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:

-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.

DIY Trim Accent Wall

It’s been a few years since I shared anything from my master bedroom, but I recently completed a super fun and (shockingly) simple accent wall I wanted to share with you. This could totally work in a number of spaces in any home but I love how it almost feels like the entire wall behind our bed is one giant headboard now. Ha.

This post is sponsored by Agility Bed. Maybe you already heard me talk about them in our podcast here … well, we’re partnering up on a fun giveaway! You can enter at the end of this post, so make sure to check it out!

We upgraded our bed to a king size this past year and we’ve had our Agility Bed mattress long enough now that I feel I can confidently share my review—which is that we both LOVE it. If you aren’t familiar, Agility Bed mattresses are a hybrid mattress so they are made of both foam and micro coils. The result is a super comfortable bed that sleeps cool. We also got a sheet set and pillows. I was initially a little skeptical about the sheets as I wash our sheets often (since we let our dogs sleep in our bed and, well, there’s a lot of dog hair) and I didn’t know how well they would hold up, but I was shocked that they actually get softer with washings. (!!!!!!!!) And their pillows come in traditional or side sleeper. We both got side sleeper and it’s the best pillow I’ve ever had. For real.

I wanted to try to show you the pillow in this post just so you could really see how it looks and maybe get an idea of how good it is. It’s a cool foam material. But it’s hard to make that translate in photos. I tried!

But that reminds me of one of my very favorite things about Agility Bed. They offer a 100-day risk-free trial. No joke! So you don’t have to take my word, you can try out their mattresses without feeling stuck if you don’t love it. I also love to see an offer like this because it tells me that the company is very confident you will love their product. And if you do decide to get an Agility Bed mattress, be sure to use our code: “ABM” to get $200 off your purchase. This accent wall is the visual upgrade, but the mattress and pillows are the functional upgrade in this room. And now you know. But let’s get back to this accent wall. In a nutshell, you simply use any trim (base boards, moulding, etc.) to add a design to a wall, then paint everything one color. It gives the wall a visual texture, but it’s not like a mural or wallpaper as it’s much more subtle.

It’s a very similar technique to this post about adding trim to closet doors (or any door).

Here is our bedroom wall before I started. I was aiming to make the space feel more finished and tied together visually, but I didn’t want to change where the art hung or the lamps (as I was happy with all of that).

We used a very small, thin trim to create my design. I was going for kind of an X but not a perfect X as that seemed, just not quite what I wanted for our bedroom. I wanted a clean, modern design but nothing too literal (if that makes sense?). There are SO many different kinds of trim and different kinds of designs you could create. This will change the supplies and the final look a lot, so I’m really just describing the project knowing that anyone doing this is going to have to customize it to their space.

You will need some kind of saw (we used a chop saw) for this project. You may also want a nail gun, but you could also add the trim to the wall by taping in place and nailing in by hand. Either way, use very small nails and take care as you work.

Cover/fill in all the nail holes with wood filler, as well as any cracks or seams like where two trim pieces had to be put together. Once that fully dries (check the package), sand down and prime.

Tape off any areas you need, then paint. Since my wall and especially my ceilings are textured, taping helped but I needed to go back and do touch ups at the end as well. The more textured your surface, the harder it is for tape to work and keep your edges perfect. Just go back in with a small brush—you’ll get there!

Also make sure to remove any outlet covers or other items (like the wall lamps I had) before painting.

I LOVE how this turned out! And I knew I did a good job when Trey saw the new accent wall once it was completely done and said, “Oh. It looks like a hotel room in here.” Husband approved. 🙂 Thanks for letting me share!

Now about the giveaway!We’re partnering with Agility Bed to give one lucky winner a 4-piece Sateen Sheet Set in the size of their choice and a set of cool memory foam pillows in your choice of traditional or side-sleeper style. I know I mentioned it earlier in the post, but I am obsessed with these sheets and pillows and am so excited one of you will get a set of each! To enter, just use our gleam widget below. The giveaway will close on 1/31/2020 at midnight CST and is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop. Project Assistant: Ethan Randolph. In case you are curious, my sweater is from Ban.do.

