Hand-Painted Modern Chinoiserie Mural: One Room Challenge Week 4

Hi, everyone! I’m back for WEEK FOUR 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!

Here’s a recap of my posts for the One Room Challenge so far.

Week 1: Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Design Plan

Week 2: Moody Accent Wall

Week 3: DIY Throw Pillows and Vintage Artwork

And here’s a reminder of my vision for our colorful, cozy, eclectic Master Bedroom Update. master bedroom moodboard

Because I am also a crazy person and don’t know how to do things halfway, I decided to include the attached sunroom in my Master Bedroom update! You can read about my design plans for the sunroom in the Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Design Plan: One Room Challenge Week 1 post, but the main thing you need to know is that I am hand painting a mural.

I wanted the mural to be inspired by the floral bird fabric that I used to make pillows for our bed. (Pictured in the moodboard above!) I decided this about a month ago (wait where did October go?) and in my head I was just calling it my “floral bird mural inspired by my floral bird fabric”. Which brings me to my next point.

Have you ever heard the term, “chinoiserie”? I hadn’t until this week.

If you asked me what “chinoiserie” was before I knew, I probably would’ve guessed that it was a French boutique that sells either lingerie or baked goods. Or both. I don’t know. The French have some pretty crazy boutiques.

I was still in the sketching and planning phase of my floral bird mural, when I saw a new post from the Queen of design herself, Emily Henderson. The post is called Is Chinoiserie Making A Comeback? Let’s Discuss. Not knowing what the heck “chinoiserie” was, and assuming it could have something to do with pastries, I sat down to investigate.


I didn’t know they left, because I didn’t know they existed and were a whole category of design. So now my burning question is: does this put me ahead of or behind the trends? I have no idea! I had the idea before Queen Henderson’s staff said it was back, which either means I’m way ahead of the game or that I decided to incorporate something that was dated and “out”. Either way, florals and birds are two of my favorite elements to use in art, so when the post asked if I was “on board the chinoiserie train”, I could confidently say that I’ve been riding that train for my whole life without knowing where it was going or what it was called.

Chinoiserie is back, and I’m on board.

Here are some examples from Emily Henderson’s blog post of what her team is calling “modern chinoiserie”. The traditional interpretation is the definition of maximalism, with decadent prints and colors and textures and drapes that were probably on the Titanic. Modern chinoiserie is sophisticated and can work brilliantly with more minimal design aesthetics. (The following four images are from Emily’s blog and you can find the original sources there!)


I want to give that blue wall a hug. That will always be my favorite color.


This room just radiates “cool”. The chandelier. The cane barrel chairs. THE FLORAL BIRD MURAL AKA CHINOISERIE AKA MY NEW FAVORITE THING.


This smaller scale wallpaper is gorgeous, and is the perfect feminine contrast to that statement light fixture.


I have a soft place in my heart for blue kitchens, and that tiny little mural might convince me to paint my own next to my pantry. We will see how the first mural goes, though. I might have a new favorite hobby or I might want to retire from painting forever. We’ll see.

After falling in love with my new favorite design element, I was ready to start sketching.

I grabbed my pencil and a stepladder, made my way up to the sunroom, and decided to just go for it. After studying the elements of my fabric and many examples of chinoiserie wallpaper, I found a pattern by Rifle Paper Company that is basically their take on chinoiserie. Some of my floral shapes will be based on their pattern, but I’m going to stick to my own creativity for creating the pattern and color palette!

I’ve been sick this week, so 100% of my Week 4 progress has taken place in the last two hours. I’ve been intimidated to start actually sketching out my mural on the wall, so I’ve been putting it off. But we’re going out of town this weekend, so I knew I needed to make some serious progress tonight!

I had to edit this image so you could see my fine pencil sketches, but there is progress! I didn’t fill in the details on the flowers or branches or leaves, and my sketch isn’t finished, but I started! That’s all the progress I have for this week, but I have a feeling that it will be easier to make progress now that I took the scary step of putting pen to paper (er… pencil to wall).


It wasn’t a decorating update, and it won’t be part of my before and after post, but I did spend some significant time “updating” our Master Bedroom this week. I cleaned out our closet and dresser! After purging all of the things we didn’t wear, we suddenly had way more space for our clothes to breathe. Instead of being way too full of things we don’t wear, with the things we do wear not having space after laundry, we’re just left with the things we love and wear on a regular basis! It has cleared my mind so much to know that everything has a home in our closet and dresser, and getting dressed is so easy because I only kept the things I absolutely loved. (I put some exclusively summer blouses and dresses in a rubbermaid box in a guest closet, but even without taking those away we had so much more space).

Ben and I decided we could use more drawer space for sweaters that take up a lot of room and can’t go on a hanger, so we are going to buy a small dresser when we go to Ikea on Monday. (Ps. I get to go to Ikea on Monday!!!) Our current dresser is quite large, but the drawers are not very deep and we don’t want to shove sweaters in drawers that are too small.

It will go in the empty corner of our bedroom and I plan to work out some kind of jewelry storage situation on top of the dresser, because my jewelry currently does not have a home.

I’ll share mural progress and details about which dresser we chose next Wednesday in my WEEK FIVE POST. I AM STRESSED JUST SAYING THE WORDS “WEEK FIVE POST” but we will get there, friends. This is all just for fun anyway, and I’m enjoying the crazy train that is the One Room Challenge!

That’s all for this week! 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 on mural painting before next Wednesday! 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. 

Thanks for following along with me here on Holland Avenue Home, and don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the One Room Challenge Blog to see all of the Featured and Guest Designers!

avery- signature

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(Update: Follow along with the last two weeks of the challenge!)

Ikea Dresser Makeover: One Room Challenge Week 5

Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Before & After: One Room Challenge Week 6



9 thoughts on “Hand-Painted Modern Chinoiserie Mural: One Room Challenge Week 4

  1. Haha, Chinoiserie for life! I’ve always loved it, and have given up all hope that I’ll ever be able to properly pronounce it. 🙂 Can’t wait to see how your mural turns out!

  2. Em

    Super-impressed that you’re hand-painting yours! For the spring ORC I used a pair of chinoiserie stencils to paint my first floor bathroom, and I’ve still been enjoying it. I’m sure yours will give you even more satisfaction since you’re creating it yourself!

  3. Deb

    ambitious girl, can’t wait to see your mural. look at Anthropologie’s website for some cool jewelry display ideas. I show a few pieces on top of my dresser, and keep the rest in stackable jewelry organizers from Bed Bath and Beyond in the top drawer.

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