This week, while on a one-week staycation from work, the hubs and I embarked on a few fun excursions and activities. One of these was an overnight stay in New Buffalo, Michigan, where we explored town, relaxed by the beach, and enjoyed a delicious fancy dinner in celebration of his birthday.
It was an awesome escape from everyday life, and I’ve always felt that getting near water for a bit is healing.
This was a short reprieve, however, because when we came back we embarked on a new painting project: the master bedroom.
This is a large room with a large window and an attached bathroom. We recently upgraded the bathroom with floor tiles and paint, taking it from drab to spa-like in a couple of quick, cheap steps.
You’ll see the honey oak trim and old floor here:
With the help of self-stick tiles and my favorite paint, Benjamin Moore Aura “Ice Mist” in a semigloss finish, plus some really cute bubble glass knobs, we transformed the bathroom to a more zen, clean space.
So, this could only leave us one choice for the adjacent bedroom – to finally give it a makeover. I had been toying with different dark paint colors for ages, considering anything from deep green to purple to gray, but I knew where my heart would take me – navy. I have a special love for navy, because as dark as it is, it’s used so often that it feels more like a neutral than other dark colors do, yet it still makes a statement. With navy, I feel like the room is bold, but still friendly. I can’t explain color feelings, I just know I have them. Am I the only one?
Anyway, on to painting. I will tell you as advice, since this felt like such a bold, can’t-go-back choice (painting over dark colors sucks because you’ve really got to prime over that dark shade, adding a third coat to the already long process), that we did one wall first to see how it would look with less commitment. If we thought it would get too dark, we didn’t have to finish the whole room. In most cases, I don’t really love accent walls, but in a bedroom I do think they can work particularly well if they anchor the bed.
Here’s our in-progress shot while it was still drying. We picked Benjamin Moore’s “In the Midnight Hour” shade, which translates into a really beautiful, rich navy that isn’t too dark.
It went on a little lighter than I expected, but by the time it dried, it was exactly what I wanted. You can see the difference around an outlet here. Please ignore my messy paint line above the trim – this happened before we taped, when I had originally planned to cut around the room by hand and realized I’m just not as good at that as I’d like to be.
Once we finished this wall, we took a step back and said this color would be fine across the whole room (okay, I said that and Chris didn’t object). But we needed more paint – like I said, it’s a big room. I had grabbed the first gallon a couple weeks ago in anticipation of painting, but before we started this first coat, we went out to grab a second gallon. The only problem – I got the wrong color when I grabbed that second gallon. My second gallon was now “Midnight Oil” instead of “In the Midnight Hour.” Oh the drama. I was so upset that I’d made this stupid mistake, but it didn’t change the fact that I had to go out and get the right color. Cue another 20 minutes at the store. So if anyone needs some navy paint, I have a super similar, slightly darker navy available, unopened. And Benjamin Moore has an email about why you shouldn’t put the word “midnight” in so many different shades of navy.
All right, we’re back on track. We painted the rest of the room over the course of about two days. Me getting around trim and door jambs, Chris rolling. The beauty of his 6-foot stature is that he can easily roll from floor to ceiling, which makes a small but noticeable difference when painting with dark paint. Should you be able to, rolling in one stroke from floor to ceiling will result in a nice, even finish.
One downside: we now need new bedding. I originally chose the navy bedding so it would create some contrast for our bedroom when everything was light – ivory carpeting, white walls. Now, we’ll need something lighter to offset the walls. I still love this comforter, so I can repurpose it in a guest room for now. 🙂
In doing some shopping to replace it and knowing I was looking for something with neutrals and yellow/citrus, I hope I’ve found just the thing. A duvet set from West Elm in a neutral shade with citrus embroidered leaves.
I’m just waiting for this set to arrive, and then the room will be complete! Then, it’s on to having a terrible time trying to wake up in the morning due to all the darkness. And it’s already hard to wake up with winter coming. 😦
On the bright side, I noticed one other unexpected benefit to painting our walls dark. Now, what used to look like dingy carpet actually looks just fine thanks to the contrast. With extremely white trim and white walls, our ivory carpet was looking mighty bad around the edge of the room.
It just always looked a little darker and dingier near the trim. From the contrast of the walls, it now looks like a sort of intentional carpet choice!
Hooray for totally accidental wins!
I’ll follow up with more photos once our bedding comes in. For now, I’m looking forward to a dark and cozy spot in our house to read, relax, and sleep.