Holly & Ryan’s Modern Vintage Mix

published Feb 28, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Name: Holly and Ryan, daughters Stellan and Kinley, and German Shepherd Dublin
Location: Peterborough — Ontario, Canada
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned

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When you walk into this family home, you are overcome by a sense of happiness. It’s one of those spaces where you can feel the amount of love and care that has been put into it. It also happens that the people who live in the home are just as warm and welcoming as the physical space itself. After years of living in Burlington, a city just west of Toronto, Holly knew that she want to return to her hometown of Peterborough to raise her girls and be closer to family. For Holly and Ryan, this home was love at first sight—it was the only one they viewed before they signed the papers and moved in a little over two years ago!

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Holly Young is an artist and has a keen eye for color, patterns and texture. Her choice of colors on the walls throughout the home are bold yet subtle. She has established a good balance between the neutral tones of the furniture and a variety of styles of decorating ranging from vintage to minimal. The walls are covered in various forms of art, most notably pieces by Holly herself, photos taken by Ryan of the girls, and pop art favorites. Fostering creativity within her family’s living environment is, for Holly, essential to building a full home.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

The main floor of this two-story family home is lined with windows that allow natural light to illuminate each room, keeping them bright and vibrant throughout the day. As Holly highlighted in her House Call, having the kitchen and dining room overlook the backyard allows the adults to see the girls playing in the backyard while keeping busy in the kitchen. Holly recently created herself a small studio corner in the basement so that she could have a dedicated creative working space. Ryan has his office where he works from home, and the girls have a playroom filled with many items from Holly’s childhood kept by her mother. Overall, this home is extremely functional for the entire family and is a great place to live, laugh and create.

(Image credit: Holly Young )

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our taste is definitely an eclectic mix of styles. I [Holly] love thrifting and mixing vintage and mid-century to create a collected look. We both love architecture and are drawn to bungalows and an open floor plan.

Inspiration: I love color, texture and pattern and I’m not afraid to mix things together. I’m lucky that my husband likes my decor choices; as long as things are comfortable and affordable he is open to my designs. I love the whimsical and colorful style of Jonathan Adler. Thrift shops have allowed me to find a lot of accessories and furniture pieces to fill the space and make it our own.

Favorite Element: This is the only home we saw when we decided to move back to Peterborough. Online it didn’t impress me, but in person I fell in love with it. I knew this was where we should raise our family. The entire main living space is full of light and huge windows. We can sit and relax in the living room and the kids sit and play. It’s a functional space with built-ins that store a large selection of books and games and hide a small television. They also provide great shelving for our collectibles. The light is great for all of our plants as well. I don’t have a green thumb but I’m doing pretty good at keeping them all alive. The backyard is private and filled with mature trees that provide ample shade in the summer. It’s great to be able to watch the kids play in the yard while the adults prepare a meal or relax in the kitchen. The shutters are also a great feature on all of the windows—I’m not a fan of curtains. My husband was excited that the house had a whole home sound system. I love that I can listen to music easily while I’m in the laundry room or in my studio space.

Biggest Challenge: When we moved in, the house had already undergone a few renovations and the only thing I really did was paint the interior of the space. I am not a fan of beige so I matched the one white wall in the living room and painted the majority of the two levels in this shade. Our artwork needed a neutral backdrop and it wasn’t much effort to create a clean slate before the decorating started to happen.

Our last kitchen was white high-gloss cabinets with white subway tile, so the earthier palette in the kitchen took some getting used to. The previous homeowner was a caterer so they installed high-end appliances which are beautiful and easy to use. I painted the kitchen a dark grey to try to tie together the countertop and cabinetry. I think it works well as there is a full wall of windows to brighten up the room.

What Friends Say: I think when friends enter our home they see our personalities in our decor and my artwork. It may be a lot to take in when you first enter the front door, but I think it grows on you quite quickly. There is always something new to look at as I enjoy changing up vignettes and hanging new artwork to see if I think it’s really complete. Recently someone commented that our home was a treasure hunt for art, I think that sums it up nicely. You don’t know what you will find from one room to the next.

Biggest Embarrassment: When we moved in I didn’t realize that the main floor washroom had a window that had been covered up when the tub surround was installed. One day we hope to redo this space and get rid of the tub and have a larger shower. The space does not work well with three girls trying to use the tiny pedestal sink. Our dog always wants to come in as well and there is just not enough room to move. I look forward to the day that we will have natural light shining in. Until then the shell of the space is white so it’s easy to live with.

Proudest DIY: I am pretty handy with a can of spray paint but I think our foyer would be my favorite DIY element I’ve created. When we moved in there was no room to hang coats or bags. My uncle helped me take apart a wooden crate and we used the salvaged wood on the wall and then added the hooks. I was on the hunt for the perfect hardware online and my mom mentioned that she had a bag in her basement I might be interested in. She had saved these hooks from her childhood home and I think they add character with the bits of pink paint chipping off.

Biggest Indulgence: When we moved in we ordered a leather sofa for the living room from a design store I was working at. It is so comfy, my favorite spot to enjoy a tea or read a book to the girls.

