Breaking Out John’s Painting Belt

It was like old times. For those who don’t get the painting belt reference in this post’s title, check this out for further explanation. Anyway, as we mentioned yesterday, we painted Clara’s nursery. And instead of cloning the exact space that she enjoyed in our old house, we took the move as an opportunity to switch up the wall color. We figure since we’re working with the same furniture and even the same light fixture and curtains (since I was too sentimental to leave them behind) we thought a new wall color would make things feel a little fresher- like the room is subtly evolving over time as opposed to being totally reinvented (since many of the major pieces are staying the same) or a carbon copy of the last room (just because we’ve been there and done that).

When we were chatting about what colors we could do, we debated a few options: some shade of blue (but we thought it would be too much with the blue bedding, changing pad cover, capiz chandelier, and the blue in the curtain fabric), some shade of green (too similar to the past version), some shade of yellow (not present in the curtains or any other items already in the room so probably too random), some neutral color (too safe for a kids room, we wanted to have some fun), some shade of pink (hmm, but is that super girly? we’re scared). And guess what we went with?!

Since there were soft tones of pink in the curtains as well as in our DIY mobiles (that we have yet to hang) we thought it would fit in nicely – as long as we kept things on the subtle side so it didn’t get too bright and overwhelming. But we didn’t just want a soft ballet pink (or a baby pink like the swatch in the photo above). We wanted something with gray/lavender undertones. It’s hard to explain, so we’ll let the swatch cards do the talking:

See how the one with the arrow towards it seems grayer and more lavender than the others? We thought it had a nice muddy sophistication and hoped that it wouldn’t look too pastel-ish and girly, since we’ve always loved that Clara’s room is full of greens and blues and other non-gender specific colors. Not to say that the room isn’t clearly a girl’s room now, but we just wanted the color to have a bit more dimension than just a soft pink. Plus you might remember this whole-house-color-scheme post, where the second swatch on the top row was a little bit pink, a little bit gray, and a little bit lavender. That was what we were going for.

And in person it really does look dimensional and full of subtle gray and lavender undertones! The color is from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line and it’s called Proposal (sweet, right?) but you know we’re too cheap to get BM paint for the most part, so we had it color matched to Olympic’s No-VOC paint at Lowe’s (which now not only has no-VOCs in the base paint, it also has no-VOCs in the colorants that they add, so it’s perfect for a nursery). Thankfully, we love how it turned out. It’s a hard color to capture in photos though (the subtleties and varied undertones aren’t always super apparent) but we did our best. Here’s the room before:

Here’s the room during painting (just so you can see our process, we pushed the big pieces into the center of the room and tossed a plastic tarp over them):

And here’s the room now:

Of course it’ll look a lot more finished (and less pink-washed) when we hang the art, shelves, curtains, mobiles, etc. And when we switch out the ceiling fan for the blue capiz chandelier it’ll hopefully feel nice and complete for the beanette. And now for an obligatory look-how-cute-my-kid-is photo of Clara sleeping on her daddy. Is there anything sweeter?

But back to her freshly painted nursery. Her room was always the priority for us because we’d like her to feel settled and we want her room to always be a place where we can escape the chaos of the rest of the house (especially since most of it will be “in-progress” for a loooong time). So stay tuned for pics when we get our act together and hang everything up in there for a more finished look. Until then you can find us staring at about thirty swatches on the wall in the living room…


  1. says

    i love the soft color. it definitely will make for a great escape. and it’s absolutely adorable that the color is actually named baby pink :)

  2. Coutney says

    Way to go! I am not a fan of all that pink girly stuff, but you hit the nail on the head with the grey/purple undertones. We also used Olympic paint in our bedroom…Ash Mist. It is very subtle and we were worried that maybe it wasn’t enough color, but we went with it in an effort to make everything “lighter” in this new home and hey, it looks great! We love it.
    Yay for no vocs!

  3. Kayakgirl73 says

    Looking forward to seeing it done. I like how your showing that the same furniture and acessories can evolve to fit growing kids and different homes.

  4. Amy says

    *Sigh* That last photo. Is there anything sweeter? My son just turned 1 and doesn’t sleep on either of us much now (unless he’s sick). I miss it.

  5. Ashley S says

    I like that you chose something not too girly. My husband and I have tried to avoid the “baby blue” in the same way for our son’s room. Do you think you would ever go for something less subtle, or are you planning to keep things toned down in Clara’s room? My husband and I wanted something fun and exciting for our nursery and guest room (as well as gender neutral, in case our next child is a girl). We went with Behr’s “Pepper Grass” for his room and “Bird of Paradise” for the guest room. I love how bright and cheery the colors are during the daytime, but somehow warm and inviting at night.

    • says

      Hey Ashley,

      We definitely would be open to something less subtle down the road (we’re pretty sure when Clara’s old enough to pick her own paint colors they might just blow us away- but we want her to have that “artistic freedom” to do something crazy if she wants to). Your colors sound gorgeous since they’re bold but not too dark at night- that’s totally the jackpot.


  6. says

    I love that you completely changed the wall color this time around! I was secretly expecting a blue or green when you mentioned it yesterday. It’s almost a neutral pink (who knew there was such a thing!), so it can definitely grow with her with a little change of accessories!

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