Name: Ethan Morris and Tarleton Walmsley-Morris and their cats, Tozer and Etta
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Size: 980 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years: Rented
Antique dealers Tarleton and Ethan have filled their home with many of their favorite finds, and the result is an eclectic mix of art, textiles, and Mid-century furnishings. Like their business, their cozy and casual space has seen some changes over time as they continually bring in new pieces and edit out others, but the foundation of plants, '70s-era accessories, organic decor, and lots of wicker remains consistent—all suggestions of the bohemian style that actively resonates with the couple as they decorate.
Dozens of styled vignettes featuring stacks of books, mementos and figurines can be seen throughout the little bungalow, whether on a shelf, inside a desk or atop a windowsill.
However, Tarleton's favorite elements happen to be the things that she didn't acquire in a thrift shop—things that have personal meaning such as a framed trophy her dad won for catching a fish. "The cardboard fish pops out from the certificate, and there’s a bend in the fish’s body from where my sister and I used to play with it when we were little. Things like that make up the stories and memories of a home."
Asheville is a casual town with a youthful spirit, and Tarleton and Ethan's home—with its warm, earthy color palette, and rustic elements—is a reflection of the mountain town they so adore.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Tarleton: I love incorporating a mix of eclectic finds with Mid-century modern decor. I’ve definitely been heading in a bohemian direction as of late, which seems to be a bit of a trend these days, but I love how relaxed and comfortable that kind of decor can be. I also enjoy adding some quirkiness to our home with antiques and unusual decorative objects. Sometimes our home might appear imperfect or not as polished as others, but I think that’s what makes it ours and it’s why I love our home.
Ethan: We make a concerted effort to find things that are appealing to us, but we avoid themes or matching too much.
Tarleton: There are so many ways to find inspiration these days! I love Instagram and Pinterest, but because I also work for a book distribution company, Common Ground Distributors (wholesale to the trade only), some of the best interior design books are at my disposal at all times. The new Ellen Degeneres book is amazing!! I can’t get enough of it. There are lots of others: Commune, New Bohemians, At the Ocean, Eccentric Homes, and Shopkeeper’s Home, which is forthcoming. I’m even drawn to the books whose interiors are really far from my own personal aesthetic. One Man’s Folly, for example, is the kind of book that allows you to be transported to a whole other world that I might not otherwise be exposed to.
My grandmother’s house also remains one of my biggest inspirations. She definitely didn’t do eclectic or bohemian, but there was something about her Country Club Preppy-meets-Hollywood Regency style that my eye is always drawn to. A lot of leather club chairs, antique rugs and old portraits of our relatives would adorn her home, and then an amazing pair of Mid-century-style white lamps would be a surprisingly modern touch to complete the look.
Ethan: I’m influenced by folk art, early Americana antiques, and Southern history. Things like my relative’s scythe, or my great-grandfather’s license plate are relics that I cherish, and I love that they’re present in our home. I also love Mid-century-era school supplies—things like our globe, the German school charts, and the science flasks.
Tarleton: I’m a sentimental, nostalgic person, so I think my favorite elements are those that relate to my family or friends—little touchstones that remind me of them. For example, my mom recently gave me her door plaque from her office at work, which says “Mrs. Walmsley” in white over a faux wood background. I love it, but I think everyone thought I was crazy when I asked if I could have it! I also have a framed trophy my dad won for catching a fish. The cardboard fish pops out from the certificate, and there’s a bend in the fish’s body from where my sister and I used to play with it when we were little. Things like that make up the stories and memories of a home, and that element is what I find the most important. But I also love my smalls, and as an antique dealer, I’m always scouring thrift shops and antique malls, so there is always something catching my eye. The more unusual, the better.
Ethan: My wife brings in something new all the time. She has a keen eye for things that I wouldn’t pick out but that I always end up loving once it’s in our home. I love when she brings home things that are useful for me to use, like the Mid-century record holder she found a few months ago. Like Tarleton, I also enjoy being surrounded by things that remind me of the people in my life. The encaustic painting my friend Loren gave me is still really special to me, and I like that it’s featured so prominently in our living room.
Tarleton: Clutter! I used to manage Oddfellows Antiques and then was assistant manager at ScreenDoor before I moved into the ScreenDoor’s parent company, Common Ground Distributors. I also have a space from which I sell vintage and Mid-century decor and furnishings. By nature of my job(s), I was and am continually surrounded with cool things all of the time, which means I’m constantly tempted to bring things home. I have also always been an avid collector of things from a young age, so there is a tendency for cluttering our shelves and surfaces. My husband says he’s ready for my minimal phase, but I don’t know if that will ever come.
