So it’s a little embarrassing to admit this, but I’m going to keep it real with my latest interior design mistake. And of course, I realize this entire post is entirely #firstworldproblems.
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Remember our entry-turned-library that I made over for the One Room Challenge in October?
I love almost everything about it. It was not a functional space before-just a pass through- and now it’s a space we use every single day. One of the most surprising things is that it really morphed into an office space for us, and a beautiful one, which has been great.
Can you guess what element of the room I’m already really regretting?
My latest interior design mistake
If you guessed that I made a miscalculation with the wall color, you’re right.
When we moved in, we painted the walls of the entry white, but because that space gets so little natural light, the room looked dingy and worn out. So when I designed the library, I wanted to go far away from white. I wanted dark, moody, and library-esque. I was super-inspired by all of the rooms that I kept seeing on Pinterest with moody blue tone-on-tone elements.
I admit, I had a nagging feeling, wondering if that would work in our space. We love light, bright, coastal inspired design in our farmhouse style home. Most of the walls in our home are white, or light and bright (see our mudroom and laundry/bathroom which have fun patterned elements!)
After I put the paint on the walls and painted the doors a beautiful fern green color, initially I loved it and wanted to paint ALL OF THE THINGS dark. And I loved the cozy feeling of the room at night, when we use the room the most.
Now, though, the room feels off. It doesn’t work with the rest of our home, which is light and bright. In fact, it almost feels suffocating. I keep finding myself going back to Pinterest and looking for images of lighter colored libraries.
The good thing is, paint is a super easy fix. Even in this room, which is shiplap with 12 foot high ceilings, it will be a one day job to repaint and will probably cost less than $100 to fix. And I’m definitely going to fix it.
The repaint plans
As far as what color to paint it- obviously, white won’t work, unless I want to go down the same shame spiral as before 🙂 Here’s my process for figuring out what color I’m going to pick to repaint this room:
1-What elements are in the room that I need to work around?
In this case, it’s the blue and white ikat couch, and the orange hardwood floors. I generally try to avoid colors that bring out the orange, but of course blue is one of the biggest offenders so I completely went against that in this case because I wanted to try those blue walls so badly!
Calling the ikat couch a “workaround” is not right exactly. I LOVE that couch, and it’s really more of an inspiration piece for me.
2-What colors do I love and gravitate towards? What am I using in the rest of the house?
I love aqua, white, and pink, and these colors are all strongly represented in the rest of our home. Think about what you love, even what you love to wear. Chances are, you’ll be happy with it in your room.
If you’re starting from scratch with your room design, then NEVER start with the paint color in then room! That should come last. Pull your design together first, maybe based off of art, fabric, or a stunning piece (like that ikat couch) that you absolutely love. Your paint color should compliment that.
See how I absolutely got that part wrong with this space? The paint dominated the room, didn’t truly compliment any one element (even then couch fades into the background with it), and wasn’t a color that I normally gravitate towards with design in our home. Although I love blue, I use it as a compliment color in our home, not a main design element.
3- How will changing the wall color change the rest of the room?
I pulled in some accessories I would normally never use, like the jewel toned pillows, because of the dark wall color. I’m also using the plum colored antique wingback because of how great it looks with the wall color. How will I need to work around those elements, or how can I continue to incorporate them, once I repaint?
4- What else in the room will need to be repainted when I paint the walls, and what color will I need to paint them?
Repainting the walls means that the trim, ceiling, and any built in elements might need to be repainted as well. I’ll need to consider repainting the trim, ceiling, and even the bookcases (see how I was able to give off the shelf bookcases a built-in look here).
I’m thinking about painting the bookcases the slightest of blushes…
5. Lighting, lighting, lighting
It’s everything. See the differences in the blues in the walls of these pics? It’s not editing, it’s lighting and how the color changed during the day and in different areas of the room. Make sure that you try samples of your paint colors on the walls, and take a look at them at different times of the day, and even with the same bulbs in the lamps that you will plan on using consistently. You may love a color at night and with a soft white bulb in, but hate it in the morning with the lights off. If that’s the case, try a slightly different shade that changes less with the light.
What’s inspiring me right now
I’m loving these library pics from Pinterest- which I initially pulled when I was planning my library redesign.
Interior design mistake-regrets?
No regrets for painting the walls dark. You never know if you don’t try it, right? And I’ve learned a valuable lesson: you do you. Dark moody spaces are beautiful, but they just aren’t me or my family. In the future, I’m going with my gut and not necessarily with the trends.
But if you want to try a trendy color- do it! You may just love it. And if you don’t- it’s only paint!