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. 


Andrea S.
Aug 28, 2010

You did a lovely job. I really appreciate when people DIY and it doesnt look slapped together in an hour. It shows that if time and care are taken a real person can make their space comfortable and really livable for themselves. It suits your taste, and is well done. What more can one ask?

Aug 28, 2010

It looks great! I'm so jealous!

Marsha P
Aug 28, 2010

It's dramatic, elegant, chic and tastefully simple.

Traci T
Aug 28, 2010

I've been thinking of doing our room grey, and yours looks great.

Aug 28, 2010

long time reader, first time commenter. we desperately need $500 to finish (read: start) our master bathroom re-do. Yikes.

Aug 28, 2010

I like the Ultra Premium Rapids for my bathroom.

Aug 28, 2010

I love the quote, such a great standout piece.

Aug 29, 2010

It turned out fantastic! I really like the grey, and I agree with a neutral base so that contrasting accessory colors can be exchanged in the future. Great job!

Aug 29, 2010

Absolutely Beautiful Bedroom!!!! I also like the Historic Colors like National Trust for say a Living room!

Aug 29, 2010

I love it! So relaxing and cozy.

b smith
Aug 29, 2010

I love the colors! I love the look. So rich. So simple

Amy L
Aug 29, 2010

I love the contrast between the dark walls and the white furniture. I don't think I'd be brave enough to try something so bold in my house, but you did a great job.

Aug 29, 2010

Considering a bedroom is generally used for sleeping, I think the dark color you used is perfect for winding down at night.

Aug 29, 2010

At first I wasn't to sure.. Brave soul! :) It does look great after all pulled together..

Aug 29, 2010

Amazing look: playful yet serene!

Peter G
Aug 29, 2010

This inspires me to finish all the projects I've started. Thanks and a big thanks from my wife.

Sheila Hickmon
Aug 29, 2010

I'd love the Ultra Premium Roaming Pony #1003 -9B for my room makeover!

Daniel M
Aug 29, 2010

i can't get the link to work but i like light green for walls

Debbie C
Aug 29, 2010

It turned out with a soft edged drama, if that makes sense. I like the accent color touches, which look like a very dark fuchsia on my computer. Great job!

Aug 29, 2010

I like the Ultra Premium Sprinkle color.

Sharon A
Aug 29, 2010

Such a bold move that turned out great. If I were to win the gift card I would do the second bathroom which hasn't been touched since the 80's.

Janna Johnson
Aug 29, 2010

I like the frosty color and the color you used!
Thanks for entering me! Great Contest!

Janna Johnson

Aug 29, 2010

Love it

Aug 29, 2010

Wow - I really like it. I'm a big fan of "word with meaning" to remind us of what is important. While the color is a bit darker than what I would have chosen for myself - I see it fits nicely with your decor.

Aug 29, 2010

Great room, one anyone would be envious of.

Aug 29, 2010

Not the wall color I would have chosen as I like bright colors, but I think your room turned out beautifully! Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

Karen M
Aug 29, 2010

I found the perfect paint color for my office, Lavender Quartz. Thanks.

Paula Hafner
Aug 29, 2010

I love it. It looks so good. It looks like a decorator did it. I really love that saying, too.

Samantha P
Aug 29, 2010

I love it all. I love the color scheme. And orchids are my favorite!

Aug 29, 2010

I like grey walls. I did my bedroom in 3 shades of grey a few years ago. Loved it! I'm not sure about the cow rug tho. But you have to live with it, I don't.

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

Aug 30, 2010

been meaning to redo the bathroom :) leaning towards something in the cool blues...

Carol F
Aug 30, 2010

I love the look so dramatic yet calming. Great job and I love the pop of the bright color to add intrest.

Kathy Scott
Aug 30, 2010

Love your room.
I would like Eddie Bauer® designer paint colors Wicker, Shore and Cloth for my living roon.

Aug 30, 2010

I love it! So sleek yet welcoming!

Lynda C
Aug 30, 2010

I only use Valspar paint--rated very high. Love the mint green color, thinking of redoing the bathroom and I want a misty, beachy type color. Just painted the kitchen desert sand and love it!