AGILITY BED – Win a Set of Sheets and Pillows!

Rainbow Corner Accent Wall DIY

There are some rooms that just ooze charm even when the room is completely empty—tall ceilings, large windows, details in woodwork or molding are all things that can give a room a head start on charm. Sometimes, however, you have a room that has none of those details and it can feel really difficult to add that personality into the space, and all the bedrooms in our ’60s ranch home have that particular challenge. When converting my office/craft room into a playroom for our daughter, the first thought I had when I pulled out all the office stuff was “Wow. This looks so boring.” And I knew I had to add a fun detail to the walls to make it come alive a bit.

I was browsing through the A Color Story App Instagram feed a few months ago and came across this photo and I loved the neutral rainbow that spanned the corner of the wall (anyone know where that wall is BTW, I haven’t been able to find it!). Since you mainly see the far corner of the playroom as you pass it in the hallway, I thought a similar corner rainbow would be perfect for the playroom happy vibes. Of course, I had to add a little more pink shades to the color mix, but I just couldn’t help myself …

-paint in various shades for each rainbow strip (I used from top to bottom Valapar’s Champagne Pink, Baby Blush, Opal Blush, Warm Cappuccino, and Pink Wink)
-painter’s tape and scissors
-white paint (or whatever color your main wall color is)
-paint brushes and rollers
-cardboard and light colored color pencil for guide

First, you’ll want to use pieces of painter’s tape to make the largest arch of your rainbow. I would tape where you want both sides to end, then put tape at the highest point where you want the middle of the arch to be, and then fill in the rest from there. You can make your rainbow tall and skinny, fat and wide, lopsided—whatever you want!

Once you get a general outline of where your outer rainbow band will be, you can play connect the dots with the tape and get your outer edge taped off. Depending on how many colors you want to use in your rainbow, you’ll need to decide how wide you want each rainbow stripe to be. I wanted my stripes 10″ wide, so I cut a 10″ piece of cardboard and then taped a very light pink colored pencil to the other side so I could trace a 10″ gap and know where to place the next strip of painter’s tape. I suggest using a very light colored pencil for this as I’ve had too many instances of using regular pencils for marking where it was difficult to cover over with my light colored paint. Use your width tracer and run the non-pencil side against the tape mark of your rainbow band so it creates another line 10″ away. Use your painter’s tape to tape just on the outside of the pencil mark so your marks will be painted over and hidden. It can be a little difficult to make an arch with straight painter’s tape, so I would either suggest cutting a piece of tape down the middle so it’s a lot thinner (and easier to bend into an arch shape) or you can make some cuts into the outside edge of the tape to about the halfway mark so you can bend the tape to your line more easily.

Once you get your first section taped off, you’ll want to take the main color of your wall (white in my case) and paint some of that color paint all along the edges of your rainbow band where the tape meets the rainbow. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but using the wall color where the tape seam hits will actually give you the cleanest line of your rainbow color when you go to take the tape off! Basically, if there is going to be any paint bleed on the tape line, the bleed will be the wall color and so it will disappear into the wall when you go to take the tape off. Believe me, I’ve done it without this step in the past and I’ll never skip it again! It works really well.

Once your wall color is dry, paint your rainbow band color onto the stripe with as many coats as you need (with adequate dry time in between). Once your paint is dry, you can peel off the tape and your first stripe is done!

Repeat by taping off the outer edge of the next layer and then using your cardboard width tracer to show you where the next tape line should be. Tape your second line, paint with your wall color along the edges, and fill with your main color. Repeat until each layer of your rainbow is done.

