Open Books Accent Wall

I wanted to share a small but pretty impactful update I made to the Ravenclaw bedroom in our modern Harry Potter-inspired Bnb. I added an open books accent wall above the bed, and I am completely in LOVE with how it turned out. It was also incredibly easy to install. Plus, you could even modify this DIY from the way I installed for a zero-damage version that would even be suitable for most renter situations.

I actually had a stash of random hardcover books that were left in our house after we purchased it. Most were things I wasn’t planning to read, so I decided to use them for this project in addition to 4-5 books I thrifted. I specially bought a few more books for this project because I wanted a few that had very yellowed pages, so there was a variety of page colors in the final design. This made the project VERY affordable as far as the supplies went toward making this open books accent wall.

Here’s everything I used:

-hardcover books
-command strips
-small nails + hammer
-scotch tape
-measuring tape

You could absolutely skip the nails and use all command strips, but you’ll have to use at least three times as many as I did, so that will add to the final cost. But if you’re worried about adding nail holes to your walls (like, if you cannot because of your rental agreement), I just want to put it out there that this project is still super possible.

Step One: Plan out your design. Measure your wall and lay out books and pages how you plan to have them on your wall space. One thing I planned for was how high off the bed to start my design, and keeping the bottom layer of books open flat so it wouldn’t be uncomfortable if you sit on the bed with your back to the wall. You may have to slightly adjust your design as you install, but starting off with a plan that is the size you want to cover is still super helpful.

Step Two: Add the books to the wall, starting in the middle of your design. I did this by adding one command strip to the spine of the book and sticking that to the wall. Then I added one nail on each side of the book, to hold it open. Sometimes I nailed down all the pages, and sometimes I left some open. I like the varied look this created.

Step Three: Add any loose pages, paper airplanes, or any other little accents you are adding in addition to the books. You can also fold or scrunch the pages of the books once they are hung to give them all a slightly different feeling. Or you can keep it more uniform! It’s totally up to you. I was hoping for my open book accent wall to feel almost like the books are coming alive and flying up to the ceiling as I wanted it to feel bookish but also whimsical. 🙂

This project took just under two hours once I had all my supplies. Super simple and easy for one person to do, even if you’re not super handy. And here’s one more more little detail I added to the Ravenclaw-inspired bedroom:

I bought this eagle figurine that I painted white and now he sits on the dresser in this room. It was pointed out to me that I didn’t have any eagles in the room, which is the Ravenclaw mascot. So now I’ve remedied this officially. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

P.S. I completed this a few weeks ago before we started to self-quarantine. Just wanted to make it super clear we’re not advocating anyone travel (especially on airlines) right now until the current health crisis changes. Elsie and I are actually planning to talk a little bit in the next podcast episode about how this is effecting our STR properties (short answer—very bad). Anyway, still proud to share projects from this home even though it’s not going to be a place for families to make memories in for a while.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Home Music Studio Tour

Super excited to share Trey’s home music studio with you today! This is simply a bedroom in our home (we have a 3-bedroom home—this is one of them) that Trey mostly uses to play music and record his band Ski Lift. His full-time job is running our app companies, but in his free time he’s a super talented musician and has been making and recording music since college. I think pursuing your creative passions in life, as a career or as a hobby, is really important. So I love that we have the space in our home for him to do this.

Over the past few months as we launched the A Beautiful Mess Podcast, he let me use his room and equipment to record since it has (more than) everything I would need. So next time you listen to an episode, you can picture me sitting in that pink velvet chair talking to Elsie over Skype.

This room in our house has always been Trey’s music room, and when we first moved in we painted a few of the walls black and added a rug we already owned to help with sound quality. Since I’ve been recording in the room, I can’t help but look around the space and feel like it needed a little makeover. There were a few functional upgrades I wanted to make in addition to making the space feel a little more put together. Moral of the story is don’t let me in your space unless you want me to try and redecorate it. Ha.

Here’s what I did:

-Clean and pare down stuff. The room had partially become a catch-all space (like a junk drawer) and had stuff we really didn’t need or use.

