Lulu Frost studio via Domino MagazineLulu Frost studio via Domino Magazine

I'm sure I've mentioned by now, but my home renovations went a little (read—WAY) over budget (insert all the emojis here, especially the crying one). I'm embracing it as a life lesson because what else can I do? 

On the bright side, this budgetary meltdown has brought on a lot of DIY inspiration! I'm not sad about this at all. 

Right now I'm working on our entryway. I originally planned to wallpaper it. And I'd still love to do that in the future. Wallpaper is my favorite trend that is coming back in a BIG way. I would honestly wallpaper every square inch of our home if I could. Haha! But wallpaper can be very pricy when you factor together all the rolls you need as well as the installation (and I haven't even found a wallpaper person in Nashville yet).

For all these reasons, I am on the hunt for DIY alternatives that have a wallpaper look. I want to do something that can pass as wallpaper but doesn't necessarily have that "DIY" look. I'm also open to options that don't look like wallpaper, but still add some pattern or texture to the space. 

Here are a few options I'm considering, as well as inspiration! 

Awesome graphic patternLove this graphic wallpaper via MyDomaine. 

This image (as well as the opening image) inspire me because I think I could achieve this look with paint. I am leaning toward a busy, neutral pattern for the entryway. A lot of the wallpapers I love (like florals for example) are not something I could personally achieve with paint. These graphic patterns feel more do-able to me. So that's one option I am considering.

Fabric with starchRemovable fabric as wallpaper via Apartment Therapy

Did you know you can use starch to adhere fabric to a wall and it's removable? We did something similar in some built-in shelves in my last home using rubber cement. After a year (or so—I'm not sure), it removed perfectly with zero residue when we were getting the house ready to move. This appeals to me because I could do hand dyed or watercolor-style fabric. I do think it would be a LOT of time to do our (fairly large) entryway though. So I might save that idea for a smaller space, like one of our bathrooms that's mostly tile or a single statement wall somewhere. 

Add molding?Love this molding via Decor Pad

Another option is adding molding and painting it one or two colors. I was really inspired by Laura's closet doors. (They're even better in person, you guys!!) Adding molding would be fun because it adds a lot of texture and can look really luxe, but it's also simple and not super busy like some of my other ideas. Hmmm.... 

The downside here is that I think I do eventually want to wallpaper the entryway, and this option is WAY more of a commitment than some of the others. It's not really something I'd want to do as a temporary or phase one solution. If we go this route, we'll most likely keep it forever. 

Shiplap panelingShiplap paneling via Brandi Nell.  

The last option we're considering is shiplap paneling. We've already done some of this in Jeremy's studio, which has a slightly more rustic vibe than the rest of our home. I was also considering this for our laundry room. The thing I LOVE about shiplap is that it adds a lot of texture and you can cover over things you don't like (ugly paneling, heavy texture or in my case—unwanted, existing wallpaper) without having to "fix them" the legit way (removing wallpaper isn't exactly on the top of my dream DIY project list, you guys). 

The thing I'm not crazy about with shiplap is that it can look kind of country, which is awesome, but not what I'm going for in this space. But I've seen it styled really modern. So I'm not too afraid! 

Well, those are my options for now: a painted pattern, fabric as wallpaper, adding molding or DIY shiplap paneling. So much to consider! What would you choose? If you want to know what my entryway looks like as of now, check out my empty house tour

I'm really excited to get to work on this space! It's the first thing you see when you come into the house, so I feel like it's the perfect place to start. I'll share more details as we move forward! 

Thanks for reading, and I really would love to hear your advice or any ideas you have. xx- Elsie 

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via love thumbprint cookies because of the obvious reasons (sugar! butter!), but also because the process of making them is a real grown-up-playing-with-her-food moment. And that's kind of fun. I see why kids do it. :) 

These feature just a little bit of pumpkin. I don't know about you, but this time of year you can usually find a partially used can of pumpkin puree in my refrigerator most of the time. Not that it's the same can forever. I usually use it up within a week or so (and I don't always store it in the can, I often use tupperware), but still it seems that many pumpkin recipes that I enjoy (like homemade PSL syrup among other things) just don't use an entire 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree. So I'm left adding it to my morning oatmeal or dreaming up little treats to make. Which is partly how these cookies came to be.

