Bring on the old, bring on the new—this century-old Texas homestead embraces both, letting texture and a calming palette bridge the age gap.

By Ann Wilson
January 10, 2019

Whether Tracy and Rodney Frye are welcoming home their three grown daughters or playing with neighborhood kids on their wraparound porch, their 1876 McKinney, Texas, home is ready to entertain. Decades of treasures gathered from flea markets and antique stores complement this home’s original wavy glass windows, shiplap walls, high ceilings, weighty built-ins, and substantial woodwork. 

Tracy, who is an interior designer, has created a look that combines coastal, vintage, classic, and contemporary influences reflective of her childhood as well as her and Rodney’s affinity for displaying standout, meaningful pieces in every room.

Tracy and Rodney painted their home white and made the front door a focal point. Tracy took one of her favorite vintage green pottery pieces to the paint store to have the color matched. Inside the home, bamboo furnishings, beachcombed treasures, and shell boxes pay homage to Tracy’s coastal roots. Pottery and linens from the 1930s and 1940s, weathered painted urns, botanical prints, and mismatched china exude casual elegance.

Related: Creative Ways to Display Antiques and Collectibles

Texture is Tracy's must-have feature in any room. In the living room, slipcovered seating, a nubby sisal rug, and a wicker ottoman issue an invitation for guests to relax and linger. To blend new with old, Tracy set a flat-screen television on top of a late-1800s English pine buffet. She also put her stamp on a Victorian fireplace, setting off its dark wood with a white tile surround that complements her collection of cream-color midcentury pottery.

Mismatched antique pine chairs—some painted, some in their original finish—join new host chairs around an English pine farm table in the dining room. For shimmer, Tracy retrofitted a new mirror to an old gate. “Our home is a compilation of what we love,” Tracy says. “It’s always changing. And that’s okay. I find that when you combine old and new pieces you really like, they always work together.”

The couple lightened the kitchen by painting stained-wood walls white and brown cabinets gray. They kept the stained-glass window behind the open shelves to show how the house has evolved over time, maintaining a mix of old and new.

The master bedroom’s beaded-board ceiling hints at its previous life as a back porch. Tracy conquered the high ceilings with a $200 outlet-found chandelier and a montage of white ironstone plates. Oil paintings from Tracy’s collection are displayed in small groups, rather than a single large collage, to allow shiplap walls to shine.

Two early-1900s iron bedsteads handed down from Tracy’s parents are always guest-ready. Coral benches from Target pick up on the coral accents in the bed dressings and provide convenient spots for resting suitcases.

The Fryes transformed the dark master bath into a breezy retreat by painting the shiplap walls white and replacing a shower wall with a pony wall topped with contemporary glass panels. They also brought in the claw-foot tub, which the previous owners set out to pasture in the yard. Once it was re-enameled, the tub looked as good as new. New marble countertops, a vintage-style chrome sconce and faucet, and bin pulls lend classic cottage character to a vanity in the master bath.


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