Pear Green Walls & A Light Blue Ceiling For The Nursery

Pretty much from day one (even before we learned that the bean was actually a beanette) I was dreaming of painting the nursery walls a fun pear green while taking the ceiling from bland ol’ white to a light aqua color. But somehow saying “green walls with a blue ceiling” conjures up all sorts of scary Trading Spaces episodes so even my dear hubby wasn’t getting my “vision” until we broke out the paint swatches and I was able to explicitly show him what I meant. There’s a tip for you ladies: many people (especially guys who don’t speak “interior decorating”) are visual creatures. So saying something like “I want to paint the side tables black” can be a lot less effective (ie: scary for a dude) than showing your man an image of a room with black side tables that you know will calm his nerves about the whole deal.

Sure enough, as soon as I whipped out a soft celery-pear-ish tone for the walls and showed John how sweet a subtle and dreamy aqua would be on the ceiling (especially with the white crown molding between them to really set them off) he was on board. Then we just had to get into our trusty painting clothes and finish clearing out the room so it was ready for the big transformation (and speaking of big, check out that belly- it’s quite a feat with four more months of baby-carrying left).

But back to my favorite subject: paint. Just like we did in this old ceiling painting post, we taped all of our potential ceiling paint chips on the actual ceiling so we could see how they would look in that light (colors look different on ceilings than they do when you hold them up to the wall since light reflects differently off a horizontal plane). We decided the swatch on the far right was too bright, the swatch to the left of that was too light and the swatch to the left of that one was juuuuust right (while the swatch on the far left was a bit too muddy). So that’s how we honed in on our final ceiling color after hunting through a bunch of swatches and taping up the ones we liked best. Oh and the winning swatch was called Regency Pale by True Value by the way.

As for selecting the wall color, that was pretty simple. I’ve always loved Celery Sticks by Glidden (it has happy golden undertones and so much personality without overwhelming or sucking the light out of a small space). So of course I was giddy about finally having the perfect opportunity to use it to create a fun and cheerful nursery thanks to the little person that I’m busy growing.

We also decided it was time to take some Mythic paint for a spin- not only because I’m knocked up (and shouldn’t be painting with anything full of chemicals and VOCs) but also for the sake of the baby (since regular paint can off-gas for one to even three years after it’s applied!). Sure it’s $40 a gallon (while a lot of the cheaper Lowe’s and Home Depot stuff is around $25) but it’s known to be the cream of the no-VOC crop thanks to the great coverage, the wide range of amazing colors, and their completely non-toxic and mommy/baby friendly formula. So we hit up EcoLogic (one of our favorite local haunts for all things green) with both of our pre-selected swatches in hand.

We figured we’d hold them up to the Mythic paint deck to select something as similar as possible in both colors but we had no idea that Mythic could actually do color matching (but not with a machine, they store a plethora of other brand’s formulas in their database for easy replication- without the VOCs). The only catch was that our swatch from True Value was one of the brands that they didn’t have in their system and Celery Sticks by Glidden was too new (just introduced a few months back) so it wasn’t yet in the database. Not to worry, we actually found two extremely similar (if not identical) Mythic colors in their deck. For the ceiling we landed on Adanna Aire (in a flat finish) and for the walls we ended up with Autumn Bloom (in an easy-care eggshell finish).

When we proudly returned home after purchasing our new nursery paint we remembered that the kind folks at Frog Tape had actually sent a few rolls our way so we could give it a try. We’ve heard so many good things about their mad scientist tape (which has a patented formula that creates a “micro-barrier” on the edge of the tape when paint comes in contact with it, which seals it and makes bleeding a virtual impossibility). Isn’t that some Bill Nye The Science Guy technology? We were intrigued to see what that magical green tape could really do…

We’ve always been fans of cutting in with a brush (specifically, a special little brush that I love) but we must admit that taping the crown molding off didn’t take very long…

… and it really made painting the edges of the ceiling go a lot faster than it would have if we were carefully edging by hand with a brush.

Oh and we interrupt all the tape talk to bring you our sad little nursery closet. We’re actually very lucky to have this pathetic little enclave since this room was originally a dining room so the fact that we could convert it into a bedroom (thanks to an already existent closet) was great. Too bad it looked like this. Wop wop.

We took off the door before we started painting (we’re planning a cute little closet facelift complete with a curtain that we can push to the side since the door swings out into the room and interferes with the main door to the nursery- grrrr).

And it was actually John’s fabulous idea to take the light aqua color from the ceiling and add it to the inside of the closet for a bit of fun. Isn’t he smart? The whole time he was painting the closet I was watching in awe and telling our baby girl what a decorating genius her daddy is (yes I talk to my stomach just as often as I talk to our chihuahua).

