Timm & Zack's Rummage-Sale Retro

House Tour

Name: Timm Dolley and Zack Sharp
Location: Longview, Texas
Size: 875 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 — rented

On a rare rainy day in East Texas, Timm Dolley and his partner Zack Sharp welcomed me into their cozy two-bedroom apartment. Filled with surprising corners, moments of kitsch, and modern, basic furniture, the apartment is a lively space that represents the joint playfulness and refinement of this warm couple.

Timm and Zack have taken standard-issue apartment features like eggshell walls, beige carpets, and vertical blinds and have built a space around them that feels vibrant, fresh, and personal. The apartment features an eclectic blend of styles and showcases their exuberant approach to décor. A mixture of baroque accents, mid-century lines and accessories, modern geometric patterns, and Asian influences inhabit every room, exhibiting Timm and Zack's true love of color and pattern.

Rather than letting a single style dictate their aesthetic, the couple only chooses items that they really love, often opting for quirky second-hand or scavenged objects (like a totem pole affectionately dubbed "Chimi," a 70s patchwork papier-mâché cat named Clementine, and an open-armed cherub statuette they call Luca Brasi). "Some people take in stray dogs," Timm says. "We take in stray objects." Zack affirmed this sentiment, claiming, "We connect to objects. Everything here has a story."

Given this affection for neglected vintage pieces, one might expect their apartment to look like an overly-crowded Island of Misfit Toys, but Timm and Zack carefully curate their space, frequently rotating art, knick-knacks, and accents. They both appreciate tidiness and organization, and neither wants to feel overcrowded by objects, believing that one needs room to live. Their apartment embodies a unique dialectic between minimalist and maximalist tendencies, perfectly demonstrating that it is indeed possible to accumulate without overwhelming one's space.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, vintage, kitschy, and modern.

Inspiration: Mid-century design, junk shops, antique shops, vintage movies, and vintage home design publications.

Favorite Element: We have a lot of favorites. Zack loves the vintage yellow china cabinet and his sirocco wall-hangings. Timm loves the spare bedroom, especially the blue Trina Turk pillow.

Biggest Challenge: Space planning. The layout of our living room and master bedroom provides few options for furniture placement. We also tend to choose oversized furniture, which can pose a lot of challenges in a small space. The wingback chairs, for example are oversized but were donated by Timm's dad. We felt it was easier to recover and salvage some great, well-built pieces instead of buying something new.

What Friends Say: Our friends think our home is warm, comfortable, whimsical, and stylish.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our patio is shared, and unfortunately, our neighbors don't maintain their potted plants, etc. As a result, we are reluctant to bring friends on the patio, except in poor lighting conditions!

Proudest DIY: Does hanging curtains count? Timm's favorite DIY project is painting an old vanity that used to belong to his mother. Zack's favorite DIY project is assembling furniture, especially from IKEA.

Biggest Indulgence: We love scouring antique, resale, and junk shops for something to fall in love with. We're not necessarily pack-rats, but we love to "rescue" furniture.

Best Advice: Popular isn't always practical. Go with what you love. If you want to hang or display something that others might consider tacky, who cares? It's your home, not theirs.

Dream Sources: If we could build a time machine and buy pieces from the sixties and seventies, we'd be in heaven. We'd probably use that time machine to visit retro movie sets like The Godfather and Valley of the Dolls to steal fabulous furniture.

Nevertheless, attainable (we use that term loosely) dream sources include: DWR, Modernica, Knoll, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • Wingback chairs: Timm's dad and a fabric store in Shreveport, LA
    • Sofa: Fashion4home.com
    • Cocktail Table: The Jefferson Antique Mall, Jefferson, TX
    • Side Tables: Hautelook.com
    • Vintage Yellow Lamp: Garage sale (Thanks, Blaine!)
    • Entertainment Center: IKEA
    • China Cabinet: Betty's Antiques, Longview, TX
    • Dining Table and Chairs: Sears

MASTER BEDROOM

    • Bed/Dressers/Nightstand: IKEA
    • Nightstand Lamp: IKEA
    • Dresser Lamp: Target
    • Comforter/Shams/Throw Pillow: Target
    • Reading Lamps: Tuesday Morning
    • Wall Art: Target

GUEST BEDROOM

    • Curtains: Urban Outfitters
    • Comforter/Shams: Target
    • Throw Pillow: Trina Turk
    • Vintage Yellow Lamp #2: Yep, same garage sale (Thanks again, Blaine!)
    • Wall Art: Greggton Antique Mall, Greggton, TX

Thanks, Timm and Zack!

Images: Carolyn Purnell

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Carolyn is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a lover of all things colorful and quirky. She grew up in Texas and settled in Chicago by way of L.A., England and Paris. Currently, she is a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.

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