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Interiorssneak peeks

Heirlooms & Thrifty Decorations Enrich a Century-Old Victorian

by Garrett Fleming

It was a chance encounter that brought interior designer Anne Hulcher Tollett of Hanover Avenue and her strategist husband Rad together. One day at school she entered the bathroom as he was leaving, and their eyes met. Dates and courtship followed, and soon the two were living together in Richmond, VA’s historic Fan District. Boasting the nation’s largest collection of intact, Victorian row houses, the area immediately won the college duo over. They cherished their time walking the charming streets and soaking in the picturesque homes. Graduation loomed, though, and the pair knew they’d have to reluctantly leave the neighborhood. So they made a pact. Both agreed that one day they’d return to the neighborhood where their love bloomed to raise a family.

In 2007 they got that opportunity. A charming, 106-year-old home came on the market, and the two snagged it. Located two blocks from their college rental, the house stands three stories tall and provides Anne with enough space to decorate to her heart’s content. Each room features an eye-catching collection of decorations from yesteryear and today. In some spots, antiquities from the pair’s families sit next to Design Within Reach furnishings. In others, ancient statues handed down through generations seem right at home next to affordable finds. It’s a design strategy that Anne says works for her family. “I wanted to honor the memories in the inherited pieces we love so dearly while buying new things that will become a piece of the fabric of my daughters’ upbringing,” she tells us.

While Anne designed the majority of the home, their daughters had a hand in designing their respective rooms, and each one has ended up featuring some of the home’s boldest design decisions. In Anne and Rad’s youngest daughter Kennon’s room, a kaleidoscope of butterflies swarm over the bed. Some of the critters even glow in the dark, twinkling against the room’s pale pink paint job. While Kennon wanted a soft, delicate room, eldest daughter Langdon asked for a totally different style. She wanted her space to embody her love of science and exploration. That being said, Anne and Rad have stocked it with encyclopedias and magnifying glasses so she can carry out her experiments with ease.

Clearly the family has done a bang-up job bringing this old house into the modern era, but Anne says the home’s look will never truly be complete. The space is simply too inspiring and her ideas for it are endless. After seeing what she’s done so far, we can only imagine what design tricks she has up her sleeve and can’t wait to see how the home evolves as time ticks on. Click through to take it in, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Anne Hulcher Tollett

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Anne's dining room is particularly sentimental. The dining table has been by her side since she was a child, and the accompanying chairs were the first big purchase she and her husband made after getting married. On the table sit candlesticks from Belize and a collection of eggs that represent every country Anne, her husband and her grandparents have ever visited. "Bottom line: There is not one thing in here that is not meaningful to us, and it makes for fantastic, dinner-party chatter!" Anne says. The rug is from IKEA, and the chandelier is from Richmond, VA's West End Antique Mall.
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Anne -- founder of Hanover Avenue -- and her husband Rad purchased their Victorian row house in 2007 and have since filled it with vintage treasures and sentimental pieces.
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Originally, Anne wanted to lacquer the blue entryway wall. The cost didn't sit well with her and Rad, though, so she had a custom color mixed and couldn't be happier with the results. The set of foo dogs that sit in front of it are a family heirloom. Anne explains, "My husband’s grandmother bought them in Vietnam before Vietnam was the name of a war." The family gifts don't stop there: the buffet they sit on was inherited as well.
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Farrow & Ball "Pale Powder" offers the prefect backdrop for the living room's crowning glory: its collection of artwork. Anne is named for the woman to the right of the fireplace, and Anne painted the piece above the mantel herself. Clearly the room is pretty, but look closer and you'll see that it's also kid-proof. Durable fabrics and hardy pieces were a must in this space. The area rugs are from J&D Oriental Rugs Co., the coffee table is from LaDiff and the rest of the accessories are a mixture of vintage finds and family heirlooms.
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This corner of the living room -- which sits across from the sofa -- owes its look to Anne's grandmother. She made the pillow sitting on the handsome, vintage armchair and gave Anne the old trunk that lives to its left. "(It's) the perfect resting spot for a morning cup of coffee," Anne notes.
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Anne and Rad's youngest daughter's room is strategically outfitted in a blend of durable and inexpensive pieces. The strategy lets her be a kid and play around without fear of harming an invaluable decoration. Bedding and area rugs by HomeGoods and IKEA.
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This installation of butterflies -- some of which glow in the dark -- sits atop a smattering of Benjamin Moore "Frosted Pearl." The headboard below it is from Amazon, and the side table and lamp were inherited.
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"(My office) is in what was once called the 'Trunk Room.' [It's] a special room for all of the gigantic luggage and storage boxes of the Victorian era!" Anne explains. There's nothing vintage about the space now, though. A bunny by Momoyo Torimitsu watches over Anne as she works from home. The lighting fixture is from Lowe's, and the wall is painted in Benjamin Moore "Icing On The Cake."
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Anne and Rad's bedroom stands where the house's porch used to be. After a long day, all the pair wants to do is relax, so the renovation was all about creating a "casual, floppy, airy, and not-too-precious" room. Their bedding is from HomeGoods, and their headboard is from Wayfair.
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Anne loves how this corner of her and Rad's bedroom reminds her of family. Each piece was inherited and is treasured by the duo. The botanical prints belonged to Anne's paternal grandmother and are so delicate they'd crumble if not framed. Below them sits a rocking chair in which her maternal grandmother used to soothe all of her children and grandchildren. "Of course, I rocked my babies in it too," Anne says.
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Anne and Rad's other daughter loves "science and learning," so they designed her bedroom with that in mind. Books for her to document her discoveries in, world maps and encyclopedias are just a few of the cost-effective accessories they used to make her feel at home in her room. "Everything in here is so affordable that I can let her conduct experiments and not give a hoot about the mess," Anne tells us.
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Anne and Rad turned what was once a closet into a full bathroom when they moved in. It's outfitted in Lowe's accessories. Above the doorway hangs a moon nightlight that reflects the actual phases of the moon. The pair's science-loving daughter adores it.
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Anne and Rad's 2,800-square-foot home is located in Richmond, VA's historic Fan District. The area is named after the distinctive shape of the streets.

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