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via  I also added a bit of whole grain flour to the batter for these and I think it really adds something, so give it a try. That, and then I've tricked you into buying whole grain flour. So now you've got to come on the journey with me. What journey, you ask? You know, the journey of substituting whole grain flour in almost everything you make for at least a few months just to see. It's pretty addicting I tell you.

Thumbprint cookiesPumpkin Thumbprint Cookies, makes a dozen.

1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour 
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the pumpkin centers:
1 yolk
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 oz melted dark chocolate (optional, but why not?)

In a mixing bowl stir together the butter and sugar until well combined. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until just combined. Then stir in the flours and salt. The dough should be fairly dense and hold its shape.

For the pumpkin batter, just stir together the yolk, pumpkin and cinnamon. This will kind of resemble baby food. :)

Best chocolate bar!Don't be jealous, but here's the chocolate I used for these. It's no secret that I LOVE Askinosie Chocolate, and they just started making these smaller sized bars for Target. Cute, right? 

How to make thumbprint cookiesAnyway, once you have your batters ready, divide the cookie dough into twelve small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Make a small indention in the center with your thumb and fill with a little of the pumpkin batter. Bake at 350°F for 15-16 minutes. 

Melt your chocolate (in a double boiler or the microwave) and drizzle it over the top. If pumpkin and chocolate just aren't for you, then you could use white chocolate for a different flavor or dust with a little powdered sugar. Or, easiest of all, leave them unadorned. They do already have sugar in them so you don't HAVE to add more. 

Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies (via These are the perfect little cookies to go with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee, so that's my serving suggestion to you. I've been trying to switch to tea in the afternoon instead of coffee because I am getting old and I suspect the coffee keeps me up at night. But man do I love coffee, so it's hard to remember to switch. The struggle is real. OK, bye now. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   I have to confess that I learned something new the other day...did you know you can put outdoor lights inside your home as well? I never even look in the outdoor lighting section when searching for indoor lights, but when browsing for an affordable replacement for some bathroom lighting, I came across some outdoor fixtures that were just what I was looking for! While the reverse isn't necessarily an option (you can't always use indoor lights outside), outdoor lighting usually has extra moisture protection around the electrical parts. So that actually makes them a great choice for places like indoor bathrooms or kitchens where you can run into water or steam. 

Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   This is the lighting fixture that came with the house in the master bathroom. The shape of the shade and fixture arm just didn't fit the overall vibe that we were going for.

Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   We are planning on installing a few globe lights throughout the house to compliment the mid-century design, so these simple outdoor hanging globes were just what I was looking for—and they were so affordable too!

Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   This was the first light I've ever installed by myself, and while it's a little scary to do the first time you try it, it's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you haven't hardwired a light yourself yet, just follow Mandi's tutorial, and you'll be a professional in no time!

Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   Use outdoor lights as indoor lighting-great idea! (click through for more)   I really like how simple and clean the globe lights look and the black base really helps to balance out the dark countertop. It's certainly useful to know that you can use exterior lights as well when you are scouring the options for your own home. So next time you are looking for lighting, check the outdoor aisle as well! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!Today, I'm excited to share the progress I'm making on a rainbow glassware display in our breakfast nook. 

If you watched my empty home tour, you might remember that this rainbow glassware display was one of the things I had planned since pretty much the day we first saw this house. We already have plenty of other spaces for our white dishes and clear glassware, so this little built-in in the breakfast nook was the perfect spot to do a fun pop of color! 

I don't thrift shop or visit flea markets as much as I did in my twenties (which was once or more weekly), but I still have a soft spot for vintage. So it's been fun for me to have one focused collection to work on this year. Sometimes I just like to go and browse on a Sunday afternoon, and this collection has given me something to search for so I don't bring home knick knacks (or as my husband would call it, "clutter"). 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware! I've enjoyed the slowness of this collection. I probably could have done it faster, but I gave myself a budget for each piece (I try to keep each piece under $3, and $5 when it's an extra pretty/special one!) At flea markets, depression glass (and fake depression glass) can be pretty pricy...sometimes up to $20 for one piece in Missouri. I skip over those, reminding myself that I've already found plenty at the thrifts for .25 cents each! 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!  In the beginning I planned which colors I wanted to collect. I skipped red because it's just not my favorite in this kind of glassware (too goth?), and I skipped orange because it's really hard to find. 

