Car Styling Tips for Spring

Spring is in the air, which always gives me fresh energy and determination to clean out our cars. Over the long winter, it can be easy to accumulate literal “junk in the trunk” (In addition to inevitable holiday weight gain: a figurative, yet very real kind of “junk in the trunk”.) We had a day over 60 degrees last week, so we marched out to the Honda (armed with our new cordless Dyson and motivation to get our car looking so fresh, and so clean.)

Seeing April 1st on the calendar feels like the official start of a new season, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share my automotive styling tips for Spring.

Decorating the front of your car can be tiring, and styling the back of your car can be just plain exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be! No matter what kind of car you drive, you probably have to work with limited square footage, and little to no wall space. My typical principle of “decor goes on the walls” is forced out the window (or in this case, the sunroof), and a bit of ingenuity is required to achieve a comfortable “home-on-the-way-to-and-from-home”.

1. Fuel your color palette with textiles.

While the exterior of your car may have color, the interior is most likely neutral. Hearing a “pop” is never a good sign while in your car, but seeing a “pop” of color is the best way to achieve a cozy and “lived-in” vibe. (But not too lived in…)

When choosing textiles for your back seat, it helps to think of the space as a loveseat-on-the-go. Two coordinating throw pillows and a throw blanket will add necessary color and comfort without feeling too cluttered. The exterior of our car is navy, so I chose to echo this on the interior with a vintage indigo throw. Keeping your color palette limited is always a good idea when you are working with a small space, so I chose to focus on blues and pinks.

They often say that “the rug makes the room”, and cars are no exception. I’ve seen plenty of helpful guides that show you how to choose the right size rug for a living room or a bedroom, but I’ve never seen one that shows the best rug size for your backseat.

I opted for a doormat (roughly 1.5×2), but it dominated the floor space and couldn’t be laid out flat. After a quick Google search, I found that this is the smallest size rug you can purchase that isn’t for a dollhouse, so I had to get creative. Folding a doormat in half makes it the perfect size for the tricky long and narrow space in between seats.

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Adding greenery to a space is the easiest way to infuse a bit of life, but working with limited square footage can be a challenge for larger houseplants (carplants?).

2. If you need more square footage in the back seat, push the front seats all the way forward for a more “open concept” space.

 

When the seats were in a safe driving position, the back seat felt cramped.

But look at how much valuable floor real estate opened up when I pushed the seats forward! There was suddenly enough room for a medium sized fiddle leaf fig tree, which really elevated the space.

3. Carry the touches of greenery into the front seat.

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While a large houseplant is perfect for the back seat, you’ll want to find a more low-profile option for the front. A small, potted fern will carry the greenery moment into the front (without taking up too much precious dashboard space.) If you actually plan on driving your car, put the large plant behind the passenger seat, and scoot the driver’s seat back to a safe position. The dashboard is an excellent place to display bits of life, like small plants and family photos.

4. Most people don’t know that the cupholders were actually designed with the intent to store vases of flowers.

A few blooms in your accent color and a sprig of eucalyptus is all it takes to create a statement bouquet for the center console. Be sure to choose a vase that is equal or smaller in size to a large McDonalds cup, which is the typical capacity for most cupholders.

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5. Decorating your dashboard with vintage books adds character and charm, and guarantees reading material in case you encounter traffic.

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6. Utilize your trunk space to create an inviting lounge area.

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When you stand at the back of your car and think about how to style your trunk, there is no need to be exhausted. Remember to focus on your color palette, and opt for a mix of textures to create visual interest and depth that isn’t overwhelming.

When choosing a rug for your living space, a good rule of thumb is to have at least the two front legs of your furniture on the rug. We drive a Honda CRV, which has a fairly large trunk. I used a vintage 2×3 rug in my accent color to really ground the space.

Depending on your trunk space, you may be able to include both an armchair and an end table. In this case, I chose a child’s vanity stool and a small rattan ottoman. Since cars have limited storage space, I grabbed one of the throw pillows from the back seat to accessorize this lounge area. Repurposing car decor is one of the most important principles for achieving a cozy, uncluttered car design. The dashboard reading material and a small succulent give this space its finishing touches, which will invite your car guests to curl up in the child’s stool and settle in for a good read.


I hope that these car styling tips were helpful, and will fill your inspiration tank with fresh fuel for Spring on this beautiful April 1st. 😉


Simple Nutrition: One Week Meal Plan + Grocery List for Two

Cooking is hard. Not the “preparing meals” part, but the planning and thought that are required to avoid trashing your body with pre-packaged convenience.

I was afraid of cooking when we got married, but I have learned to love the process over the last three years. What made the difference? Meal planning.

We live in a really small town, and there aren’t a ton of restaurants around us besides a handful of fast food chains in the neighboring town. This means we eat out maybe once a week, and sometimes only once every other week. We definitely have a larger “grocery budget” than what might be normal for a married couple living in a city, but that also means that our “eating out” budget is only $10 every other week for tacos and a bottle of Coke at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

After three years of trial and error, we’ve learned to aim for a balanced diet that is neither a slave to health nor unhealth.

In an effort to pursue healthier eating habits, we’ve tried programs like Whole30 that restrict certain food groups and require a ton of preparation and planning. (We were so good at Whole30 that we finished in 22 days, and celebrated with a large supreme pizza from Pizza Hut.) We both felt great after eliminating grains, dairy, alcohol, and other food groups from our diet, but we also realized that it was not a practical or realistic lifestyle for us. Since that experience two years ago, we’ve made an effort to have a healthy balance of food groups and meals in our cooking repertoire.

Eating every single meal at home can either be a blessing or a curse for your nutrition.

