This weekend’s Get the Look Decor is inspired by Allison Marusic’s ranch-style home in Nashville, Tennessee. Glitter ceilings and wood paneling may have gone out of style decades ago, but Allison’s unique aesthetic embraces the quirky character of her house, originally built in 1955. A balanced mix of granny’s hand-me-downs, flea market finds and a growing collection of artwork created by friends and local artists make her home cozy and full of personality.
Check out the full tour of Allison’s retro country home on Flickr.
[Clockwise from top left: Fiberglass Lampshade from AtHomeWithAnika; 1940’s Airline Radio from DarlingAdell; Vintage Numana by Frontalini Accordion from thedriftingfox; Vintage Wooden Tambourine from BoudreauCollection; Vintage Lyra Baritone Ukulele from CarolinaVintageUkes; Antique scale from jollytimeone.]
Where do you live and with whom?
I live in a great Nashville neighborhood called Inglewood — lots of big trees, historic homes, good folks — about 4 miles from downtown.
It’s just me, but I get lots of visitors. I spent years taking road trips around Canada and the United States, and my friends and family are spread out. Now that I am nested in one spot, they all come and visit. Nashville is a great town to visit, and an even better one to live in, I think.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage Breyer Horse from DiamondDustTaxidermy; Vintage Steamer Trunk from RealCoolVintage; Framed Horse Paint By Numbers from 20thCenturyCool; Country Music Art Print on Wood by dolangeiman; Rawhide Wood Snowshoes from downthepipelines; 16 inch Dual Axis World Globe from thewhitepepper.]
Did you decide to decorate in this style or was there an evolution to your decorating process?
It was never a conscious decision. If things in my house aren’t hand-me-downs from my grandma or other family members, then they’re most likely from yard sales, flea markets or thrift shops. With those places you can’t really decide — you just get lucky. I buy things that are available and affordable and that I just like, and I incorporate them. I give stuff away so that the levels of old junk never get too out of control. Sometimes finding new items necessitates redesign in certain areas, but that’s part of the fun.
[Clockwise from top left: Industrial Table Workbench from DailyMemorandum; 1940s Monterey Table from 86home; Auburn Rubber Tractor from PoorLittleRobin; 1950s Red and Grey Dinette Set from PlanetSusan; Wooden Letter M from LettersofWood; 1961 Sun Rubber Company Donkey from MissMetsuki.]
What is your favorite part of your home?
The glitter ceilings. The wood paneling and woodwork is pretty great, too. One of the bedrooms has the combination of glitter ceilings and knotty pine paneling, so that’s pretty awesome. I really love every inch of this place. Even though I have been here five years already, every time I drive up the driveway I am still so happy it’s mine. Oh! And I love the red barn in the backyard.
What are your favorite places to shop for home items?
Flea markets, thrift stores and old ladies’ yard sales. I also love a local East Nashville antique shop called Wonders on Woodland. The owners always have a great selection of vintage finds.
[Clockwise from top left: Tennessee recycled t-shirt pillow by reclaimLA; Double Dresser and Mirror from onlinechic; Ceramic Art Bluefish Decorative Wall Hanging from PiscesCeramics; Framed Yosemite Falls from 32NorthSupplies; Vintage Carnation Bouquet Redoute Flower Print from earlybirdsale; Vintage Chenille Bedspread from catnapcottage.]
What inspires you when it comes to decorating?
The style of my house and its built-in character; the shape, scale and color of objects; the old junk at flea markets; mid-century graphic design; Canadiana; old souvenirs, maps and globes; music of all kinds (especially classic country music); 1940s-1960s style; machinery, industrial bits, and old things from my dad’s workshop; my family history; my clever and talented friends, and artists I admire. Country Living magazine is an old favorite. I have had a subscription for almost 10 years! And I really appreciate things that show wear or a sense of being used. If I had to choose between mint condition and beat up, I’d pick something that’s beat up every time. I like objects with a back story, whether I know the story or not.
Does your home hold any strong memories?
My house had the same owners from when it was built in 1955 until I bought it 5 years ago. I never met the family who lived here and don’t know any of their stories, but the house gives me hints. I’ve discovered remnants of pink shag carpet and mint green walls, found a handmade sign with their family name, uncovered old recipes and phone bills from the 1960s…things like that. I like the idea that this place has a story. You can see it and feel it, even if you don’t know exactly what that story is.
I know that I am adding my own stories to this place, too. For example, a few years back, one of my neighbors told me that my house was the one that local pickers used to meet at to play music together. Inspired by that story, a friend of mine and I started a monthly backyard concert series that’s now in its fourth year. We usually have 100 folks or so; friends, neighbors, kids and dogs show up for a Sunday afternoon social with stellar live bands playing mostly classic country music. This house is kind of quirky, but it is perfectly set up for events like that. I am creating my own memories all the time.
Looking for more styles and interiors? Check out our video series, There’s No Place Like Here, where creative types show us their unique spaces — infused with their aesthetic and filled with the treasures they collect. Get involved and show us your amazing space in this Flickr pool.