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 26, 2010

I love how modern and cozy it looks!

Aug 26, 2010

It looks great, even though grey isn't my particular style. I'm a pastel and blues person and love the Ultra Premium Beach Sparkle #5004-9C.

Aug 26, 2010

I am shopping for a paint color for our baby's room - due in six weeks - nothing like starting a project last minute. I'm thinking maybe the palest barely-blue shade I can find would look good against our dark furniture.

Aug 26, 2010

Wow - that color is amazing. And so is the sign. It's gorgeous! Great job!

Aug 26, 2010

Love it! Beautiful!

Beth McLeod
Aug 26, 2010


Janice Whitaker
Aug 26, 2010

Great job. I love those colors.I am so tired of my white walls!!

Shelley Mitchell
Aug 26, 2010

We are redoing our bathroom right now in a beach theme so the River Mist color would be perfect paint for the theme!

Aug 26, 2010

That is amazing! I think that you totally got the look that you were going for! It definitely reminds me of a room in an upscale hotel in Europe! Awesome job!

Aug 26, 2010

I definitely could not be as bold as you where paint color is involved (dark colors scare me), but your end result is lovely! One day I will have enough time and energy to complete room makeovers at my house--does a Lowe's gift card get me access to a creative design team? ;)

Aug 26, 2010

Wow! I like it WAY more than I thought I would! And the idea of being able to change out the details when you want a new color is fantastic! You could have seasonal color changes. Swoon!

Aug 26, 2010

I love it! Nice job Holly (and Sean)!

Kurt Hoffmann
Aug 26, 2010

Great looking.

Jesse B.
Aug 26, 2010

I love how your room turned out. My kids' rooms need painted and I need new blinds in many of the bedrooms!

Aug 26, 2010

I have been thinking about the color Roaming Pony ever since you wrote about it. I am going to keep that in mind the next time I paint.

Aug 26, 2010

Wow Holly, it looks great! Positively lovely. I never would have chosen a color so dark, but I would DEFINITELY reconsider after seeing your gorgeous makover!
I'm loving Valspar's Blue Whisper. It would go really well with my bedding, and my master bedroom could certainly use a facelift as stunning as yours! Good luck with the rest of your home!

James Nickerson
Aug 26, 2010

I'm thinking myself about adding a splash of color to a wall in my living room so I went to their web site and checked out there colors and I think I'm falling in love with "Warm Amber" which is a shade of Orange. How awesome would that look? I think pretty awesome.

Aug 26, 2010

Wow - splendid! I feel inspired to try something new with my house! And thanks for such a great giveaway.

Angie Mc
Aug 26, 2010

I love it! Very bold & stylish!!

Carrie (in MN)
Aug 26, 2010

I'm one who was concerned it would be too dark, but you know looks fantastic. Cozy and chic all at the same time. Nice job!

Heather Simone
Aug 26, 2010

Nice, like the accessories

Aug 26, 2010

Your bedroom looks gorgeous, and I can't tell you how many times my friends and I have said that Desiderata line to one another... very cosmic to see it on your site/bedroom wall!

Monique Rizzo
Aug 26, 2010

Looks Modern and sleek.Thanks for the chance.

Grammar Snob
Aug 26, 2010

Oh, this makes me want to go buy paint right now!

Aug 26, 2010

The room looks much brighter than I expected. Great job.

Aug 26, 2010

i love it....i never liked dark walls but not a have them in my home..congradulations.job well done

Aug 26, 2010

I think this is gorgeous...lots of inspiration for a bedroom makeover I am in the middle of!

Sarah Hirsch
Aug 26, 2010

nice makeover! I actually just used some valspar paint to paint my front door. it's a garnet color.

Aug 26, 2010

Your room is beautiful - very striking. I could never pull off the lack of clutter, but after seeing your kitchen pictures of plates and glasses all matching and organized by size, I know that you can! I'm thinking of redoing my bedroom with chocolate brown on three walls and an accent wall with a lighter golden brown - and possibly some texture. Looking at the Valspar tool, I'm thinking maybe Dark Earth with Camel Ride. Although now I feel a little like I'll get dusty when I enter my room. :) We'll see.

samantha Jo Campen
Aug 26, 2010

I love the Ultra Premium Green Galore for our kitchen. We also need a cabinet for the bathroom and some new lamps so the gift card would totally help.

I ADORE your bedroom. We're in the middle of re doing ours though not to the full extent that you did. Just a new bed and bedding though I AM going to paint our dresser! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

samanthajocampen at gmail

Aug 26, 2010

I love your room and the "pop" of color! What a great idea - a simple color pallet that can be inexpensively adjusted at a whim.

