Painting the Music Room + Jewel Toned Inspiration

June 30, 2020

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We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

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We had a different project scheduled for this week, but the weather is so crappy (spoiler alert: it was an outdoor project) that we couldn’t carry it out. But I was so excited to check something off the list that I told Chris I’M DOING SOMETHING THIS WEEK. I HAVE to do something creative. 

To be honest, there have been so many large projects since moving in and I have been really missing the projects where I can put in some headphones and DIY myself. This space has always been a creative outlet for me and while it’s been heavy on the design side, the DIY is what always fuels me. I need something small with a big impact that I can do by myself in a day or a couple days. Painting checks off all of that. And so I’m going to paint the music room this week. Today. I’m doing it today, or at least start!

The music room is a central space between the living room, dining room and entry. While there’s a lot of natural light pouring in the adjacent rooms, the music room itself is “landlocked” with 3 large arches connecting it to the other rooms.

We painted all the main spaces in our home Alabaster by Sherwin Williams and the trim Accessible Beige and it works beautifully in spaces with lots of natural light (almost everywhere!) but in here, it falls flat. Which goes back to my rule: Rooms with no windows don’t look best in white. White can be so dynamic with light, but in the music room, I think we need some color.

I’d love for this room to feel more like a jewel box. A box of color in the midst of a sea of white and neutrals. Although I’m definitely mindful about it still fitting into our modern cottage vibe we’re going for in this house. I’ve gone back and forth between something super dark to more of a mid tone. Warm rusts to a navy. A charcoal with jewel-toned furnishings! My mind is spinning in the best possible way.

Here are a few inspiration pics I’ve gathered:












I’m determined to pick a paint color today and I’ll share it in real time on Instagram! So if you aren’t following along, head over to @chrislovesjulia and I’ll be sure to share an after here later this week, too!

Ps…paint the ceiling, too??

What do you think?

  1. Erika Ward says:

    So many convincing reasons to just do it, already. Loved each and every one of your inspiration photos. Yes, I vote to paint the ceiling as well. It helps to create a full envelope of color!

  2. jen says:

    Oh my goodness! That blush room and the light green one by Jenny Komenda made my heart skip a beat! Yes, paint the ceiling too! Can’t wait to see it!

  3. K says:

    Love ‘jewel’ colors vs ‘moody’ & definitely paint the ceiling! Loving the entire transformation!

  4. Rosalind says:

    Now my husband will be mad when I tell him I NEED to paint a room. LOL! LOVE the way it turned out. So stunning!!!!!!!

  5. Julia says:

    I’m definitely on board with your point about painting windowless rooms not white. Would you say this also applies to hallways with no windows? I’ve got an upstairs hallway that connects to colourful rooms so I was thinking white, but it doesn’t have any windows either ???? p.s. love your work!

  6. Christina says:

    Yes to the ceiling…same color as walls…makes it intimate and striking while it disappears. And it saves a LOT of time during painting!

  7. Kerry says:

    I just painted our entryway from white to a dark green and I love it! We used 1905 Green by Magnolia Home. The paint itself is just okay but the color adds so much to the space.

  8. Annie Callister says:

    One thing to think about is that the majority of those rooms have beautiful trim accents on the walls and/or ceilings. I believe the dark solid paint works because of the interesting trim accents that keep it interesting. So…maybe think about how you could bring in something to break up the solid color :)

  9. Nancy says:

    With the view from the music room into the dining room and living space – as much as I LOOVEE the green – I would not want the
    Blue couch to compete with any blues or green colors – that being said – I have to vote for the pink hues – muted – will compliment the blues, greens and blacks in the adjoining spaces.

    • Nancy says:

      Also – muted pink hues can carry all color schemes of frames and art work without competition.

  10. Ashley says:

    Yes yes yes to the ceiling!! All the pics are so good, can’t wait to see what you settle on!

  11. Erin says:

    SO exciting! For sure the ceiling! My biggest regret in dark rooms I have done is not including the ceiling when going for deep and moody

  12. Erin says:

    Definitely paint the ceiling too!!! Monochrome all the way!

  13. I LOVE the navy in the second inspo pic. It feels like that space needs a moody shade

  14. Marcela says:

    I love the pink color in photo with shelving full of vases, as well as jenny komenda’s which I’ve always loved. I would definitely cover the ceiling, either painted or wallpaper!

  15. Tanya Ricci says:

    Hi Julia! It’s hard to tell the video on your stories but it looks like the edges of the arched doorways are rounded. How would you address this when painting (I.e. where would the colour end and the white begin)?

  16. Daizy says:

    I love all the inspiration pictures … especially the blue and green ones. Maybe if you choose something with those colors it will help tie in your kitchen without being too “matchy matchy”
    I can’t wait to see your selection. You have a great eye for color so I’m sure it’ll look amazing!

  17. Megan says:

    Ahh! This feels like the difference between watching your favorite show every week and just waiting for the whole thing to come out on Netflix. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I love hearing your thought process, too. I’m learning so much and I love seeing your vision come together!

  18. Jamie says:

    It will be beautiful! I’m curious how you will deal with the trim? Where do you end the color? I have some areas of the house where I’d love to try some different colors, but there isn’t an easy place to stop the color.

  19. Mandy says:

    I vote a rust or pink color! I know that was an option for the sofa/sectional so you’ve been wanting to try this color – go for it! You can always repaint (especially if this is phase one) but no matter what you choose, I’m sure it’ll look great!

