Goin’ To The Chapel…

… and we’re gonna have a bay-yay-yay-by.

Ok, so that’s not how the song goes, but it is the paint color that we chose for the walls of the nursery (which is pretty sweet considering the name of the paint that we used in Clara’s nursery in our last house was Proposal). Honestly, color names don’t sway us. We’re pragmatic pick-our-favorite-swatch-not-our-favorite-name folks. But it’s always nice when they’re not something ominous. You know, like Sleepless Nights or Zombie Spawn.

Back when we shared our plans for the room with this makeshift mood board of sorts, a few commenters asked if we were going to paint the walls that bold green tone. We explained that we were planning to use that more for accents around the room (like a bold green closet door, a chair cushion, some art, and maybe a crib skirt) and were leaning towards a soft neutral color for the walls. Just so we can layer a bunch of colors and patterns on top of that as the little guy grows, according to his preferences – like we’ve done in Clara’s room.

We’ve really appreciated that Clara’s walls are a completely goes-with-anything tone, so that as she grows we can switch things up without clearing and painting the entire room, but it’s still far from colorless or devoid of personality.

But “something neutral on the walls” can still mean a whole lot of things. White? Light gray? Soft tan? Even a muted tawny-green or blue-gray can qualify. So we considered a few color pairings like…

  • a moody deep-ish gray ceiling, white built-ins, a colorful closet door, and light gray walls
  • a bright white ceiling, moody built-ins, a colorful closet door, and soft taupe walls
  • a colorful ceiling, white built-ins, a white closet door, and soft tan walls

And the winning combo was… #2. We just really liked the idea of some mushroom-toned built-ins (with a stained wood top for a little bit of added interest). Like this photoshopped rendering from last week…

… along with a bold green closet door.

So we just held up a bunch of swatches and considered things like the rug, the built-in colors we liked best, and some possible bold greens for the closet door. In the end it was between some more gray-based tones (on that bottom swatch) and some more mushroom-ish tones (on the top one). See how the darkest color of that top swatch is brown while the other swatch is closer to charcoal gray? We decided we liked the ones with brown undertones a little better than the cooler gray ones, so that’s how we chose Going To The Chapel for the walls, and then slid three tones deeper for our built-in color (Senora Gray). We opted to go with plain white for the ceiling (Simply White in a flat finish) just to tie into the white trim (since the built-ins won’t be going white) and for some nice contrast.

As for getting it done, we just removed the rug, and pushed everything else into the middle of the room.

We covered it with a dropcloth when we tackled the ceiling – and we ended up going with two coats, just to be sure we had good coverage. As usual, John rolled and I cut in around the edges – although I didn’t have to be perfect since we’re going to add chunky crown around the room, so that corner where the wall meets the ceiling will be covered.

Then it was onto the walls, which also took two coats. It’s harder to pick up in photos than in person, but the whole room had an obvious yellow tint before. You can see the difference most when you look at the areas that I cut in vs. the walls around them. This is before the paint was dry, so the difference got more obvious a little later, but I didn’t get a picture of that since we had already covered most of the walls by the time they started drying.

But speaking of comparisons, here’s the room “before” (let’s go way back into the mauve trim days, shall we?):

And here it is now (thanks to ripping up the old carpet, spraying the trim and doors white, laying some hardwood floors, and freshening up the walls and ceiling).

It’s hard to tell in photos just how different it feels in there! But just the fact that those door overspray marks are finally gone (you can see them in the first picture of everything pushed into the middle of the room) is music to our ears – er, eyes. If only they weren’t still in the guest room…

And here’s the room with some other elements that we’re hoping to work in later.

That’s our bike art (which will be hung somewhere else, since the shelves of the built-in will go there) and the slice of green on the mattress is just a long cotton dress of mine that I shoved in there. I’m a weirdo, I just wanted to see what a green sheet might look like. Of course the built-ins will be painted our mushroomy-brown-gray color and those bare walls above the crib won’t be bare when we really get things going. And that slice of old paint around the ceiling will be covered with chunky crown molding. Details, details.

We also brought up our armchair from the corner of the office when we realized that it would be great for the nursery – and once we redo the office there most likely won’t be room for a big plush armchair anyway. It’s still looking crazy stark in here, but it’s better than that pink-trimmed before – so we’ll take it!

Here’s our to-do list with around 11 weeks before this baby’s here:

  • clean out the room
  • get a rug (more on those two here)
  • research & buy dressers or cabinet bases to create built-ins along the crib wall (more on that here)
  • paint the walls and ceiling
  • find an armchair for all that late night nursing
  • build-in and paint/stain the dressers we bought last week
  • add chunky crown molding around the room
  • address the window (bamboo blinds + blackout curtains?)
  • paint the closet door a fun color (bold green?) and redo the inside for tiny clothes (add a second hanging bar, cubby storage, etc)
  • add sconces to the sides of the built-ins
  • create some sort of slatted or trimmed out wall between the built-ins for interest?
  • get the ceiling wired for an overhead light fixture (none of the upstairs bedrooms have them)
  • bring in a dresser/changing table (we’re 80% sure we’ll use the wooden hand-me-down from John’s dad that’s currently in our closet)
  • build custom shelves (since John did this for Clara, he’d like for this to be a tradition)
  • make a woodsy little cuckoo clock (since I made one for Clara, I’d like to make a charming little rustic one for the bun as well)
  • DIY a mobile
  • make/hang art (at least one or two prints will have a sea-faring reference, thanks to Clara’s baby boy nickname of “The Barnacle”)
  • figure out bedding (make a crib skirt, etc)

Is anyone else painting walls or ceilings? Or planning to paint some cabinetry or built-ins in a non-white color? I gotta tell ya, it’s more thrilling than it should be. #yolo


  1. Phoebe K says

    Great color scheme! I love where you’re going with this. Incorporating the bike art is such a sweet addition since John DIYed the frames.

