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. Jennifer says

    I was selfishly hoping you’d do anything BUT pink. We are planning a nersery now, but it’s staying gender-neutral, so pink probably wouldn’t be a good choice for us. Looks like we’ll stick with green!

    I will be excited to see what it looks like all set up.

  2. Lauren says

    I love the pink! It’s definitely more girly, but not over the top. I know you said you don’t want to completely copy her old room, but are you going to recreate the asymmetrical art collage? I loved that in your old house!

  3. says

    It looks great … though I did like the greens/blues in the last nursery! But I love the grayish in the pink. And I can’t wait to see it with the curtains :)

  4. Kristina says

    That’s a brilliant shade of pink! I wanted to paint my little girl’s room a very subtle pink but I was vetoed by my husband. Sigh. We went with an avocado green. Which meant I was able to accent with much bolder shades of pink. So who won in the end?

  5. says

    LOVE that color! Very feminine, but not too girly…if that makes sense. More STRONG woman vs. girly girl.

    Anywhoo, which direction do the windows in Clara’s room face? I’m doing a teeny little room over for crafty stuff, and want to have fun with color, but not have it be too crazy. I might check this out–but the room I have has one window, which faces north, and we all know northern light is cold. Thanks in advance!

  6. says

    Notice John grew his stubble out to offset the fact that he’s painting a pink room…a man’s man through and through!

    Great job guys. I really do like the pink, especially for a little girl’s room. We’ve actually been through 3 different houses that have pink rooms, and they always go either way too bold, or way too light. Looks like you found a nice combination.

  7. Amy says

    quick question do you guys still have plaster walls then from your previous comment or were you talking about the old house’s walls?

    • says

      Hey Amy,

      Both houses have plaster walls (50’s/60’s ranches usually do, so we expected it). We’re actually used to them by now so it’s not a big deal.


  8. says

    Hats off for daring to use pink as a wall color :o) It looks great but being a tomboy kind of gal myself and surrounded by men only (except for our menagery)I must admit I’m still madly in love with Clara’s old nursery color scheme. I know, shame on me :o)

  9. Laura says

    I love pink rooms! I am looking forward to seeing this room completely done because I love pink walls but I find it really difficult to do pink without it looking too cotton candy. I may copy your colour when I get around to stripping all the wallpaper in my daughter’s room!

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