Sometimes you stumble across a home that just demands an extra dose of focus and attention to really take it all in. Courtney Madden, the fearless force behind the Chairish shop and Instagram account, Cocollected has created one such home in League City, Texas. From the Brutalist chandelier in the entry to the bookcases stocked full of Nemadji vases, each room requires a double take (and triple takes). It’s not surprising that most visitors liken Courtney’s home to a museum. “If I had a dollar for every time I heard that,” she muses. Little do they know that the space began as the polar opposite from a museum—a carpenter-grade tract home. Turning a cookie cutter home into a chic collector’s treasury was a labor of sweat, trial and error, and whole lot of thrifting. Ahead, see how Courtney created her own personal Louvre in the mini.


Courtney Madden leans against an ornate desk in front of white shelves filled with neutral colored trinkets.
Courtney Madden, founder and owner of the Chairish shop Cocollected in her home office.
Eclectic one Entryway with Brutalist Chandelier and collection of stone busts.
A Brutalist chandelier makes a grand statement in the foyer of the home.

Readying The Canvas

When asked what her house looked like on move-in day six years ago, Courtney has one word: beige. “Every wall in the house was the same horrible beige color,” she says. Being a first-time homeowner along with husband Michael and their three kiddos, Courtney dove into decorating the way all of her friends were. “I bought stuff at Hobby Lobby and Kirklands and I decorated the whole house. Then one day I looked around and I was like, ‘I hate this. This is not me; I’m going to start over.’” Out went the old decor, in came one-of-a-kind finds, and the walls received a crisp coat of white paint. Next up, she tackled the carpet. Rather than opt for new flooring, she ripped up the carpet to expose the concrete subfloor, the perfect neutral base for showcasing Courtney’s treasures.

Eclectic Home Entryway and Office Space with Classic Sculptures and floor chair, and grey-blue walls.
Immediately off the entry is what was at one time a formal living room and dining room. “But who uses those?” asks Courtney, who turned the galley-like space into her office with an extended living room space attached.
Eclectically Decorated Home With Bronze Mirror and Nude Sculptures and Artwork.
A Federalist mirror brings purpose to one of the home’s original built-ins.
White Lounge Chair with Animal Print Pillow and Decorative Statue
Courtney selected Sherwin William’s “Evergreen Fog” for the paneling in the foyer. “Depending on what time of day or how cloudy it is, sometimes it looks gray, sometimes it looks blue, sometimes it looks green.”

Electric Eclectic

As a lifelong collector, Courtney has assumed a fearless mantra when it comes to collecting: if you like it, don’t fight it. Over the years, her finds have grown to include an antique barley leg foyer table and desk, a Charles Hollis Jones-style acrylic chair, and a Ligne Roset Togo chair discovered on Chairish, mixing modern pieces and antiques with abandon. “I like putting old things next to new things because it really brings out the unique qualities of each piece,” she says. “I never want to have too much of any one style.”

Eclectic Living Room with Textile Rug and Round Wooden Coffee Table with Decorative Hand Sculpture.
Courtney’s Togo chair is among the most loved pieces in the entire house. Fans include her three kids and three dogs. “Even my husband sat in it and he was like, ‘Well, let’s just get rid of all of our other couches and just do all of these,'” Courtney jokes.

Eclectic Bookshelf with Collections of Rock Crystal Collection and Clay Pots.
Crystals were yet another item Courtney began to collect at a young age. “I’ve just moved on to bigger and better specimens,” she says.

Pages Of Inspiration

With no formal design background, Courtney turned to her collection of design books to help her map out her vision. “I would say that I look at them every single day,” she says. “Because I haven’t had the ability to travel for most of my life—I’ve always had young kids—I feel like looking at books is an escape and a way to see so many inspiring things. One of my favorite things to do is to drink wine on my sofa at night and look at design books. I’ll see one idea in a book and think, ‘That would be kind of cool if I did my own version of that.’” Some of her favorites titles include American Originals by William Abranowicz and Zander Abranowicz, Domestic Art: Curated Interiors by Holly Moore, and Susanna Salk’s, It’s the Little Things.

Eclectic Home Office with Bookshelves Decorated with Wooden Boxes, Clay Pots, and Sculptures.
Courtney’s office is where she does all of her listing and packages up outgoing shipments.
Eclectic Home Office with Human Face Sculptures, Vintage Clay Pots, Ornate Desk, and Acrylic-Armed Chair.
An up-close look at Courtney’s dozens of collectibles.