On weeks that I put intentional thought and planning into our meals, we fuel our bodies with actual nutrients and whole foods. We may spend a little more on groceries on those weeks, but it doesn’t even compare to what we would spend if we tried to eat well and eat out.

On weeks that I put no thought into what we eat, I’ve found I rely on quick and easy prepackaged things from the grocery store (mac and cheese & chicken nuggets abound during those weeks). Our grocery bill may be cheaper, but we aren’t fueling our bodies or experiencing the blessings and enjoyment that can be found in cooking and nutrition.

For us, “nutrition” looks like balance. Like I mentioned before, we don’t want to be slaves to anything (whether “health” or “unhealth”). We are still learning, but we want our diet to bring freedom instead of a burden. While it is tempting to swing hard in one direction or another (Either Whole30 OR a mac and cheese marathon), we strive for a healthy balance of foods with an emphasis on clean eating and the freedom for quick meals and “unhealthy” favorites.

This balance cannot be achieved without thoughtfulness on your part.

Planning out your meals and creating a shopping list requires intention, discipline, and care. That doesn’t mean it is hard, though. Every part of homemaking requires these things, and we must remember that we won’t be experts from the start.

I wrote a post a while back with some practical tips and guiding questions to help you meal plan. I figured it out on my own, but you don’t have to! If you feel lost when it’s time to make your grocery list, I’d recommend reading my post, Every Day: Mindful Meal Planning for my process!

The other thing we’ve learned about achieving balance with our meals is that eating “healthy” doesn’t have to be complicated, and should probably include some repetition.

When we tried Whole30, I was under the impression that I had to keep things interesting with a new recipe every day. I was overwhelmed by the amount of recipes I found on Pinterest, and we ended up spending way more money than necessary on a long list of ingredients for complicated meals. In only three weeks, I was burnt. out. I was tired of thinking about cooking, following a new recipe every day, and never having a quick solution for a meal. We discovered that eating “healthy” is only achievable if we keep things simple, and rely on a few go-to’s.

This is my first week at home after two and a half weeks of visiting family, so our meal plan this week is full of those tried and true “go-to’s”. We needed a reset after vacation and way more eating out than we’re used to, so I put extra effort into creating a week of nutritious and simple meals. On a normal week, we would probably have a meal or two of something prepackaged like noodles or nuggets, but we’re avoiding restocking on those for a while.

I want to share this simple, repetitive, achievable meal plan with you to show that meal planning doesn’t have to be hard, and cooking at home can be simpler than you may think.

(This meal plan accounts for EVERY meal for two people, so feel free to cut it down if you do eat out. We’ve been on vacation, so we are majorly restocking on all fresh ingredients. There are definitely a lot of leftovers and repetition, but the leftovers mean less cooking and the repetition means less fuss! I didn’t create this meal plan with the intention of sharing, so this is just what works for us this week! There may be meals or other factors that don’t work for you and your family. I have received a lot of questions about meal planning, so I wanted to give a glimpse into what a week of actual meals looks like for us (without creating a perfectly polished plan for the purpose of a blog post). That is something I’d love to develop in the future, but for now here is a snapshot of real life!)

There are a lot of egg scrambles in the forecast for this week. We’ve found that this is an easy, no-fuss meal that is simple and uses up veggies. We buy a few veggies specifically for the scrambles, but feel free to use whatever you already have on hand. We like bell peppers, spinach, and mushrooms. Just sauté the veggies in a little olive oil until they are almost ready, then add in a few eggs and scramble it all together! This is an easy way to get extra veggies and protein without having to follow a complicated recipe. If you’re feeling fancy, you can fold it all into a crepe. (To make 2 large crepes or 4 small crepes, mix 1 cup of flour, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, and 2 tsp of salt. Put some butter in a pan on medium heat and wait until pan is hot and butter is melted, add the crepe batter to the middle of pan and tilt until batter is spread evenly. When the batter looks solid and is starting to brown on bottom, flip and cook on the other side. Fill the crepe with your egg scramble, and enjoy!)

No-fuss Meal Plan for Two

Monday

  • Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: Egg scramble with veggies (peppers, spinach, mushrooms)
  • Dinner: Chicken lo mein (we already had all of the sauces for this recipe, but it will be an investment to buy all of them for the first time. We make this recipe with onions, carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms.)

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: Leftover lo mein
  • Dinner: Sheet pan Salmon with Broccoli (Salmon is a splurge for us, but this meal can’t be beat in terms of simplicity! One pan and only a handful of ingredients!)

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: Egg scramble with veggies (peppers, spinach, mushrooms)
  • Dinner: Chicken detox soup (We loooove this soup. It is full of veggies, makes enough for 3 meals for two people, and is easy to reheat and enjoy!)

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with granola
  • Lunch: Fried eggs with spinach, garlic, and tomatoes
  • Dinner: Leftover chicken soup

Friday

  • Brunch: Crepes with eggs and leftover veggies (use up any leftover veggies from the week!)
  • Dinner: Leftover chicken soup

 

Shopping List:

Produce

  • 3 heads of broccoli (for lo mein, salmon, and chicken soup)
  • 3 lemons (1 for salmon, 2 for adding to water)
  • Fresh garlic (2 heads)
  • Fresh ginger (for lo mein)
  • Shitake mushrooms (for lo mein)
  • Large tub of white mushrooms for scrambles
  • Bell peppers for egg scrambles
  • Bag of spinach (For scrambles)
  • Shredded carrots (for lo mein)
  • Baby carrots (for chicken soup)
  • Green onions (for lo mein and scrambles)
  • Celery (for soup)
  • Parsley (for soup)
  • Frozen onion (for soup and lo mein)
  • Frozen peas (for soup)

Protein

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 for lo mein, 3 for soup)
  • Bacon (for scrambles)

Dairy

  • Fage Plain Greek Yogurt (a tub)
  • Eggs

Pantry

  • Granola
  • Almonds (for snacks)
  • 8 cups Low Sodium chicken broth
  • Lo mein noodles (for lo mein)

That is our plan for this week, and I’m (hopefully) sticking to it! I’d love to share more meal planning resources in the future. Don’t forget to check out Every Day: Mindful Meal Planning for a step-by-step guide to create your own meal plan (plus some free printables to make it a breeze!)