Leslie Price
Aug 30, 2010

You did an AMAZING job on that bedroom! I'm so inspired!

Jennifer Maslowski
Aug 30, 2010

I also like their historic colors series.

Jill L
Aug 30, 2010

Love the color. I painted a bathroom with this and loved the way it looked. I was really scared to do it, but loved the finished look.

Aug 30, 2010

Gorgeous darling, just gorgeous! I went to Valspar paint and would probably repaint my bedroom with Cherry Mocha!!!

Nicole Phibbs
Aug 30, 2010

looks great!

Aug 30, 2010

I would like to redo my bedroom in Apricot Haze. It looks so soothing.

Aug 30, 2010

The transformation is great! You did a great job.

Aug 30, 2010

You have inspired me to spend an hour, this morning, at Lowe's. I brought home only sample colors, but it is a start to the next step of creating something grand as you did! Thanks for sharing!

Karen Gonyea
Aug 30, 2010

So classy and I absolutely LOVE the saying !!! Very motivational :)

ktgonyea at

William Meyer
Aug 30, 2010

ok this is great

Jenn S.
Aug 30, 2010

Love it! The saying really makes the room pop!

Tesa S.
Aug 30, 2010

Looks pretty cool. Think I need to go with a little more color, though!

Aug 30, 2010

I love it..very classy!

Aug 30, 2010

I love the color - especially with the white furniture. Looks great!

Valeen N
Aug 30, 2010

It is a gorgeous room! I'm surprised that I like it since it is not my style, but it is very chic! Well done!

Aug 30, 2010

Wow - I mean WOW!!!

Aug 30, 2010

Wow, that's a beautiful room! You're very talented. My efforts turn out looking like my mother's house in the 70's. :-(

Joy Bennett
Aug 30, 2010

I love the saying on the wall. It brings peace.

Debra Ford
Aug 30, 2010

It is very bold, but absolutely stunning. I particularly like the contrast of the wall color and the white in the bed and accessories. You must be thrilled!

Aug 30, 2010

The room looks wonderful, so peaceful! I love the use of an uncommon color, you made it look stunning. Our living room and hall way DESPERATELY needs a makeover. When we moved in when I was pregnant so we did not want to be painting and the walls are blue on bottom with a white with blue sponge paint on top divided by a chair rail. Its horrible! Def a home design gone bad!!! The sponge paint makes me dizzy and I would really love a soft yellow or tan to lighten up the room. I hope I win so I can make my room as nice as yours!

Mya Brooks
Aug 30, 2010

Very relaxing...INDEED!

Amanda Campbell
Aug 30, 2010

I love that shade of gray that you used. I would like to use Valspar's Ultra Premium Vintage Teal to makeover my bedroom.

LeAndrew Taylor
Aug 30, 2010

Very Dramatic! I LOVE IT! The color and fixtures are 'Amazing'! If they gave out 'Oscars' for home design, you'd win HANDS DOWN!!!

Congrats on a job well done!

Aug 30, 2010

Darn...I'm just seeing this awesome giveaway, but at least I made it. LOL That bedroom is absolutely gorgeous! You did a fabulous job with everything! It's all decorated so nicely and the colors are wonderful.

If I were to win, I would LOVE to have some of the paint in the color Cliveden Sandstone...just beautiful!

Julie M
Aug 30, 2010

I love the paint job. It is super bold.


Sonya Allstun
Aug 30, 2010

Great clean design I so need to do our bedroom. I done our living room in Valspar paint and it covers great. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Aug 30, 2010

Love your bedroom! Mine will never look that good, but we are going to re-do our bedroom in September, starting by painting with Valspar Ultra Premium Summer Sparrow.

Aug 30, 2010

Wow!! I looove what you have done--seriously. I love, love, love it.

I want to try their Moose Mousse for our living room...and I'm so torn for how to paint our other rooms in our home!

Aug 30, 2010

I think the room looks fantastic. I'm following your lead and have chosen Valspar's Green Trellis to use for a guest bedroom makeover.

