When Anna and Ben Avant decided to sell their East Memphis, TN home and move to the Midtown area of Memphis, finding the right place came with some challenges. They sold their house faster than finding a new one, so they had to move into a rental while Anna was about to give birth to their daughter, Louis. One day, while driving to work, Ben saw the “for sale” sign going into the yard of a 1938 Tudor. The couple planned to see it that day and as soon as they walked inside, they knew they had found the home for them. It was filled with vintage wallpaper throughout the home, had many of the original fixtures, vintage tubs and sinks, and all the charm they dreamed of. They made an offer right away and moved in shortly after that. “Besides needing more room and wanting a bigger yard, I envisioned a house untouched — I wanted vintage tile bathrooms and vintage metal kitchen cabinets,” Anna shares. “It was proving to be very difficult to find a house with the intact vintage character I wanted. This house has it all — we have five bedrooms [and] three full baths. The guest bed and bath are downstairs, so our guests have their privacy. And the master and kids’ rooms are all upstairs, which is also very difficult to find, and I love that our family is all together upstairs.”
Anna works from home running her online vintage clothing shop, Hoot + Louise, and Ben is a lighting designer. A turnkey home was also important to the Avants, with their busy schedules and two small children, so changing the lighting was pretty much the only thing they did. “We kept a few original fixtures downstairs — dining room chandelier, kitchen glass ball pendant, hall light at the bottom of the stairs, and the fish/shell brass sconces in the guest bathroom — they’re to die for. All the other lighting we changed.” The entryway’s light is a vintage fixture they got from a Francis Gassner designed house in East Memphis. All other lighting is Louis Poulsen.
“I am definitely most thankful that our home is mostly untouched,” Anna shares. “It still blows me away that we found this house. In every single room there is a special detail, and I am so thankful that the previous owners left it this way.” I love seeing how wallpaper can work so well in a home and the mix of patterns, from one room to the next. Enjoy! —Erin
Photography by Reid Mitchell
Image above: Looking from the breakfast nook through the dining room, you can see out to the front porch. The chandelier is original to the home. You can see into the living room from the dining room, too.