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My Number One Tip For Decorating “On a Budget”

I received a question this morning about how I practically decorate on a budget. My husband and I don’t have “home” as a line item on our budget, but we do each have a monthly “fun budget”. If I want to go to a thrift store or buy something off of Facebook marketplace, I take it out of my “fun budget”. So when I use the words “budget decorating”, what I really mean is “decorating and furnishing your home for as CHEAP as possible”. Cheap doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality though.

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Here is my number one tip for small decorating budgets (we’re talking “not even a line item” here). If you are looking for a specific piece of furniture or decor, I’d recommend NOT buying the first new thing you see.

If you’re patient, determined, and keep your eyes open, you can probably find something secondhand that is higher quality and a lower price. Example: this leather ottoman I got yesterday. I wanted one for functionality and looks for this chair, but couldn’t afford a new one. The new ones I could maaaybe save up for were still $100+, and probably wouldn’t have been real leather. I waited and waited and searched, and got lucky to find a real leather ottoman on Facebook marketplace for $20! Is it super modern/trendy/perfect? Nope. Is it a leather ottoman that has the same general aesthetic as the fancy high end ones for a fraction of the cost? You bet!

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We’ve taken this approach for most of the furniture in our home. A handful of our furnishings were purchased brand new, but we saved so much money overall by waiting to find the right pieces secondhand. Our tiny home budget couldn’t have afforded anything fancy if we bought everything new, but we’ve found a few high quality pieces for a fraction of what buying new furniture costs. If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, and the patience to not impulse buy the first thing you see at Target or HomeGoods, you can decorate and furnish your home with pieces that will last (and won’t break the bank.) The key to decorating on a budget is not buying cheap junk- it is being thoughtful about the purchases you want to make and then having patience for the right piece to come along.

I wrote more about shopping secondhand in my HomeMade series. You can find helpful decorating tips and guidance in my post , HomeMade: Does Your Home Have A Recipe? .

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Chalk Painted Kitchen Cabinets Two Years Later

In January 2017, I chalk painted my kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This is my honest chalk painted kitchen review two years later.

Since the initial update in January 2017, I’ve added a subway tile backsplash and switched out the 9×12 rug for a smaller antique rug. Here are a few photos from the original 2017 Before & After, a feature from Annie Sloan bookazine after the subway tile, and a recent photo from last week (January 2019).

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Here is my honest opinion of Annie Sloan Chalk Painted cabinets two years later…

THEY ARE STILL AMAZING.

The thing I don’t want you to miss about that sentence is that my ANNIE SLOAN Chalk painted cabinets are still in excellent condition two years later. If I had used an off brand chalk paint, I might not have the same results or opinions. I properly painted and sealed the cupboards with Annie Sloan Clear Wax, and they look just as incredible as the day I finished painting them. It feels silly to write a review because I have nothing bad to say about how they have held up. If we spill or splatter anything on them, I wipe it off with a wet rag and they look as good as new. I gave all of the cabinet fronts a thorough cleaning before Christmas, and they look great. My husband and I are relatively tidy and we don’t have kids, so they haven’t had to see any major wear and tear. But from the cleaning I have done, I’ve never once been concerned about the paint scratching.

If you are considering chalk painting your kitchen, RUN don’t walk to your nearest Annie Sloan distributor and just go for it! I am ridiculously happy with my decision to paint the cupboards, and I would do it again and again.

One funny thing that I’ve watched over the last two years is the rise of the colorful kitchen. When I painted mine in 2017, neutral kitchens were all the rage. Everything was white, grey, or black. I almost decided on one of these neutrals for the bottom, but my heart told me to go with my favorite color, Duck Egg Blue. I decided to do what I loved instead of what was trendy, and I am so happy with that decision. Since then, blue kitchens have popped up everywhere. (And surprisingly, so have rugs in kitchens!) It is fun to have a trendy kitchen, but that isn’t what makes me happy with my decision.

I’m happy with my blue kitchen because I will love it forever whether it is trendy or not. If I had focused on what was trendy instead of what I loved, I would be sitting here in 2019 with a neutral kitchen, jealous of everyone else’s blue kitchens. Of course, you can always repaint your cabinets. But why go to that trouble when you can be happy from the start?

If you’re considering painting your own kitchen, choose a color (or neutral) that brings a smile to your face. Ignore what the magazines tell you is “in” and listen to what you love.

I’ve received countless questions about the kitchen, so I will post the original questions and my answers here. If you have another question that is not answered on this list, send me a message and I’d love to answer!

Q:What type of chalk paint did you use and what color?

I used Annie Sloan chalk paint. It is the only brand of chalk paint I would recommend. It is more expensive per ounce of paint than latex or oil paint, but it goes so much further and has excellent coverage. You do not need to sand your cabinets or remove any doors before painting. I used 3 coats of Pure White on top and 2 coats of Duck Egg Blue on bottom. You can find a local Annie Sloan stockist through the Annie Sloan Website.

Q: Did you seal your cabinets with wax or poly?

