Getting Moody In The Bedroom

The deed is done! Rockport Gray is all up in this hizzy.

We love how much more things like the extra thick crown molding and the trim around the doors and windows pops now that the color is deeper and more… sleepy? Can you describe a bedroom color that way? In love.

It’s such a mutating color. Sometimes it looks lighter and grayer.

And sometimes it looks moodier and more mocha.

We think it looks especially good with our cheap-o Ikea curtains (Vivan panels for $9 a pop) and other crisp white things, like this old side table from our first house’s den and the white lamp shade on our floor lamp.

So yeah, we likey the new vibe in the bedroom.

Basically the room looked kind of soft and sweet with the light gray-blue walls before

… but they were kinda similar to the walls in our first house’s bedroom (which we did love, but after 4.5 years with it we thought it would be fun to try something different).

It also felt a little too blue when you factored in the blue in the rug, the headboard fabric, etc. We just wanted something with a little more oomph. See how these side by side shots show how much more the molding and the fabric on the headboard pops? Now they stand out and say I am molding/headboard, hear me roar.

These vertical images might help you see the molding effect more easily (since they’re not as small). Doesn’t the trim almost look like it has been beefed up and whitened in the picture on the right? It’s all thanks to the contrast that the deeper and less airy color brings. Seriously, I didn’t repaint the molding or anything.

As for the process, we basically spackled any nail holes that we weren’t going to be using anymore (like the ones that used to hold the art up over the bed when it was on the other wall) and then sanded them so they were smooth.

Then we moved a lot of stuff out of the room, and covered the remaining furnishings that we pushed into the center of the room with plastic drop cloths):

We taped off the crown molding too (since on a step ladder I’m less steady handed). But I can freehand all the trim around the windows, doors, baseboards, and outlets without tape – so that saves us time and tape.

It’s amazing what an instant difference the new paint on the wall was. But it took us about five or six hours of prep/painting to get to that point. It’s a big room (16 x 16′) and we were also painting the entire sink nook (which is like another small room that’s attached with tons of windows and doorways to cut in around). So we just put on some music and got down to business. Painting business. Not funny business.

There was some of this (I’m the cutter-inner in the family and John is the roller):

And some of this (we actually painted the ceiling above the sink nook a color for the book photoshoots back in January, so we finally got to repaint it back to white while we were doing the walls):

As we mentioned, the room is 16 x 16′ – and we actually used less than a gallon of paint for this entire paint job (including the sink nook). Maybe around 2/3rds of one? Benjamin Moore paint (this was Rockport Gray in their Natura base, which is VOC free) has great coverage, so when we used Olympic to paint this room for the first time we used the whole gallon since we needed two full coats, but this time we only needed one coat and a few touch ups as a second coat instead of a full second application. Oh and we went with an eggshell finish for anyone wondering (it’s nice and matte but still a bit more durable and wipe-able than flat paint would have been).

There was still the same amount of house chaos even though we only needed one coat of paint this time. Because of course when you paint a room, at least one other room looks like complete insanity since all of the stuff from the room that you’re painting gets dumped in there. Like our living room in this case:

For those wondering where Clara was, her grandparents graciously offered to take her to the playground, lunch, and the library while we got this done. So thankful! We’ve definitely painted rooms while she napped and it has worked (like the bedroom when we painted it the first time) but it’s usually just a lot more choppy because we both work hard for the two-ish hours that she naps and then one of us has to watch her while the other one works (ex: I continue to cut in while John watches Clara after she wakes up) and then we switch (I watch her while he rolls).