Ethan: Space. In the next year, we are hoping to buy a home, so I’d love to expand just a bit. The downside to being an antique dealer is that you tend to want to keep a lot of what you find, so I’d love to have a bit more room to hold it all. And I’d love a big closet.
What Friends Say:
Tarleton: It’s always fun to hear what our friends think, and a few of them have asked me to help them decorate their own homes. I most often hear that there’s always something new from the time they last visited, which is probably true. In general, they’re always very complimentary, but I think the most important thing is what isn’t said; we love to have our friends over, and the fact that we can entertain them on our front porch, hang out eating pizza and watching Amy Schumer, or move our dining table aside to make way for an impromptu dance party means that they feel invited and comfortable when they visit, which is a telling sign that I’m doing something right.
Ethan: I always hear “I love your house!” or “There’s so much to look at.”
Tarleton: Our bathroom and kitchen. As renters, we don’t have much of an opportunity to change up the linoleum floors, fixtures, cabinets, or hardware that are pretty outdated. We do our best to incorporate our finds/decor so that we can distract from the elements we wouldn’t have picked out ourselves, but those two rooms are certainly a work-in-progress.
Tarleton: Ethan and I have only flirted with DIY projects, especially as renters, but I am really proud of our Mid-century platform sofa in the spare bedroom. I found it on Craigslist and convinced Ethan and my dad to drive with me to Raleigh to pick it up. I think I paid $200, and no one really understood what I saw in it. It was in pretty bad shape—the upholstery was a forest green and red plaid with a sticky residue and the frame itself was painted black in parts. My dad helped Ethan and I through the process of sanding it down and re-staining it so that it brought out more of a teak finish. We then decided to add the caning on either side of the drawers. Easy as that seems to most, it was my first time taking on a project like that and it is one that I will always treasure. I had grown up accompanying my dad to his workshop where he would build frames, shelves, or small furniture pieces as I hammered and painted scraps of wood. My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer 4 years ago, and this sofa was a major bonding project for the three of us to take on together, especially since it was our last one in his workshop before he got sick. After it was all said and done, the three of us were so proud of the work we had done together, and I think we really brought that piece of furniture back to life.
Biggest Indulgence: As simple as it may be, our mattress set was both an indulgence and a game changer. I don’t know why we deprived ourselves from upgrading for so long, but I love our bed. It’s the most comfortable spot in the house.
Tarleton: Indulge in surrounding yourself with the things you love and embrace imperfection, even if it means those things you love do not always immediately match or make the most practical sense. Coming up with a mix of elements is what really draws my eye to a room and keeps me interested. The last thing I see is whether a throw pillow perfectly complements the pattern of the curtains.
Ethan: Put care and effort into how you display and organize the elements in your home.
Tarleton: I’d love to visit the antique fairs overseas. Having been the manager at Oddfellows, Tom and Kelly’s trips to England always sounded like such a blast. I do love the hunt, so I’d also add that any kind of undiscovered, dusty antique shop filled to the brim is my favorite way to shop—you never know what treasures you’ll uncover. I’d also love to visit some of the shops I follow on Instagram, like Inheritance Shop in LA and Maven Collective in Portland, OR.
- Sofa: Crate & Barrel via Tom Howard and Kelly Duncan of Oddfellows Antiques
- Throws on sofa: West Elm, Target
- Mid-century entertainment cabinet: junk shop in Virginia
- Concrete skull on the mantel: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows Antiques
- Vintage sea fans on the mantel: Kathleen Gibbs of Oddfellows Antiques
- Small silver trophies: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows Antiques
- Concrete head planter: gift from Kris, owner of White Rabbit Botanicals in Cashiers, NC
- Concrete Buddha head: Shinola in Greenville, SC
- Danish leather chair: Tobacco Barn
- Mid-century cactus lamp: Wendy Ford of ScreenDoor
- Mid-century console: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows Antiques
- Mid-century end table: Jeff Venturela of Oddfellows
- Globe: thrift store in Atlanta, GA