I've put extra effort into finding pink, turquoise and bright yellow (not amber) because those are the colors I think I will use the most for table settings. By the way, in case you are wondering, I 100% plan to use this glassware for parties and cocktail nights. It is a pretty collection, but it's not just a collection. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!   The details on the individual pieces are really fun! This goblet with stars makes me smile.

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!    As you can see, I still have some gaps and holes to fill. I'm fine with it being a long-term collection. Maybe by the time I have the breakfast nook tour ready to share, it will be full, but maybe not. 

In progress- collecting colorful glassware!      Here's where I am today. You can see they still have tags and stuff on them. I was just kind of putting them up so I could see what colors I need more of. Basically every color, huh? Green and yellow are filling up. Pink and purple are more challenging to find.

Anyway! That's my little flea market/thrift project. I'm looking forward to seeing it come together! 

Anyone in the Nashville area have any suggestions for the best flea market and thrift shops? And while I'm at it—places to buy plants? :) 

Thanks for letting me share! A lot of you guys have requested that we share more progress reports instead of just waiting till the big before/after reveal. So I'm going to do more of that with this house. I hope it will allow you to feel more involved in the process from start to finish. That would be awesome! xx- Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions

Eggplant Parm Meatballs (via Oh man, you guys, I'm really excited about this post today. We're focusing on a few of my favorite things: mainly saucy pasta. But we're also gonna make some truly amazing meat-less meatballs. And, even more surprising, we're gonna use eggplant as our main ingredient. This is a bit weird for me because, as I've confessed once before, I'm not a huge eggplant fan. But these eggplant parm meatballs are truly out-of-this-world good. You'll just have to try them to see what I'm talking about.

Eggplant Parm Meatballs (via  Crispy, pan fried eggplant meatballs on top of whole wheat linguine (or whatever noodles you prefer) with your favorite homemade or store bought tomato sauce—it's one of those dinners you'll look forward to all day long. And some days you need that, you know? :)

Real life eggplant emojiEggplant might not be my all time favorite vegetable, but they sure are pretty!

Eggplant parm meatballsEggplant Parm Meatballs, makes a dozen, enough for 2-3 servings.

2 cups finely chopped eggplant (about half the eggplant you see pictured above)
2/3 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes (I used dry, fresh is good too)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2/3 cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, or a combo of the two)
1/2 to 2/3 cup bread crumbs

6 oz. uncooked pasta (again, this is for 2-3 servings)
tomato sauce, I like a LOT, so I'll just say 3-5 cups here so you can decide how much you like
fresh basil and more Parmesan to serve

First heat the water in a small pot. Once hot, remove from heat and add in the TVP. Cover to soften. You can do this in the microwave by heating the water and then removing, add TVP and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Up to you. Then stir in the soy sauce. 

What is TVP?Are you thinking, "What the heck is TVP, and where do I buy that?" I hear you. It's one of those sort of weird ingredients until you start using it—then you get hooked. Usually I find this in the bulk area at larger grocery stores or health food stores. TVP, as stated above, is short for textured vegetable protein. It's absolutely fantastic for making veggie burgers or meatballs as it adds a really great texture. If you want to know more, you can do what I did and google it. I highly recommend adding this to your cooking arsenal if you haven't already—it's delicious although a touch "astronaut food" I must admit. :)

Best meatless meatballsIn a large mixing bowl, combine the softened TVP, chopped eggplant, spices, cheese, egg and flour. Stir to combine, the mixture should become almost dough-y. Form into balls and roll in the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate or pie pan, and pop in the freezer for a few minutes. 

Best vegetarian meatball recipeWhile your pasta is cooking and your tomato sauce is warming, you can cook the meatballs. Pan fry in a generous amount of oil for 11-12 minutes, rotating every 2-4 minutes so they don't stick to the pan and also so every side can get a little crispy. 

If you want to skip the pasta, you can totally just dunk these in tomato sauce once they are cooked and cooled enough to handle. Yum!

Eggplant Parm Meatballs (via you don't consume all the meatballs the night you make them, let the leftovers cool a bit and then store them in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. You can rewarm them at 375°F for 10-12 minutes and then eat them by themselves, over pasta, or on top of a salad. Might sound weird, but I did this with some of my leftovers and it was delicious! Enjoy. xo. Emma

P.S. Still not feeling the eggplant? Try these vegetarian meatballs made with tempeh. Yum!

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.


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