I sealed my cabinets with three thin coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. You can use white or black wax for a rustic or distressed look. All of Annie Sloan’s waxes dry hard and should not feel tacky with proper application.

Q: Have you had to re wax?

I have not re-waxed anywhere, and it still feels and looks well sealed and strong.

Q: Did you paint the sides of your drawers or insides of doors?

I did not, but you totally can. I painted the insides of the two cabinets I took the doors off of, but you can if you want to!

Q: How hard/easy is it to get oil splatters off the wax?

Very easy. If I catch it right away, I wipe any spills off with a wet rag. Some spills have gone unnoticed for who knows how long, and those also come off easily with a wet rag.

Q: Seriously, how long did it take?

It took me almost a full week of working for a few hours every morning and afternoon, and a few evenings with my husband. (To paint and wax everything, including painting all of my walls and trim)

Q: What are the “I wish I would have…” things?

I have no regrets about the design decisions I made, and I am happy with the quality of my work! You can read more about my process in the post, $200 Kitchen Update: Sources and Process

Q: Did you paint the hinges?

I did. They don’t look great, but they were pretty rough before. I prefer for them to just blend in. If you have really nice hinges, I might recommend not painting them.

Q: Do you regret not doing or doing any steps?

No. I was very, very, very, very thorough with the cleaning step, which is the most important in my opinion. You need to degrease your cabinets with a degreasing soap. If you have grease spots (which you probably do without realizing it- especially if you have dark wood cabinets) they will show through the paint no matter how many coats you use to try to cover. If you miss a spot and don’t realize it until you’ve painted, sand it down and touch up the paint before waxing. I don’t have photos, but I missed one tiny spot on a bottom cabinet and it was an orange color showing through the blue paint. I sanded down and repainted, and you can’t tell at all.

Q: Were the cabinets previously painted?

No. They were wood cabinets from the 1980’s kitchen expansion.

Q: Did you roll or brush the paint?

I brushed. You cannot see any brush strokes on the Duck Egg Blue, but you can see some brush strokes on the Pure White. It doesn’t bother me, but if it bothered you, you could just do another coat of paint to conceal brush strokes. I used Annie Sloan’s wax brush to apply the wax.

Q: Is the Duck Egg Blue mixed with any Pure White, or is it full strength?

It is full strength.

Q: Where is your rug/towel/hardware/etc. from?

You can find all sources for the kitchen (and other rooms in our home!) on the Shop My Home page of this website.

The rug and hardware are linked (along with my other favorite Amazon household finds) on my Amazon Storefront. I make a small percent commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase anything through my storefront. Thanks for supporting Holland Avenue Home!


I think I answered all of the questions I’ve received in preparation for writing this post, but if you still have a question please send me a message! I really really reeeaallyy love this project, and I would encourage you to just go for it if you’re looking to make an affordable and high-impact change in your kitchen. You don’t need to rip it out and start from scratch to have your dream space. Just pick your favorite colors, buy a few quarts of paint, and see what happens! My guess is that you will be SHOCKED by how different your space will look after a fresh coat of paint and a little personality. You do not need to have any special skills to do this project! I would recommend it to anyone looking to make a drastic change without spending an arm and a leg on an actual renovation.

If you missed the original kitchen posts, you can find them below.

Before & After: A Bright, Affordable DIY Kitchen Update

$200 Kitchen Update: Sources and Process

Be sure to follow Holland Avenue Home on Instagram for daily snapshots of life and encouragement towards thoughtful homemaking. Want to join the Holland Avenue Home community? Sign up for my Newsletter, then hop over to Facebook and join the Thoughtful Homemakers group for project inspiration, an encouraging community, and behind the scenes of Holland Avenue!

With love,

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Don’t forget to save this post on Pinterest!

Want to see some more affordable transformations?

If you want to see more of the kitchen, check out my Low Budget Pantry Makeover with Leftover Paint and $20 of Organization Supplies, or How-to Repurpose an Antique Table as a Kitchen Island.

Check out my Basement Family Game Room, One Room Challenge High Style, Low Budget Sunroom for more inspiration!

chalk painted kitchen cabinets two years later


Sofa Update with Comfort Works

Hello, everyone! I’m writing today to share an exciting living room update we recently completed in partnership with Comfort Works. When Ben and I were shopping for a new sofa last Spring, we looked at so many options from a lot of different companies. Our priorities were comfort, affordability, and durability. (Of course, I wanted it to look nice too!) I wanted a light gray couch that would be timeless and durable for years to come.

I liked the style of one of Ikea’s more expensive couches (modern, clean lines, came in light gray). But when we visited Ikea and tested all of them, the classic Ektorp was our favorite. It was the comfiest AND the cheapest, which is a win-win- if you ask me. (Or a win-win-win if you watch The Office). The major selling point for me was the fact that it is slipcovered. I was initially uneasy about spending so much money on a piece of fabric furniture, but when we decided on one with a slipcover, all of the worries went away! We love the chaise, though we rarely get to use it because our dog, Louie, has claimed it has her spot 🙂 .

The only downside to the Ektorp was that a light grey slipcover was not an option. Ikea does have the Ektorp in dark grey, but for $200 more than the classic beige.

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Before making the final decision to order the beige, I did a little slipcover research. I quickly found information about Comfort Works. They make beautiful replacement sofa covers for IKEA, Pottery Barn and Muji sofas (among other things!) They have endless fabric and color options to choose from, and their turnaround time is only a few weeks.

Ben and I decided to go with the cheaper Lofallet beige cover from Ikea, thinking that we could always buy a second slipcover from Comfort Works down the road. After living with the beige for a few months, I decided to reach out to Comfort Works about a partnership. To my delight, they said yes! (I am selective about the brands I choose to partner with, and I felt comfortable promoting Comfort Works on my blog because we were planning to purchase from their company at some point anyway.)

