A Flea Market Filled Family Home

A Flea Market Filled Family Home graphic

This flea market filled family home belongs to Natalie and Travis Kolter, a mid-western family who relocated to the Tucson suburbs.

She and her husband Travis began renovating their house by using shiplap paneling and weathered wood. Then they painted their home in neutral colors.

The decor came from garage sales, thrift stores, and antique shops. Natalie wanted earthy, tactile, and affordable finds for her new home. She admits being drawn to rustic vintage elements and good deals.

Natalie persuaded an antique shop owner to part with a church pew that was definitely not for sale. But the shop owner finally gave in and sold it to her for $175. It now sits in her entry.

They built DIY shelves in nearly every room in her home, offering platforms for her ever-changing decorating displays.

Natalie and her husband cut the boards to size, then she painted or stained them before sanding and wiping them with hemp seed oil for a non-glossy finish.

Wood & Lava Stone Bead Accessories:

Her go-to accessories for texture are wood and lava stone beads. She adds them to side tables, shelves, chandeliers, and baskets.

The thrifted cow skull was a $60 find. The books were 25 cents each.

The couple replaced the drywall with shiplap using inexpensive plywood. The clock was originally a tabletop, which Natalie added antiqued Roman numerals to.

Natalie had a Target dining room set, but she sold it once she spotted this farmhouse table at Goodwill. She paid $60 for the table.

She sanded it down to its orange stain to make way for a dark-stained top and painted sides and legs.

Natalie found the chandelier for $60.

The rolling cart was a $25 thrift store find, which she considered a steal. Travis then made its tray from free palette wood.

The crates were a $4 garage sale find. The Seltzer bottles came from a craft store.

A Flea Market Filled Family Home Gets A Transformed Laundry Room:

The two transformed the laundry room, which was inexpensive, but involved a lot of work.

Natalie painted over the tile work and applied a stencil to mimic the look of trendy and expensive concrete tiles.

Another chandelier, costing only $7.50 at a garage sale, gave the laundry space some elegance.

The two then went about creating a DIY barn door. They distressed the planks, which were originally new pieces of wood.

Then Natalie used an application of petroleum jelly where she wanted to ease the paint away from the wood.

Natalie hung clip and fold curtains in their bedroom. They are hung from DIY drapery rods placed near the ceiling to make the windows appear taller.

The washed 9 x 12 drop cloths hang so part of the fabric drapes back to hide the seam.

Beside the window is a large mirror that Natalie framed and leaned against the wall.

Four leftover paint samples inspired the painted herringbone design on the wall behind daughter Brylie’s bed.

The bed was grandpa Kolter’s, making it a sentimental piece. Natalie painted it to match the rest of the room.

(Content & photos via BHG.com)



  1. Too much white for me, we get cold nasty winters where I live, I’d feel I was freezing all the time. But they live in Tucson, tons of sunshine and very hot temperatures during the summer especially. The average high temperature there in February is 71 degrees F (I checked, I’m jealous. Right now it’s a whopping 10 degrees F here. I love the design and style of the primary bedroom, the accent wall behind the bed, the night stands and that rug on the floor with its deep rich colors, looks like something I’d want to feel under my feet. That look is right up my alley, but I wouldn’t have drop cloth curtains; I like the fabric drape over though, it makes the curtains look very lush. I also want the rug in the daughter’s room. The pastel colors and the pattern speak to me and remind me of popsicles and creamsicles!

  2. Great home tour. I think she has the shabby chic style down pat. I do like the look, but I’d personally add just a few pieces mixed in here and there rather than an entire house of it. Thank you for sharing it. I hope you got some relief from your massage!

  3. Brenda I know that this is your livelihood, but I can no longer read your posts. I read them on my smartphone which I know you don’t have, but there are so many ads and constant pop-ups that I can’t see your photos anymore and it’s impossible to maneuver down the text. sorry to say.

  4. Love what was done with this home. Great ideas to make it their own, and one of a kind. Some people just have a knack for doing magic, when finding just the perfect items. I love those legs on the Goodwill table.

  5. This homeowner is obviously very talented in finding great pieces and transforming them for use in her house. It’s a little overdone and cluttered for me, but I know everyone has different tastes. Love the wall behind their daughter’s bed.

  6. They sure have a lot of signs but I love the Anne of Green Gables quote in the first picture – “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

  7. Lovely home but definitely not my style. The chippy paint does nothing for me. There are elements I like, and I can tell they enjoyed the process of doing.

  8. I loved this house, but would not like the upkeep! Dusting etc. They did find some great things and then had the gumption to work on each thing, making like they really wanted. We have lots of flea markets around here, but they seem pretty high. Thanks Brenda for a great presentation of their home. I almost never reply but read your blog every day. Hope to hear how the massage was!

  9. Very interesting pieces in this lovely home. The clock, the table, the painted floor, laundry hampers, all very nice. I’m not a fan of chippy paint, but that’s just me. I thought the bedrooms were very pretty.

  10. How are you today, Brenda? I love everything about this house. Is that a huge dough bowl at the foot of the master bed? Dang, they have acquired some amazing pieces. I want to shop with her! I went to a huge flea market close to where I grew up for years. I got many treasures but never was brave enough to buy furniture or anything really large. Saved a ton of money and it was so much fun treasure hunting. I will need a second look at this beautiful house to see what I missed! Have a great day.

  11. Wow, that’s a lot of cool finds. I’m impressed with how much sweat equity they put into the house. The painted tile floors, the table they turned into a clock, the church bench, the barn door… everything was a labor of love. And the chandelier for $7.50?! What a steal!

    1. As I read what all they did to their house, it just made me feel tired! I know I would never go to those lengths. But then I’m older now and just don’t have what it takes to do it anyway.

Comments are closed.