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