Best Advice: If you like the look of a collected home it takes time. I have been hunting for certain furniture pieces and was lucky to find several of them on Kijiji (which is comparable to Craigslist in the US). I love the rope chair in our living room and when I spotted it online, it turned out that the seller lived just up the street from us. It was like it was meant to be. I am an artist and have a design background so of course I think a house becomes a home when you add art. It is personal, so buy what you love and you will figure out where to put it later. I love going to auctions and estate sales, a few of our area rugs are recent finds. Make your home personal and a place where adults and kids can hang out together. Our living room is where we spend most of our family time, there is nothing too precious that the girls are off limits to touching.

Dream Sources: I’m the type of shopper who prefers a bargain to paying regular retail. I am quite happy hunting and thrifting for the next piece to add to our home. I want a new dining table; one day we’ll find one.



  • Living room: Benjamin Moore Ivory White
  • Dining room accent wall: Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron 2124-10
  • Bedroom: Benjamin Moore Knoxville Gray HC-160
  • Bathroom: Benjamin Moore Cloud White
  • Stellan’s bedroom: Benjamin Moore Cloud White, Dulux Pink Symphony 55RR 75/106
  • Kinley’s bedroom: Dulux Breakers 50GG 83/034
  • Basement: Benjamin Moore Ivory White
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Acrylic sheet: Home Hardware
  • Wall hooks: DIY
  • Pendant: vintage
  • Mirror: The Superstore
  • Rug: Homesense
  • Fan: flea market
  • Console table: consignment shop
  • Posters: from book called Swissted
  • Other artwork: thrift shop
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Coffee table: Kijiji
  • Rope chair: Kijiji
  • Teak coffee table: vintage
  • Sofa: Joshua Creek Trading
  • Brass end table: vintage
  • Rattan plant stand: estate sale
  • Console table: Upcountry
  • Rug: estate sale
  • Furry ottoman: DIY
  • Lamps: estate sale
  • Pillow: IKEA
  • Furry pillow: Urban Outfitters
  • Mirrored tray: vintage
  • Horse artwork: by a friend
  • Other art: Holly Young Art, the family’s travel photography, thrift shops
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Dining table: Upcountry
  • Dining chairs: thrift shop
  • Bench: Kijiji
  • Fur throw: IKEA
  • Pillow: DIY
  • Wicker basket: IKEA
  • Photograph: Holly Young Art
  • Painting: Holly Young Art
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


  • Bentwood stools: Kijiji
  • Wicker baskets: thrift shops
  • Runner: Target
  • Photograph: by a friend
  • Paintings: Holly Young Art
  • (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


    • Bedroom set: Upcountry
    • Lamps: made by Holly’s dad
    • Mirrored tray: vintage
    • Floor mirror: Upcountry
    • Woven plant hanger: thrift shop
    • Bedding: Homesense
    • Fur rug: vintage
    • Rug: estate sale
    • Pendant: IKEA
    • Artwork above bed: DIY
    • Bird in frame: DIY
    • Black and white text art: Chapters
    (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


    • Fan: thrift shop
    • Grey wire basket: thrift shop
    • Shower curtain: Homesense
    • Art print: Parabo Press
    (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


    • Lamp: IKEA
    • Picture ledge: IKEA
    • Chair: vintage
    • Teak shelving: Kijiji
    • Eazy-E print: Lucky Jackson
    • Ron Swanson print: Lucky Jackson
    (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

    BEDROOM #2: Stellan

    • Bed: Upcountry, reupholstered by Holly with Amy Butler fabric
    • Pink toss cushion: Burrow Home
    • Rug: Homesense
    • Lamp: EQ3
    • Wicker basket: thrift shop
    • Bunny hooks: Urban Outfitters
    • Wire chair: thrift shop
    • Fur throw: IKEA
    • Pendant: Upcountry
    • Artwork: Holly Young Art, thrift shops, Stellan’s paintings
    (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

    BEDROOM #3: Kinley’s Room

    • Rug: Target
    • Dresser: vintage
    • Mirror: Joshua Creek Trading
    • Nightstand: garage sale
    • Headboard: vintage
    • Metal sign: Kijiji
    • Wicker chair: auction
    • Bench: Target
    • Pendant: thrift shop
    • Artwork: Holly Young Art, thrift shops, Stellan’s paintings
    (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)


    • Rug: Rugs USA
    • Ottoman: Mac Fab
    • Teak end table: vintage
    • Coffee table: Kijiji
    • Sectional: Joshua Creek Trading
    • Desk chair: thrift shop
    • Desk: auction
    • White lamps: Upcountry
    • Teak credenza: flea market
    • Gumball machine: was in Holly’s home growing up
    • Rattan umbrella stand: garage sale
    • Paintings: Holly Young Art
    • Instagram poster: DIY
    • Prints behind sectional: Moma Propaganda
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    This gallery in the front entrance was made from posters and plexiglass. (Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

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    Thanks, Holly & Ryan!