- Red leather pouf: yard sale in Atlanta over ten years ago
- Hanging light fixture on wall: Chris Findley of ScreenDoor
- Vintage lamp: Virginia Daffron
- Steerhorn: Joey Davis of Oddfellows Antiques
- Cowhide: Joey Davis
- Jute rug: Target
- Wood slab coffee table: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Small wooden moose head: Peggy and Bubba Wray of ScreenDoor
- Kilim coasters: Togar Rugs
- Kilim pillows throughout: eBay
- Ram taxidermy: Oddfellows Antiques
- Trio of brass owls: thrift store in Atlanta
- Brown leather pouf: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Mohair and wool rug: Savvy Scavengers
- Felted orange coasters: gift from Rachel Saumby
- Varuska '60s screen print: Jeff Venturela of Oddfellows Antiques
- '60s abstract expressionist painting: Design Archives in Greensboro, NC
- Pair of vintage screen print trees: Highland Row Antiques in Atlanta, GA
- Tiger painting: Savvy Scavengers in Landrum, SC
- Folk art textile: junk shop in Martinsville, VA
- Printed photos: Artifact Uprising
- Klee print in fireplace: John and Wayne of Landrum Eclectics
- Self-portrait on the mantel: our friend Jon Sours
- Drawing of Greg Maddux: Nathanael Roney
- White painting: Kreh Mellick
- Encaustic painting: given to Ethan by an old friend, the artist Loren Hall
- Dining table: G-Plan via Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows Antiques
- Fiberglass chairs: vintage Burke via ScreenDoor
- Indigo textile on dining table: Misha Gill of Asheville Flea For Y’all
- Sheepskin pillow: Tim and David of ScreenDoor
- Jackalope taxidermy: Kathleen Gibbs of Oddfellows
- Vintage steer horn plaque: Tim and David of ScreenDoor
- Mid-century hanging light fixture: Kathleen Gibbs of Oddfellows
- Shadowbox: made by Tarleton's dad, containing small trinkets collected when she was a little girl
- Teakwood bowl on dining table: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows
- Bookcase: Paul McCobb via Joey Davis of Oddfellows
- Mid-century storage cabinet: thrifted
- Kilim rug: Tom Dwyer of ScreenDoor
- Black leather globe: Design Archives
- Cow skull: Kathleen Gibbs of Oddfellows
- Wire chair: Bertoia via Sharon Cobb of Oddfellows
- Sheepskin: Landrum Eclectics
- German school chart: Oddfellows Antiques
- Monday sign: Jeff Venturela of Oddfellows
- Framed silhouette: thrifted
- Portrait of Charlotte Rampling: Jon Sours
- Duvet: West Elm
- Throw: Target
- Blue pillows: Nate Berkus for Target
- Mid-century chest: Oddfellows Antiques
- Wardrobe: IKEA
- Antique rug at front of bed: Oddfellows Antiques
- Antique rug on Tarleton's side of the bed: handed down from her aunt Ginger
- Antique rug on Ethan’s side of the bed: Peggy and Bubba Ray of ScreenDoor
- Antlers: Tobacco Barn
- German medical plaque: Dom and Juliette of Oddfellows
- Pair of glove molds: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Coral in cloche: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Marbled bowl: England via Oddfellows
- Black and white pottery with lid: Melissa Weiss
- Paper box: Tom and Kelly Duncan of Oddfellows
- Brass camel: thrifted
- Mid-century side table: thrifted
- Wood slab lamp: Design Archives in Greensboro, NC
- Deer taxidermy: Oddfellows
- Framed fish trophy: given to Tarleton by her dad
- Wood slab table: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Vintage bedside lamp: Amy Edwards and Jim of ScreenDoor
- Hand in Hand woodblock: Mary’s Antiques in Greensboro, NC
- Portrait of our cats: Kreh Mellick
- Log cabin painting: Landrum Eclectics in Landrum, SC
- Seawall painting: Landrum Eclectics in Landrum, SC
- Cat painting: Landrum Eclectics in Landrum, SC
- German lake painting: Tryon Antique Mall in Tryon, NC
- Lake painting: thrift store
- Shower curtain: Nate Berkus of Target
- All mirrors: Oddfellows Antiques
- Towels: Target
- Rug: Nate Berkus for Target
- Mid-century platform sofa: Craigslist
- Danish Mid-century secretary: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows
- Kitchen counter as bookcase: thrift store
- Clothes rack: Target
- Pair of zebra chairs: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows
- Glass-top Mid-century table: Frank Capps of ScreenDoor
- Franco Albini ottoman: Frances Domingues of ScreenDoor
- Pair of white lamps: handed down from Tarleton's grandmother’s house
- Owl pottery planter: Ruby of ScreenDoor
- Industrial cabinet: Troy Winterrowd
- Hanging shelf: Mary Messer of ScreenDoor
- Leather zebra: Tim and David of ScreenDoor
- Rattan side table: David Trophia of ScreenDoor
- Top Banana brass piece: Design Archives
- Vintage Peruvian pillow: thrift store
- German cat education chart: Tom and Kelly Haskin of Oddfellows
- Antique rug: Tom Dwyer of ScreenDoor
- Black and white painting: Kreh Mellick
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