You are welcome to measure out precisely the space between each rainbow band so they are all perfectly spaced, or you can just eyeball it like I did. I’d say it came out really cute without having to spend a lot of time trying to make it all perfect. Light Fixture / West Elm, Art Print / Society 6 I love that this is a relatively easy statement wall (mostly a lot of waiting between coats), but it turned out SO CUTE and I adore it. It makes me so happy to pass by the wall every day now and being in that room feels so much more joyful than it did before. One thing I decided on before starting the wall is that I would be OK with an imperfect rainbow shape, so I will say that also helps the process go a little faster if you aren’t measuring every arc and curve to perfection. Also, feel free to complete your corner rainbow in whatever colors you want to fit your decor! I almost did this in an all neutral scheme (like tans and camels), buuuuuut I missed the pink too much so I had to add some in—whatever works for you! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Platform 9 3/4 Inspired Accent Wall

Get ready for more Harry Potter-inspired decor posts! Today, I wanted to share a little more about the Platform 9 3/4 wall I built in the living room at our Florida house. This is the very first thing I knew I wanted to do in the house once I had decided my theme. I just felt like this wall was the perfect spot to have something that guests could take a photo in front of or just enjoy. And I knew I wanted to have a Platform 9 3/4 somewhere in my Harry Potter-inspired house. It’s how young wizards and witches enter the train station to head to Hogwarts, hidden from Muggles. And I just think it’s really extra special. I visited one they had set up in the London Underground (Is there more than one? Maybe there’s only one?) when I was in college with my friends and, like total cool kids, loved getting our photos in front of it. Ha! So I just knew I had to build one for this house.

Here is the wall before and after. You can see the full living room tour here where I talk more about the floors and paint we choose for this space. You can see I also updated the carpet as well (hoping the darker color will hold up to traffic from guests over the years).

I am going to tell you how we built this wall and what items we used. BUT I realize probably no one out there is going to build this in their home. It’s, well, a bit much unless you also have a Harry Potter-inspired house. I still thought it would be fun to share though even though it’s one of those projects I don’t see anyone replicating.

My contractor, Steve Dennis, cut and hung the faux brick paneling. He also helped me to cut the trolley/cart down so that’s it’s “disappearing” into the wall. Ha! This is probably the strangest job he’s ever been asked to do with a client. But he was really cool about it, he said his daughter was a big Harry Potter fan so I think he gets it. 🙂

Once the brick was in place and the cart was secured to the wall, it was just a matter of painting the brick and part of the cart. Then we screwed the suitcases (they are not real, made of a thin wood) and birdcage in place. I got the sign from Etsy and I loved that the style went with my overall design.

If you are a fan of the books and movies, you can see, very obviously, that this is an interpretation of the Platform 9 3/4. It’s basically giant fan art. Ha! I was aiming to make the house feel modern and my colors were mostly white, grays, and black, so this is just a take on this fictional place. It’s not meant to look exactly like the movies—nothing in the house really is (except some official merchandise that we purchased).

As I’ve shared peeks of this online, a lot of people asked why I didn’t design this wall to look more like Harry Potter’s bedroom (the cupboard under the stairs). There is an actual space under the stairs in this house, so I made that into that space. As you can see, I really didn’t invest a ton of time or money into this space. I had a budget to furnish this entire house and I didn’t want to waste too much of it on a space that hardly anyone would use. But I knew it would make fans smile when they opened this door, so I wanted to do something to give a nod to Harry Potter’s childhood bedroom. There’s even a calendar on the wall where “he’s counting down the days until he returns to Hogwarts.” 🙂

Since I cut the cart so it could appear to be disappearing into the wall, it doesn’t stick out that much from the wall. So it’s very easy to walk around as you leave the living room to go into the kitchen. It’s maybe one or two inches deeper than a console table would be. Everything is bolted and screwed together so hopefully we don’t have any issues with the cart moving from the wall … you’d have to really try to make that happen, so I am hopeful guests will be respectful and just enjoy this accent wall for what it is—decor and maybe a photo opportunity. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Accent Wall Details: Cart / Suitcases / Birdcage / Faux Owl from JOANN / Sign / Paint and Brick Paneling from The Home Depot.

