Favorite Accent Wall Decor to Hide a TV

Here is a small update I made to our modern Harry Potter-inspired Bnb the last time I was there. This is my favorite accent wall decor to hide a TV—empty monochromatic picture frames. The living room wall behind the TV was just feeling a little empty and unfinished to me. Originally, I didn’t want the wall to compete with the Platform 9 3/4 inspired wall that is right beside it—I was afraid it might feel like too much or be too cluttered visually. But once the space was done, I realized it just felt a little unfinished, so I added this accent wall.

I actually have basically the exact same type of wall in my personal home, just in green. So that’s how you know I love it. Ha. It’s super simple to install (just command strips and nails) and fairly inexpensive if you can thrift all your frames, which is what I always do. Then it’s just a matter of taking them apart, cleaning or removing any hardware as needed, painting, and hanging them up. I love how the TV kind of disappears into the space, but when it’s on and in use it’s actually even more visible with the darker background.

That’s the main update I wanted to share, but might as well throw in a couple more things from our Harry Potter-inspired Bnb.

In the Gryffindor bedroom, I added a Marauder’s Map to the wall along with some vinyl wall decals of footprints. Mischief managed!

And in the Ravenclaw room, I added this open book accent wall, which I shared more about how to DIY here. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

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

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:

Supplies:
-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.

Episode #22: The Business Side of BNBs

Hello! Happy Monday. This week we’re tackling a much-requested topic—the business side of short-term rentals. As many of you know, we own a few properties we rent out on Airbnb (I’ll link them below) and we’ve learned so much from how to purchase the right property, to setting it up and running it in a way that fits with our lifestyle.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

-I thought we’d start out by linking to our properties page. This is where you can see all our properties that are currently available to rent.

Our thoughts on short-term rentals (this is a more serious post about best practices and our opinions on short-term renting). You can also see a bunch of our bnb room tours here.

Things to have checked off before investing in real estate (aside from primary home):
-Be mostly out of debt. Pay all debts besides mortgage and school debt.
-Have a safety net (emergency fund) of 3-6 months living expenses set aside.
-Have basic needs met, such as reliable health care.
-Be saving for retirement (401(k) or otherwise).

-Ramit’s book—I Will Teach You To Be Rich. We recommend this book if you’ve found yourself with some money to invest, but fear or hesitate getting started.

-A link to our Nashville property managers, Epicbnb.

-“What are you looking at?” segment.
-Emma’s book: The Husband’s Secret 

-Elsie’s coffee table books to get inspired: Avedon Fashion, Kate Spade Inspiration Book, Tim Walker Pictures, Georgia O’Keefe and Picasso.

We’re sending love to everyone listening this week! A lot of our site is pre-scheduled and we want to contribute to a sense of normalcy in such a panicked time. If you are one of the many people who has decided to self-quarantine, we hope our podcast will keep you company this week. Stay safe! xx

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.