V’annie Turner really likes looking at houses. So, five years ago, when her brother-in-law mentioned a University Park house that had gone on the market, she immediately knew which house he was talking about. “I had always been intrigued by the house,” V’Annie says. “I liked the New Orleans look of it.” Unfortunately, the interior was seriously lacking the same charm. “There was blue 1970s carpet throughout the entire upstairs. There was burgundy laminate in the entry. In the kitchen, nothing matched,” she says. So after purchasing the house, the Turners went to work. They put in hardwoods. They added more substantial crown molding. They updated the fireplace. They added an office. Once those matters were complete, V’Annie set her sights on the furnishings. “My previous house was more Country French, so when I brought my furniture here, it felt granny to me,” she says. She wanted some different pieces, but she needed to shop on a budget.
Luckily, V’Annie’s husband, Dave, is an estate sale dealer, so she has ready access to good stuff. She says she scored most of her furniture for $250 to $350 and then set about refinishing and re-covering the items to her taste. “Nothing in my house cost more than $600,” she says. In addition to great deals, the pieces often came with a story. “The metal console in my living room came from an estate sale. The ceiling was caving in, and everything in the house was covered in mold,” she says.
Now that V’Annie’s son is finishing up high school, the Turners are considering a move. And while V’Annie doesn’t know exactly where they will end up—Preston Hollow, perhaps— she does know what she wants. “My husband and I want to scale down, but I don’t want to have a house without formal spaces,” she says. Would she consider something more modern in the future? “I’ve never been able to do anything contemporary. I have a hard time mixing that stuff in. But since the photo shoot, I’ve been inspired,” she says. Wherever they end up, expect to see some projects going on. “We love to tear things up and remodel. And I love doing it on a budget,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard, but I get to figure out another way of doing things.”
Styled by Jocelyn Meintser