If you’re looking to update your own sofa, you can choose from a wide array of cottons, linens, velvets, wools, and heavy-duty or mixed blends. We decided to stick with a basic cotton cover because of our puppy.

While I initially thought I wanted a light grey slipcover, I ultimately decided on the darker charcoal grey Ektorp sofa cover in the Madison Coal Panama Cotton. Our dog has black fur, and it showed very badly on the beige cover. I was worried that her fur would also show on the light grey, but thought that the dark grey might conceal it better. (We vacuum the sofa a few times a week, but in between vacuuming it looked really bad!)

If you’re unsure about how a fabric will look in your space, Comfort Works offers physical fabric samples. I chose to skip this step because I was confident in our color choice, but if I were designing for a client I would absolutely order the samples.

The slipcover arrived much quicker than I expected, and it felt like Christmas morning when I got the package!

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The first step to replacing the slipcover is taking off the old one! This process can definitely be done by one person, but it goes much more quickly with a helper. Ben had to leave for an event right after we got the package, but I was determined to switch the covers before hosting Bible study that evening. I ironed the covers before putting them on, so the whole process took a little over an hour from start to finish.

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That night at Bible study, a few of the women asked me if we got a new sofa! My response was, “Basically!” I adore the dark grey color. It feels so much more inviting than the beige.

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The dark grey doesn’t feel too dark, and I was surprised that it didn’t make the room feel too dark either.

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When I pulled the new slipcover out of the bag, I had a moment of panic because I thought they accidentally sent me the velvet fabric instead of the cotton. Nope! Their cotton really is that much softer than our old slipcover. It definitely feels durable, but it is also ridiculously soft and cozy.

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Looks good from the back, too!

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Louie approves, which is good because she was an important part of our decision!

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We’ve had these covers for juuuust over a month, and I still love them just as much as the day we received them! I wanted to wait the full month to write my review so that I could give one from experience! I love that I don’t have to worry when we host friends with kids. We don’t want anything in our living spaces to be too precious, because this is where real life happens. If someone spills, I can just throw the cover in the washer. I haven’t had to wash this cover yet (*knock on wood*), but we were able to get many different stains out of the old covers.

The covers themselves are snug, but not too tight. They are easier to maneuver than the Ikea covers, and they fit the Ektorp frame and cushions perfectly. We thought it would be nice to have two covers so we could switch them out, but after feeling the quality of the Comfort Works covers I don’t know if I can go back!

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These photos were taken right after ironing the covers, so they do have a little bit of natural wrinkle. The fabric isn’t pulled super tight over the cushions (like a non-slipcovered sofa) so that you can easily remove them. This tiny bit of wrinkle doesn’t bother me, but adjust your expectations if you decide on a slipcovered sofa!

I’m incredibly happy with our Comfort Works slipcover, and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to update their sofa! You can check out all of their replacement sofa covers on their website.



Thank you, Comfort Works, for providing my new slipcovers! I received free product in exchange for this blog post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Living Room Update with Annie Selke

*This post was sponsored by Annie Selke. I only partner with brands I love, and all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own. Thank you for supporting Holland Avenue Home!*

Hi, friends! I’m here today to share a very exciting living room update with you. If you’ve been around Holland Avenue for a while, you’ll remember that our colorful kitchen rug recently made an appearance in the living room. I loved the warmth and color it added to the space, but the color was a bit overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong- I love color. In my opinion, totally neutral spaces are missing out on opportunities for warmth and cheer. But when I brought in the colorful rug, all of my other colorful accents seemed like too much. A few weeks later, it was time to bring out the Christmas decorations. I knew that all of the red and green would clash with my brightly colored rug, making the space feel too hectic and “thrown together”.

Here’s a peek into our living room decked out for Christmas while we still had the colorful rug. It is definitely cheerful, but it felt too overwhelming in person.

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I started looking for a more neutral rug that would allow me to keep the color in other places without feeling too crazy. We previously had a white rug in this room, but it was too small and too boring. (It is currently living in the dining room, and is the perfect size and color for that space!)

In my hunt for a neutral rug, I was only finding boring options that I didn’t love. I wanted something that still felt warm, but could help tone down the color craziness that was happening. You guys know that I love black and white gingham, so when I saw the Annie Selke Tattersall Woven Cotton Rug, I was in love. I love that the pattern is classic and traditional, but still feels fresh and modern. This plaid pattern would be right at home with many different decor styles, and provides a perfect base layer for either colorful or neutral spaces.

I reached out to Annie Selke to see if they would be interested in sponsoring a post, and to my delight, they said yes!

Louie was my little helper the day the rug arrived. I moved all of the furniture off of the colorful rug to give it a thorough vacuuming before rolling it up.

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We recently removed the carpet from the living room, and haven’t yet refinished the original hardwood floors. Luckily, the 9×12 rug is large enough to cover the weird dark spot on the floor until we can refinish it.

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The rug arrived in a large cardboard box, and was rolled up and folded in half inside a plastic cover.

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Even the ribbons were fancy! “Dash & Albert” is the name of the rug department of Annie Selke. If you’re shopping for your own Annie Selke rug, don’t be alarmed if you see the name “Dash & Albert”!

Louie needed to inspect the giant foreign object before we rolled it out across the whole living room.

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Luckily, it passed her inspection!

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Here are my toes for reference for the scale of the pattern. On their website, the 2×3 rug is shown no matter what size rug you select. In some of the reviews, people said they were surprised that the scale of the pattern is so small. I wasn’t surprised because I’ve seen other photos of this rug in actual homes, but if you’re expecting a large scale pattern it might be a bit surprising.

