Holly & Amy’s Ferndale Flat

Holly & Amy’s Ferndale Flat

Mike Hetu
Nov 26, 2014
(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Name: Holly and Amy
Location: Ferndale, Michigan
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: Holly- 5 years, Amy- 6 months; Rented

I was greeted at Holly and Amy’s door with open arms and a stemless glass of white wine. I knew it was going to be a pleasant afternoon. These friends, coworkers and roommates live a few streets over from Ferndale’s main drag. The ladies enjoy laughing, collecting art, drinking wine, running marathons and taking in Ferndale’s social scene.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

While discussing their interior design styles over drinks at Public House, I insulted Holly and Amy by using the term “granny.” I had to clarify (and redeem myself): “Your home feels like the extra bedroom at someone’s grandparents’ house,” I explained. To my surprise, Amy said, “Yes! That’s what I’m going for. Seriously.” Whew. Holly and Amy like the comfort of hand-me-downs and the stories associated with old pieces of furniture. Old family photographs are displayed throughout the home, adding their own stories to the space.

Holly and Amy’s home is instantly comfortable. Plush lounge chairs, an oversized sofa and a round dining table make it easy to sit around, strike up good conversation and enjoy some wine. Artwork and lots of color draw guests in for a closer look at the details. Holly’s bedroom is colorful and clever with its door headboard. Amy’s room is light and delicate with its carefully curated artwork.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Amy: “Elderly flair” is what comes to mind when I think of my style. Almost everything in my room was found at a thrift store or passed down from family members. My dresser was my dad’s from the 1940s and the art in my room has been found at garage sales, Salvation Army and my favorite place to shop: my parents’ basement.

Holly: Confused and simple. Whatever I happen to like at the moment and don’t get sick of looking at.

Inspiration: Amy: I’m inspired by the looked-over pieces tucked away in basements and thrift stores. I like to give them new life.

Favorite Element: Amy: My wise, one-eyed owl that hangs above my bed given to me by a friend and my dad’s dresser that once sat ignored in my parents’ guest room that now serves as a functional piece in my room. I also love our kitchen and the shelves above the stove, which house our favorite knick-knacks and most importantly, our wine glasses.

Holly: My mom’s hope chest. It is solid wood with beautiful detailing. It’s comforting to have such an important piece from my mom’s collection in my own home.

Biggest Challenge: Amy: I always want to hang more things everywhere without the feeling of over-stuffing my walls. So it’s a challenge to not want to cover my walls in Justin Bieber posters... err, I mean prints. I also decorate on a tight budget so I like the challenge of finding cool things that don't cost a fortune.

Holly: Plants! I would love to have a whole house full of thriving, exotic plants but I can barely manage to keep my two houseplants alive.

What Friends Say: Amy: People always say our house feels really cozy and inviting. Our rooms are unique and fun and there are lots of photographs and prints to look at. People also love Harper and Pearl, our home’s best accessories. They give every room a little sass.

Biggest Embarrassment: Amy: Besides the fact that my room is usually “disorganized” daily, I would say my biggest embarrassment is my lack of a bed frame.

Holly: The small area with horrible orange walls that was here when I moved in. I managed to paint the rest of the house but I gave up when I got to this one area and have never gotten around to doing it.

Proudest DIY: Amy: Nailing anything into the wall without a trip to the ER is my proudest DIY moment.

Holly: The trash-picked door that I turned into a headboard and my garden beds in the backyard. Both projects required me to buy my very own drill!

Biggest Indulgence: Amy: There’s a local art fair every fall in Ferndale called DIY Street Fair. It has lots of vendors with fun hand-made artwork. We walked around for three days and each picked up individual trinkets, but we definitely splurged when it came to our side-by-side framed caricatures displayed in the hallway.

Holly: I’m bummed to realize I haven’t really had a big indulgence since living here… maybe now is the time. I don’t have a large budget to spend on decorating so I tend to keep things simple.

Best Advice: Amy: Let your space be a reflection of all the things you love. Make your home be a place you want to come home to. I know we do.

Holly: Don’t wait to make a new space your home. I’ve lived in multiple places and this is the first house I really put the effort into making a home. Even if you are renting, don’t be afraid to make it your own.

Dream Sources: Thrift stores in other countries, street fairs, City Bird and Nest, Etsy, Anthropologie, decorative objects from Jonathan Adler

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Resources of Note:


  • Behr Ultra: Wine Frost (Living Room)
  • Glidden: Smoky Charcoal (Holly’s Bedroom)

  • Couch, chair and pillows: Macy’s
  • Coffee table: Target

  • “Choose Your Own Adventure” print: Katie Mack
  • “Be Kind to Mean People” print: Detroit Card Co.
  • “The Littlest Piglet” print: Kelly Mitchell
  • Round table: inherited from Holly’s mom, from a yard sale
  • Leopard chairs: Ethan Allen
  • Bar: hand-me-down from a neighbor
  • Side table: Target

  • Dia de los Muertos Dog and Cat: Illustrated Ink
  • Praying Day of the Dead Nun: Shayne of the Dead
  • Zombie Girl: Rena Hopkins
  • Bed sheets: Target
  • Duvet: IKEA
  • Floral pillow: Urban Outfitters
  • Rug: IKEA
  • Side table: IKEA
  • Mirror: Pier 1

  • Animal prints: Berkley Illustration
  • Amy’s bedding and artwork above the bed: Salvation Army
  • “A” pillow: CariJoy Design
  • A, O and the wicker mirror: Anthropologie
  • Bench, a hand-me-down from Amy’s aunt: TJ Maxx
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)

    Thanks, Holly and Amy!

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