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A Collector’s Ever-Changing Family Home in League City, TX

by Sofia Tuovinen

A Collector’s Ever-Changing Family Home in League City, TX | Design*Sponge

Seeing beauty in even the oddest vintage treasures is a skill that Courtney Madden has mastered to a tee. Her eye for design and curiosities has helped create a unique home for her family and even turned her passion into a job. A vintage collector, dealer, and stay-at-home mom, Courtney loves scouring thrift stores for one-of-a-kind items that have a story to tell. The home she shares with her husband Michael and their children Faith, Ryker and Calym in League City, TX has quickly turned into a merry-go-round of vintage goodies — wonderful new finds appear as quickly as old ones find a new home. The items that do end up in Courtney’s own collection help make up a home unlike any other, complete with rich colors, stunning art and more neutral spaces, where different materials create harmonious juxtapositions that are pleasing to the eye.

Courtney wears more than one hat, and when she isn’t hunting for items to sell, she can often be found updating and renovating her family’s home to make it even more descriptive of the people she shares it with. When she and Michael first bought the house five years ago, everything in it was beige. Courtney didn’t think twice about changing that and making each space more accommodating. She painted all walls, ripped out the beige tiles and carpets, resurfaced the stairs and cabinets, added moldings and installed every light fixture in the house. “I try to do anything I possibly can before I ask Michael for help, or God forbid, hire professionals,” she explains.

Courtney’s vision was always to create airy spaces where her collected pieces could shine against bright white walls and floors, almost museum-like. Her hard work has undeniably paid off — the end result is a home where vintage menagerie takes center stage in a refined way, without feeling stiff. The room that holds most items in Courtney’s collection, referred to by the family as the office, has turned into everyone’s favorite hang-out spot.

It’s the comfortable, collected and carefully curated feel that makes this family’s home such an amazing hidden treasure. “It looks like every fifth house on our street, but on the inside it’s something completely unique,” Courtney says. We can’t stop gushing over this treasure chest of a home — scroll down for a peek of this special gem! —Sofia

Photography by Courtney Madden / @cocollected

Image above: The dramatic entry displays Courtney’s collection of various nude paintings. “All these ladies are here to greet us every time we walk in the front door,” Courtney jokingly explains. “Like many of my other collections it did not intentionally start out as a collection, but I notice myself being drawn to the same kind of item over and over,” she adds.

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One of Courtney’s favorite things is to browse bookstores and pick out a few interesting books. Her collections of orbs and crystals make an impact on the top shelves of the bookcase.

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The space that the family calls the office is where Courtney keeps most of her collections and inventory. Family dogs Freddie Mercury and Iggy Pop approve of the deep blue velvet couch, a true statement piece in the space.

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“My home is mostly a rotating inventory. I bring something home, I tire of it, I sell it. This room is ever-evolving to accommodate the things I sell,” Courtney shares. The large arched window makes the space feel bright and spacious.

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Most updates in the family’s home are Courtney’s handiwork, like the beautiful trims and moldings in the office. “Often Michael comes home from work and the walls will be a different color, tile has been ripped out, furniture is rearranged. He is very lenient to my creativity,” Courtney explains. The brass shelf is designated for Courtney’s collection of busts, crystals, antique apothecary jars and Nemadji pots.

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This part of the office was intended to be the formal dining room, but after initially using it as such, Courtney realized it didn’t serve any purpose. Now the space is another area to display her collections. “I think this is my favorite room of the house. I just love how the neutral palette is pleasing to the eye,” she explains.

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Courtney wanted a salvage drug store sign, but all of them were out of her price range. When there’s a will there’s a way — she decided to paint one herself on an old cast-iron and porcelain table top.

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The neutral color palette of the office lets Courtney’s menagerie of vintage finds take center stage. Various materials, such as lucite, brass, chrome and wood, are freely mixed together in this stunning space.

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Some of Courtney’s most cherished items on display. The black and white photograph of her great great grandparents is from the late 1800s. “I think he is so sophisticated and dapper with a “C” lapel on his tie, for Creighton, my maiden name,” Courtney describes her great great grandfather.

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The breakfast nook is where the family gathers to eat, do homework and work on various projects. Courtney thrifted the Cesca chairs one at a time and found the Ethan Allen dining table on Craigslist.

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When the family moved in, the kitchen cabinets were an orangey oak color. Courtney painstakingly painted them white. The chalkboard wall features all the concerts that Courtney and Michael have been to over the past few years.

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Courtney wanted to stick to a neutral palette in the living room, and has chosen to keep colorful objects in other rooms of the house. “Although there are many things in this room, they are all in the same color family, so it’s not overwhelming or distracting.”

