This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Valspar.


Internet, welcome to the fourth and final week of my month-long makeover, wherein I’m painting the walls of our bland and boring bedroom in our very first home and transforming it—if all goes according to plan---into a room that’s sophisticated, comfortable, and just a little bit rock n’roll.

With a white bed, white linens, and white bedside tables, I wanted our bedroom walls to be a little---no, a lot---more dramatic, and I’m not talking Real Housewives kind of drama here, I mean more Six Feet Under or The Wire. Wait, that came out wrong, I don’t mean I wanted my bedroom to look like a coffin or a post-apocalyptic drug-fueled urban landscape: more just that I wanted the drama on the walls to be subtle and nuanced and…..yeah, okay, this isn’t working. I just wanted my bedroom to look awesome. 

And you were with me every step of the way: first, you consulted Valspar's Color Chart and suggested a wealth of excellent options. Then, you helped me narrow down those options until we had a handful to decide from. After that, when I announced our decision to paint the walls High-Speed Steel you (mostly) voiced your support, and now finally here we are at the end of the project and I’m about to show you how it all turned out.

First, however, a big congratulations to SAWK (comment #180 here), this week’s winner of the $100 Lowe’s gift card, courtesy of Valspar and BlogHer. At the end of this post, I’ll be giving away the grand prize, a Lowe’s gift card for a whopping $500, so you should stick around for that if you’ve got some home improvement projects looming on the horizon. For now, though, let’s have a look at my own home improvement projects, the first of which has been painting the main bedroom of this little 1943 house by the ocean that we bought in June.

I hardly have to remind you how lame our bedroom was when we first clapped eyes on it. Well, okay then, maybe I do; it was so boring, I’m not surprised you’ve forgotten what it looked like:

I’m pleased to reveal that since then, we have made it far more to our liking, and these days it looks a little something like this:

The dark gray walls are Valspar's High-Speed Steel---chosen thanks to your great suggestions, and with a little visualization help from Valspar’s handy Virtual Painter---and the curved dresser is a very solid vintage piece we picked up at a local thrift store for $50 and painted Valspar’s Ultra White in high gloss. We didn't realize until after we'd paid for it, but it came with the mirror too; we unscrewed the legs that connected it to the dresser and painted it Ultra White as well to match. You can't look a free mirror in the mouth and all that.

We made the large graphic sign over the bed ourselves using a black Valspar spray paint and some more of that leftover Ultra White, and I love it more than I can possibly say. The line is taken from the poem Desiderata, and it's one I repeat to myself frequently. In the next few days, I'll be posting a how-to in case you want to make something similar; it's super easy (and cheap!) if you've got a little time, patience, and paint.

I knew I wanted to add a pop of color into an otherwise gray, black, and white room, so I ended up going with some fuchsia cushion covers I found for $8 each, then rolling up an old pink blanket I've had forever that matched perfectly, and picking a bunch of (free!) geraniums that grow in our new backyard to tie it all together. The best part of all this is that if I get sick of the fuchsia, I only have to switch out the accessories to introduce an entirely different color palette; the basics are all gray, black, or white and I can add yellow next month if I decide that's what I prefer, or turquoise the month after.

So what do you think? I have to say, I’m incredibly pleased with how it all turned out---a big thanks to Valspar and BlogHer for offering to make it possible---but I’m curious to know what you, my virtual team of interior designers, has to say about the finished result. I know a lot of you worried it would be too dark on first glance, so I hope the white has lightened it up a lot. It might not be to everyone's taste, I know, but I've got to say: I kind of think it's my dream bedroom. And I'm so happy we did it ourselves. We still have a little way to go on it---I have a bunch of white frames I need to hang, and we have an exciting solution to get rid of those mirrored closet doors that I'll share with you later---but for now, it's looking a whole lot better than it ever did. I was never worried about it being too dark---it's paint! You can paint over it!---but I was worried that I might choose a gray with too much purple or green in it: as it turns out, High-Speed Steel is neither. It changes beautifully in the light and even though it's very dark, it almost---weird though it sounds---makes the room appear bigger.

Anyway, leave a comment below with your thoughts---or check out Valspar's other paint colors and let me know which one you'd use for your own makeover---and you’ll be entered to win a $500 Lowe’s gift card, which you can use for anything you like (put it toward some new bathroom tile, perchance? A big stainless steel refrigerator? Maybe paint the kitchen you’ve been meaning to paint since you moved in two months ago, oh wait am I projecting again?) 

The rules are simple (you can read them here) and I’ll notify the winner once they’ve been chosen, so we can whoop it up together about all the cool stuff you’re going to get to buy. But now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go lie in my bedroom and stare dreamily at the walls. It’s suddenly a whole lot more pleasant to be in there. 


