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

    Sorry to comment again.

    I noticed you took down your “post card” shelves in the old office/everything-else-it-was, and was wondering if you were planning on using them again in this house?

  2. Amy says

    I love a good project and since our home is finished and we’re not moving anytime soon I’ll have to live vicariously through you two! Great job on Clara’s room so far. We chose a blue-ish gray for our daughter’s room but we did a lot of pink in the accessories. Keep up the great work!

  3. says

    I had no idea you could color-match BM paints to no-VOC options. That’s great to know! Also, I love the color…I bet the tones vary depending on the time of day.

  4. Meghan says

    I love, love, love the colour. It’s subtle, but not boring at all. Gorgeous! And the picture of Clara is undeniably cute :)

  5. Audrey says

    Love the color! It’s calming without being too girly. I’m itching to repaint my daughter’s room as well. I went with a fairly bright spring green and want to tone it down a bit.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your transformations!

  6. says

    Love this color – so gorgeous! I also envision this as a color she can grow into.

    Did you know they also sell Benjamin Moore paints in pint-sizes? You can paint a huge test area of the room with that amount, and it isnt too costly. So when picking out your living room paint, if youre down to 2-3 colors, it could be worth it to test drive the color for what amounts to a small amount of money (about $7 each).

  7. says

    Wow. Fantastic job choosing the perfect paint color, and so quickly! Do you usually get such good results when you color-match Benjamin Moore paints? I’m always kind of scared to try and color match across brands.

  8. says

    I’m normally not a pink kinda girl, but I love this color! It’s so sophisticated, and yet completely fitting for the nursery. I might even consider it for a project… I can’t believe I’m saying that about a pink!

  9. LindseyR says

    looks great and while I loved the orginal nursery, it will be lots of fun to see you do it all over again – with subtle changes! I love the color you picked. And those jammies Clara is wearing…ADORABLE!

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