The following photo is how the rug appears on their website, which could make it seem like this part of the rug is the whole thing! Just be aware of the small scale pattern if you decide to purchase the rug for yourself.

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The black and white will look great in our living room year-round, but it is really perfect with our Christmas decorations.

Here’s a view of the other side of our living room, where most of the color lives! I was worried that the bold mustard yellow rocker might look strange with the bold black and white, but I love the combination. The modern plaid pattern seems to bring the vintage La-z-boy into the 21st century. (Also, I moved around the floral bird pillow for some of these photos, so that is why it is showing up in multiple chairs!)

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When I was looking at this rug online, I didn’t really pay attention to the word “woven” in the name of the rug. I suppose I expected the plaid pattern to be printed onto the rug like my other wool rugs, but the fibers really are woven to make the pattern! It looks exactly the same on the underside of the rug.

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I waited the full month after receiving the rug to write this blog post so that I could give an accurate review, and I can attest that this is a high quality rug that will make your space! The only negative I’ve found is that it really needs a rug pad underneath to prevent it from bunching up. It is thinner than wool rugs, but that doesn’t mean it is poor quality. The woven cotton makes it floppier than wool rugs, but the material is sturdy and well-made. It is very soft and comfortable to walk on, and having a rug pad underneath would make it perfect! I’m hoping to purchase a rug pad after Christmas to help with the bunching.

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I love getting a peek of the rug from the office. It grounds the space (pun intended), and is the perfect neutral solution for our cozy living room.

Annie Selke has a lot of wonderful rug designs, and after working with them I can highly recommend their company! The Tattersall Woven Cotton Rug is an A+ in my book, and I love that complements many different interior styles (including mine!)


I want to say a huge “Thank you!” to Annie Selke for providing this rug and sponsoring this post. I am very thoughtful about which brand partnerships I take on, and I say “no” to brands that are not a good fit. This partnership was exciting for me because I reached out to them, and I’m thankful that this blog allows me to work with incredible companies like Annie Selke! Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Living Room Update coming next week.

Thanks again, Annie Selke!

With love, 

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Minimal and Whimsical Christmas Decor DIY: Family Photo Santa Hats

A few days ago, I was thinking about how I could incorporate Christmas decor into our home without spending money or accumulating more stuff.

I like to go around the house and subtract some year-round decor before adding in the Christmas decorations so things don’t feel too cluttered. I removed a lot of decorative objects, but I kept all of our artwork and family photos.

Then I had a million dollar idea that I knew I could execute for zero dollars.

Santa hats on family photos.

I used supplies I had around the house to add a whimsical Christmasy touch to the decor we already had. It isn’t more stuff, but it is Christmas decor. Instead of junking up my shelves and flat surfaces with Christmasy things, I decided to add a festive touch to the “decor” we have all year! It was free, so simple, and I think it is pretty hilarious.

This post is less of a “how-to” and more of an “I did this and you can, too!”

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I grabbed a framed wedding photo from our living room shelf, and my favorite vintage bird poster that hangs above our bar cart. (The link to the poster is an Amazon affiliate link, which means I will make a small percent commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase anything on Amazon through my link!)

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I remembered I had this pom pom garland that I made with felt balls my Mom gave me. I took the white felt balls off of the garland to use on the hats for the wedding photo.

You can do this however you want, but I used red construction paper, white cardstock, and two felt balls.

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I laid the red construction paper over the photo to measure out the width and overall size for the hats.

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After cutting out the red part, I put them over the white cardstock to use as a reference for the size of the white trim.

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After I had all three pieces, I taped the white trim onto the red hat, the pom pom onto the top, and the whole thing onto the glass frame! I couldn’t find any glue in the house, but if you have glue, I would recommend using it to secure your pom poms.

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Because I only had two white pom poms, I used white cardstock for the birds’ hats.

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I don’t know about you, but I think that tiny birds wearing tiny hats is hilarious.

This project was free, easy, and adds a festive and comical Christmas touch to decor we already had! Knock yourself out making Santa hats for family photos, art prints, or anything else inside a glass frame. I have a few pieces of vintage art (without glass) that would be hilarious with Santa hats on the people, but I don’t want to damage the vintage prints.


That’s all I have for today, but I wanted to share my idea with you! I have a few other Christmasy posts coming soon, so stay tuned for those! To be reminded when new posts go live, enter your email in the “brighten your inbox” tab to the right.

If you decide to do this quick project, share a photo on Instagram with the Holland Avenue Home tag, #thoughtfulhomemaking so I can share it on my Instagram story! (Or send me your photos in a direct message!)

Thanks for following along with me here on Holland Avenue Home, and don’t forget to follow my Instagram for your daily invitation to thoughtful homemaking and resourceful decorating. 

With love, 

avery- signature

 

 

 


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

UPDATE! This project was shared by Apartment Therapy on December 3rd, 2018. There are a few details that were wrong in their post. I will address them as they appeared in the post.

1. The title is misleading. I did not create an “entirely new bedroom for only $350”. We kept a lot of existing elements, and added some personality through paint and textiles. $175 of the $350 total was for the Ikea dresser project.

2. My name is Avery, not Ashley.

3. The paint colors on the bedroom wall and the sunroom ceiling are not the same. The wall is Luxe by Magnolia and the ceiling is Early Riser by Magnolia.

4. We did not stain the nightstands. They are unfinished Tarva nightstands from Ikea.

5. We did add new artwork from Dandyroll Home above the bed, and the expense of the frames was part of my total cost.


Week Six is here and I am equal parts giddy, proud, and exhausted. This was my first experience with the One Room Challenge, and I am glad we decided to jump in and give it a shot!