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Clean and simple was the inspiration in the master bedroom. Courtney achieved this by painting the walls crisp white and keeping the layout symmetrical. “I can’t wait to replace the bed frame for something upholstered, but I have to wait until our puppy grows up!” she adds.

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The two paintings in the master bedroom are some of Courtney’s absolute favorite possessions. They were painted by the late physicist Gerard Pawlicki.

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The upstairs game room is the most recently updated space. “It was dark and the kids wouldn’t really hang out up here,” Courtney explains. Her goal was to brighten up the space but keep a mature feel, so the kids don’t grow out of it. The Piersall gondola sofa was another fantastic Craigslist find.

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Courtney and Michael with their children Calym, Faith and Ryker. A family portrait wouldn’t be complete without Stevie Nicks, Freddie Mercury and Iggy Pop, the family’s three dogs. 

 

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Every piece of furniture in the game room is thrifted. “The burl table was a gift from a friend who is opening a store in Los Angeles. She decided to pass on it and let me have it. She scored it for a song.”

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A grid gallery wall of vintage Claus Caspari geology prints is a show-stopper in the game room. Courtney came across 50 of these prints, all custom framed, and decided to splurge. “I typically do not splurge on an item unless I absolutely cannot live without it. I am usually determined to find it for next to nothing. I feel like the money spent was well worth it because I never get tired of looking at them,” she shares.

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“What we love most about our home is…we live here together.” — Courtney

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Eleven-year-old Faith wished for pastel colors and a cozy feel in her room. Courtney painted the walls and added vintage treasures to achieve the desired aesthetic.

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Courtney originally built the shallow ledges in Ryker’s room to help him keep his action figures organized. “Being that he is six years old he wants nothing to do with that. So, they ended up being used for books,” she explains.

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The color palette in four-year-old Calym’s room feels warm and inviting. As in many other rooms, most items are thrifted. Many decorations from other parts of the house tend to mysteriously end up here, too!

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Floor plan of the family’s 2,700-square-foot home.

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Comments

  • I am seriously in awe of everything Courtney does! She has an amazingly chic aesthetic that’s enviable, yet you can tell her home is full of love and thoughtfulness for her entire family! So very excited that design sponge readers get a glimpse of her talent ❤️

    • You are such a beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for all of your guidance and words of encouragement, my sweet friend!

  • I’m happy to see homes featured in atypical locations. This is an inspiring place. Hats off to you from all the way up north in The Woodlands!

  • This is absolutely beautiful. I love the art collection, and just everything they’ve collected over the years. I change up my house every other week aswell, just because I want to. And I have a lot of things in storage that I go through every season. Love seeing other families living their lives and seeing them in their homes.
    https://www.onlineparketshop.nl/

  • Okay, my family is from Galveston, and my dad lives in League City… every home I have EVER seen in that area is a cookie-cutter beige box. I am absolutely floored by this home and this woman’s eye for design. This house is absolutely fantastic!!

    • Thank you so much Jenn! You know exactly what I mean! That is what this house looked like when we moved in and I couldn’t change it fast enough!

  • LOVE! You have an incredible eye, all of your treasures are so beautifully arranged together, each room is so distinctive, so much to see! I’m also a lifelong lover of the thrifted decor lifestyle, have a rotating inventory of my best finds that make their way into and out of various rooms and uses. I believe you can reveal your true self and family this way . You’re so talented and an inspiration! Congratulations on this feature. Your home is pure joy!

    • What a sweet compliment! It was a little nerve-racking at first to share my home with millions of people but I’m glad I did! Thank you Kelley!

  • Rose “MoM @ Attic Dust

    Well Done my Sweet Pea!! This brought tears to my eyes, so very proud of your everlasting talent and inspiration!!

  • Gorgeous home I love the gallery wall. I have a question maybe you can answer in your daughters room there is a gold praying angel on the wall of your daughters bedroom, I just bought one in Amsterdam at a antique store the man that sold it to me had no information. I’m wondering if you know anything? thank you

    • Hi there! Thank you so much! Unfortunately I don’t know much more about it than you do. It is definitely mid century. Sorry, I’m sure that doesn’t help much. 😊

  • I live in Houston and have the worst luck thrifting furniture and home accessories! Where do you go?? Also, I can never find any good bargains on Craigslist. I must learn your ways. I absolutely love the drama in your home.

    • I love the Guild Shop on Dunlavy, Bluebird Circle, the Catholic women’s Guild. I go from the Woodlands to Galveston and everywhere in between but the ones in Central Houston are my favorite! Good luck! And Thank you!

  • Whaaaaat?! This place is so rock-n-roll. I’m drooling over lamps, art & coffee tables! Fantastic job Courtney!

  • I love this Home tour, so fun visually and interesting to read. What a creative and textural array and at the same time comfortable and live able. That wall of geode prints is worth whatever was paid as a splurge!

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