I would love to transform my daughter's room into a "big girl" room. I looked at the Valspar colors and think she'd love to have her "fairy and princess" room painted in "Plink!" (The demands from the three year old currently include purple walls and a pink ceiling...enter "plink!") How fun it would be if Lowe's footed the bill for the makeover....with $500.00, I could probably re-do my room, too!

Aug 26, 2010

Oh, man. I'm moving this weekend and have HIGH HOPES for my own bedroom decorating!

I love La Fonda Honeysuckle and also Hopsack. (What is a hopsack?)

Jamie P
Aug 26, 2010

AMAZING! love, love, love the color and graphic!!! You have such a great style.

Karil Whetstone
Aug 26, 2010

my bedroom is boring beige its very drab would love to bring color into my bedroom to brighten my life

Alex K
Aug 26, 2010

I think the bed and matching drapes and dresser table look great together. The poster board is a nice touch as well. The cow rug looks a bit weird to me but thats just my opinion.

Aug 26, 2010

Looks like a hotel room -- in the best way possible.

Aug 26, 2010

That is absolutely lovely! I am so painting our bedroom soon.

Aug 26, 2010

Your bedroom looks stunning! I knew that you would love the dark walls!

Aug 26, 2010

I really like it! I love that you went with that color. I love the pink accents and the cool wall hanging. Well done you two!

michael woods
Aug 26, 2010

The steel and white decore just blends so well together. I will keep that in mind as we work remodeling a family room in our new home. Thanks for the inspiration.

Kam A
Aug 26, 2010

Love it!! How very inspiring!

Linda Lansford
Aug 26, 2010

Th walls look great. I might try color next time

Darlene Alexander
Aug 26, 2010

I checked the color charts and I like the neutral soft "Mesa tumbleweed" for my bedroom.

Scott Martin
Aug 26, 2010

Amazing! Just beautiful Holly

Aug 26, 2010

I love love love how it turned out! And now you have me wishing for white bedroom furniture! Adore the way the dresser looks painted white. And the pop of pink is great!

I have been eyeing "Mossy Aura" for my living room...

Aug 26, 2010

i'd like to have this one, i have so many to do projects its not funny

Aug 26, 2010

I like the simplicity of the room.

Aug 26, 2010

Looks great!

When we painted our bathroom (over a year ago), we found that the lovely blue (I forget what it was called, but it wasn't all that dark, maybe a "robin's egg blue") made the room look darker. It used to be a pale yellow, which I never liked. The trim is white, the sink, tub, and toilet are white, and we added a white shower curtain (well, I bought one, but husband is too cheap to start using it, since the old one isn't totally trashed yet *rolleyes*). We wanted to add some white patches here and there, to make it look like clouds, but -- you guessed it -- haven't done that yet, either. At least everything still works!

Aug 26, 2010

Your room is very nice. For me, I'd choose burnished copper.

Sarah L
Aug 26, 2010

Looks AWESOME! Can't wait for the how-to on the quote. That's way better than a purchased vinyl stick on.

Aug 26, 2010

It looks fantastic, absolutely fantastic. My mom wants to redo her bedroom, so here's hoping for that giftcard!

Aug 26, 2010

wow. i'm very impressed. for such a dark color, you still managed to make your room look very chic and very clean.

Aug 26, 2010

I love the pink and gray together! It's lovely!

Jenni Carlisle
Aug 26, 2010

I think it looks great! I would choose Pumpkin Custard for our room. I love the warm burgundy we have in our room, but I think we went too dark and a whole new look would be awesome!

Jenni Carlisle

Suzanne Kornmaier
Aug 26, 2010

Very classy and dramatic! I love the accents and would also love to see it if you decide to replace the current bright with turquoise!

Aug 26, 2010

minimalist, yet eclectic. I'm more of a traditionalist myself. I like the warmth of wood.

Aug 27, 2010

I was one of those people thinking it might be too dark, but I had to admit it looks great. I don't think I would paint my bedroom that color, just not my taste, but you definitely pulled it off. It's beautiful!

Ashley McLure
Aug 27, 2010

Very chic and modern.

Aug 27, 2010

I LOVE using that quote poster as an alternative to a headboard...did you buy that or make it?

Aug 27, 2010

I love it! We're buying a house (in the process, they accepted the offer, hold me) and I have soaked up every last home decorating tip that you've posted. Thanks for the insight, I love everything you've done! And you know, pick me, and all that. :)


Aug 27, 2010

I used valspar on my patio doors. Excellent primer and paint.