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. You can follow along with my homemaking adventures on the Holland Avenue Home Instagram

*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any items from Target or Amazon through my links, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you*

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

Week 4: Hand-Painted Modern Chinoiserie Mural

Week 5: Ikea Dresser Makeover

Here’s a reminder of my vision for our Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom update.

Cozy Eclectic Master Bedroom Moodboard One Room Challenge

I stuck to the original vision, and I’m so happy with all of the choices I made! I also updated the attached sunroom, and did a little improvising with that design plan which involved taking some bold risks with paint.  But you’re not here to listen to me ramble…you’re here for the reveal!

Here is a reminder of what our bedroom looked like before.

One Room Challenge- Master Bedroom Before

It was very neutral, and gave me a wonderful blank canvas to start with. I took my time designing our bedroom, and kept things very minimal and neutral for two and a half years. If I could go back in time, I would still make all of the same purchasing decisions for bedding and furniture, because it only took a few accessories and an accent wall to make this space unique and colorful! If you don’t have a clear idea of your personal style, you can’t go wrong with a neutral base. Experiment with adding color through accessories and pillows because they will be easier and cheaper to switch out if you’re not happy with the finished design.

Now for the exciting part… the “after”!

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Headboard | Lamp (Similar. Gold instead of wood) | Linen Duvet and Shams

Bird Poster | Indigo Throw (Similar)

We kept all of the same furniture, but I added unique and colorful accents with textiles and an accent wall. The throw pillows are all made from fabric I picked up at Mood on my recent trip to New York City for the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Celebration. The indigo throw at the foot of the bed is from a very kind gentleman at the Chelsea Flea Market in NYC.

The art above the bed is very special to us. I love decorating with vintage maps, and Courtney from Dandyroll sent me these 1897 maps of Kentucky, Iowa, and Turkey (the three places my husband and I have immediate family). I wrote all about the prints and bedding in my Week 3 post, DIY Throw Pillows and Vintage Artwork: One Room Challenge Week 3.

On the wall opposite the bed, we have a new Ikea dresser! We already had one dresser (which I didn’t photograph because I had to move it out of the room to take photos of the bed!), but we needed a little bit more storage for large sweaters that need to be folded. We live in Iowa after all, so our winter clothing is the main component of our closet. We wanted to get the smaller, four-drawer Tarva dresser, but when we got to the warehouse it was out of stock! We decided to bring home the larger, 5 drawer Tarva dresser, and can use it in another bedroom or somewhere else down the road. I stained the dresser with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and Ben installed the new hardware we bought from Hobby Lobby.

Ikea Dresser Hack- One Room Challenge

Ikea Dresser Hack- One Room Challenge

I needed a place to store my jewelry, and the top of the new dresser works perfectly! I was styling the top today to take photos, and all of my earrings were in a pouch. I decided on a whim to use the vintage books as a makeshift earring holder, and it is now one of my favorite styling elements of the whole update. I didn’t see it on Pinterest or anything, but as I was trying to arrange the mustard tassel earrings on the tray, I decided to stick them in the book. It works great, and is an unconventional and whimsical way to store my earrings without having to buy a special earring tree!

Ikea Dresser Hack- One Room Challenge

Mirror | Wood Watch | Gold Earrings

Now on to my FAVORITE part of the update, the sunroom! It is just through that door to the right of our bed.

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It has been neglected for the two and a half years that we’ve lived in this house. Here is what it looked like when we moved in. Beige walls, damaged wood trim (from the extreme temperatures and direct sunlight this room experiences), dated wallpaper, and pale green shades. Yikes. We used it as storage for two and a half years, but I knew that this space had amazing potential.

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The desk and chair metal chair were here when we moved in. I sold them on Facebook marketplace! The giant chair, affectionately named Charles, was given to us by Ben’s parents. It is the comfiest chair in the entire world, and it also has its own zip code. It is HUGE. It won’t fit in our living room (the ottoman alone is significantly larger than our coffee table), so it lives out here. We moved it to the guest room to take some pretty photos with a cute vintage chair, but we will probably move it back on to this porch. (#reallife).

I started painting this space white months ago (and by months, I guess I really mean years at this point!). I gave up painting because we never used this room and winter happened and it gets COLD.

When I decided to do the One Room Challenge, I knew I needed to do more than just paint a wall and make some new pillow covers, so I decided it was time to give this room the love it deserves. I am SO glad I did. I am giddy just typing this because I’m so excited to show you the finished product.

I don’t know how to do things halfway, and I only do incredibly affordable designs, so instead of just painting the walls (like a normal person) or using some fun removable wallpaper (like a normal person that has a lot of expendable money), I decided to HAND PAINT A MURAL ON AN ENTIRE WALL. It was a crazy decision. But crazy decisions yield crazy results. And if you will allow me to toot my own horn, I am in love with what I created. The mural was inspired by the floral bird fabric (aka my spirit fabric) that I used for the pillows, and Rifle Paper Company’s Shanghai Garden print inspired the elements of my mural. I relied on my own creativity for the colors and details, but I need to give credit where credit is due!

Are you ready to see the finished mural? I’m so excited to finally share it with you!

Here it is!!!

Hand painted Chinoiserie Mural- One Room Challenge

Hand painted Chinoiserie Mural- One Room Challenge

At the last minute (and by “last minute” I mean at 1:00pm on the last day of the challenge!) we decided to paint the ceiling the most beautiful sage color. (Early Riser by Magnolia Home Paints!) It was previously a pale yellow color, which seriously needed an update after the rest of the room got a fresh coat of white. The sage is so pretty, and brings an unexpected pop of color to this already whimsical space. Why be boring when you can be fun?

