At Home With Morgan Trinker in Birmingham, Alabama

At Home with Morgan TrinkerCute wall artHairbrush and Bobby Pins Prints/Rifle Paper Co., Light Fixtures, Claw Foot Tub Fixtures, and Pedestal Sink/Home Depot .

Today we are excited to share Morgan Trinker's beautiful bungalow with you! We got our first peek at her space via Instagram and fell in love with the hand-stamped strawberry wall in her laundry room (so cute!!). Morgan and her husband, Jamie, renovated this home to make it super bright and inviting, and that's exactly what it is. πŸ™‚ Ready to see more? 

Love this light fixture!Dining Table and Chairs/Vintage, Light Fixture/West Elm, Flower Painting/Erin Gregory via One King's Lane.

Living room decorDIY shelvesDolly Parton"My husband, Jamie, and I purchased this 1925 bungalow in Birmingham, Alabama in 2013. When we first stepped foot inside this particular house, though, I was not completely sold. It was decorated nicely but just not in my tasteβ€”so many shades of brown, very dark walls, and a couple of 90s builder-grade renovations that had stripped the home of some of its original character. But what I was able to see was the incredible amount of windows and natural light coming in. So I tried to use a little imagination and think about how we could use what we had to make something more true to us. I liken my personal style goals to Dolly Partonβ€”a little bit flashy and colorful and over the top on the surface, but full of Southern warmth and hospitality and true-to-selfness at heart. Everyone laughs at this metaphor, but I grew up in East Tennessee where Queen Dolly reigns supreme, and since there are some kindred spirits around here (yay!), it seemed as good a place as any to throw that out there. :) 

Morgan TrinkerSofa/IKEA Karlstad (dyed slipcover).

"My favorite room in the house is for sure the main living room because of the wall of windows that look out onto trees and receive the most glorious golden sunset light in the evening. There's no better spot for curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee and waving at neighbors walking their dogs or kids playing right outside. 

Birmingham"Within 18 months of living here, I had painted nearly every surface of this house, including, but not limited to, every wall, ceiling, beam, cabinet, trim, door, and, yes, even a light fixture or two. That alone made the whole space feel so much brighter, more open, and cheerful. I also became somewhat obsessed with shelving and adding built-in character, so I learned how to use power tools (thanks to our friend Will!) and actually constructed the wall of built-in bookshelves in the living and dining room by myself. I'm still kind of in disbelief that this actually happened, since I've never considered myself to be a particularly handy person. Lesson learned: there's a first time for everything, and we're capable of a lot more than we think we are most of the time. Emboldened by my newfound DIY prowess, I went on to construct shelves for my office and for the kitchen, as well as two picture ledges for all the framed photographs in the dining area. One can never have too many places to display one's treasures, after all. 

Bathroom decorBathroom shelfBeveled mirror/Target.

"One of the things that bummed me out the most about the house when we first bought it was the bathroom. It had clearly been remodeled sometime in the 90s, and every ounce of 1925 charm was replaced with beige tiles and a walk-in shower and contemporary fixtures. Determined to restore it to its original glory, we took it down to the studs and brought it back in classic finishes like the white hexagon tile floor, shiplap walls, a claw foot tub found on Craigslist and refinished, and schoolhouse fixtures. One of my favorite projects in the bathroom is actually the ledge I built to display pretty bottles of nail polish and hang towels to dry. All in all, the space is just so much brighter and happier! 

OfficeDesk/ DIY using IKEA Wood Table Top and Hairpin Legs found on eBay, "It's Nice to Have You in Birmingham" Print/Yellowhammer Creative.

Perfect gallery wall!Master bedroomBed/IKEA (painted green), Rug/Rugs USA, Bedside Lamps/IKEA Ranarp Clamp, Floating Nightstand Shelves/DIY.

