I’ve really wanted to paint a room black for a few years now, and my guest room was the only candidate in my house for it. But once I chose the wallpaper for behind the bed and matched it up to Sherwin-Williams Indigo Batik blue, well, it was Love with a capital L. All the drama of black without a total void of color.
I went with their Emerald Interior acrylic latex paint in a satin finish. (If you recall, I used the Emerald Exterior on my front door.) It was the best fit for the vibrant hue I’d chosen because it offers incredible coverage and hide, and includes a built-in primer. It really is my favorite paint to work with, inside and out.
Here’s a little peek at the before, after I’d moved all of the things destined for my September yard sale into the garage. You guys, it was full of crap and ugly. When I bought my house this room was the brightest of reds, I even casually referred to it as the Murder Room. The day I closed on the house we started painting, and over the next two days we painted every space with the exception of the living room (which got a coat of light grey a year later). This room ended up being blah beige simply because I wanted to cover the red, but had no clue how I wanted to decorate the room just yet. So it stayed that way for the next five years.
Bebe was a great helper, she didn’t even eat any of the paint.
Even though I was planning on wallpapering over one wall the next day, I went ahead and painted all four instead of trying to save some time. It paid off in dividends by covering any little mistakes we made while hanging the paper and is highly recommended, I’m so glad I did it. The color was even better that I thought it would be, and I kept stepping back and stating “I really like this!.”
I splurged for this project and bought an actual canvas drop cloth after years of buying the cheap plastic kind. I’m weirdly looking forward to using it for years to come and accruing paint splatters!
Would you ever paint a room in your home this dark? Or have you already?
Disclaimer: Paint provided by Sherwin-Williams. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush going!
It’s only taken me 5 years, 1 month to make my guest room legit. As in there is a mattress that doesn’t involve the act of filling it with air, there is art on the walls, there’s a bedside table. Like I said, legit. I couldn’t be more excited to be able to comfortably host guests in my home now!
Now brass isn’t normally my thing, but this headboard is special. It was my step-grandmother’s. I toyed with the idea of antiquing it or maybe spray painting on a bright color, but when I found out how much she paid for it I just couldn’t bring myself to do any of those things. Once the room started coming together and I brought the headboard in I was glad I had left it alone, the brass brings a nice brightness that helps balance out the navy walls.
This room isn’t very large, maybe 12′ x 12′. It could have accommodated a queen sized bed but I went with a double. For how often it will be used I valued the extra walking space more.
A lot of what’s in here has been repurposed form elsewhere in my house. The bedside lamp was once upon a time on my desk, the coatrack used to be in the house I grew up in, the bench was at the end of my hallway. The only furniture I bought was the small bedside table.
On the bench I stacked some of my favorite books for guests’ to flip through and also set out a small carafe of water with glasses and a towel. The Buddha used to be on my bedside table, but I just loved the way he stood out against the navy wall and decided to relocate him.
I love the brightness this piece of art brings to the room, the light grey bedding as well. This secretary desk was my Dad’s when he was a kid and I really like the way it balances out the warm wood of the bench and coatrack on the opposite side of the room. I also set out a jewelry tree and small bowl for guests to place their belongings when they wind down at night for bed.
Last but not least is the amazing light fixture that replaces the awful ceiling fan that used to be in its place. It’s the perfect size for the space, and the glass balls look like they have tiny filaments throughout.
I’m still planning on mounting a few floating shelves painted in the same navy as the walls above the bench, they’ll make a nice home for my small colored glass vessel collection. I’d also like to find a nice floor length mirror to prop against the wall opposite the bed, I think it will help open the space up more. As you know, decorating is a never-ending process! I’ll be sharing more specifics about the different pieces in the room through the week.
Creating a gallery wall can be really intimidating. I know it was for me. The first time I made an attempt was a few years ago, and can only be described as comically sad. I tried to do it freeform, without a plan. Just nailing and hanging as I went. The wall I used wasn’t big enough, or a good location. Just all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
A few months ago I was chatting with my friend Natasha, who works with Minted. It just so happened that they were planning on releasing their first ever limited edition and custom print art collection and we decided to collaborate on this little how-to guide. Several of the pieces I used are from Minted, as well as a few from other sponsors, and quite a few I previously owned. I’ll share where everything came from and where you can get it at the end.
A large central wall works best for a gallery wall. You want it to be a focal point, not a side thought. I chose the space over my couch. You’ll want to visually divide your wall into quadrants. Your art can then either be built off of the horizontal line, the vertical line, or both. I went with the last option.
After choosing the artwork from Minted, I went about filling in the spaces. I knew that wanted a variety of sizes and mediums. Illustration, painting, photography, etc. I was so excited to pull out pieces that I’d never found the perfect spot for before! Next I nerded out and hopped on my laptop to lay it all out. You can do the same, or print out thumbnails and play with arranging the pieces that way. Whatever works for you, just remember the goal is to have a plan.
I didn’t want the end result to feel flat, so I chose frames of varying depths. The majority are from Plywerk and are 3/4″ bamboo platform frames that I adhered my art to. One is a printed canvas from Thumbtack Press. Everything else I framed in simple glass frames or adhered to the wall with black and white striped washi tape.
I used contractor’s paper (you can get it at any hardware store) to lay things out on the wall. This step is a little time consuming, but you’ll thank me later. Measure all of the frames you plan on using, then cut out paper accordingly. It also helps to label each piece of paper as you go with the art it’s representing. Then working off of your axis (vertical, horizontal, or both) to begin laying out your gallery wall. Try and keep the margins between pieces the same, I went with an inch. Once your paper is taped up you’re going to go ahead and hammer in your nails. Go back to your frames, measure horizontally and vertically where it hits to hang from the nail. Mark it with a pen or pencil on the paper you’ve hung and hammer away, right through the paper. Fun, right?
