Flea Market Décor

RESTRAINED RHAPSODY

An Arkansan schoolteac­her with a gift for designing and love for flea markets shows that the best interiors are studies in balance and compositio­n.

- By Autumn Krause

An Arkansan schoolteac­her with a gift for designing and love for flea markets shows that the best interiors are studies in balance and compositio­n.

SOMETIMES CREATIVITY COMES AS EFFORTLESS­LY AS BREATHING, AND THAT’S THE CASE FOR HOMEOWNER SARA TORBETT.

She’s an elementary teacher by day, but one step inside her Fayettevil­le, Arkansas, home reveals a talented personalit­y that expresses itself through colorful and lively interiors. “I’m an artist, and I view my home as a giant canvas,” Sara says. “Styling my home comes naturally to me.”

Sara’s connection to the residence runs deeper than just the interiors—she and her husband, Brett, oversaw the constructi­on of the home from the ground up, and it sits on land belonging to her family’s farm. Now it’s become an extension of her creative spirit and, as a fan of “junk, chippy paint and DIY,” she fills it with flea-market finds and her DIY projects. While this might lead to overly-busy décor in anyone else’s hands, Sara, with the assistance of stylist Sunday Hendrickso­n, creates interiors that have surprising restraint and organizati­on that let the home breathe and the designs shine.

The dining room reflects Sara’s keen understand­ing of balance and compositio­n. It’s a spacious room because she and Brett wanted it open to the kitchen and great room. “Whoever is in the dining room or cooking can easily feel part of the rest of the group,” she explains. The focus of the room is the dining room table, where mismatched chairs snagged from the porch and around the farm add rustic charm, and cardboard letters charmingly spell out “EAT.” Four shelves on either side of the

window act as transition­al décor areas for Sara and automatica­lly give her tableaus an organized feel. “Since I’m always wanting to change things up, my husband built these shelves,” she says. “They let me mix up my décor without putting a million nail holes in the walls.” She often styles them according to the seasons and keeps a “prop closet” of items to choose from. “It takes something pretty special for me to buy it and stick it in the prop closet,” Sara says. “I enjoy shopping from what I already have to create new displays a few times a year.”

Rest is the key word for Sara and Brett’s bedroom, with a soothing color scheme and pared-down, yet artsy, styling. “We wanted a serene place to unwind at the end of the day,” Sara says. “Hence the paint color. This is actually the only room in the house that is painted.” She maintains the restful feel by keeping her décor minimalist­ic and tidy; while she adores layering and styling, piles of unnecessar­y clutter stress her out. “So simple it is,” she says. Her philosophy is demonstrat­ed with her DIY chicken-wire frame

“I enjoy shopping from what I already have TO CREATE NEW DISPLAYS a few times a year.”

project. She used an old barn window and featured a handmade heart garland. “An element like this is an example of ‘planned ‘clutter,’” she says. “I still get to have the visuals that make my artistic mind happy, but it’s contained to one frame without taking over the entire room.” Other subtle details, like an old door that doubles as a headboard behind their bed, give a touch of rustic romance without detracting from the room’s fluidity.

While the rest of the home leans towards minimalist flea-market styling, Sara’s multi-purpose room is a departure and is full of effervesce­nce and happy colors. “This is my craft room and art studio … and though you can’t tell, it’s also my laundry room,” she says. “It’s both practical and pretty.” The room has a view to inspire creativity and is decorated with lively details like DIY flag banners and pinwheels—showing that simple, homespun details can have loads of impact. “The flags were inspired by a photograph I saw,” she says. “And I originally used the pinwheels in my daughter’s nursery, but now I have them displayed throughout our home.” The room also features a variety of textures and patterns, from the rug to the curtain, and exudes a bright, joyous spirit. “I don’t have an exact explanatio­n for how I know what to put with what,” Sara says. “It just ‘clicks’ for my brain and heart, and I go with it.”

 ??  ?? THE LIVING ROOM is the soul of the home—the family spends most of their time here, and Sara makes it homey with quilts made by her mother and mother-in-law. Surprising­ly, the fireplace “gate” is something Sara found lying around the farm and is an additional way to display the cherished quilts.
THE LIVING ROOM is the soul of the home—the family spends most of their time here, and Sara makes it homey with quilts made by her mother and mother-in-law. Surprising­ly, the fireplace “gate” is something Sara found lying around the farm and is an additional way to display the cherished quilts.
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 ??  ?? SARA PURCHASED THISARMOIR­E years ago, prior to getting married. “It was black, but I painted it turquoise,” she says. She now uses it as a home for her books, which she displays in a rainbow gradient.
SARA PURCHASED THISARMOIR­E years ago, prior to getting married. “It was black, but I painted it turquoise,” she says. She now uses it as a home for her books, which she displays in a rainbow gradient.
 ??  ?? THIS OLD CHICKEN-WIRE frame came off one of Sara’s barn windows and is a great way to organize and display mementoes. “I hung the dress here because it was something special that I wore out on a weekend away with my husband,” Sara says. “And I made the paper heart garland because I’ve always adored hearts and enjoy making cute and affordable projects.”
THIS OLD CHICKEN-WIRE frame came off one of Sara’s barn windows and is a great way to organize and display mementoes. “I hung the dress here because it was something special that I wore out on a weekend away with my husband,” Sara says. “And I made the paper heart garland because I’ve always adored hearts and enjoy making cute and affordable projects.”
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