We got the guest room painted and the photos aren’t very good. Womp Womp. It’s been pretty rainy and gloomy compounded by the fact this room is on our lower level. I hate to call it a “basement” because it’s so nice and finished and not musty or cold–everything I think of when I say “basement.” So what I did was pair a before photo with the terrible lighting on and an after photo with the same terrible lighting, so at least there’s that consistency?
Boom! (That light is so harsh. Grr. Sorry. Both of these photos are straight out of the camera.) I decided to paint the room a really light gray, Valspar’s Cool Vapor. I knew I wanted a light color to brighten this room up, but since it doesn’t get a ton of natural light, it wasn’t wise to go with white. White in a room with little natural light just looks dingy because of all the shadows. So even though your instincts might tell you to go all white to make things feel brighter, resist.
I chose the color while in this room. I can’t express how important that is. You may like a paint color you see somewhere else, a blog or otherwise, but it could look totally different in your room. This is how I generally choose colors–I hold several options up individually in the air (not against a wall) facing every direction. When I think I finalized a color, I’ll look at it against the floor. Why don’t I hold it up against a wall? Well, because of this:
Because the trim in this room was yellowed, it made a gray (or any color) look purple. And because the walls were blue-ish green, it’s going to trick my eyes into seeing pink. So even though the gray swatch I chose didn’t have any of those undertones, until I clear out all the yellow and blue-green, it won’t look like it’s true color. Basic color theory. In this case, I wasn’t changing out the floor, which is why I always hold it next to the floor, too–to make sure it meshes and the undertones don’t clash. Once I choose my color, and am confident with it–I can’t let myself change it while looking at swatches in a different room.
This was a lesson I really had to stick to this time around. In the store–it looked white! I started second-guessing my decision while not even in the room. Tsk Tsk. Fortunately, I pulled it together and went with the hue I knew looked the best. Even when you start painting and it looks like the above photo. Pinky-purple mess. Be confident. Once you get everything painted out–it will look just right.
Fortunately, it settled into the perfect light gray after we painted all the trim and closet doors. That made such a difference. Look at that contrast:
So fresh, now. Sidenote: Must get new hardware–so at least every door has some. That’s where we are right now. There’s a lot of how-to paint rooms posts out there, but not a whole lot of how-to choose paint colors. I think I might do a more in-depth post about it down the road. Not to brag, but color theory–aced it. Ha!
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Almost daily I get asked what I would call my home style. I don’t like to box myself in, but I definitely lean Modern Traditional with an emphasis on comfort when it comes to our home. This especially came up when I shared our Powder Bath Reveal on the blog. I think it changes slightly […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home