With so much change and turmoil going on around us, this may be a perfect time to take control of some of the things in our lives. Kick out with the old, and bring in the new!
Spring cleaning is an exciting time, not just because we get to purge our rooms, closets, and shelves of junk we’ve accumulated during our winter hibernation, but because we get the chance to walk into a new season clutter-free. With a clear living space comes a clear mind, and with spring approaching, the clear space also serves as a blank canvas for fresh, new decor and home improvement projects.
As with any new undertaking—whether spring cleaning or redecorating—major planning is needed. What do you want to take into the new season, and what should you toss? What old items can be repurposed, and what’s a lost cause? Developing a solid plan allows you to approach the project with a clear vision of what you have, and what you want the end result to be. And sometimes, especially with home makeovers, the best plan of attack is stepping back and hiring a professional.
Richmond’s own Tiara Holloway is one of those professionals who make revolutionizing your space an enjoyable and seamless transition. The owner of Vivacious Interiors by Tiara, Holloway has spent her entire life traveling and gathering inspiration for home makeover projects, and the past three years specifically working with clients in the Richmond area. Her clientele is those who desire a change in their bedroom, living area, or the entire home and aren’t sure of where to start. With an eye for colors, textures, and thrifted items that can be repurposed, Holloway’s an expert at transforming a space on a budget.
From complete home projects to toddlers’ bedrooms and even a virtual client in Texas, Holloway places emphasis on the planning period, advising her clients to gather inspiration from various sources before making any purchases.
“I always tell a new client to pull inspiration from everywhere before we have a consultation,” she says. “I have them pull from Pinterest, Instagram, Google—wherever—to get a complete vision, from color combinations to textures and furniture.”
From there, Holloway shares her own vision and ideas for the space. Her ideas are typically inspired by her travels, where she’s exposed to various cultures, art types, and textures. She pays careful attention to new designs and color schemes and finds creative ways to combine them with classic pieces for an all-new look. While some clients have a specific idea of what they want for their room or home, most sign on the dotted line, provide a budget, and trust her to transform the space like only she can.
The first order of business is usually the paint. While many believe that white is the only color that truly opens up a room, Holloway’s best-kept-secret is gray.
“If you use bright colors, it will definitely make a room look bigger,” she explains. “My biggest secret, though, is using different shades of gray instead of your typical white. It’ll make a room look ten times bigger than what it is. Even with dark colors, as long as the room is a 20’x20’ or 20’x18’, with enough natural lighting, even black on the walls will make the room look larger and more open.”
Another paint trick she suggests, particularly in the kitchen, is chalkboard paint in place of backsplash or on an empty wall.
Not only is it ideal for writing recipes and/or grocery lists with chalk above the stove, but because the paint is magnetic, you can attach your children’s artwork, take-out menus, or any notes to family on the wall. Best of all, parents of small children can finally let them write on the wall and simply wipe it clean afterwards.
After choosing the paint, Holloway gets down to the furniture, first deciding which items can be repurposed before making any purchases.
“Dressers, nightstands, and cabinets are the biggest items that can be repurposed,” she explains. “Before going out and buying an entire new piece of furniture, I see if I can change the hardware and paint color. Changing the knobs makes a huge difference. Adding mirrors is a really big thing now, too. I’m also known as the Spray Paint Queen; I spray paint bannisters, picture and bed frames—you name it, I can make it look brand new.
In addition to painting and changing hardware, Holloway also does light reupholstering. In fact, she once transformed a dining room table and chair set a client owned, a set passed down from her great grandmother. While she didn’t want to get rid of the family heirloom, she wanted a fresh new look in her home, so Holloway found a nice fabric, reupholstered the set, and purchased a shoe rack that she also reupholstered and repurposed.
“Always look for ways to keep a little money in your pocket,” she advises. “Whether with old items or headboards, reupholstering goes a long way.”
Holloway’s professional Instagram account showcases her incredible work, and has even caught the attention of HGTV, who reached out to make her an official buyer of luxury furniture brands across the nation. Every April and October, she travels to High Point, North Carolina to meet with various furniture designers. Even still, she remains committed to teaching clients to save thousands of dollars during home makeover projects, advising them that they don’t have to break the bank with expensive items.
“Take your time with purchases, and shop around,” she advises. “It’s tempting to want to buy everything at once, but I go to HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Burlington, Goodwill, Salvation Army, and even yard sales to find pieces that transform a room.”
You’ll be surprised how many websites and stores offer items that complement one another; you really don’t have to buy everything from the same place. Recently, when redesigning a young girl’s bedroom, Holloway managed to score bedding, wall fixtures, dresser accessories, and even a rug from various websites and stores. Though purchased separately, it all perfectly tied together for the all-things-pink, all-things-owl theme. She added the extra touch of pink glitter paint for the walls, and made the young girl’s dream bedroom a reality.
“I don’t have an eye for any of this, so when I hired her to give my daughter’s room a makeover, I signed on the dotted line and trusted her to work her magic,” says Korita Jones, who hired Holloway to redecorate her daughter’s room. “I’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw it. Holloway has a gift; she can take anything and make it amazing.”
And this is exactly why Holloway does what she does. The look on her client’s face when they see their new space is priceless, and each time is just as gratifying as the last. Whether renovating or redecorating on a large or small scale, she truly loves working with the Vivacious Interiors team to save clients money, time, and keep them stress-free.
“Everyone deserves a space that reflects who they are and what they love, with a touch of creativity added,” says Holloway.
“Whether you own your house or are in a rental property, you can always make it a home.”