Aug 27, 2010

I LOVE this space - if I didn't know better I'd think HGTV swept in and did it! I love the colors, I love how they work together and I love the pops of red. It's awesome! You did an amazing job!

Aug 27, 2010

It looks great, I probably would have been afraid to go that dark but it turned out fabulous.

Aug 27, 2010

Fresh and crisp and clean--a bit sterile for my taste, but the thing I like best in your room is how the curtains puddle on the floor. I love unnecessary, generous touches like this! Well done.

Diane A
Aug 27, 2010

I think you did a fantastic job with your bedroom makeover. My bedroom is a sea of hand-me-down heavy oversized furniture and lilac walls. Thanks for the inspiration and the oportunity to win

Aug 27, 2010

Your rooms looks great -- I love gray walls, though I didn't think I would-- and the raspberry touches. I had a gray and white bedroom once - light gray though. the accent color was yellow and it looked really nice. Great wall art too. Oh, I also love the new look to your blog's masthead!

Elizabeth Craig
Aug 27, 2010

OMG! It turned out beautifully! You should be SO proud of yourselves! Love the sign too, btw...

Aug 27, 2010

It looks like a hotel! (Obviously that means good job!)

Aug 27, 2010

Oh the whole thing is just amazing! Can't wait to see other rooms!

Aug 27, 2010

You guys have fabulous taste! I would never in a million years pick all that white to put in a room, which is why I always look to others for amazing ideas like this! It looks incredible and I'm sure it's just as cozy and relaxing as can be.

Aug 27, 2010

You know, we just moved (so I could REALLY use that gift card, oh Random Number Generator; I am worthy), so I missed my opp to chime in earlier, but I totally picked High Speed Steel myself. So I'm feeling really justified and smug right now. Also I think your bedroom looks AWESOME! And yes I am old enough to use that word unironically. Which may or may not be a word. And also, I love your bedroom, in a way that is not at all weird. Possibly I even covet your bedroom, except at the moment I am happy with mine and all the cool Moroccan touches it will have, assuming our stuff ever gets here and it does work out for us to get the house.

Aug 27, 2010

Wow...what a difference! It looks wonderful! I always thought dark colors would make a room feel very small, but the white furniture looks incredible and really makes the room look spacious. well done!

Aug 27, 2010

I love how your room looks - it's gorgeous, but my DH wouldn't like it at all for our bedroom. He's truly a minimalist when it comes to paint, still believing that white or an off-white is the "proper" color for walls. I might be able to do our bedroom in Ultra Premium Blue Whisper, a very light shade. (And one that I'd be satisfied with too.)

Patty V
Aug 27, 2010

I love it, and am really glad for you that the gray didn't turn out to be too purple. It's beautiful!

Aug 27, 2010

LOVE IT - Great job, guys! =)

Aug 27, 2010

Very classy

debi welbon
Aug 28, 2010

Very nicely done! I am trying to decide what to do with my bedroom, but just can't decide yet.

Cynthia C
Aug 28, 2010

I just love the gray walls. I'm wondering if that color would work in my house.

Aug 28, 2010

It looks great! I would never have thought to do walls in a dark gray but I love the way they look. I wish I could imagine how something would look before I did it and maybe I would get a little more adventuresome.

Aug 28, 2010

I never would've thought about a darker color like that in a bedroom. I do like the final look, though...

Aug 28, 2010

I think my next bedroom needs to be gray.

Aug 28, 2010

I would love to use a combination of the Autumn Gala and the Autumn Fire colors in my room. I LOVE fall colors, and those are the perfect orange and red colors. I don't know that I'd cover all of my walls in them, but I would create some neat color blocks. :)

Aug 28, 2010

I'd like to use the color Ultra Premium Prairie Dance for my bedroom makeover.

Aug 28, 2010

Love it!

For me, I'd go with Summer Breeze in our bedroom....

Gloria Schulte
Aug 28, 2010

Wow--how neat and soothing the colors look.

Aug 28, 2010

I little dark for me but great with the white furniture

Aug 28, 2010

I'd love to use Scarlet Sun on my bedroom walls!!

Something about pairing a Buddha together with the skin of a dead cow makes me smile. So serene...I love the clean lines and the pop of color! Great job, Holly!

Steven W.
Aug 28, 2010

Think I would go with Belmont Green.

catherine copeland
Aug 28, 2010

Wow how amazing. I never would have thought to paint my bedroom that color. I love it.