We Painted our Bedroom Dark Brown and couldn’t love it more.

March 11, 2022

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I haven’t been this excited to share photos with you in a while. I’ve been itching to paint our bedroom a rich, dark brown and after a rollercoaster of decision paralysis (you can see all the options we were considering here), we settled on one that feels so right. Our bedroom has been light and airy and it feels energizing on one hand, but we’ve had a light bedroom for the last several years and we were definitely ready for something more moody. I love to choose a paint color based on how I want a room to feel. And here, I wanted our bedroom to feel romantic, relaxing, and maybe a little historic. We added the beadboard on the ceiling, and the box trim on the walls which added so much depth to the room. but the rich, plum brown paint color we landed on really set the tone. We used Farrow and Ball, London Clay (bought locally at Elan Design Source).

Bed | Bench | Chandelier | Rug | Vase | Candle

It’s a deep, rich mahogany brown with purple undertones. It’s warm brown, but it also feels like a color which is interesting and intriguing even. When I showed Chris the top three options I was considering, he pointed out London Clay as his favorite–he loved that it felt more like a color and less like just a neutral. Of course that really resonated with me, too.

As a reminder, here’s how our bedroom looked right before this phase 2:


Again, the white is beautiful, and there was a moment when the windows went black (that paint happened first) that I almost stopped the whole operation because the contrast was stunning, but I knew the transformation that we were after and I needed a break from sleeping in a white box.

Same angle, dark brown transformation:

It feels romantic, and earthy, and memorable. I know a retreat is typically bright and airy, but this is my kind of retreat. A retreat into a romantic getaway, from the rest of the house.

Note: We used Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Black for the windows, Farrow & Ball London Clay in Modern Emulsion for the walls and Modern Eggshell for the trim.

Opposite our bed, still hangs our TV, except now it blends in so much more and has no wires hanging down! Big pro TV in the bedroom people.

I ordered some art for above the bed, and curtains and shades for the windows and a large floor mirror, so over the next couple weeks, we’re excited to share more of this space, but man, I already never want to leave. (Good thing or bad thing?? ha)

Shop Our Bedroom


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What do you think?

  1. Cathy Mcpherson says:

    It’s simply stunning and we are inspired 😊

  2. Dana Warner says:

    This is our inspiration bedroom for our second home we just purchased in Boise. The room is so beautiful!

  3. Sharon Townend says:

    Well, the beauty of paint is that if you tire of it quickly another can or two of paint is just down the road.
    Personally, not feeling the midtone shade of brown you’ve opted for but I do LOVE dark brown moody walls.
    It just all looks a bit drab with the blue bedding. :(

  4. Heather Hubert says:

    Where is the striped bedding from? Thank you!

  5. Lisa says:

    The dark paint color absorbs the natural light coming in from the big window – would not have been my choice. I think you could have achieved the same mood with a lighter shade. I do like the ceiling though.

  6. Ruth says:

    Your new striped bedding is refreshing and modern in the cozy beautiful room! Where did you purchase it?
    Thanks so much!

  7. Irmarie says:

    Hi. Could you do a roundup of brown paints from a variety of brands? I’m painting my bedroom ceiling brown but having a hard time deciding which one.

  8. Chris says:

    I love it all. Full stop. Thanks for sharing the process, details, and final result (with all the dreamy angles). It feels very you guys, and aligns beautifully with the tones of your home overall. For what it’s worth, I love every inch of this * high five :) *

  9. Cat says:

    Yes! So endearing and normalizing to see a home lived in.

  10. Cari says:

    I am absolutely obsessed with this! I have been searching for moody bedroom inspo for forever, and this room is hands-down my favorite.

  11. Carla says:

    Do you have concerns that each room is its own statement, with the deep/rich/bold colors/murals/wallpapers – but put all together, there is no cohesive look? Or is that the intent in your design process? It’s an impression that I have that the house is starting to look too busy and contrasting with the greens, browns, and blues.