-Rearrange the furniture/instruments to create more space/flow. This mainly included moving the drums to the opposite corner and moving some amps and other items around.

-Added a small loveseat that is also a pullout twin bed. We often blow up an air mattress in this room for when nieces stay the night or as we need more beds (not often, but a few times a year).

-Decorate. I went with a green and blush pink palette. It’s the same green paint color (Behr Chard) we used in our living room and the blush pink is a color Trey wears a lot, and it felt nice with the green.

The room feels cozy and super functional and I’m happy to report that both Trey and I love being in the room. Success! I am thinking I am still going to add more of these foam squares to help the sound quality a little more, but other than that I am so, so happy with how this room turned out!

Thanks for letting me share my podcast studio—oh, I mean Trey’s music room with you. 😉 xo. Emma

Room Details: Green paint is Behr Chard, rug, loveseat, foam soundproofing squares, pink velvet curtains, pink velvet chair, plug in pendant light, guitar mounts, corner desk is a DIY. My outfit: sweater, jeans, boots.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop. Project Assistance: Ethan Randolph.

Harry Potter-Inspired Bedroom

Are you tired of seeing rooms from our Harry Potter-inspired Bnb house yet? Well, good news, this is the fifth and final bedroom and the last space I have to share with you from that house. If you missed any, just click on the “Bnb” tag at the top of this post and you can see tours of all our Bnb properties, including this one.

OK, so as we all know there are only four houses at Hogwarts, so with this bedroom I was out of houses to theme it after. I had considered making this bedroom something like “Dumbledore’s Office” or something along those lines, but due to time and budget concerns, in the end I decided to keep it simple and just add a wallpaper accent wall, bunk beds, and the most important feature—a giant stuffed animal dragon. Ha.

Since this bedroom is located on the first floor, it got its flooring upgraded along with the entire first floor. I am still SO in love with this flooring which I basically gush about in the living room tour, so I’ll spare you. After that, the only big changes included swapping out the ceiling fan (since I knew there would be a bunk bed in here), painting and adding a wallpaper accent wall.

The dragon does indeed have a name as Nova has already named him “Mr. Dragon” and requested her own dragon, which I got her for Christmas. 🙂 This is a pretty small bedroom, so other than the bunk bed the only other piece of furniture in the room is a small wicker side table.

The wallpaper is the peel and stick kind, which is great if you are looking for something temporary. I plan to keep this wallpaper up as long as it stays looking good, but still always nice to know it will be easy to remove one day when that’s needed. Items: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

This bedroom connects to a hallway bathroom that (not pictured here) has a shower. I really can’t believe this is the last tour I have to share of this house—thank you so much for letting me as I REALLY loved this project. xo. Emma

Room sources: wallpaper, bunk bed, area rug, dragon doll, curtains, wicker side table / HomeGoods

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Gryffindor-Inspired Bedroom

Today, I am sharing the another bedroom from the upstairs of our Harry Potter-inspired bnb—the Gryffindor bedroom!

This is probably the least dramatic before and after the internet has ever seen, but hey, just showing you what we really did. Mostly just removed some wallpaper, painted, and swapped out the ceiling fan. Other than that, we simply furnished and decorated this Gryffindor-inspired bedroom.

The color I chose for the accent wall in this room is Behr Morocco Red. Instead of bunk beds, I decided to do two twin-size beds plus a small dresser. But it’s the area rug and red velvet curtains that really make the room feel finished. I also found a cute stag table lamp at HomeGoods, which immediately made me think of Harry’s Patronus, so that felt like the perfect lamp for the nightstand. For the fan art above the beds, once again Keely helped me create something fun that speaks to this house. One print has a list of famous Gryffindor names, while the other has the house motto.

