Ross’s Vintage Modern School-Themed Marvel

updated May 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: Ross (16 months)
Location: Lexington, SC
Room Size: 11′ x 12′

You know you’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to interior design for kids when you just can’t stop smiling after you’re all done. We’re not sure about this family, but we’re grinning ear to ear at all the thrifted finds and diy projects in this space. It’s part vintage, part modern and it just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Holly Marsh is the woman behind this creative space. She blogs at Life as a Thrifter where she describes herself as a ‘full time mom and part time thrift addict’. Holly is a patient thrifter and her daughter Ross’s space is full of unique, pre-loved items that she collected over time. She also used to work as a teacher and couldn’t help incorporating some schoolhouse elements into her room.

The items in this space make a big impact on the senses, from the full wall of alphabet letters to the giant orange rug circles. It’s a space that makes you happy and looks like a fun room to explore as a child. Ross is in love, just take the tour and find out why!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What was your inspiration for the room?
Although I stay at home now, I used to be a kindergarten teacher. For years, the classroom was my home away from home; so creating an “old school” theme in the nursery seemed quite natural. In fact, come to think of it, letters and numbers seem to be found all over our house! I guess I’ve always loved the idea of creating a fun and playful design.

What is your favorite element in the room?
It seems so simple, but the flashcards hanging on the wall are my most favorite! Those two, little cards sum up every element I want for the room: baby, school and vintage.

What was your biggest challenge?
Keeping light out of the room turned out to be much more difficult than expected. Normally I’d prefer lots of natural lighting, but most definitely not when a baby should be sleeping! When I made the curtain panels, I was sure to sew in a thick lining for this very reason . . . but because that room got so much light, I had to add blackout lining at the last minute.

What do your friends say about the room?
They always ask how I found so many thrift items for the room. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law are expert thrifters and taught me the ropes several years ago. I’m lucky enough to live in a town filled with thrift stores and fun family who’s always itching to shop a flea market. Sometimes it might take 10 visits to find exactly what you’re looking for, but it has been worth it every single time.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What was your biggest indulgence?
Originally, I wanted to find the letters for the alphabet wall at thrift stores, but after finding only a few, I got impatient, and I ended up ordering them online. Once I got them all up on the wall (using command strips, by the way), I was thrilled and couldn’t have imagined it any more perfect!

What advice would you give to someone designing a nursery or children’s room for the first time?
Start with a color or a toy that makes you feel happy. You’d be surprised how far that one element can take you!

What is your dream source to shop?
I’d love to travel around and shop more big city flea markets.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Source List:
Paint: Behr “Jamaica Bay”
Letter wall:
Crib: IKEA-Gulliver
Crib sheet: Hush Baby Co. on Etsy (Fabric by Amy Butler, Lotus Full Moon Polka Dot Tangerine)
Bookshelf: IKEA-Expedit
Light fixture: IKEA
Round rugs: IKEA
Clock: IKEA
Dresser/changing table: repurposed by my mother-in-law
Baby pictures family tree: frames from Michaels
Children’s desks, ottoman, chalkboards, and locker baskets: flea markets/thrift stores

Thanks Holly! Readers, say hi to Holly at Life as a Thrifter.

(Images: Holly Marsh)

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