Aug 25, 2010

Yay! It looks amazing. I am totally making a sign like that, too.

Aug 25, 2010

What a peaceful sanctuary you've created! Makes me want to meditate right now :)

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
Aug 25, 2010

Yes, absolutely, is my response. You displayed great vision in picking a dark color what with all the white furniture. Actually, I feel that if you chose anything lighter, the space would feel too...airy? Ungrounded? I dunno. Well done!

Aug 25, 2010

yes! yes! yes! the quote is what makes the room, I'd say. and oh dear me, we are in need of a new appliance so enter me in that drawing, stat.

Melanie Munroe
Aug 25, 2010

It looks awesome! Great job!

Aug 25, 2010

It's beautiful! I wish I was as brave with my color choices.

Aug 25, 2010

Love love love what you did with the bedroom. It's amazing. I'm trying to tackle a family room project myself, but am struggling with how and where to start.

Aug 25, 2010

I love, love, love the gray. It is basically my goal in life to have a bedroom reminiscent of a fancypants hotel.

Aug 25, 2010

This really is incredible. I love the touch of old-fashionedness that the thrift dresser and the white bed add to the industrial-style gray and the art above the bed. Absolutely fabulous. I would never put it in my own house, but that doesn't mean I can't rave over how incredible it looks for you and that I am SO glad that other people have different tastes than me!!!!!!

Aug 25, 2010

Gorgeous. Really lovely. Wish I could do something like that (stupid apartment renting)

Rachel K
Aug 25, 2010

Wow. . .beautiful.

Aug 25, 2010

Oh Holly. It looks. Ah. Mazing. I've got major house lust myself (I drool over real estate listings at least twice a week, despite the fact that we're more than a year away from buying a house!) and your pictures are great inspiration.

Aug 25, 2010

It looks amazing - grey and white is such a crisp color combination!

Aug 25, 2010

Fabulous! We recently moved and I am struggling mightily to choose paint colors, so this is quite inspiring.

jennifer in sf
Aug 25, 2010

It looks awesome! I think you totally achieved cool hotel bedroom.

Aug 25, 2010

That looks great! I am very intrigued to hear about your plans for the mirrors.

Also, if you ever run out of blogging ideas, this girl wouldn't mind a tutorial on painting that dresser. Was there sanding involved? I've got an old Ethan Allen dresser that can't make it in adult life without some updates, but it's such a solid piece I'm loath to give up on it. Help!

Morgan Russell
Aug 25, 2010

I'm sorry. I have to say that room is just so cold! A bedroom is a place to curl up somewhere cozy and be envelopped in warmth and love. That room is stark and cold, like a hotel room! It certainly is successful, in that it looks well done and professional, it's clearly exactly what you wanted. It's just so entirely not what a bedroom should be! Ice Queen does not say happy home.

Aug 25, 2010

Love the look! I especially adore the poem over your bed - it is a quote I've used many times calm myself down when I'm stressed out and overwhelmed. Well done!

Kate in Ohio
Aug 25, 2010

I also thought it was going to be way dark. It is so much better than I thought it would be. Nice work!
I would buy a new stove with the gift card. I really need a new stove so please pick me.

Elizabeth in Chicago
Aug 25, 2010

Gor. Geous.

Aug 25, 2010

That sign made me catch my it and love even more that you did it yo'selves!!! It is perfectly lovely!!! I do tend to think that when you change the accent color to turquoise I will be all *sigh* THAT is HOlly Burns' bedroom! :)

Aug 25, 2010

Holly, you did a marvelous job. It is so chic! I am moving into a new place next week and will definitely be using this for a little bit of inspiration!

Aug 25, 2010


Aug 25, 2010

Love the walls! At first I thought the size and contrast of the quote was a little to jarring for a bedroom, but on further thought, the message *IS* reassuring...

Katie Brown
Aug 25, 2010

I want to paint my bedroom a dark color too, maybe Starry Sky or Pacific Pleasure? Ooohh! Vintage Teal! Darn it, I may just be picking colors based on the names.

Aug 25, 2010

Love it- especially the painted sign- can't wait for the how to!

Aug 25, 2010

My dream room. Clean, stylish, wood floors. I would never want to leave.

Aug 25, 2010

I love the curvy dresser. I never find good stuff like that. Maybe I'm shopping at the wrong places. The whole thing is just outstanding.

Aug 25, 2010

Could I hire you to do something about my extremely hideous, wood paneled, 70's era bedroom? Because oh my god that looks amazing!

Aug 25, 2010

I love the fuchsia accents and having the flexibility to change out the colour of the accessories is a great way to change the look of the room without spending all of your money on new linens and paint.

