique chair Kuhn found in Texas provide casual seating. "I like the rustic antique table here because it's chunky and heavy; it contrasts with the light, airy space and visually grounds the room," Kuhn says. The rug is from Artisan Rug Gallery.
Marble-clad floors and white cabinets create a calm retreat in the master bathroom, where a crystal chandelier illuminates a deep soaking tub. Faded antique dress forms provide contrast in the elegant space, where Kuhn arranged found objects, vintage bottles and plants in shelves and on counters. She framed two large botanical prints for the wall and tucked a smaller on inside a shelf. A glittering chandelier hangs over the tub. “It was there when we bought the house, and while I’m generally not a crystal chandelier kind of person I’ve grown to love how it reflects the water,” she says.
Kuhn still marvels at the good fortune that led her family to the house. “Always warm and welcoming, it was just waiting for us to make it our home,” she says.
Interior Designer: Holly Kuhn, Old Glory Antiques