  12. DD says:

    This color reminds me of gallery walls in prestigious museums like The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. They’re always in a matte finish, and the almost velvety saturated colors make the masterpieces on the wall POP, especially the patina on deeply-gilded frames. An audacious choice. Cheers!

  13. Catherine Derry says:

    I love the rich colour…just beautiful. I prefer colour in the bedroom (all rooms actually) and white is not an option for me. We painted our room a dark marine blue and we love it for sleeping. Congrats on a great choice.

  14. Kate says:

    I love the freshness of a good white room, but there’s so much intentionality to painting a room dark. This color with the trim and ceiling is *chef’s kiss*! I struggle with choosing furniture finishes when using bolder paint colors…would love to hear more on how you make those decisions.

  15. REK981 says:

    This is fabulous! I am going to be so brave when painting my new (to me) home next month. Paint is so easy, if we don’t like it we can change it!

  16. Monica says:

    Beautiful choice. And thank you for the picture of the baseboard trim that shows the painted over nicks. I always think Instagram houses are perfect and surely don’t have the same imperfections as my own home. Makes me feel more forgiving to myself!

  17. Becky says:

    I LOVE both so can you figure out a way to have it light during the day and dark at night!!??? Haha

  18. Patricia says:

    I have one fudge brown wall in our small bedroom. Now wishing I painted all walls. Might expand the size.

  19. Kristine says:

    Just absolutely gorgeous!

  20. Julie S says:

    It’s not for me, but it is lovely! I like that it doesn’t feel as empty/big and expanded anymore… it needed to come in a little closer, more intimate or enveloping.

  21. Barbara says:

    I LOVE what it does to the chandelier!

  22. Carolyn says:

    Lovely – it feels so perfect for the CLJ Modern Colonial!

  23. Martha says:

    Actually, the addition of the box trim on the walls is like the secret ingredient. The new color is delicious for master bedroom (and the ceiling!), but it’s the new box trim that makes it work IMO. Enjoy!

  24. Stephanie says:

    I couldn’t love it more! Have been wanting to add beadboard to cover some of our popcorn ceilings along with box trim on the walls and seeing this room makes me want to do it even more! Love that you are willing to take risks and step outside of your typical comfort zone- it inspires me daily! Question- did you paint the ceiling and box trim both in eggshell? We have SW satin on walls and trying to decide is I should keep the same sheen for the box trim or do a semi gloss. Can’t wait for your next project!

  25. Nicolette says:

    Our bedroom at our last house was this color and this makes me miss it so much! It’s so cozy and elegant all at the same time. I’ve been waiting to paint our room at this house and this is giving me the push I need to just make a decision already and not overthink it too much.

  26. Anabela says:

    Hi Julia! It looks stunning! I’m wondering if you know what exposure this room gets? N, S, E or W?

  27. Amy says:

    Oh Marcums,
    I looooooove it! I’m now thinking where I can put this color in my home!!

  28. Leslie says:

    It’s very dramatic. It’s pretty , but I loved the freshness of the lighter color.

  29. Lisa says:

    I was team salon drab which is more of an olive-y brown (I think?) but this looks beautiful. You can’t go wrong with Farrow and Ball. Their colors have so much depth and interest. Only problem I see is it makes it so much cozier so hard to get out of bed (so good that you still have young ones to make you do that!)

  30. Heather Norman says:

    ahhh. it looks so great!
    Want to sell the big tree picture? (live local…)

  31. Sam says:

    It’s not my taste but I sooo love your commitment to doing something for you and going outside the norm in your home! In the house content world, everything is so bland some times it gets boring!! I love coming to see new ideas and then I know if they’re for me or not. You keep doing all the fresh stuff you have a lifelong fan not for your style but for your commitment to always keep evolving!!

  32. Kaylee says:

    I absolutely love it!! All of these moody colors are feeling SO right! I just painted the primary bath at my vacation rental ‘Sommelier’ and it is the coziest bathroom! Bring on all of the moody, coziness! Can’t wait to see the curtains and art you chose!