Aug 25, 2010

It's really beautiful, I never would've considered painting a room so dark until I saw how yours turned out. Great work!

Aug 25, 2010

Your bedroom looks awesome! I love it!

Aug 25, 2010

It looks really, really good. Probably not what I would have picked on my own, but now that I've seen the whole deal, it's amazing.

That wall quote just sounds like you. I love that it's left-justified, for some reason. And I was surprised Sean let you use fushia as the accent color! Can't wait to hear about the mirrored closet door idea, because we have those, too.

Aug 25, 2010

And I can't spell "fuchsia" apparently.

Aug 25, 2010

You are tooo amazing. one girl should not possess so much talent! my goodness. love the new room!!

Aug 25, 2010

It is absolutely amazing! I love the pop of color and the drama that the wall color adds. Beautifully done!

Aug 25, 2010

Holy crap! I love it! I hadn't even thought of having white furniture- it looks awesome! Someday I may copy you...

Aug 25, 2010

I love what you done to the room. It looks so comfortable and relaxing. Just what you need for a bedroom. I think I could fall asleep quit comfortably in this room.

Aug 25, 2010

It looks amazing. This is making me reconsider a dark color like that in the mostly-overcast clime where I live. Also, I love that poem! Yay for DIY art.

Aug 25, 2010

Can I move in? Please?? (And I mean that in a totally non-creepy way). Holly, this looks GORGEOUS! I can't wait to hear what you're going to do with the mirrored doors and I'm super excited for the graphic art tutorial!!

Miranda Tuttle
Aug 25, 2010

BEAUTIFUL! I love everything you've done with the room- well done!

Aug 25, 2010

Gorgeous! Love the little pop of fuchsia (and that you an change it up if you'd like).

$500 from bedside lamps, maybe paint the office, perhaps some plants for outside? The possibilities are endless.

Home Sweet Sarah
Aug 25, 2010

Looks fab, my dear! Now, I'll be off WILLING MYSELF TO WIN THAT GIFT CARD. I can think of thousands of things to do with $500 at Lowe's, rest assured.

Aug 25, 2010

It's stunning---love the color palette, and cannot wait for the tutorial on the sign. It's one of my all time favorite quotes, and I know another bedroom where it would complement mostly grey surroundings perfectly...! :)

Good work, you two!

dana b
Aug 25, 2010

That looks so serene. I need to paint my interior but that's AFTER I redo the ceramic tile

Shelley Schultz
Aug 25, 2010

That is such a transformation! Great job. I wouldn't change a thing!

Aug 25, 2010

Ms. Burns, this is so something straight out of a super-chic, gorgeous boutique hotel. Absolutely fantastic!

And I love Desiderata and recognized it immediately. I'll be waiting anxiously for the how-to.


Aug 25, 2010


Aug 25, 2010

Love it. The white does lighten it up a lot. We are in major home renovation mode right now and I'm painting every night. I wish I could do gray. Instead our house is turning out mostly bluish, greenish, and brownish - all lovely, but lacking in drama.

Aug 25, 2010

I LOVE this room!!! We've been agonizing (ok arguing) over what color to paint our bedroom. I can't wait to show the mister these pictures as part of my dark is good defense.

Rachel C
Aug 25, 2010

Oh I love it! I am inspired to go out and buy new, all-white bedding...

Aug 25, 2010

Lovely! It makes the room look bigger which is not what I expected at all.

Marilyn Wons
Aug 25, 2010

I would do my bedroom in the "Ultra Premium Ocean Sigh 5002-10A". This is such a lovely color for me.

Aug 25, 2010

I love it! White linens are my must have in my room, everything else can change but crisp white sheets and shams are always the staple.

My husband would die before if I put hot pink pillows on the bed but that's because he has no sense of style whatsoever. :)

Aug 25, 2010

It is gorgeous!!! Well done!

Aug 25, 2010

Home renovation is so mind-numbingly terrible and fun!
Give us some glimpses of the other rooms. And some ideas! - namely: how does one make a small, ugly bathroom with heinous wallpaper look like a desert spa retreat?

Aug 25, 2010

Oh, it's so pretty! And elegant! And serene! If I were to paint my room I would use the woodlawn silver blue, but even with all the paint in the world I don't think I could pull off what you've accomplished here...

Aug 25, 2010

LOVE it! I wish I could have pretty, crisp white linens, but with two dogs that is OUT. Enjoy the beautiful room Holly!

Aug 25, 2010

I love it! The contrast totally wins with me :)

Melissa F.
Aug 25, 2010

I think it looks great! And I can't wait to see how you made the sign.

Rebecca Graham
Aug 25, 2010

The room is gorgeous. You have given me some color ideas to try in my house.