You’re so close! Rip off the paper and hang your frames. Fine tune anything that’s acting up, but remember that the point is not for things to be perfect. Things are going to adjust themselves according to how your home sits, etc. And tada, you’re done! Not so difficult, right?
1 painting by Erin Cooper/Pippin & Pearl
4 After the Heist by Patrick Leger from Thumbtack Press (Sponsor)
Thumbtack Press is like a nebulous cloud of rapidly changing art matter. Picture trillions of creatively charged particles smashing into each other, exploding, fusing together, spinning – everything moving, moving, moving. TTP exists to foster that nebulous cloud. They help it grow by injecting new particles and catalysts, always dedicated towards the creation of something that’ll push the cloud of art matter forwards. Of course, they’re also an online store where open edition prints by top illustration, lowbrow, and character artists from all over the world are sold.
8 vintage Pittsburgh map
20 Be Nice Or Leave letterpress by Louella Press (no longer sold)
Disclaimer: All Minted prints, Plywerk frames, and Thumbtack Press canvas provided in kind.
Have you had the chance to check out Kelly Lynn Jones‘ California Collection yet? Because it’s amazing. You might well already know Kelly’s name from her online venture, Little Paper Planes. Which is exactly where you can find the collection in both small and large formats. I’m happiest when near the ocean, and now I have a little 36 x 36″ piece of it hanging over my bed at all times.
You love your home, right? But what about that hand-me-down sofa you just can’t shake. Or the shabby wall-to-wall carpeting that just isn’t in the budget to replace. We all have areas in our spaces that we’d like to improve upon, but why focus on them? Let’s enjoy the parts that make our hearts go pitter patter. The light fixture in the entryway that you saved up for. Or the chair that’s been passed down in your family for three generations. Yes? YES! Our favorite little corners where you wouldn’t change a thing deserve to be celebrated.
That’s why we’re starting a new feature – Little Corners. Right here, right now and I’m kicking things off with my favorite spots in my own house. If you’re interested in contributing and sharing your favorite corners, please email for details. Let’s focus on the things we’re doing right rather than what we’d like to change!
Today you find me begging for a bit of a reprieve as I settle into my new schedule. Because ya’ll, this new job is fast and furious and about eleven hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for other activities and I’m sadly behind on both my blog research and fun quota. So instead I thought I’d share a little about what’s been shakin’ since I moved last Saturday.
My street (above) is gorgeous, with slate sidewalks and a park right across the street. Literally. I’m lucky enough to have a drop-off laundry service and dry cleaner right around the corner, along with about a billion delicious restaurants and bodegas. Not to shabby for Kelly! My commute to and from the office is a snappy half hour, and I get to check out the Manhattan skyline as I cross the bridge every day. My office is near beautiful Union Square (and the surrounding stores where I want to shop daily), it’s sunny when I arrive and dark when I leave and there hasn’t been time for much else.
I aim to change all that this weekend. I also aim to catch up on this space here, so for now I thank you for your patience and continued words of congratulations and encouragement. You’re some good eggs.
As much as I’ve grown and changed in 31 years, one thing has remained a constant. My love of animals. Several of my friends foster dogs and cats and, well, it seemed like only a matter of time before I fell into the system as well.
Last Monday I received my first two charges: Sophie and Petunia. One miniature pinscher and one Italian greyhound(?). Both 6-months(ish) old, both with massive ears. Sophie is more timid, but plays a mean rope. Petunia is a hardcore play-all-the-timer, but gives good snuggles too. Both are lovers and being potty trained (a first for me!). This fostering thing is no joke, it is definitely work. I take them outside at least once an hour, break up dog fights, and listen to whines when it’s time for bed and they have to be crated. I don’t think I’d be able to do it if I weren’t working from home right now, that’s for sure. But I know when they go up for adoption in less than two weeks I’m going to feel the biggest sense of accomplishment (and a little sadness) as I send them off to their new homes.
For those of you in Oklahoma City, both Sophie and Petunia (along with 598 other animals) will be up for adoption at Midnight Woofness October 15-16!
After three months of feline/canine cohabitation, the kids seem to have adjusted fairly well. They still have all of their eyes, noses and tails so I’m going to go ahead and take that as a good sign. (See Piper’s tail in motion? It. never. stops.)
Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday and ever since buying my house last year I love decorating for the season all the more. Most of my decorations are sort of quirky and that’s just how I like it. What kind of decorations did you put up for Halloween this year?
I love these little buckets – vellum is stretched behind their eyes and mouths so that when you light a candle inside they look like little jack-o-lanterns. This year they’re hanging out on the counter in my hall bath.
A little tea light fits in a spot behind the tombstone and looks awesome when lit up at night! The apothecary-style candy jar features a ‘Tricks’ label on one side and ‘Treats’ on the other. I always opt for ‘Tricks’!
Thanks for visiting!
Say hello to Piper, the newest member of the family! Roxy and Peanut are slooowly making the adjustment and accepting their canine sister. She’s a spunky little gal who’s extremely lovable and well-behaved. I couldn’t ask for more!
Thanks for all your help with names! I decided to stick with “Piper” for a few reasons. One, she answers to it. And two, that’s what I’d been calling her the entire time so she really had already become “Piper” already.
Today’s her first day in the crate at home while I’m at work. She’s already crate trained, but I’m still a little nervous. Crossing my fingers that she’ll still inside it when I get home after work!