Here’s a sneak peek of the closet in progress, but we actually have to add a ton of baskets and bars (and the closet curtain of course) so stay tuned for another closet post when we get to that stage of the ol’ nursery makeover.

But back to the Frog Tape. After we finished painting two coats of soft aqua on the ceiling and in the closet it was time to remove the tape around the molding (we’re all about removing tape when the paint is still wet so it doesn’t peel any dried paint off with it when it comes down). And ladies and gentlemen we can definitively proclaim that we saw a sincere and amazing difference between blue painter’s tape and Frog Tape. It really does create a much crisper edge with zero bleeding or stippling. Seriously, it was such a clean line that it looked like we painted the ceiling before adding the white molding (which is always the goal). In short: it definitely would have come in handy for the horizontal stripes that we added to our half bathroom a while back and we’re extremely glad we had a chance to test drive it for our little nursery paint project.

So here’s the room after we removed the tape. Isn’t the soft blue ceiling sweet? But it’s only halfway there.

John was on a taping roll so he decided to keep going. Within about ten minutes he had taped off the bottom of the crown molding and also around the windows, doors, and baseboards. Then it was time for some warm pear green paint…

Ta-daaaa! Isn’t it a sweet and playful combination?

Oh and it bears mentioning that this photo was taken at night without any natural light (and wasn’t color corrected or anything)- so it’s a bit harsher and less subtle than it is in real life (especially in natural light). You’ll have to stick around for some daytime pics to really see it in all of its green and blue glory. Once we layer everything into the room (furniture, art, playful patterned curtains, a rug, a chandelier, etc) the walls will be the perfect cheerful-but-not-too-scary backdrop. And we love that it works with the rest of our home’s color palette thanks to the blue ceiling (which really relates to the soft gray-blue in our master bedroom and kitchen) while the green ties into everything from our guest bedroom’s bright green headboard to our more-neutral-but-still-taupey-green bathroom. We like to think of our home’s newly defined color scheme as “sea glass inspired” since it’s full of soft creams, sandy neutrals, serene blues, and a variety of greens- all colors of old weathered glass that can wash up on the beach.

So that’s a little update on our nursery progress. And we’ll toss in this sneak peek of a few of the fun accessories (fabric and a cozy area rug) that we snagged to layer into our freshly painted space. Stay tuned for those details coming soon.

And since everyone seems to love seeing our house when it’s messy, we snapped this photo of our living room’s console table which was bogged down with everything that used to be in the nursery (namely the nursery closet). The good news is that it has all since found a new home, but we know you love seeing our house all crazy-like, so enjoy!

And while we’re on the subject of painting, we’d love to know what color you guys gravitate towards when it comes to nurseries. Whether you’ve already painted one (or five) or just dream about whipping one up someday, we’d love to know what hues tickle your fancy. Pale pink? Brown and blue? Bright rainbow stripes? Spill the beans.

Comments

  1. Meg says

    Looking good!
    I haven’t done up a nursery yet, but colour palettes I’m a drawn to are… blue/green/yellow, khaki or ivory & sunset colours (pink, purple, orange, yellow, coral), yellow/pale grey/green.

  2. Jaimie says

    We didn’t find out ahead of time if we were having a boy or a girl, so we did a gender-neutral nursery too. I’m not particularly drawn to pink bedrooms anyway, so my decorating ideas weren’t restricted in any way (and in the end we had a boy). I had fallen in love with this wallpaper in a soft aqua with line drawings of dogs in chocolate brown (http://www.thibautdesign.com/Collection/patternDetailWall.aspx?pid=687&prdId=3847)

    We did one wall of the wallpaper, and painted the other walls in the same soft shade of aqua. The crib is white, and we painted a vintage dresser pale grey. I love the room and can see it working beautifully in the future for another baby, boy or girl.

  3. Molly Ishmael says

    Great colors! Cannot wait to see the finished room. We just finished painting our office turned nursery this weekend for our second little boy coming in 3 weeks! We chose brown with orange and creamy white stripes. We also used the frog tape and did not have quit the success you did, we ended up having to paint a glaze over the tape so that the paint would not bleed.

  4. Sandy says

    Re: Yellow paint colors:
    For the person who was asking for suggestions about best yellows — be very careful, as decorators universally agree that yellow can be one of the most difficult colors to get right. It can easily be brassy or too bright, and overpowering. Most suggest that you try to stay in the creamy/buttery range of yellows. Two favorites of mine are Benjamin Moore Lemon Meringue, and a true classic — Benjamin Moore Hawthorne Yellow. Both are nicely mellow. (Try Googling them in Google images — lots of rooms to look at, especially with Hawthorne Yellow.) Hope that helps!