And since you know we like to move faster than Edward The Vampire play around with time lapse stuff, we even shot this video, where we condensed our day of work down to two minutes:

Here was our little setup to catch the process on our laptop’s camera (which has a longer battery life when plugged in than our Flip HD, which can only record for an hour). Oh yes, we’re high tech around here. There was ottoman on side table action (we used iMovie to make the video, which comes free with most Macs and has easy settings to speed things up):

So whoop, there it is. Darker, moodier paint that makes us wanna sleep. Haha. And kinda makes us want to paint a whole lot of other rooms in darker tones since it’s amazing how much more substantial the molding looks. But when we stop to think about it, ultimately we like the balance in the whole house’s current palette, which consists of:

  • some light neutrals – like the soft gray in the living room and dining room
  • some happy tones – like the grellow in the kitchen and the light pink in Clara’s room
  • some deep saturated colors – like the dark teal guest room and the back of the dining room built-ins

Should be fun to see what colors we end up with in the completely untouched sunroom, playroom, hall bathroom, and guest bathroom though. In the meantime, what are you guys painting? Anyone diving into darker colors? Or lightening up with something soft? Feel free to name your favorite wall color of all time – it’s always interesting to hear what you guys are loving.


  1. Marcy L says

    Fabulous color guys! I liked it in the bathroom, but LOVE it in a bigger space! Doesn’t the world just seem right with perfect shade of gray! I’m a fan of Martha’s Bedford Gray, but probably need to add Rockport Gray to my list of favs!

    Stay cool today! =)

  2. says

    Love it!! I have been thinking about painting our master bedroom from light blue to a medium gray, and this definitely convinced me. It looks like it was meant to be gray all along!

  3. Kimberly says

    What an awesome difference. I wanted to paint our living area gray (we only have one large living room/kitchen/dining combo) but decided to focus on painting just our bedroom gray, and this makes me want to go buy the paint today.

  4. Hollie says

    I love it! It even makes the clouds in the horse sunset picture more awesome. I looked at the living room chaos picture really fast, and did a double take…it looked like John sitting on a toilet. :-)

  5. Mary Ellen says

    Love the gray, am in the process of painting combo living-dining room, was Warm Muffin, very yellow, now is a shade of taupe/khaki called Chic Taupe, that I had them half for the perfect shade. I wanted to do gray but my carpet is khaki-ish berber.

    What do you recommend for a good trim, now that Im painting the trim is definitely next..

    Love you guys and your blog too.
    Mary Ellen

  6. Sayward says

    Oh man, amazing!!! This looks so great. Holy bright trim, Batman! Things in there look so polished now. You should take the first $50 of your book earnings and buy yourself a new Sir Ramsey. You’ve earned it, and I miss him.

    Question: I have the Hemnes bed from IKEA and my (insanely heavy) memory foam mattress sits down inside a box too – a little deeper than yours actually. I’m a 5’1″ single girl, and probably weaker than you (Katie’s chest bump would have sent me into the next county). Do you have any sheet changing tips? Right now my strategy is to heave my mattress up onto its side, balance myself on the wooden slats while carefully balancing the mattress upright, get the sheet half way on, lower the mattress back down at an angle, get the rest of the sheet on, shimmy the mattress back into its box, and then visit my chiropractor. My technique is too dangerous to be doing at home alone without a spotter. I know there are two of you so you’re already at an advantage, but how do you guys change your sheets?

    Any other Hemnes owners out there?

    • says

      Ooh anyone else have tips for Sayward? I basically don’t move the mattress at all except for picking up the corner a bit and shoving my hand (holding the fitted sheet corner) down into that corner and then let the mattress fall down and sort of hold that sheet in place. Kinda a weird description. Anyone else have tips?


  7. Monika says

    The new color makes the room more grown up. More like “we’re in our 30’s” bedroom. Haha. Anywho, I can’t believe what an amazing tranformation from the beginning to now. Totally unrecognizable!

  8. Asheley Robinson says

    It looks so awesome!!!! You all amaze me with your eye for detail and pulling things together that I would never think of. Loving the headboard, too!

  9. Christie says

    I LOVE it! I feel like the rug makes so much more sense now and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I just figured the wall color looked different in person. But now with the Rockport Gray, the whole room is gelin’ like a pair of Dr. Scholls.

  10. Mollie says

    i think the horse artwork and the wood dresser in the nook are looking awesome with the new color! the horse pic particularly…striking difference with the grey!

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