COLORADO SHOPKEEPER HOLLY KUHN BRINGS A LOFTY HOME DOWN TO EARTH WITH HOMESPUN TOUCHES.
Colorado shopkeeper Holly Kuhn brings a lofty home down to earth with homespun touches.
“I couldn’t believe the quality of the light!” Holly says. There were other perks as well: walnut floors, triple crown molding, a vaulted and beamed kitchen, and authentic copper and stone exterior details. Best of all, because it was built in 2007, the house didn’t need any renovations, which was a very good thing for busy Holly, the owner of destination shop Old Glory Antiques and the mastermind of the annual vintage show of the same name—not to mention her pop-up shop held at the Round Top Fair in Texas twice a year.
With soaring ceilings and four bedrooms, the house is large enough to accommodate Holly’s three 20-something children, who all live in the area and visit often. “The dining room is spacious and a warm and wonderful place to enjoy special occasions with my family,” Holly says. “We celebrated our daughter’s graduation from college in this room shortly after we moved in!”
But, Holly had another reason up her sleeve for wanting the house: It is also large enough to accommodate her taste for oversize furnishings. “I always go for the big, authentic pieces,” she admits. “They make a statement in a room. I don’t want furnishings that have been refinished. It’s best if they’re tarnished or worn, like the table in my dining room. You don’t have to worry about spilling something on it. I need for spaces to be comfortable and functional, a place where people want to spend time.”
Though she specializes in American antiques and does most of her treasure hunting west of the Mississippi, Holly is not a purist when it comes to decorating interiors. “I love mixing old and new,” she says. “Like those funky pendant light fixtures in the living room and dining room. They’re metal and sort of 1960s-looking, but they’re actually brand new. I feel they enhance my vintage pieces.”
One of the joys of visiting both Holly’s shop and home is that you are never overwhelmed—she keeps things simple, fresh and fun. “I do love my rooms uncluttered,” she says. “I edit, edit, edit my displays. I always think less is more. It’s hard to put your finger on the process—it’s intuition. It also comes with time. You can’t just do a room in an hour or even in a day. It takes me a week or more to decide on a display for a mantel or a table.”
This methodical approach is hardwired into Holly’s nature. In fact, she used to be an accountant. “My specialty was 10-column worksheets,” she says with a laugh. “I was always trying to dress them up and give them fancy fonts and touches. People used to comment on how artistic they looked.” Though she already had an outlet for creativity in decorating her home with collectibles, Holly wanted to take the next step. In 1997, she decided to take the plunge and open her first shop.
Fortunately, Brian, whom she met at the University of Oklahoma some 30 years ago, welcomed the idea. “We found a trailer, loaded the kids in the car, and drove all over Texas and Oklahoma. It took nine months, but then I was ready to open my shop. I had never worked a day of retail, and if I had known then what I do now, I might never have done it. But I’m glad I did!”
LEFT: “I would never dream of putting a tablecloth on our old farmhouse table,” Holly says. “The wood’s patina is gorgeous, and pretty pitted.” ABOVE: Embellished vintage grain-sack chair covers add to the rustic feel of the room.
BELOW: A reclaimed tin ceiling scrap makes a striking contrast with an aged concrete urn.
ABOVE: Worn and wonderful reclaimed wood strips serve as panels for an oversize clock face that doesn’t actually tell time. Holly loves it for its patina and, of course, its stenciled Roman numerals.
BELOW: Rising like a sculpture, an old French library ladder displays volumes and architectural remnants. RIGHT: In the family room, an ample coffee table displays a floral centerpiece in a galvanized pail. The ottoman is from Holly’s Americana Collection.
Scrim-like shades in the breakfast nook filter
morning light. The contemporary upholstered bench and stools make a surprising foil to the retro table, a convincing-looking reproduction that Holly
carries in her store.
LEFT: LEFT: A fanciful architectural hood frames a stainless kitchen range, softening its industrial look. The breadboards hanging on the wall above are road-trip finds. RIGHT: RIGHT: Exposed pine
beams, a walnut floor and a cherry center island bring extra warmth and textural touches to the creamy white kitchen. Painted cabinetry disguises appliances for
a timeless look. White earthenware and perky polka-dotted and checked pitchers, mugs and canisters are on display. Easy-to-clean polished granite countertops
add natural stone appeal and subtle pattern.
OPPOSITE: A sunny living room corner also serves as a home office. The huge chest of 20 drawers is stuffed not with napkins or silver but with paperwork and files. Brian added casters so that Holly could use it as a massive rolling filing cabinet. Displayed above the chest and on the adjacent wall, charcoal-colored tin signs send happy messages. THIS PAGE, ABOVE: The overstuffed living room sofa and ottoman table are an appealing gathering spot in the living room. Holly displays a framed flag over the mantel, a nod to her business, Old Glory Antiques. The funky metal light fixture creates a modern mood.
BELOW RIGHT: In the serene master bedroom, everything is colored in shades of beige, taupe and chocolate. The linen-upholstered sleigh bed is a refined counterpoint to the wood trunk and wicker suitcase at its foot. BELOW LEFT: Chunky wooden prayer beads and a tarnished loving cup bring an authentically old patina to a bedroom corner.