  5. says

    Oh good gracious…look at that BUMP!!!! So freakin’ adorable, Sherry…and I love that John was on a roll (pun intended) and went ahead and painted…that’s an extremely determined man you have :) I love the colors…I love the ceiling most! Blues are my fave…I think I could do the entire house in blues/greys…so soothing and wonderful! That lil’ peanut is gonna love her pretty blue ceiling to stare at! Are you thinking about adding any motifs, stripes or accents up there? I heard, in addition to the mobile that anything on the ceiling is good for them to focus on…but this is coming from a lady that ONLY has a hairy baby! hahaha! BRAVO for the nursery…lookin’ good, lookin’ grand! – morgan at http://www.casacullen.com

    • says

      We actually were planning to do a subtle tone on tone stencil on the ceiling but after we found our light fixture we knew it was definitely enough interest for the ceiling. From the awesome shape and texture that it adds to the shadows that it casts on the ceiling, it’s as if we painted a bunch of shapes up there without the work! Stay tuned for more light details next week…

      xo,
      s

  6. says

    That looks awesome!!! Woohoo!!! I should have really bought frog tape the other day since I painted an accent wall brown, and now I have to go back and tape the “other side” just to cover up the mistakes. How very annoying! It’s awesome to see it in action, and I’m definitely sticking with frog tape in the future. Another small bonus is it actually looks better in progress photos instead of that bright blue.

    Someday…. far away… when I am with baby…. I’d probably go with browns mixed with bright colors like green, blue, or pale pinks. :)

  7. Stacy says

    Just had my first experience with Frog tape on Tuesday and was impressed. Yes, better than blue tape but not perfect and still subject to user error. I, too, am one to pull off before fully dry but I am wondering if this tape works best if paint sets longer. Hmmm…

    The only drawback was the odor; which is a smell that Sherry may be getting used to already. I think it is the stuff (zinc?) that is in Desitin and diapers in order to create a tight moisture barrier.

    Oh and my sister is due 4/4 and we painted her “nursery” with horizontal strips of light gray and white for a gender neutral/guest friendly room.

  8. Renae says

    I giggled with delight when it turns out that of the choices you had for the ceiling, I said aloud to my computer, “That’s the one that I like” and it turns out it was your choice too! What a dork. And you know what? I’ve been wanting to try the frog tape FOREVER! But no one in our little town carries it. So I might just have to schlep it to the big city (an hour away) one day (which is actually where I work two days a week so what the heck is the big deal with that?) and see about it. There are stripes in my son’s room that I would LOVE to fix. I’ll be sure to take before and afters for you…because we all love a good B&A! :) Good take on the room guys, she’ll love it.

  9. says

    I noticed in the picture with John holding the roller you have a very small wall space between your door frame and the corner of the wall. You’ve mentioned before that you don’t normally tape the trim before painting. Even with a short handled brush, how do you get into such tight spots without making a mess? I have several of these tight spots in my home.

    • says

      Hey Diana,

      Well there are two options:

      1. We can use a short handled brush and get in there (most of the paint gets on the side of the trim that you can’t see so it’s pretty clean looking) and then touch up the trim with some white semi-gloss paint.

      2. We can tape things off like we did in the case of the nursery since it was such an easy process.

      Hope it helps!

      xo,
      s

  10. Allison says

    Love the color choices! And you look great!!! Such a cute bump!

    My son is around 11 months old and we didnt know what we were having. I wanted to have an un-traditional gender neutral room. So I landed on ORANGE. My husband was very scared, but once it was on the walls, he loved it! We did Valspar Orange Nut. I also painted a mural of a monkey hanging from a tree looking in on the crib. I absolutely love it so fun and it actually fits my little guys personality perfectly! I actually cant imagine another baby in that room. I guess that a good excuse for a re-design when #2 comes along!

  11. Terese says

    I love the colors that you guys chose for the nursery! While I do not have any plans of yet to plan out my nursery… my dream nursery would probably be a combo of bright and pale pinks and possibly tans or a few browns for a girl or for a boy red, white, blue and green for the Chicago Cubs… my hubbie and I are HUGE fans and would probably make the poor babies room look just like Wrigley! I acutally heard that there is a paint brand that came out with a line of colors geared towards different teams…

  12. Samantha says

    I painted my sons nursery a very pale blue. It is “Heaven’s Wind” from Fresh Aire at Home Depot. It was so soft and calming, which is something both baby & I needed then. :) I decorated with blues, purples, and yellows. We’ve sinced moved and I have to make a whole new toddler room!