A Blank New-Build’s Been the Perfect Canvas for This DIY Enthusiast’s Colorful Designs

published Mar 17, 2023

A Blank New-Build’s Been the Perfect Canvas for This DIY Enthusiast’s Colorful Designs

published Mar 17, 2023
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Name: Laura Hartstein; partner, Chris Conley; two dogs, River and Graham; and cat, Tiggy
Location: Buda, Texas
Size: 1864 square feet
Type of home: Standalone house, new build
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

“When looking to buy a house, I had very specific requirements: I wanted an older home with charm, and I only wanted to live in South Austin. Let’s just say a very competitive housing market led me to a new build in the little town of Buda (just south of Austin),” admits Laura Hartstein, co-owner and co-founder of Tola Home, a multi-hyphenate business offering interior decorating, mural services, and vintage furniture and custom wavy mirrors for sale that she runs with her sister, Tori.

Despite the setback of buying a home that was quite different than Laura’s must-have list, she says it’s turned out to be one of the best outcomes. “As a first-time homeowner DIY-ing my way through nearly everything, a new build provides a true blank canvas to go *wild* in. No major renovations are needed, so I’ve been able to go right into mural-ing walls, replacing light fixtures, wallpapering, hanging disco balls from the ceiling, and so on,” she describes.

“I love the total artistic freedom I feel in my space. All the eclectic yet fun accents give me an instant dopamine rush and make me feel like I’m really home — MY home. The colors, patterns, and vintage finds turn on my right-side-brain and inspire me to create. I spend most of my time in the living room, cuddling my three fur angels (and a fourth if you count my partner, Chris) and creating fun things!”

Apartment Therapy Survey

My style: Eclectic, maximal, funky, vintage, colorful.

Inspiration: I’m inspired by anything that makes me do a double take. I love things I don’t see all the time. I’m a sucker for 80’s Postmodern vibes, although there are great things to take from all eras (you can see this in my house — you look one way and there’s a mid-century credenza and rattan planter, and you look the other way and there’s a tessellated stone coffee table and Hollywood Regency etagere). It’s fun to pick and choose from the eras to make it work today. I’m definitely not a purist when it comes to sticking with just one style.

Favorite element: My favorite space is my living room. I’m in this room most often, so I’ve spent the most time curating it. It’s where my first mural in this house was born (hello, wavy orange 70’s baby) and where the best sofa in the world lives (a wild $300 Craigslist find! I will live and die with this piece).



  • Shoe cabinet — HomeGoods
  • Light pink abstract planter — HomeGoods
  • Wavy floor planter next to cabinet — Secondhand, originally Design Within Reach
  • Coffee table books — Thrifted
  • U-shaped planter — Thrifted, originally Paddywax
  • MCM hand tray for keys — Thrifted
  • Irregular mirror — Home Depot
  • Pink waterfall bench — Safavieh Tenko bench
  • Throw pillows on bench — World Market
  • Rattan hanging hooks — Target
  • Purple cow light plate — Hand painted by me
  • Mirrored pedestal — Secondhand
  • Giraffe statue — Secondhand
  • Purple abstract rug at front door — Secondhand (shout-out to atx-local secondhand marketplace, forallhers!) but originally Cold Picnic


