Holly's Vibrant, Personal Twist on Traditional Style

Holly's Vibrant, Personal Twist on Traditional Style

Sarah Dobbins
Jul 3, 2012

Name: Holly Marsh
Location: South Carolina
Size: 2400 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years

Holly's former life as a Kindergarten teacher has its creative little fingerprints all over her cozy little home. Maybe it's the familiarity with craft supplies, or maybe it's the inspiration of little minds dreaming big, but Holly tackles her home with a daring, fearless attitude that isn't afraid to try new things or see a project fail.

When Holly quit her job to stay home full-time with their daughter, Ross, she threw herself headlong into not only crafting and thrifting for her own purposes, but sharing her latest projects and finds along the way on her blog, Life as a Thrifter. Since she began blogging, she has been featured on sites like HGTV, TLC's parentables, Babytalk magazine, and of course, has had her very own Apartment Therapy Nursery Tour.

It was her amazing handmade and hand-me-down nursery tour that led me to seek out Holly and ask her to share the rest of her home with us. She graciously agreed, and shares with us not only images of her home, but lots of tutorials on how to make the things inside it! She is truly a woman after my own heart — her attitude toward design is "why not?" and she shops within her home and changes out her decor constantly… I know I've seen her dining room and entry look about ten different ways, depending on the season!

Holly has personal touches in every single room of her home — she has lovingly attended every corner and seen to it that her little family is surrounded by things that they love, things that they made, and things that others have loved before them.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage-eclectic

Inspiration: Definitely when it comes to decorating, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law have inspired me greatly! They are expert thrifters and taught me the ropes several years ago.

Favorite Element: I love that our house feels open yet cozy. It's the most wonderful thing to be cooking in the kitchen and at the same time feel connected to my husband and daughter playing in the living room.

Biggest Challenge: Storage. Because there is so little storage, I find myself giving to the Goodwill just as much as I take from it.

What Friends Say: A friend once told me, "… it just makes me feel happy!" And, put simply, there's been no better compliment than that.

Biggest Embarrassment: When we initially moved into the house, almost every room needed repainting. Although all those paint samples look stunning on a piece of paper, that's not always the case on your wall. I'll confess we had to repaint the entire kitchen because I didn't get it right the first time.

Proudest DIY: Currently, the nursery. I love every single inch of that room.

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork. Both my husband and I love to travel. Since our honeymoon, we decided to buy a fun painting wherever we go. Although sometimes pricey, looking at all the pieces we've collected over the years always makes me smile.

Best Advice: Start with a favorite item to showcase, like a painting or personal memento. You'd be amazed how far that one thing can take you!

Dream Sources: I'd love to travel around and shop more big-city flea markets.

Resources of Note:


    • Paint: Butternut (Sherwin Williams)



    • Paint: Offbeat Green (Sherwin Williams)
    • Table: World Market
    • Chairs: thrift stores, painted white
    • Cork display: handmade
    • Buffet: thrift store



    • Paint: Antique White (Sherwin Williams)
    • Bedding: Pottery Barn
    • Mr. & Mrs. mirror: dry erase on a mirror
    • Bench: flea market



    • Paint: Quilt Gold (Sherwin Williams)
    • Bedding: Pottery Barn/Anthropologie
    • Bird art: handmade


Thanks, Holly!

(Images: Holly Marsh)

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