Imprinting our homes can take a range of forms – among them: Architectural designs, furniture elements, décor themes, and color stories all have their own ways of communicating with homeowners’ styles. Having lived most of our lives in silence due to the pandemic, are we ready to make bigger and bolder statements in our homes?
Beautiful artist Abbey Holden of Wayzata is best known for her landscape painting and textile designs, but she is also adept at large pieces, including frescoes. “I love painting murals because it kind of covers you with a giant canvas,” she says. “The actual act of painting the murals is really satisfying; it has to do with the large-scale nature of them.” She has seen a slight increase in the number of clients requesting murals and says, “I think it’s about coming home a lot now.”
Murals are commonly used as a focal point, and they can also serve as an exclamation point for a space. “I love being a player on the team that brings home together,” Holden says. By using different brush techniques, as well as line shapes, Holden is able to create pieces to enhance each room’s purpose and intended feel. She says clients use the murals in most settings, particularly in nurseries and bathrooms.
While wallpaper can have a similar effect on spaces, it doesn’t have that personal touch that many homeowners look for when creating their design story. “There is just something about having it so unique and knowing that nobody has this on their walls,” Holden says.
Using a unique blend of oil paints, the purest form of paint made with non-toxic, natural materials, such as stones and elements, Holden creates rich, textured pieces that combine playful energy with organic hues. From soft, neutral hillside landscapes to vibrant and colorful floral patterns, the room is used as a canvas to accentuate its physical features and augment interior design elements, such as furniture, accessories, furnishings, and even appliances. Her background in textiles lends itself to mural work, focusing on patterns and florals. “I can translate that very seamlessly into murals,” she says.
While neutral tones and soft palettes definitely have a place, Holden says the bolder colors definitely stand out. “Murals are a piece of art, and people are willing to make them colorful,” she says. In essence, the mural is indeed a statement. It’s a fun surprise for people.” Regardless of the color choice, Holden says, “The end result provides a great statement room, story, and something that adds character to an otherwise blank wall.”
Holden fell in love with color and design at an early age, became fascinated by her grandmother’s art work and attended additional art classes and after-school programs to enhance her skill set. Through her exposure to various mediums, Holden realized her career path including painting. “I know it’s my call and how wired I am, so there’s really no ignoring it,” she says. “Another profession that wasn’t really an option for me.”
Holden gained broad perspectives by studying studio art, art history and design management in Denver and Florence, Italy, and Parsons School of Design in New York City. After her graduation, she moved to Philadelphia, where she joined the textile designer team at Lilly Pulitzer. After her experience there, Holden has gone on to work with Brooke & Lou, The Hutton House, Love Your Melon, and Mahi Gold, to name a few.
However, Holden was always eager to start her own business. Returning to the Midwest to live by the lake in Wayzata, she created Abbey Holden Studio, which offers custom pieces to clients, and a small selection of her work has been displayed at Gray Home + Lifestyle in Excelsior.