  • Curved sofa — Secondhand
  • Hand chair — Secondhand
  • Coffee table — Secondhand
  • Large neutral rug — Secondhand
  • Orange living room rug — Secondhand, local marketplace @forallhers)
  • Fun white pouf — Target, Jungalow line
  • Overhead lights — Amazon
  • Floor lamp — Secondhand
  • Table lamp — Secondhand
  • Side table — Secondhand
  • White planter — World Market
  • Wavy coffee table tray — Amazon
  • Stone coasters — Ross
  • Chessboard — Secondhand
  • Planter — Hand painted by my sister, Tori
  • Woman booty planter — Urban Outfitters
  • Abstract shapes candle — HomeGoods
  • Yellow wavy pillows — Lumi Living
  • Neutral shape pillows — World Market
  • Face planter — Dusen Dusen
  • Arched candlestick holder on etagere — World Market
  • Shapes planter on etagere — Hand painted by my sister, Tori
  • Crossed fingers statue — Ross
  • Brass swans — Secondhand
  • Disco ball — Amazon
  • Floor orb planters — HEB
  • Bar stools — Secondhand
  • White planter with soft pink shapes — Target
  • Credenza — Secondhand
  • Tetris shaped planter on credenza — Urban Outfitters
  • Coffee table books — Thrifted
  • Wavy candle holder — Secondhand
  • Naked woman stool — Urban Outfitters
  • Brass shell planter — Secondhand
  • Two small pieces of art — Made my me, frames from HomeGoods
  • Picasso print — Thrifted, repainted the frame in a sage green


  • Overhead light — Secondhand, originally Light Cookie by Lumiere
  • Glass dining table – Secondhand
  • Cesca dining chairs — Thrifted, reupholstered by me
  • Bar cart — Secondhand
  • Purple statue — Secondhand
  • Planter — HEB
  • Large gold mirror — HomeGoods
  • Rug — RugsUSA


  • Rug — Secondhand
  • Art — Secondhand


  • All furniture — Secondhand
  • Peacock chaise — Secondhand
  • Gold velvet comforter and shams — Target
  • Pink velvet pillow — Gifted
  • Leopard sheets — Amazon
  • White stool — Wayfair
  • All art/gallery wall items — Secondhand
  • Sconces — Amazon
  • Art above bed — Painted by me
  • Face planter — The Jungalow
  • Dark green curtains — Amazon
  • Arched floor mirror — Target
  • Ceiling Medallion — Amazon
  • Rug — Secondhand


  • Shower Curtain — Urban Outfitters
  • Bath mat — Urban Outfitters
  • Arched wall shelf — Ross
  • Disco ball — Amazon
  • Wood hand towel holder — Secondhand
  • Checkered Hand Towel — Baggu
  • Checkered jar — Secondhand
  • Wavy cabinet pulls — Urban Outfitters


  • Cowgirl Art — Etsy, Artbabyandco
  • Checkered tissue box — Secondhand
  • Yummy room spray — Blow Candle Co (local ATX maker)
  • Disco balls — Amazon
  • Soap dispenser — Ross


  • Rattan Sofas — Secondhand
  • Banana Leaf cushions — Target
  • Acapulco chairs— Secondhand, originally CB2
  • Pink Leopard throw pillows —Amazon
  • Pink rug — World Market
  • Black Acapulco chair & sofa set — World Market, Camden line
  • Other black rattan chairs — Secondhand, originally IKEA
  • Black and white outdoor rug — World Market


  • Rug — Secondhand, Etsy
  • Coffee table — Secondhand
  • Side table — Wayfair
  • Beveled mirror — Secondhand
  • Huge wavy mirror — Handmade Tola Home (aka me and my sister! And oh hey we sell them
  • Hand chair — Etsy
  • Tiled table — Handmade my me
  • Orb planter — HEB (the grocery store)
  • Small MCM credenza — Target
  • Candle holder & candles — Urban Outfitters
  • Coffee table books & all other decor — Secondhand
  • Cow pillows — Amazon


  • Rug — Secondhand
  • Huge wall shelves — Secondhand
  • All items on shelves — Mostly vintage smalls sold by Tola Home (aka me and my sister!)
  • Wavy cow mirror — Handmade by me
  • LED sign — Amazon
  • Bertoia chair — Secondhand
  • Ceiling medallion — Amazon
  • Light fixture — Amazon
  • Standing light — Secondhand


  • Velvet bedframe — Amazon
  • Checkered comforter — Amazon
  • Art — Leovie
  • Dresser/mirror — Secondhand
  • Statue — Secondhand
  • Table lamp — Secondhand
  • Rug — Secondhand
  • White chair — Secondhand

Thanks, Laura!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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