Hi, everyone! I’m back for week 2 of the One Room Challenge.
If you’re finding me through the One Room Challenge, welcome to my home on the internet! I’m Avery and I live in rural Iowa with my husband. You can learn more about me here, and see some of my previous design work in my kitchen. My design style is cozy, whimsical, and collected. I’ll be sharing my One Room Challenge progress on my Holland Avenue Home Instagram. Thanks for following along!
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The only change I made this week was painting a moody accent wall behind our bed, but it made such a dramatic impact (and for only $20) that I would be content if I stopped here! The room was olive green when we moved in, which didn’t fit our style, so we painted it pale grey. It was nice to have a minimal, blank slate in our bedroom, and I intentionally kept decor to a minimum in this room for the last two and a half years. While I still intend to keep things simple, I was longing for some contrast and warmth in a space that felt too grey.
Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before.
The pale grey walls, white lampshades, light wood nightstands, and white bedding all kind of blended together. Nothing really “popped” because there wasn’t much contrast. I wanted to choose a color that would complement our wood trim and wood headboard, and would make the space feel warm without being too dark. This room gets the least natural light in the whole house, so we didn’t want it to feel like a cave by painting all of the walls a really dark color.
I settled on the color “Luxe” by Magnolia Home paint with Kilz. All of the colors in the new Magnolia paint collection are gorgeous, so you really can’t go wrong with any color choice! I bought my paint from Ace Hardware in Des Moines, Iowa. The collection is only available from select Ace Hardware stores and from Magnolia.com. Target carries a handful of colors, but does not have a wide selection. Lucky for you, you can find this color at your local Target or on Target.com!
The name “Luxe” describes this color so well. It feels “luxe” and is a moody greenish bluish that is both muted and saturated. I don’t know how you do it, Joanna, but I’m glad you do. Pictures really can’t capture how dreamy this color is in person, but I tried to get a few good shots before all of the natural light was gone!
Ta-daaa! Like I said before, this room does not get much natural light and I took this photo around 5:00pm on a cloudy day.
This was exactly what needed to happen in this room. It doesn’t make the whole room feel too dark, because it is just on one wall that is opposite from the two windows. The greenish bluish tones complement the reddish wood tones, and it makes everything feel warm and luxurious and cozy. I loved the way it looked in the natural light, but when it got dark outside and I turned on our lamps I kind of wanted to give the wall a hug. The warm, yellow glow of our lamps made the paint look extra warm and dreamy, so I’m basically convinced that this paint color can do no wrong.
Is that dreamy or what?!?!
I’ll be pulling in some more warm colors with the fabric I’m using for new throw pillows. I also have some special artwork to frame and hang above our bed, but that is all for another week!
I shared a bit on my Instagram stories today about imitation versus inspiration. Everything about my design plan for this room was a result of my own creativity, and I did not seek out any external “inspiration” during the design process. I made paint color and fabric choices based on what my husband and I love and what I knew would work well in our space. Beige carpet, dark wood trim, and almost no natural light are factors I just have to work with. I made decisions based around these factors and my own personal style instead of looking for something on Pinterest to imitate. I truly love what I designed, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.
And then I saw a photo on Instagram this morning.
It was an all white room with all white bedding and neutral/minimal everything else. And I really, really liked it. It looked so serene and bright, and the room had a ton of natural light. I started to regret my decision to paint a dark wall and use dark fabrics. What was I thinking? It wouldn’t look anything like the all white bedroom I just saw and loved. Maybe I made the wrong choice…
Then I had an important realization…
“I can like someone else’s style without having to imitate it in my own home.”
It is so simple, and maybe you’ve already had this realization. But as I’ve struggled to discover my own style, I’ve been thrown off every time I see a new style that I love. One day I see white walls with white bedding and I think, “Oh, now that’s nice.” The next, I see a bedroom with rich colors and textures and moody accents and I think, “Well that’s nice, too! But it is the exact opposite of all white!” I’ve been wrestling with where to land when I see so many drastically different styles that I “like”. I felt like I needed to pick one style category and stay there, but the only problem was that I couldn’t pick just one that I liked! Have you been there, too?
I think I’ve discovered why I was so confused about my style.
In the age of Pinterest and Instagram, our screens and feeds and minds and hearts are inundated with “inspiration”. The sheer amount of images you see in a day is overwhelming at best, and damaging at worst.
Sure, inspiration is a wonderful thing. But I don’t think most people are using Pinterest for inspiration. We are using it to become imitators.
I see a style or a project I like, and I want to imitate it. I see a photo on Instagram of a beautifully styled space, and I want my space to look like that, too (never mind that my house is structurally and architecturally different, my lifestyle is different, and my current belongings are not even close to being able to achieve that look). Have you ever done this? One moment, you’re scrolling through a person’s feed, and you’re “inspired” by the clutter free, minimalistic, all neutral beauty and you want to throw away everything in sight. And the VERY next moment, you’re “inspired” by someone with meaningful collected artwork and vintage furnishings and colorful accents. Where is the middle ground? How can I imitate both of those styles in my own home? How can I both throw away everything and also collect lots of cool stuff? The short answer? You can’t, and you don’t need to.
I can like someone else’s style without needing to imitate it in my own home.
Instead of seeing, liking, and imitating, I can see, like, and move on. I can be “inspired” by other styles, but they do not have to influence my own style. I don’t have to choose which person’s style I like the best on Instagram. Because ultimately, imitating someone else’s style will not work out for the better. Yes, I could try to make my home look like someone else’s, but it just isn’t going to be the same.
In the midst of the Pinterest generation, I’m afraid we are sacrificing creating for imitating.
Think about it. Have you ever made a plan to update a space in your home, and the first thing you do is run to Pinterest for “inspiration”? You’re most likely not looking for inspiration, you’re looking for something to copy. I’ve been guilty of it. I see something that I like that doesn’t fit my home or my lifestyle, and I get frustrated when I can’t achieve it. It is a problem I hear from readers all the time.
I think that there is a better way.
Instead of imitating things you like on the internet in the name of “inspiration”, allow your own creativity to run free so that you can choose what is best for your home, your space, and your family.
White walls would not look great in our bedroom because of the lack of natural light, the beige carpet, and the wood trim. But a moody, greenish/bluish dreamy accent wall looks incredible, and my husband and I love it. We love it because I thought about what would be best for our space and fit our personal style, and then that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t think about whether or not it would photograph well (it doesn’t) or be the trendy thing on Instagram. I thought about what would reflect our style and fit like a puzzle piece in our home, and that’s something you just can’t achieve with a cheap imitation.
My encouragement to you is this. If you see a space that you really like (mine included) but the elements wouldn’t work for your own space, ask yourself what you like about the photo, and then try to incorporate some of those elements in a way that will work in your space. Don’t sacrifice your own creativity to imitate someone else. Don’t look for something to imitate and call it “inspiration”. You are far more creative than you think, and no one else knows what it is like to live in your home. You know better than Pinterest. You know better than the girl with the “perfect” house on Instagram.
Make design choices that reflect your style and your space, and I promise that you will love the way your home looks and feels.
That’s all for this week! I’ll be back next Thursday with more progress on my Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Update. Be sure to check out all of the other Guest Participants in the One Room Challenge to follow along with their progress!
I’ll share behind the scenes sneak peeks on my Instagram Stories this week, so follow along there if you want the inside scoop before next Thursday! If you’d like to be reminded when new posts go live, enter your email in the “Brighten my Inbox” tab on the right side of your screen.