On Display

The built-in bookshelves and custom cabinetry in the office off the entry was not original to the house. It was a brush with disaster that finally prompted Courtney to splurge on the carpentry. “When Hurricane Harvey hit, I just had all my books stacked on the floor. I had no shelves,” she says. “When the water started coming in the house, the first thing I wanted to save was the books.” After the waters had receded, Courtney met with a contractor to have built-ins installed. First to fill the new shelves? Her books, of course, followed by her hundred-plus wooden box collection.

Eclectic Living Room with "DRUGS" Artwork and assortment of Clay Pots and Busts.
After her son broke her previous coffee table, Courtney replaced it with a foyer table. “The living room is the main thoroughfare. Most of the time we come in through the front door and go straight to the kitchen. So, why not?”
Silver Table Decorated with Collection of Metal, Plaster, and Stone Busts.
“You know, I’ll go antiquing with my girlfriend and then I’ll find something and my only plan is to bring it home and figure it out. That’s honestly my design philosophy. There are more glamorous ways of decorating, I guess, but that’s mine,” says Courtney.
Eclectic living room with antique round table and globe light.
The view from the hallway into the extended office and living space.

Homegrown Art

Among the ideas Courtney’s translated from the page to IRL is the Drugs sign that hangs on the wall of the living room. “I’ve always wanted one of those lit marquee signs—you know, one of those old pharmacy signs from the twenties, but they’re like six thousand dollars,” she says. “I knew I needed to come up with something different. I found a porcelain table top at an antique store and thought, ‘I’m going to paint ‘Drugs’ on that myself.’” The sign, which Courtney’s holding tight to for now despite a never-ending landslide of offers, has since come to serve as the home’s unofficial icon—a reminder of all that can be done with a little inspiration and some elbow grease.

Eclectic Living Room with brown Leather Sofa and Decorated with Gallery Wall of Vintage Art.
Just off the entry hall is the home’s family room. “We’re a TV watching family,” says Courtney, who focused on comfort in the space with deep leather sofas and a spacious coffee table.
Coffee Table Decorated with Bowl Containing Stone Marbles and Glass Paperweights.
Chief among Courtney’s vices? Tessellated stone. In addition to this tessellated coffee table, Courtney collects Maitland Smith boxes. “They’re just so well made. It’s crazy how handcrafted they are. They get those tiles so perfectly cut and pieced together. It’s amazing.”
White Fireplace Eclectically decorated with Plaster Bust and Animal Tusks.
Symmetry reigns supreme in this perfectly curated mantel arrangement in the family room.
Living Room Corner with Gallery Wall and Large Gold Sculpture of Nude Female.
A palette of brown and gold sets a chic mood in this family room vignette. Among Courtney’s best finds is a brass Half Nelson Lamp designed by George Nelson, found at a local Goodwill for six dollars.
Sculptures sit on top of an antique painted side table.
The view from Courtney’s office into the kitchen.
Breakfast Nook with Light Blue Walls and Gallery Wall of Vintage Art and Knoll Cesca chairs.
A picturesque breakfast nook is where Courtney’s family does all of their dining.

A Gathering Place

At its core, Courtney’s home is a family home. And while it may look different from any other house on the block, the nucleus is the same: the kitchen.”It’s where we eat every meal. Where my kids tell us about their day, do their homework and draw—sometimes on the table.” To make the kitchen annex functional, Courtney had her contractor install window seats. A coat of Sherwin William’s “Jasper Stone” jazzes things up, while a rustic antique table and a duo of Cesca chairs completes the arrangement. The result is a laid-back area that caters to family time but doesn’t feel like too much of a departure from the rest of the home.

Home Stairway Decorated with Eclectic Collection of Metal Vases and Vintage Artwork
Even more of Courtney’s collections add interest to the stairway landing.
Bathroom with Black Marble Floor and White Bathtub with Brass Faucet and Vintage Artwork
A nude painting (yes, Courtney collects those too!) is showcased in the upstairs master bath.
Wooden Bedside Table Decorated with Tassel Lamp and Bronze Tray.
A picture-perfect vignette next to the bed in the master bedroom.

Doing It Her Way

Following Hurricane Harvey, Courtney decided to remodel the master bath and give the master bedroom a mini-spruce up (she has a lot more planned for the space). For the palette, she went rogue, selecting a deep forest green hue. Her inspiration for the color? Green threading that she noticed running through the crystal slab she’d selected for her bathroom vanity. “It changed my entire direction, to be honest” she says. Conventional? Not really, but that’s the beauty of Courtney’s home. When asked what advice she’d give to homeowners, she says, “Over the past few years I spent a lot of time questioning, should I be doing this? Nobody else has this. And my advice would be not to listen to anyone. If you have an idea in your head, go for it. That’s what people want to see, anyway. People want to see you being and doing you.”

Discover Courtney’s Shop on Chairish >>

All photos by Sarah Natsumi Moore

January 20, 2019

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