"Even in our relatively short time in this house, there have definitely been lots of things that changed and that I had to figure out through trial and error along the way. For example, I clearly love color and am not afraid to use it, but with such open spaces and being able to see into many of the rooms of our home at once, I had to adopt more of a whole-house color palette and make sure that all the rooms played nicely with each other, which sometimes meant owning that I had made a mistake with a color choice and being willing to repaint or recover or swap it with something else. Also, because we had a lot of large white wall space to contend with, I had to learn about scale and how to fill space without causing visual clutter and chaos, which is how, after going through a couple of different gallery wall configurations in the main living area that just never looked quite right, I landed on the idea of the long ledges to display photographs of friends and family.

Mint cabinetsAppliances/GE Artistry Series, Cow Painting/Augusta Cole. 

Cute kitchen details"In the kitchen, we replaced hunter green laminate countertops with butcher block, painted the raw plywood cabinets a perfect shade of mint green, switched out the hardware, and removed a lot of the upper cabinets in favor of open shelving, subway tile, and clean white walls. 

Hand-stamped wall!Strawberry wallPendant light/Home Depot (painted green), Letterpress Prints/Pioneer House, Red Clock/ Home Depot.

"I think the thing that makes me so proud of this home is all of the love and manual labor that's been poured into it. From dyeing the white slipcovers on our IKEA Karlstad sectional a beautiful shade of turquoise to hand-stamping cheerful strawberries on the walls of our laundry room (using A Beautiful Mess's tutorial!) right down to the less glamorous updates like polishing and restoring the wood floors, I don't think there's an inch of our space that hasn't been touched and (hopefully!) improved upon during our time in this house. I hope that I continue to push myself to learn new skills and take risks and create spaces full of love and life and really, really good memories."

Thanks for sharing, Morgan! You can find more of her via Morgan Trinker Photography and on Instagram. xo.

Credits//Author: Morgan Trinker. Photography: Graham Yelton.

  • I think we’re style twins. I recently purchased a home and in that time, bought the same fridge you have, am buying a very similar chandelier for the DR, similar rug style, same IKEA couch only in a royal blue custom cover, same ideas for SO many things. Love your home and your style!!

  • I love seeing a home from Birmingham! That’s where I live! We have some creative people and beautiful homes. I love how light and airy this home is. Great choice on the mint cabinets. I would love to see a view from the outside.

    I recently bought my first house in May and have been painting and redoing ever since. I know it takes time but I can’t wait for it to be done! Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

  • Oh my word this house is awesome!! I love everything. From the strawberry wallpaper to the vintage campbell’s soup cans to the hair brush and bobby bin prints! Fabulous place!

    β™₯ Heather

  • My favorite at home with by far! So much love and color in this house…we have an old bungalow too and there is just something so cozy about them. Great inspiration πŸ™‚

  • Seeing those wooden beams painted over makes my heart hurt. And the tv over the fireplace? I can’t. I’m all for white but …..those beams. I want to save them. πŸ™

  • Wow Beautiful home, I just love spaces that bring in a lot of light. Feels very cozy, and I especially love the lights about the dining table. Those are becoming really popular thiese days

  • This is a cute house. I love the strawberries on the wall and I’m curious about the hanging sign in the kitchen. It’s cut off but I’d like to see more of it. I’m assuming it’s a vintage find?

  • This post is so inspiring! I’m so glad you shared your home here – I have a few new ideas for my home now, Thank You! I especially loved your happy little corner of the mustard chair with the gallery of prints – what a great and simple way to transform an other wise empty or boring corner. And the DIYs of the floating night stands and the green painted light! Again I love that they are simple changes (and inexpensive!). Could we get a play-by-play for those floating night stands? I would love that!

  • Shout out to the Knoxville, TN Market Square Farmer’s Market print in the kitchen! I have a similar one and I love/miss Knoxville!

  • So inspired by your home! By any chance … do you remember the shade you used for the mint green cabinets? It really is the PERFECT mint!

  • Wow, such a wonderful home. I love the kitchen ans the bathroom. And, of course, the strawberry diy stamp wall! Such inspiring spaces.

  • Oh my, your house is absolutely charming and precious!! It is a wall-to-wall breath of fresh air, full of creativity, and there is not a single detail that I did not ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over. Fantastic job, Morgan.