Hand painted Chinoiserie Mural- One Room Challenge

I’m sharing this photo again just because I’m so excited about it. I used acrylic craft paint from Hobby Lobby ($10 total) to paint the mural. The yellow tufted chair was free on the side of the road on our town’s junk day (because someone is insane and was going to throw away this perfectly beautiful chair). The kilim rug is from our trip to Istanbul last year.

Painting the window sashes black was another bold design choice that really paid off. I could’ve gone all white on the windows, walls, and ceilings, but the contrast of the black sashes and the cheerfulness of the sage ceiling really add a lot to the finished design.

Big risks have big rewards.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back.

BIG RISKS HAVE BIG REWARDS!

I used to be afraid to take risks with design, and I looked to other designers’ spaces for inspiration. But where is the fun in that? Once I decided to design this master bedroom around what my husband and I love, what we already had, and what would be unique and special for us, I had a blast picking out fabrics and colors and taking bold risks like painting the ceiling green. I’ve never seen a bedroom or a mural or a space like these before, and that is the most satisfying part of doing what I love instead of what is trendy. If I followed the trends (board and batten accent walls, neutral everything, high-end throw pillows, brand new furniture) I might get a trendy and popular space (for a lot of dollars). But by choosing what brings a smile to my face, sourcing decor and furniture from around our home, and making bold color choices, I’ve created a space that my husband and I absolutely love and that no one else can copy.

The entire master bedroom and sunroom update cost a grand total of $350. (HALF of that total was for the Ikea dresser update!)

Here’s my entire cost breakdown. I want to be transparent about this, because you rarely see the cost behind images on Instagram or Pinterest or in the magazines. Instead of feeling bad that your house can’t look like an editorial spread, just remember that a high-end throw pillow can cost $100 or more! Remember that when you see a “perfect” bed or couch that is covered in a throw pillow army (that may cost a few hundred dollars, not including the designer couch!)

Master Bedroom and Sunroom Update Budget:

$40 – Fabric for pillows

$30 – Indigo throw

$10 – Craft paint for the mural

$20 – Quart of paint for accent wall

$30 – Gallon of white paint for the sunroom

$20- Quart of paint for sunroom ceiling

$5- Small can of black paint for window sashes

$150 – Ikea Tarva dresser

$25- Hardware for Ikea dresser

$5 – Small can of stain for dresser

$15 – Frames for vintage maps

Total: $350


 

The $70 I spent on the fabric and indigo throw was the majority of my “fun money” I saved up to spend when I went to New York City. We actually already had the black paint for the windows and the white paint I used on the sunroom walls and trim, and the ceiling paint is leftover from when I painted my office. I still wanted to share all of those things in my budget breakdown because we bought them at one point or another (even if it was spread out over a few months).

I hope that by being transparent about the cost of this update, I can encourage you that you don’t need to spend a ton of money to love your space. I must confess that the total of $350 feels very excessive to me, but every item we purchased for this space (whether paint, furniture, or decor) was intentionally and thoughtfully selected, and we won’t be changing it anytime soon! I am all about affordable decor and resourceful decorating, but at the end of the day, stuff costs money. It just does. I like to prioritize using what we already own (which is composed of secondhand furniture, thrifted decor, furniture handed down from family, and a handful of Target and Ikea items) Updating this space wasn’t necessary, but it has been an exciting and enjoyable process for me and I am incredibly thankful that we have the resources to make our house a special and beautiful home.

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Thank you so much for following along with my first One Room Challenge journey, and don’t forget to check out the amazing transformations from the other Featured Designers and Guest Participants!

With so much love, 

avery- signature

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Want to see more of my room transformations?

Before & After: A Bright, Affordable DIY Kitchen Update

Vintage Modern Guest Retreat

Don’t forget to follow along on my Holland Avenue Home Instagram for daily snapshots of life, resourceful decorating tips, and encouragement towards thoughtful homemaking.

 

 


Ikea Dresser Makeover: One Room Challenge Week 5

Hi, everyone! I’m back for WEEK FIVE 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

Week 4: Hand-Painted Modern Chinoiserie Mural

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

master bedroom moodboard

We’ve been out of town since last Thursday, so my progress this week is not very monumental! We went to Ikea in Kansas City on our way to visit our friends, and picked up their classic Tarva dresser. We wanted some extra drawer storage in our bedroom for sweaters and winter items that need to be folded and take up a lot of space.

We looked at all of the dresser options, and finally decided on the Tarva. It matches our Tarva nightstands, which Ben really liked!

We planned to buy the three drawer dresser since we don’t need a ton of extra space, but when we got to the warehouse, it was out of stock!

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This is the dresser we ended up purchasing. It was $30 more than the one we planned to buy, but we figured that the extra $30 meant we now have a second full size dresser that we could use in another bedroom down the road. I’ll use the top drawer for jewelry storage, and we can give our sweaters plenty of breathing room in the other four drawers!

 

We are staining the dresser with Minwax Dark Walnut stain, and replacing the standard Ikea knobs with black hardware from Hobby Lobby. I plan to hang our gold Target mirror above this dresser, and store my every day jewelry on top.

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Between today and next Wednesday, I have to paint the entire mural and finish up the sunroom. As long as I don’t get sick again, I should be able to do that no problem! I can’t believe that the 6 weeks is almost over!


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

one room challenge logo

(UPDATE: Don’t miss the final reveal in my Week 6 post below!)

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

 


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.

GUYS. CHINOISERIE IS BASICALLY A FANCY FRENCH WORD FOR FLORAL BIRD MURALS, AND THEY’RE BACK!

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!)

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

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

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

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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).

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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