We love a home filled with personality! The latest house in our series of home tours is a mixture of feminine glam, vintage chic, and wild zaniness. It’s the perfect match for homeowner April Greer and her adventurous spirit.
April is a freelance advertising photographer with clients such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN. She is also a talent scout and is beginning a new life coaching business. She lives in Reston’s Hickory Cluster, a mid-century modern townhouse community designed in the 1960s by famed architect Charles Goodman. April has spent the last year renovating the house and decorating it with items from her extensive travels and some lucky vintage finds.
The first room you encounter is the dining room, where April tore out a wall to create a large and bright space. She installed new flooring herself.
She found the dining table on Craigslist. It came with matching wicker Chippendale chairs that weren’t her style, so she replaced them with these vintage chairs that she found at Goodwill. They were rusty at the time, but she saw their potential and managed to refinish and reupholster them. The rug was a gift from a friend.
On the wall is a large photo of Palm Springs. She found it at the Luckett’s Vintage Store in Lucketts, Virginia, and it suits the mid-century vibe of the house. Beneath the photo is a bench that she found at JC Penney, where she had placed a bag that I admired. “That is my breakup bag,” she told me. “It was stupidly expensive but I love it.”
The breakup influence carries itself through the house. After ending a significant relationship last year, April had to reevaluate many aspects of her life and priorities. She decided to continue the home renovations solo, but added a feminine and badass feel to the house. “This is my girl power house,” she announced.
The decor tells the story of her life and travels. The rabbit wall hanging is from Germany, where she spent many of her early years. The framed postcard is from France, and the pen is from Dubai. The dog is just cool.
A chair that she recently bought on Craigslist is even more personal. It’s the exact same chair that she had sold a while back. Her dog had loved to sleep on that chair, and after his death, April sold it to help with her grief. Recently she stumbled upon it online and saw that it was for sale again. She decided to buy it back and have it reupholstered.
April used Haute Fabric in Chantilly for many of her reupholstery jobs, and recommends them highly.
On the other side of the dining room is the kitchen, hallway, and staircase. April removed carpet from the staircase and removed veneer from the wood wall. She sanded the wall and loves the new raw feel to the natural wood.
Down the hallway is a bathroom that April remodeled in marble and brass. She worked with the Akseizer Design Group to create this bathroom with Spanish tile. The chevron tile on the shower floor is from Home Depot.
Brass accessories add warmth and shine to the bathroom. The planter and towel racks are from Home Goods. The swan sink fixture is a gorgeous touch that she found on Ebay.
Upstairs is the living area, which April opened into one large space. She loves her leather JC Penney Darrin sofa, which is filled with luxurious goose down.
The giraffe is hilarious! It was a fantastic find at the Closet thrift shop in Herndon. She found the “a” (for April) at Home Goods, and on a whim decided to display it in the middle of the two pieces of giraffe. And of course it’s perfect.
The Riedell quad skates are part of her new passion — this summer she taught herself how to skate the bowls at the Lake Fairfax Skatepark. And now I want to learn how to do that, too.
The walnut chair is vintage, and the blanket is made of African denim. She found it at the Georgetown Flea Market. The maracas (“I actually play with those”) are from the Bahamas.
On the floor sits a stack of the books that remain ever since she Marie-Kondoed her house. What did she think of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I asked? “It changed my life,” was the reply. So I guess there’s some truth to advertising after all.
On the other side of the living room is credenza that April found at the Rockville Goodwill. She says she has had the most luck finding great stuff at the Rockville location. Worth noting. Above the credenza is a tiger print that she found at TJ Maxx.
April doesn’t watch much TV — she keeps an iMac in the living room instead.
“My style is really immature,” April claims. I prefer “playful,” but you get the idea. There are zany details through the house, with something to make you smile where ever you look. “That stupid cockatoo started the whole house,” she said. It was her first funky detail that inspired the rest. I also loved the vintage Donald Duck from Paris.
On the other side of the fireplace is a second area of the living room. She found these two chairs at Luckett’s and had them recovered at Haute Fabric. “They gave me the idea to mix fabrics, and let them choose the pattern. At first I didn’t like it,” April said. “They told me to trust them, and give it a week. Sure enough, I grew to love it.”
The two tables were dumpster dive finds. They are made of solid granite with brass stands, and they look like they were meant to be with those chairs.
An elephant print is from Tacoma, Washington, where April used to live. (I didn’t notice the “sweet nose job” caption at first. Made me laugh.) She loves the clock that sits underneath it, which is a gem she picked up in Dubai. It’s one of her many favorite details in the house, even though she doesn’t bother to set it to the correct time anymore.
Perhaps her greatest treasure from her Dubai trip is this chair. (“My breakup chair.”) It is sleek and perfectly suited to its mid-century modern surroundings, but it’s also surprisingly comfortable. I sat in it and didn’t want to get up. It was a huge logistical challenge to order it in Dubai and have it custom made and delivered to the US, but April loves it and can sit there for hours.
The solid wood table is from TJ Maxx. The wall of vintage cycling photos represent April’s love of biking.
A wall used to separate the two areas of the living room, but April changed it into a half-wall to open up the space. Some favorite books, a glass head, and a Jane Fonda record adorn the new shelf, because why not.
An adjoining bookcase holds more of April’s favorite books, including a set of manuals that she used to teach herself photography many years ago. The painting of a Napoleon cat is from a trip to France.
Upstairs are three bedrooms and a hallway with one of April’s photos of Ruthie Harrison, a model she discovered as a talent scout.
April remodeled an upstairs bathroom with new vanities, sinks, and fixtures, and kept the original cobalt tile.
The master bedroom manages to be serene but still cheerful and fun. The bed is from Wayfair, and the bedding was a gift from Korea.
The nightstand is from Home Goods and the lamp is from West Elm. April particularly likes the photo of surfer girls, which she found at Home Goods. It really sums up the joyful, vintage, girl-power style of the whole house.
Many thanks to April for showing us around her fun and joyful house! April, you make breakup look good.
Is your home beautiful, funky, stylish, elegant, or otherwise interesting? We are always looking for homes to feature, and we’d love to see pictures of yours. We welcome all styles of homes, from contemporary to antique, from custom to DIY, and everything in between. If you would like your house to be considered for a Modern Reston home tour or before-and-after story, please contact us with photos at [email protected].
Photography by Charlotte Geary
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