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This Nashville Bungalow Will Validate Your Obsession With Thrift Stores |

This Nashville Bungalow Will Validate Your Obsession With Thrift Stores

“When people come to Nashville, they want to be entertained,” says Brittney Forrister, whose 1,400-square-foot bungalow in the 12th South neighborhood is in keeping with the city’s charming yet spunky vibe. “In that way, I always aim to make my home as entertaining as it is comfortable, full of things that provoke thought.” Brittney bought the 3-bedroom, 2-bath fixer-upper in 2013 just for herself, and after renovating the kitchen and bathrooms, decorated it with a little help from her sister, Tampa-based designer Jordan Winston of Oxford Design Studio. She is all about a steal, with a flair for the creative that once led her to re-cover an antique stool found at Salvation Army using a Diane Von Furstenberg shower curtain she found at T.J. Maxx.

Her own artwork pops up in almost every room, from pieces like a photograph she took of a girl in Africa to, in the bedroom, a black and white abstract painting that she threw together when she needed to fill the space quickly. “I went to Michael’s and got some black watercolor and a paintbrush and sat on the front porch and played around until I got something I liked,” says the North Carolina native.


“I always like to anchor a room with a graphic black-and-white moment,” Brittney says. In the living room, that’s the antique footstool recovered with a piece of shower curtain.

One of the guest bedroom’s walls sport a unique color that Brittney made herself by mixing up some leftover navy paint with a lot of turquoise and gloss.

For Brittney, who works as a sales specialist at online estate sale startup Everything But the House, designing is a hobby, not a job. But repurposing is in her blood: Her dad owns a used car lot, a photograph of which hangs in the dining room. Above the circular dining table—whose shape she loves because it facilitates conversation—hangs a chandelier she salvaged from a Habitat for Humanity reStore. “Brass light fixtures have a bad reputation,” she explains, but by swapping out the shades for round bulbs she was able to upgrade the look without much work. “When mixing old with new, you want to make sure the old has the story and the new can support that.”

A used car sign photo above the dining room console is of her dad’s lot. She grew up around a lot of buying, selling, and trading, so it’s no surprise it comes naturally to her. Above it hangs the brass light fixture she salvaged by swapping in round bulbs for the shades.

The hall bathroom mirror (as well as the room’s antique accessories) also came from Habitat for Humanity and cost around $30. She says treasures abound at Habitat, but you have to have an open mind—you can’t go looking.

The kitchen cabinets, also a score from Habitat for Humanity, were picked up for a breezy $700 and then painted and topped with butcher block. Brittney and Jordan used one of the home’s original cabinets for a kitchen island and did most of the work themselves (until they started ripping out the floor, at which point they called in the pros). “I loved that we embraced the age of the home by retrofitting vintage cabinets, but we modernized the space with a neutral color scheme and tile,” says Jordan. When sourcing a vintage item to repurpose, it’s easy to get distracted by an ugly paint color or stain. But Brittney advises looking for beautiful lines. Changing out hardware is also a prime way to update anything from a bureau to a door in seconds (see: the antique wood dresser in a guest bedroom that she spruced up with with knobs from Anthropologie).

Inexpensive cabinets (yet another score from Habitat for Humanity) had to be retrofit to the kitchen, but they look right at home now. Artwork, vintage barware, and kitchen accessories are displayed on the open shelves.

Brittney’s sister Jordan helped with the kitchen overhaul: “The design left just enough space for her very large inspiration board.”

“I always want to do something that is going to make at least one person who comes to my house turn up their nose,” says Brittney, who is not afraid to, say, pair an iron bed that’s a family heirloom with beaded turquoise lamps from Home Goods. After seeing something on TV about Mark Wahlberg’s iconic Calvin Klein ad, she realized she’d never seen it displayed in someone’s house—and then took to eBay. The framed print, all six-pack, now hangs in the guest room. “Everything that Nashville is plays into a creative mindset, whether you’re a musician, an artist, whatever,” she says. “The last thing I want is for someone to come into my home and say oh, this feels familiar!”

In the other guest bedroom, a half-height folding screen serves as both wall decor and a place to hang clothes.

“Aside from my mother, everyone loves it!” Brittney says of the Marky Mark poster on an adjacent wall.

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