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Amber Ulmer and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop. Project assistance from Steve Dennis.

Removable Star Wallpaper DIY

I am a little bit obsessed with refreshing my home right now. Since we’ve been here for almost four years, it feels like a good time to give some mini-makeovers to different areas of the house as I have time, and lately my sights have been set on our den area. I’ve always liked this room, but it started feeling a bit boring to me lately and I knew that a fun wallpaper pattern would really help. But I just never want to deal with actual real wallpaper, so we partnered with JOANN to come up with a different solution! I wanted something easier to apply and removable so I could easily change it out in a year or two when I wanted something different. The thought of cutting out a million shapes for this large space was not something I have the time for in this season (hello, working mom life!), but I knew if I cut out the shapes with my Cricut it would be totally doable for that many shapes, they would all be perfectly cut (which my brain likes a lot), and I could do it all from the comfort of my living room—yay!

-Cricut cutting machine
-Cricut cutting mat (one comes with the Wild Rose Cricut bundle)
-removable wall vinyl (I used 6 rolls to complete my large den)
-X-Acto knife and ruler
-star templates (download in post copy below)

I used the Cricut Wild Rose bundle exclusively at JOANN for this project and they send you everything you need to get started on just about any craft project you could have in mind with over 40 different vinyl options as well. The bundle includes the Cricut Explore Air 2, which can cut over 100 materials including speciality papers.  First, I created this star shape in Photoshop and then downloaded it into the Cricut Design Studio to size it for the Cricut to cut. You can use this star template for a normal 12″ x 12″ mat (one comes with the bundle already), but since I had a lot of shapes I got an additional 12″ x 24″ mat and used this template so I could cut out double the amount at once.

Once I had my design set up, it was merely a matter of pressing a few buttons and my decals were cut! You could use the transfer tape that comes with the Cricut bundle to transfer each star to your wall, but I thought it would go faster if I just treated the decals like stickers, peeling them off the backing as I went, and that worked out just fine. I peeled off the negative space around the decals first, leaving just the stars, and that made them a lot easier to peel off as well. I would print a page, apply a page, print a page, apply a page back and forth until the job was done.

You can totally go rogue on this and just start sticking decals wherever you like, but my brain needs to make sure it’s all balanced first. So I printed out some of the stars at actual size and taped them to the wall first so I could map out where I wanted each star to go. It didn’t take that much longer to do this step, but it really helped them all look balanced and spaced evenly apart. Once you have your spots mapped out, you can start peeling off your decals and sticking them to the wall! You’ll notice that I also cut some decals so it looks like the pattern goes all the way up to the edges of the walls and door frames, and I think that extra step makes it look a lot more like wallpaper so I would recommend that too (you can use an X-Acto knife and ruler to lightly cut the decal where you want before peeling it up).

I have a more unique issue of having ’60s paneled walls in that room, so I did have to cut a small section out of certain stars to account for that paneling groove. If you have “regular” flat walls, you won’t have to do that. I originally tried to just push the decal into the groove, but it would pop back out and wouldn’t lay smooth until I just cut that section out.

Once I had all the big stars on the wall, I set up my Cricut to cut the small stars (here’s the little star template for a 12″x12″ mat and one for the longer 12″x 24″ mat) and repeated the process of moving around some little mock up stars printed on regular paper to determine the spacing. Once I added my little stars onto the wall, my wallpaper was complete!

I. Love. My. Walls! I mean, if I was shooting for a little more personality in this space, then I think I nailed it, as that’s exactly what I got. I love that I was able to dream up the exact design I wanted and make it all happen so quickly and the fact that I can eventually pull it all off when I need a change is a giant benefit as well. I can definitely see doing this method in other rooms around the house as well for future projects too. Hope this idea helps brighten up a room in your house as well! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.