Erin E
Aug 30, 2010

Oh my gosh your room looks incredible! I love the paint color, in fact I think I'm going to get the same color. Thank you for the lovely giveaway.

sewmuchstuff at ymail dot com

Aug 30, 2010

Your bedroom looks great. It could easily be pictured in a magazine about chic bedrooms.

Erin Walsh
Aug 30, 2010

I think the color choice was very daring, but you really made it work. And all of the white was a perfect foil for the dark colors. Great job!

Aug 30, 2010

Beautiful. So calming.

Kathryn R
Aug 30, 2010

I love the Pumpkin Bread paint color.

Aug 30, 2010

It looks amazing- bold and brilliant yet at the same time calming. LOVE it.

Aug 30, 2010

a little monochromatic for me, but, then, it's not for me.

Iliana Blair
Aug 30, 2010

I like it ... which reminds me to start jazzing up my bedroom with some paints and details, thanks for the inspiration!

Mary Collins
Aug 30, 2010

Our bedroom is the last room we need to remodel. It is a very dark room, so I am thinking of going with something like Valspar Cool Gray to lighten things up and contrast with my dark wood dressers.

Aug 30, 2010

I love the new look! The bold contrasts and colors really makes for a dramatic look!

Leah J
Aug 30, 2010

You want to know what I think!?!? I think it looks AMAZING!! This room belongs on TV, or in some magazine!!...totally! :)

Aug 30, 2010

You did it!! It is fantastic, and I love it! Thank you for sharing your makeover.

Pauline M
Aug 30, 2010

I honestly wouldn't expect steel to look cool but you've deinfately pulled it off and wonderfully! It looks great! I've been wanting to change my room and have been looking at shades with green mixed in to bring about a new look and some of the colors online are great. There is a color that's called tossed salad that looks like a real possibility!

Aug 30, 2010

I like your colors, comfortable and calming just what a bedroom should be.

Kathleen S.q
Aug 30, 2010

I would love to use Quite Lilac for my guest bedroom. It's puple, without being toooooo purple, if that makes sense. Thanks!

Aug 31, 2010

My bedroom is the exact same color, it's so relaxing & goes with everything. It's not nearly as clean, though. And as to being in a house for 2 months and not having the kitchen painted. Try 5 years. My wife is currently pouring over the Velspar colors & looking for the perfect shade of teal for the cabinets. They all look the same to me, but I know she'll find the perfect one.

Aug 31, 2010

I'd like a room makeover in these colours- Ultra Premium Riverbed's Edge & Ultra Premium Grecian Helmet

Jennifer gersch
Aug 31, 2010

I would paint my bedroom ultra premium summer smile

Aug 31, 2010

That color is fantastic! I also love what you did to the dresser. I'm normally into natural wood colored furniture but I quite like the way painting a lot of items in the same color can make them all seem to be a matched set. Really good renovation of your room. Congratulations!

Aug 31, 2010

I think it's fabulous! Personally, the idea of dark walls didn't faze me, because I like to think of a bedroom as a sort of den -- enclosed, private. Anyhow, it's not just the walls that I love. What you did overall is really impressive. Congrats on a great job!

Aug 31, 2010

Your makeover is very inspiring. I think I will do my bedroom in whitewashed oak.

Crystal F
Aug 31, 2010

I love it! I would be extremely pleased to have my bedroom look like that. I think you did a fantastic job. Thanks for the giveaway!

Kelly Massman
Aug 31, 2010

This seems like a very elegant room that a man would LOve as well as a woman. Good choice!

Happi Shopr
Aug 31, 2010

LOVE it! The room looks amazing.

Aug 31, 2010

SO pretty!! I did the exact same thing but with blue... Amazing as it is, when you do all the main components in white/black how you can change out the accent color and it always looks nice... :) Congrats on such a fantastic bedroom!!! Take a nap!!!!!

Aug 31, 2010

I have light pastel colors on my walls, but after seeing how classy and dramatic your dark walls look, I'm ready for a change. I just checked the paint colors and I think I would like to try one of the deeper greens, such as Mountain Botanical or Shallow Valley.