  20. EP says:

    I suggest Farrow and Ball Inchyra Blue! It’s such a beautiful color, blue with gray undertones, dark but not too dark. It’s really lovely.

  21. Megan says:

    We swatched FB Hague Blue and it’s was definitely too dark for our dining room, but settled on FB Stiffkey Blue instead. It still has that rich blue color. I think it’d make a good contender with the piano too!

  22. Shannon says:

    Shiplap the ceiling too like your closet!

  23. Sara says:

    Loving this idea! The ceiling painted would be gorgeous!!! What about a color one or two darker than your kitchen cabinets for that moody look you’re going for? I can’t wait, I’ll be following along on Insta!

  24. Courtney says:

    The instant gratification projects are awesome. On a whim I moved all our living room furniture around while inspiration struck in the middle of a zoom meeting this week haha! I had that picture of Jenny Komenda’s guitar room saved for a year while I waited for our new build condo to be finished. We painted our bedroom that Farrow and Ball color the second we moved in and loved it! We’ve since moved and I still miss that green blue haha. Whatever you pick will be gorgeous! Love the rusty pinks as well. Can’t wait to see the result!

  25. Marcia says:

    I can’t wait to see this! I’ve been wanting to do this in my dining room, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where the paint should stop on the heavy molding that leads to the foyer.

  26. Jamie says:

    Love all the colors especially the first one (green). Can’t wait to see what color you choose! I want to paint our windowless bathrooms but scared to take the plunge as the rest of the house is white.

  27. Definitely paint the ceiling! I was really struck by the two salmon toned pieces, but I don’t know if those will make the beautiful wood of the piano pop! I feel like that has to be part of the consideration too. Hope you get clarity soon. I’m sure you’ll pick something great.

  28. Amy says:

    Yes to the ceiling! I’d love to see it a pink tone. It’s just paint right?! (Says the person who despises painting walls…)

  29. Emily Robinson says:

    Wallpaper the ceiling!!!!

    • Jill says:

      I love this idea!

    • Erin says:

      Yaass! Wallpaper the ceiling!! I can perfectly picture something floral and whimsical, maybe with birds. The dark, moody walls will draw your eyes up and the music will get you lost in the story that’s happening on the ceiling. Detail question: are your wall edges on the arches a bit rounded? If so, will that make it difficult to find a good place to end the paint color without a typical defined straight line? Can’t wait to see what you do!

  30. Tina says:

    I for sure thought you would wallpaper the walls with a dark maybe floral pattern. I’m confident I will love whatever color you choose though. I always do! Definitely paint the ceiling!!!

  31. Amber says:

    I will be peeping insta all day!!

  32. Christina says:

    YES to painting the ceiling!!! I am digging this so so much. I love the dark eggplant inspiration pic that is here and you also shared in your stories. Would it be worth considering a coordinated wallpaper moment in the piano nook? Maybeeee? Can’t wait to see what you decide!!

  33. Katie says:

    I totally think you should paint the ceiling! Many of your inspo photos have the same color top to bottom and it would really highlight the space from the surroundings and make it feel like a getaway in the midst of the rest of the house

  34. Katy says:

    Don’t paint the ceiling, but paint the baseboards and crown. Pick up on the dark color of the sofa in your family room and paint the music room a similar color! I love how rooms build on each other and provide hints of what’s to come!

  35. Jesseca says:

    Fun! I love the inspiration and I think painting the ceiling is a must. I can’t wait to see it.

  36. Amanda says:

    Yes to painting the ceiling!!!!! That gives it the true jewel box vibe! How do you pick a color, I love all the inspiration photos

  37. Brooke bullard says:

    Can’t wait to see what you choose!! I know it will be beautiful

  38. Baylee says:

    Yes paint the ceiling!!

  39. jennifer dodovski says:

    Where is the light fixture from in the music room?

  40. Cici Haus says:

    Definitely paint the ceiling! I don’t think you can go wrong – this little jewel box will be beautiful!

  41. Deb says:

    I love the blues!
    I have the same light issues in my formal living room and kitchen area which open onto each other. We have just moved in and it is painted beige but with the lighting, one room looks beigey yellow, the other is almost a gold! I thought white was going to be my answer. Gray won’t work as the previous owners painted the two story entry gray and it looks dead like a haunted house and rather bilious green at certain times of the day. Is there a sure fire way of predicting what is the best color? I just want a bright solution.

  42. Katie says:

    I think this room is going to be the most beautiful little jewel box in the middle of these larger, brighter rooms. Crossing my fingers for a deep peacock/navy blue!!

  43. Carmil Mullaney says:

    I loved the darker, jewel toned colors in your last house! Those would be my inspiration pics! I will follow in Insta…

  44. Katie says:

    I’ve used BM Caribbean Teal in our low-light entry and it’s incredibly cozy, compared to the light greys and whites I have used throughout the rest of my home. So fun to a have a cozy dark(er) nook! Good luck with your selection, it’s going to be so fun.

  45. Rach says:

    yes ceiling| blurs all lines, cocoons the room even more, walls fade away and furniture takes centre stage, especially with dark colours.

  46. Allison Santos says:

    Crap. Now I need to paint something too. I think you should definitely go for one of the charcoal colors pictured!

  47. Susan says:

    Some of those dark inspiration rooms veer towards creepy, especially once they add moody art. They are fascinating to study in a photo but not very livable in real life. I think of a music room as a joyful place where beauty and connection happens. It’s a perfect room to add color. Will be fun to see what develops

    • Allison says:

      So we can only look at art but not recreate it in our own homes if we feel inspired? Hmm..

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