  • Hi Toria! It is a DIY– just an engineer print! I think ABM has done a couple of posts on them in the past so I would search the archives! πŸ™‚

  • Hi Olga! We actually got the bed a few years back, so that particular style may have been discontinued. I think they have some other iron bed options now though! And thank you!

  • Thank you so much Nathalie! That gallery wall was born out of wanting to get all my sentimental treasures out of boxes and onto walls where I could enjoy them every day. The floating nightstands were super simple. I just cut down 4 scrap pieces of 1.5 in thick/12 in wide wood, then screwed them together in the box shape, then mounted the whole thing to the wall with L-brackets. Super easy! Weirdly I just don’t love nightstands so these were a great space saver!

  • Hi Erika! Thank you so much! Yes, the sign was a Craigslist find! It’s an original French sign that says “BOULANGERIE” and it’s a whopping 8 feet long! We didn’t get any photos of the whole thing (probably because it’s so huge) but it’s one of my favorite finds. πŸ™‚

  • I hear you, Miranda! Painting over beams and TVs over fireplaces are both super divisive issues, I know. In our case, the beams were stained and lacquered to a glossy almost-black finish when we moved in, and it just felt like way too much for the room. That was all the eye could focus on, was the dark cage-like effect of the beams. I suppose we could’ve attempted to strip down and refinish the beams, but honestly I just prefer the look of painted white beams and I’m a big believer that your home should reflect what *you* like. As for the TV, it truly was the ONLY place a TV could’ve gone in that space (it’s all open and most walls are covered in windows and doors with no room for a console or anything like that), and as much as I hate looking at the black box too, I’m not about to give up my Netflix addiction. πŸ˜‰

  • Hi Rachel! The shade of white I used on EVERYTHING (per Jenny Komenda’s recommendation) is Ben Moore’s “Chantilly Lace.” It’s the perfect not-too-cool, not-too-warm, clean, classic white!

  • Ah! Thank you so much Mollie! And yay Birmingham! I do have outside photos posted on my Instagram account at @morgantrinker (and/or the hashtag #trinkerhomerenovation)!

  • Morgan your home is so cute! I love the bathroom, it looks so inviting.

    As I was examining your beautiful gallery wall I was thinking……
    Just thought I would share an article on swimming with dolphins, as lots of people don’t think twice about it. There are tons of articles online to do some thinking before you go on vacation.
    http://dolphinproject.org/take-action/orcas-and-dolphins-do-not-belong-in-captivity
    https://www.thedodo.com/swim-dolphins-caribbean-1094674999.html

    The movie Blackfish I think touches on dolphins as well as the captive orcas. I hope everyone lives their lives thoughtfully and compassionately, especially when it comes to animals:)

  • Hi Alicia!

    Thank you so much for the kind words! I appreciate your input on the dolphins. We actually are huge animal lovers (if my husband had his way, we’d have 7 or 8 rescue pets running around by now), and we have seen Blackfish as well and do try to be aware of situations that are harmful to animals. However, this photo is special to us as it’s one of the only photos we have from our honeymoon, and at the time we were barely 22 years old and certainly not as aware as we are now about the dangers of captivity for sea animals. πŸ™‚

  • I just Googled vintage photos of Dolly Parton, I think? It was a fairly low-res image but that doesn’t really matter so much for prints like these. πŸ™‚

  • Every time there’s a new “at home” post, I scroll through hoping to see a person of color as the homeowner. I believe this has happened once. Please consider adding some color to your blog!!

  • Morgan, is there any chance you can tell us the name of the green paint you used on the bedframe? Thank you!!

  • What colour and type of dye did you use to dye your couch? Have you found the dye to be pretty colourfast or does it transfer onto lighter-colorer clothes when you sit on it? I absolutely love the colour!! (And also Dolly. Love Dolly!!) Beautiful house!

  • I love the sofa. I have the Ektorp in white but would like to have an alternate colour other than what Ikea offers. Did you do it yourself or have it professionally done?