The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


July 21, 2012

Changed house, changed life

Couple updates '70s decor

ANDERSON, Ind. — After Cathy (Pinky) Tucker married Mark Volk four years ago, she looked around her new home and immediately realized something had to change. Mark’s house had been built in the ‘70s and it appeared no one had updated the décor since that time.

“I wanted to move and I’ve always wanted to live in an older home, but the market was so low that we decided to wait a while,” said Pinky, owner of Pinky’s Cottage Couture and Pinky’s Shabby Boudoir in Noblesville. “But I looked around and said, ‘I can’t live like this!’”

Before Pinky entered the scene, Mark had no idea he was living in such a dated space. Owner of Mark Volk Realty and Auction, he bought the home after an auction resulted in the reserve not being met.

“She’s changed my life and my house,” said Mark with a smile. “It’s wonderful.”

Painting cabinets

Beginning in the kitchen, Pinky transformed all the dark brown and orange backdrops in the rooms into a crisp white. While Mark was willing to give her free reign in colors, he did ask that she not paint the cabinets.

She painted the cabinets — white.

“They were just so dark and awful,” said Pinky, who never even thought of tearing them out and replacing them. “I don’t like new – and new isn’t made well. If an existing object is made well then I just make it look the way I want.”

After a coat of refreshing paint, she styled them with a distressed look and added glass pulls. The result is the type of kitchen reminiscent of old homes.

More than simply a way to add flair to her own home, refashioning vintage furniture is the cornerstone of her businesses. She and Mark travel to auctions and bring home treasures in need of elbow grease.

“I clean them up, paint them, fix the drawers and cabinets and add some shabby chic to them,” she said. “I will go anywhere to get a piece of furniture. We team up really well — date night is usually an auction.”

Adding to her expertise, she designed her own appliqués. Old furniture and frames often had roses or swag or other ornate designs. After spending two years making her own molds, she is able to set her pieces apart from her competition.

These antiques, coupled with all the white surfaces, create a romantic cottage feel.

White adds light

Not even the stone fireplace was safe from her white paintbrush. Many coats later, the dark living room became as light and airy as the rest of the house.

“My mom (Joan Tucker) was an interior decorator and made our house into an open design concept back in the ‘70s before anyone else was doing it,” said Pinky. “She waited for my dad to leave for work and took a sledgehammer to the wall.”

Her mother allowed her similar freedom when it came to decorating her room. At a very young age, Pinky was encouraged to paint her walls and furniture any color she saw fit.

“I just feel so blessed that I am able to use the gifts I’ve been given,” said Pinky. “I’m so grateful — it’s overwhelming.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to

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