… 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?):
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
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, guys. We’re back with a fully finished bathroom paint & trim project (we mentioned our plan here last week, and you saw a sneak half-done peek of it in the house tour video on Friday). So here’s what it’s looking like now:
Which is a pretty stark contrast to what we started with. You might remember that we removed the glass shower doors pretty early on, but then we didn’t touch the room again until recently waging war on the wallpaper.
It’s a tough room to photograph due to all the doorways and nooks – especially when trying to get the ceiling and the floor in one shot. So forgive all of the super vertical crops and choppy shots. We hope they at least give you a sense of what the room looks like now.
As we mentioned in last week’s post, the thought behind the blue ceiling was to balance the floor. We’re actually charmed by the blue hex flooring, but we thought some up-high interest would be a nice counterpart. Heather’s bathroom below (and this similarly blue-floored inspiration image) helped to guide our vision – especially the part about adding some simple architecture to create a transition between the colors.
The first step was taping a horizontal border around the room where we wanted our blue color to start. We landed on about 8″ down from the ceiling, since it meant the border wouldn’t be interrupted by door or window trim but would still be substantial enough to look purposeful. I just held up my level and drew a pencil line along the wall… which then acted as my guide to apply painters tape. I wasn’t super meticulous at keeping my tape lines perfectly level since ultimately the paint edge would be hidden under the trim (so as long as it wasn’t majorly crooked, the trim would hide any small wavers or dips).
The next challenge was picking a paint color. We started off by doing some test swatches of colors we had on hand, like Nelson Blue (from our kitchen), Sylvan Mist (leftover from book projects), and Spirit In The Sky (a losing test pot from when we picked a front door color). Normally we’d go for subdued blues with a good amount of gray in them for the walls (like the two on the left) but with the low bathroom lighting and the primary blue tiles on the floor, the grayed-out tones actually looked more gray than blue in here. Spirit In The Sky was exciting in a small swatch because it was bold and very obviously blue, but we worried that once it went around the whole room – and covered the entire ceiling – it would be too intense for us (paint tends to magnify itself from a small test swatch and looks a lot bolder when it’s all over the walls or ceiling). So you see how Sherry’s holding up another swatch?
That’s Spring Mint (in an eggshell finish). Since nothing we had on hand was working, we decided to spring for a quart of a new color that was further from the blue-gray category, and more in the “pure blue” arena. Something like Spirit In The Sky, but a bit lighter and more subdued in intensity.
It took us two coats, but by that evening we had the blue border and ceiling that we were going for. As we peeled off the tape, we both wondered if we should leave it as is (i.e. forget adding molding). We decided it was definitely an option (especially if you’re someone who doesn’t have the time/money/tools to add it) but we wanted to take ours a step further. Mostly because we’re a little too in love with our nail-gun, and lattice strips are nice and inexpensive.
Speaking of lattice, we used the same pre-primed strips that we used for our last hallway’s board & batten. They’re super thin, light weight, and just 77¢ per foot from Home Depot. Sherry measured and cut the strips using our miter saw, and we taped them into place as she brought them up, just to keep track of how it looked and what walls were still incomplete. Despite all of the nooks and crannies in this bathroom, it took us under an hour to get everything cut and taped up… though it did involve about two dozen trips up and down the stairs between the two of us. Go quads!
As we took them down to paint them, we labeled each one on the back so we knew exactly where they went when it was time to nail them into place. Many of the walls are similar in size, so we figured it would save us the frustration of putting the puzzle back together by trial-and-error.
In addition to putting a coat of white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) on the pre-primed slats, we also painted the walls the same color. Once that dried, we could finally attach the trim. This is one of those easier-with-two-people projects, so Sherry was with me holding things (the nail gun, the other end of the lattice strip, the level, etc) which made it go faster. We started with me nailing one end of our first strip with the nail gun (it was loaded with 1.25″ brad nails). Note the ear plugs, since in such a small space the sound of the gun was crazy loud.
Then I held my level across it to make sure it was straight before handing the nail gun to Sherry so she could nail in the other end. This is a rigged photo since Sherry had to hop down to take this picture, but in real life it was a lot easier for her to hold the other end of the lattice up, and I’d check things with the level, say “good!”, and she’d fire a nail into her end. Then we could just continue around the room, making sure each piece lined up with the one before it.
Once we had all of the lattice hung, I went around the whole bottom edge with a bit of caulk, since our walls weren’t flat enough for them to looks seamless. I also used caulk to fill the tiny nail holes that we fired into the lattice on each end as we hung it. When the caulk dried, Sherry went over the trim with one more coat of paint – just on the front and under the bottom edge – to make sure it looked as crisp as the freshly painted wall.
There are still lots of little tweaks that we’d like to do to this room for Phase 1 (see that light fixture above?) but so far we’re really happy with this slice of personality that we brought back into the space (you know, after ridding it of its wild wallpapered persona).
And I don’t want to ignore the power of the white paint in all of this too. Here’s the difference between our post-wallpaper-removal “gas station bathroom” look, and the post-paint after that we have going on now.
We also hung some art on the wall behind the toilet. These are prints we had from our last house (the top one is a page ripped from Real Simple magazine that hung in our guest bathroom, and the bottom one is a print by Sally at sadlyharmless.com that was given to us during one of our book tour stops last year and used to hang in our sunroom).
When we held them up together we initially worried they were a little too similar to be so close to each other, but decided just to work with what we have for now. The gradient of blues (the top print is a little lighter) actually seem to connect the lighter blue ceiling to the deeper blue floor in a nice subtle way.
At the end of the day, our entire master bathroom update so far clocks in at a little over 50 bucks. Here’s the breakdown:
- Removing the glass shower doors (more on that here): $0
- Peeling the wallpaper (more on that here): $0
- Lattice trim from Home Depot: $25
- A quart of blue paint for the ceiling in “Spring Mint”: $30
- Shower curtain, white paint for the walls & trim, and art: $0 (we already had them)
- TOTAL: $55*
* If you don’t have a shower curtain, wall & trim paint, and art on hand, you might spend around $100 grabbing those.
We still have a few more inexpensive updates in mind for this room, but it’s already a lot nicer to walk into than the dark blue wallpapered space that we started with. What did you guys do this weekend? Any bathroom or trim projects in the works?
Psst- Last week we woke up to some surprise snow, and Clara really got into it.