Aug 25, 2010

It looks great! Very modern-yet-soothing hotel room like. I am a BIG fan of rich, saturated colors on the walls, but wasn't sure about the dark grey - it does look nice with the all the white.

Aug 25, 2010

looks great, love the way dark colors make a room so cozy, love the white contrast.
all of the rooms done over with Valspar have been pretty spectacular, makes me want to pick a room and a paintbrush!

Aug 25, 2010

Wow. That it is gorgeous! Excuse me while I go stare at my bedroom and make a massive list of all things I need to change in there.

Great job!

Aug 25, 2010

I love the quote above the bed. The whole room looks great!

Theresa Dell
Aug 25, 2010

My bathroom needs a makeover and the pipes are leaking so the first thing I'd have to spend it on is pipes - boring but necessary. I would love to do the bathroom in shades of grey, like a grey-blue color most likely.

Aug 25, 2010

I LOVE the "Desiderata" DIY art. That is absolutely incredible; I may just have to steal the idea.

The room is absolutely stunning!

Linda G.
Aug 25, 2010

I have always loved that poem -- my mother recites that very line to me often and hung a little illustrated version of her own in my brother's room when we were little. Very sweet idea. Looking forward to the DIY. :) Beautiful job.

Aug 25, 2010

I absolutely love how your bedroom walls turned out! What an inspiration!

I just moved into my own white walled apartment, and have been thinking about what colors I'd love- an orange color is supposed to boost creativity and spice things up. I've fallen in love with the Ultra Premium Orange Ice. (Not to mention the name reminds me of a summer ice cream treat!)

Aug 25, 2010

I love-love-love how you've revamped the dresser! The whole room is beautifully put together!

Aug 25, 2010

Holly, you (and Super Sean, of course :-)did a beautiful job! I so admire people like you who have the vision to even conceptualize that big a change. We've been living with off-white walls for over 30 years. Just might be time to take a deep breath and try something a little more adventurous. Like you said, it's only paint! Enjoy the rest of your nesting process :-)

Aug 25, 2010

It's everything I thought it would be. Fabulous! And, are those really geraniums? What kind?

Sarah Pearse
Aug 25, 2010

Absolutely gorgeous- love the colors, love the white, love the *custom* print! You have an extremely enviable bedroom!

Aug 25, 2010

It's amazing how talented you are!

Aug 25, 2010

Great job. I have difficulty painting with dark colors because I can't ever get the color even

Aug 25, 2010

That looks amazing! I wasn't sure about the dark grey but it looks great!

Aug 25, 2010

Holly, you have what is officially a very cool bedroom. In my house, that bedroom would be littered with laundry and empty water glasses in about 6 minutes--could I use the Lowe's gift card to hire a maid? Nah, didn't think so...

Aug 25, 2010

Your bedroom is just gorgeous! I, too, love the rug!

Aug 25, 2010

I wouldn't have thought i would like the darker color but it really looks good and the accesories just pop!

Aug 25, 2010

This turned out so well! I dream of the day where I can paint my walls whatever color I please....

Adrienne Gordon
Aug 25, 2010

Our downstairs needs cabin plank.

Aug 25, 2010

I love the color of the walls - and the cowhide rug adds to the room too!

Aug 25, 2010

That looks beautiful, I like the white furniture a lot.

If I had my way, I would go with something like Orchid Ash, Stardust Evening, or if I was feeling daring, London Coach. Not sure how hubby would feel about those though... :)

Aug 25, 2010

I am in love with this. I can't wait for the how-to about how to create the sign.

Aug 25, 2010

Beautiful! I love love love the touch of fuchsia. I can't wait to see your next installments on the house makeover.

P.S. I sooooo want to win that $500 Lowes card so I could give it to my parents who have been slowly slowly trying to makeover our whole house. *fingers crossed*

Annette D
Aug 25, 2010

Looks fabulous! I recently painted my son's room a grey, Blowing in the Wind is the color name and it looks great! My younger son wants his room green, something like the Valspar color Salamander. That will be my next project!
Thanks for the chance!

Aug 25, 2010

absolutely love the transition! that quote has been a favorite of mine for a while—makes you just sort of exhale and realize everything's going to be ok. love the contrast of the dark walls with the white furniture, as well as the pops of color.

i'm settling on my house tomorrow, which i can barely believe. a lowe's gift card would mean the world!!

Aug 25, 2010

My current bedroom is a sea of beige. My previous bedroom was painted a color very similar to Valspar's Cosmopolitan Oliver. I miss that bedroom.

Aug 25, 2010

God I want to redo my bedroom now... great job :)

E's Mommy
Aug 25, 2010

So pretty! I love the fuschia accent pieces with the gray.