  2. Stefanie says

    Love the way this is coming together. Love the idea of using those new Ikea dressers as a base for a “built in”. I saw them in the store and fell in love but the $300 price tag had me skeptical. Can’t wait to see how you incorporate that fun green into the room.

    I am currently searching for the “perfect” chair for a nursery and keep coming across all of these great chairs at thrift stores but for us a rocker is essential. After some Googling I came across this http://interiorsbykenz.com/ikea-hack-strandmon-rocker-diy-wingback-rocking-chair/ which has given me hope that when I find Mr Right-Chair I can make into a rocker myself fairly easily. Wasn’t sure if a rocker was something that’d you’d rather have but if so that tutorial seems great..and looks like it could be converted back fairly easily.

    Hope you guys enjoy the “warm” temps today. Accuweather keeps telling me we’re heading right back into the frozen tundra this week. Ugg!

    • says

      Yes, they’re even saying lots of snow for us this week too! Clara is overjoyed about it, but it means delays for the showhouse so we’re sort of on the fence about it. Haha! And as for that amazing ikea-hack-rocker link, amazing!! Such a cool idea!


    • Stefanie says

      My kids were out of school EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. last week (we’re in Fredericksburg) so today was a welcome day back for everyone. I’d be happy to not see another drop of snow/ice for the rest of the winter. Last week was such a mess all around that I’m ready for Spring to show it’s face any time now!

    • says

      Yes, us too! Clara had no preschool at all last week! It was kinda crazy because we only got a few inches of snow, but it was so cold the roads stayed icy in a few places.


  3. Jenn says

    Looks awesome! I see that the molding on the built-ins will not be a color match to the molding in the room. How did you come to that conclusion? I’m excited to see the end result. Work harder John!!!! (kidding)

    • says

      Since they pop out like a piece of furniture (they’re not on the same plane, they’re 90 degrees different from the crown that encircles the room) we think it’ll make sense to keep those the same color as the built-ins since we liked how that looked in photoshop. In our kitchen we leaned away from that idea because we had areas like this (where the cabinetry did not pop out from the wall, so it would literally have been like drawing lines of color in the middle of one long span of crown if that makes sense).


  4. Amanda G says

    Excited to see the progress along the way of this sweet baby’s room. :) Have you thought of putting a changing pad on top of one of the built-in dressers to use as a changing station? Or is that too crammed? That way you wouldn’t need the extra dresser and would have more room for fun things! :)

  5. Kristin says

    What great color choices! They will be great as the Bun grows. I might have to steal them for my 13 year old sons room. They are exactly the types colors he’s been asking for. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. says

    I had a similar coincedence with the paint color I chose for my kitchen/family room. I’m a very enthusiastic knitter and the color I fell in love with is called Knitting Needles.

    People are always confused when I tell them the color name like I named it myself or something.

    • says

      That’s so funny! Sometimes it just works out! And other times you’re saying “it’s Carolina Inn Club Aqua” – which was the paint color name of our last house’s bedroom for a while (it always felt like such a long fake-name to us, like we were making it up as we went along! haha!).


    • Jenn says


      Carolina Inn Club Aqua is called so because the Carolina Inn on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus has bedrooms that are all painted this “Carolina Blue” color. It’s totally real :)

      –UNC Alum

    • says

      So funny! That completely makes sense! When I’m saying it I feel like I’m just stringing random words together! Like Colorado Hotel Fort Yellow. Haha!


    • says

      I think it’s the Valspar Historical colors…our bedroom and son’s room are Jekyll Grand Dining Sea Mist. I just handed the guy at the paint counter the swatch and said, “That one.” Way too many words for a paint color…but it’s so pretty!

  7. says

    Ohhhhhh this is looking so wonderful! I adore the moodboard and I think letting layers and the small stuff “do the talking” colorwise is so smart ;)

    I recently did my daughters room, as she is growing rapidly (as children do – however the mothers dont seem to age a bit ;) Plese feel free to check it out: http://www.skreytumhus.is/?p=19654

    • says

      Ahhhhh! I know! Part of me can’t believe there’s still more door-overspray in the guest room, and part of me can’t believe there’s just one room of it left (we used to have four rooms of it up here).


  8. Jess says

    Lookin’ good! I’ve noticed that you have spend a lot more money in this room compared to others ($400 rug, $600 dressers.) Are you leaning toward more expensive things throughout, or are these just splurges?

    • says

      I think we’re definitely happy to spend more on things that we hope will last for the long haul (for example making a built-in wouldn’t be smart money-wise to do with something cheap/flimsy, so we were happy to shell out more for sturdy, solid wood dressers). In our last house we purchased an $800 dining table and a $1200 sectional after moving in there, and here we didn’t need to buy those again (we’ve just bought a $600 kitchen table along with $15 thrift store chairs), so it’s sort of like our savings for “good furnishings” gets depleted in different ways when we move into a new house, but we’d like to stay here a long time so it’s going more towards things that are permanent/built-in I think (like the tile and lofted ceiling we tackled in the sunroom conversion). It’s really all a balance for us though. Reusing our crib/mattress, a hand-me-down dresser, and an armchair we already have along with doing all of the painting/building/molding ourselves are ways that we can save money as we go too!


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