before & after, decorating, DIY

Before & After: Taming the Colors in the Guest Bedroom



We hosted a few guests at the Dream House over the holidays and there’s nothing like house guests to light a fire under my decorating ass! No matter where we’ve moved over the years, the bedroom has always been one of the first rooms I’ve put together. I reason that after a long day of unpacking, we’ll want a nice, comfortable place to retire at the end of the day. With the impending arrival of guests a few days after Christmas, starting with the bedrooms seemed especially important.

I had already bought a full sized sleigh bed at a thrift store before we even closed on the house, which is why it’s included in the “before” photo above. So the next big thing to work around was the color. Goodbye, mauve and navy blue walls!


Hello gray! Now, gray was not my first choice for wall color. I actually want white walls in the Dream House. Until we can get the woodwork stripped, however, white walls won’t work. I know because I tried. I initially bought an off-white paint, reasoning that it would be far enough from the white trim to not blend with it. I was wrong. I painted one wall white and then put the lid on the can and went back to the hardware store for gray paint. The exact color is “Campfire Smoke” by Valspar. I think the combination of gray walls with white trim lends a modern touch to the room.

010714-bedroom02I had already started painting this corner of the room when I thought to snap a “before” photo. What I like about this shot is that you can already see how the new color is transforming the room. Look at how the dark blue paint on the top portion of the wall shortens the room.

010714-bedroom05And then WHAMMO! The room is transformed. Like I said, the gray walls are merely a stopgap measure until we can get all of the woodwork stripped. But having one consistent color in the room has created a clean slate that works with the white painted trim.

010714-bedroom07There are a few reasons I didn’t like the paint colors in this room. First of all, I’m just not a big fan of color on walls. Been there, done that, as they say. Also, notice how the beautiful hardwood floors get lost when paired with this mauve color on the walls?


And now, with gray walls, the floors positively sing! They’re begging to be looked at and appreciated.

By the time our house guests arrived the weekend after Christmas, we had their bedroom painted, furnished and mostly decorated. The room still needs window treatments and artwork and I’m not really happy with the rug or the lonely chair plunked beside the cabinet, but it’s a far cry from the room we started with, don’t you think?

— J. Blandings

Images: Mr. and Mr. Blandings

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  • Reply Rob 01/08/2014 at 8:09 pm

    This looks great! I’m so glad you posted these photos. In our dining room, we have brown wood furniture, a red Oriental rug and caramel-colored walls. We’ve disliked the walls for a while now, but we weren’t sure what to do instead. I’m liking the grey a bunch!

  • Reply Lindsey@BetterAfter 01/08/2014 at 11:25 pm

    Wow! Such a change for the better. I’m so excited to discover your blog and can’t wait to see all the improvements you plan to make on this wonderful house!

    • Reply Jason 01/13/2014 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Lindsey! We’re excited to share the house and all of our work on it with everyone!

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