Serial and blogger thrifter Hilary Walker believes in the power of working with what you have got. Nowhere is that more evident than at the Fort Worth, Texas, leasing she shares with husband David, a music teacher. The Walkers stuffed the 1940s house with antiques, roadside furniture, exceptional artwork and repurposed household items that all seem to include a heartfelt story.
at a Glance
Who lives here: David and Hilary Walker and their rescue dog, Ives
Size: 1,030 square feet: two bedrooms, 1 bath
Location: Cultural crafts area of Fort Worth, Texas
Hilary’s brother found that the leather sofa on both sides of Music Row in Nashville and brought it all of the way to Texas for them. Above it, Hilary mounted a grid of snapshots from her Instagram feed.
Gold urchin thing: Pulp Home; photo prints: Printic; lampshades: Target; drapes: Marmorblad, Ikea
An open ledge divides the living room from the dining area and serves as a mini-bar. Hilary painted the small accent table from Hobby Lobby. It has been with her since college, where she studied interior design. She taped the toes and gave it a dip-dyed appearance. “With a small amount to spend on decorating, I’ve had to be very inventive and selective about what to spend money on,” she states.
As part of their rental agreement, the couple can’t paint the walls. Instead, they have made design decisions to highlight the home’s fine bones. Curtain panels dress floor-to-ceiling windows to make the room appear bigger, and a picture rug adds visual motion to the hardwood flooring. “I just can not seem to eliminate our brown zebra carpet,” Hilary says. “It is old and worn, but the oversize animal print has always added a quirky, bold element to the space.”
End tables: Montgomery Street Antique Mall; flowery club chair: Berry Good Buys; zebra rug: Craigslist
On the coffee table, an overturned lampshade holds a selection of lost bulbs. “After replacing all the lights with fluorescents, I did not know what to do with the old bulbs. David created the upturned metal lamp shade idea,” Hilary says.
A terra-cotta colored accent wall has been already painted when the couple moved in, and while it is not the color they would have picked, they have worked it into their design. The hot wall color provides a fantastic background for a library and gallery wall. “The artwork is such a big part of what makes our house unique, warm and inviting,” Hilary says.
Prism area rug: Hayneedle; rattan chair: Berry Good Buys; shag throw pillow: West Elm
Hilary works from home in this office area. The giant cork board above her desk provides inspiration for her blog, Our Style Stories.
Desk: Berry Good Buys
Like the rest of the house, the dining area blends new and old. An Ikea table matches with a pair of classic chairs upholstered in cowhide. The Asian display came out of a secondhand store.
Hilary’s parents bought the sewing form for her if she was interested in studying fashion design. While that curiosity has escalated, she now uses the form to make alterations to thrifted clothes.
Table: Docksta, Ikea; chairs: Craigslist
A chain chandelier hangs from a plant hook by the kitchen window. “I did not require much light there, but also the airy silhouette and interesting shape made it an ideal match for the space,” says Hilary.
A built-in corner shelving unit houses stemware, candlesticks and a assortment of thrift-store plates.
String chandelier: Urban Outfitters
David, a percussionist, is a high school band director and music teacher. One of the home’s two bedrooms serves as his office, music room and a house for his marimba.
The paper newspapers are a study guide highlighting great moments in history. “I haven’t taken it down because it is a good reminder,” he states. “If I look up and can not recall the details of a certain historical aspect, I know it’s time to hit the books again.”
The couple’s brass bed once belonged to Hilary’s relatives. The yellow lamp is just one of Hilary’s recent DIY jobs. Orthodox Christian iconography hangs nearby.
Cabinets: Lappljung, Ikea
This painted maroon vanity and rose velvet chair were presents from Hilary’s mother. “Nearly every year for my birthday, my mom gives me a bit of antique furniture. I really like it. She’s been doing it for most of my life,” Hilary says.
Hilary’s jewelry set sits atop an antique bureau, arranged in classic bowls and trays. An earring tree stands to the left, and a pair of glass candlesticks into the proper keeps bangles and bracelets in order.
Hilary is inspired by street style, bohemian lifestyles and organic elements. David’s aesthetic leans more contemporary. “Together it makes for an interesting combination,” Hilary says, “that in the end is most likely my design philosophy: Adopt the mix.”
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