  33. Sarah Hina says:

    Hi Julia, I was wondering if you add additional speakers in your bedroom or do you rely on the volume from the TV? I’ve always noticed when staying in hotels or rooms with TV I always have to have the volume cranked up to hear it from the bed and then it doesn’t feel as relaxing. I’m curious what your experiences have been with your varying bedroom sizes. Thank you

    • We have an echo studio speaker in our bedroom but it’s not connected to the TV. Honestly, we haven’t had too much trouble with TV volume here. Mostly keep it on volume 9…which I realize doesn’t mean a ton because every TV is different lol

  34. Annie says:

    Okay, I’m truly obsessed with this colour. It’s so perfect and moody. Romantic is absolutely the word!

    What I’m not loving is the beadboard across the ceiling. I find it competes visually with the box trim. It’s a lot of texture and lines. I was waiting to see it all painted and thinking that might change my mind, but I’m still having a hard time with it.

    That said, I love everything else about this room and I’m sure the curtains, shades and mirror will be stunning. Looking forward to seeing it all come together!

  35. Marilyn says:

    I can’t!

  36. Kim says:

    It feels so rich, elegant, cozy and soulful. I love the color! I’ve been stuck for months on picking a color for our primary bedroom. I’m not scared of color, I just can’t seem to figure out what color I want LOL…ugh.

  37. Margo says:

    I love what you said about this really being a color, not a neutral. I was team Salon Drab but this London Clay is stunning. Congratulations on making not only *a* choice but a great choice! Hope you love it.

  38. Rebekah says:

    The perfect backdrop 💜🤎

  39. Gus says:

    I painted my bedroom dark brown about four years ago. Everyone said I was crazy. Well, I might be but I love my bedroom and yours too! I say do what you want. Convention be damned.

  40. Kara says:

    Love the paint color. It’s refreshing to see non-white rooms on design blogs.

    I would prefer an antique wooden bench at the foot of the bed with a moody floral print of some sort—I really dislike the current bench,

  41. Rebecca says:

    Way too dark for my taste…

  42. Heather says:

    This is LOVELY. I’m so glad you went for it!

    • Gus says:

      I painted my bedroom dark brown about four years ago. Everyone said I was crazy. Well, I might be but I love my bedroom and yours too! I say do what you want. Convention be damned.

  43. Rebecca says:

    It is stunning! Sexy and mysterious and earthy. I would love to see this space during lamp o’ clock!

  44. Jenni says:

    It’s so amazing I have no words!

  45. Marissa O says:

    WOW!! 🤩🤩🤩

  46. Brandi says:

    It looks beautiful! I cant wait to see how you decorate and bring it all together. Ive been debating over painting our bedroom darker too. Right now its behr creamy white with stained oak trim. Im thinking of either painting it a dark blue or leaving it white and using dark blue accents like curtains etc.. Im not as brave when it comes to commiting to a color choice as you are! Love ur posts!

  47. Veronica says:

    I love your design choices 90% of the time, but this one is just not for me. The brown looks too purple for me. It gives me 2000’s plum nightmares lol Also maybe trying a different color accent and bench not feeling the blue. Just my opinion. As long as you like it though, that is ll that matters.

  48. Traci says:

    Cozy, romantic, beautiful! I can’t wait to see how you finish out the room.

  49. Daniela says:

    It’s an interesting choice! It doesn’t resonate with me, but it doesn’t have to so long as you love it!

  50. Cfbetcher says:

    All the heart eyes!!! The blue of the bench against the brown is my FAVORITE.

  51. Jodi says:

    What a transformation!! Love it!

  52. Glenda Wagner says:

    Oh! oh my! Love it!

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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There was a 10-year-period where everyone (including me) was doing black or almost-black rooms or walls. These days, we want something moody and romantic, but we want warmth back in our lives. We want the “grown-up” version of that look. If you are craving a rich, moody paint color that’s a warm, inviting neutral, then […]

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