Here are a few Gryffindor-inspired bedroom items: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

And as I mentioned in the Hufflepuff-inspired bedroom tour, the bathroom in this room connects, so you can see another angle of it here. See the room sources before for more details and thanks for letting me share. Expecto patronum! xo. Emma

Room Sources: bed framesarea rug, nightstand, stag lamp and throw pillows / HomeGoods, Magical Objects poster, small dresser, owl cage, curtains, and door banner.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Ravenclaw-Inspired Bedroom

Today, I’m sharing a very special Harry Potter-inspired bedroom—our Ravenclaw-inspired room. According to the “official” online quiz, my house is Ravenclaw, so that’s why it’s special to me. 🙂 This bedroom is located in the upstairs of our Florida bnb and is the second master since it has a full bathroom attached (and also a huge closet).

Here you can see a before and after of this room. We mainly just removed some wallpaper and painted. Other than that, it was just a matter of furnishing and decorating. The big window in this room was something interesting to work with. I had a hard time finding blinds and curtains that would fit it well as one big window, so I decided to treat it more like two smaller windows. I’d never done that before and I am really happy with the outcome! I think it looks really nice and I slept in this room while I was there working on the house and the double curtains/blinds situation worked great for blocking light and allowing for great sleep as well. Double win.

I’ll admit, I don’t feel like Ravenclaw is represented all that much in the movies and it’s been a long time since I read the Harry Potter books (I am due for a re-read soon!), so I actually felt a little lost on what to do in this space to represent this Hogwarts house well. I landed on a bold blue accent wall (the color is Behr’s Express Blue), blue and purple-ish rug, and a fun little star and moon tapestry. I also added a faux raven to one of the side lamps for a touch of whimsy. Ha! This room is quite simple but I am really happy with it. I rarely decorate with blue and I actually really love the vibe of it—feels sort of soothing in this space.

Here are a few items from the space. My number one tip for updating a piece of furniture you buy from a big box store (like Amazon or IKEA) is to swap out the hardware. This can totally change the vibe of a piece! Items: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I loved that this bathroom has a double sink (in addition to a shower and tub too). I have a feeling for this reason alone it will likely be the room Trey and I stay in when we visit. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Room Sources: area rug, curtains, faux ravens (or maybe crows … who’s to say), side tables, side lamps, dresser, moon phase tapestry, bathroom rug.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Hufflepuff-Inspired Bedroom

Today, I wanted to give you a tour of the Hufflepuff-inspired bedroom in our Florida Airbnb. If you missed the first bedroom tour (Slytherin!), you can see that here. I wanted to make sure and tour Hufflepuff as one of the first rooms because, as it was pointed out to me on Instagram, the Hufflepuffs of the world are often forgotten.

Our Airbnb house has two stories. The upstairs has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Here’s some of the art and what the stairway leading to the bedrooms looks like.

Here is a before and after of this bedroom. We did change the carpet on the stairs and landing, but other than that most of what we did on the second floor was paint and furnish/decorate. I chose a golden yellow color for the accent wall in this room. This bedroom is on the smaller side so I decided to add a bunk bed to maximize both the sleeping area and floor space. We imagine that likely it will be families with children staying in this home so the two bedrooms that have bunk beds were designed with that in mind. Although I must admit, I also stay in Airbnb homes most of the time when I travel and I have sometimes ended up in a bedroom with bunk beds, so they work for adults too. 🙂

The bedroom is simple and uncluttered with the beds, an area rug, side table, and floor lamp. There is also a really fun owl bean bag—a great spot for reading. Ha! This room has black velvet curtains to keep the room dark for sleeping, but there’s plenty of light in the room otherwise. Keely helped me create a little framed piece of fan art with the Hufflepuff motto that hangs above the side table. And the paint color is Midsummer Gold from Behr.

Even though the room is quite simple every piece was chosen with care. Here’s a few things in the space: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (similar) / 5


Here is a peek into the bathroom. This bedroom as well as the adjacent bedroom (which I’ll share soon—it’s Gryffindor!) both have doors that connect to this bathroom. Check out the room sources below for more details. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Room Sources: bunk bed, curtains, area rug, side table, floor lamp, owl bean bag, Hufflepuff door banner, bathroom rug.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.