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. 


Susan C.
Aug 31, 2010

Absolutely gorgeous! I never would have thought to use such a dark grey, but all of the accents really make it lovely and calming. Fantastic job!

Gayle Lynch
Aug 31, 2010

Totally beautiful and very serene

S Carter
Aug 31, 2010

I love Plum Good which is a deep cool purple. Your room is beautiful!!

Aug 31, 2010

I love the color, I never would have picked it but seeing it has made me open my mind to more color choices. We have decided on buttered popcorn for our LR/DR and possibly ferry spray (from the allen + roth line) for our bedroom. I can't wait, I am so excited and even happier that Valspar is low VOC.

jessie thompson
Aug 31, 2010


chris swan
Aug 31, 2010

I love the room colors and all. I would love to try yellow chimes for my bathroom. I am hoping to one day soon redo the bathroom in yellow and white.

Aug 31, 2010

I love all the color combos!

Aug 31, 2010

I love the room. It looks very relaxing and something that I would like to do our room in.

Christine Clouse
Aug 31, 2010

This room looks beautiful! I have always been afraid to put dark colors on my bedroom walls. I might have to rethink that. Very well done.

Kerrie Mayans
Aug 31, 2010

I would have never thought to try such a dark color on a wall but I love the end result. Maybe I will paint my bedroom a very deep plum b/c I wanted somethign in the purple family and went with a light purple adn it is too princessy for me and my husband hates it.

Jeanette H.
Aug 31, 2010

I love the dark color, I need to repaint my room and that is something I may choose.

Thank you for the great giveaway!

Julie G.
Aug 31, 2010

Fantastic, I particularly love the oversized quote. I keep reading it over and over....what a wonderful space!

Amy Delong
Aug 31, 2010

to be honest way to dark!

Betty C
Aug 31, 2010

I have to admit I was one of the doubters. I love light airy rooms and I just couldn't picture a room I could possibly like that would be so dark.
It turned out to be gorgeous. I am so surprised at how much I like it.

Tammy Greer
Aug 31, 2010

I love the color of the room. And the splash of color (bright pink pillows) really sets it off. The room looks amazing!

Aug 31, 2010

Love the gray walls! My husband and I once painted our bedroom flaming orange (the ceiling too!) and I've been afraid to choose a bold color ever since.

Aug 31, 2010

WOW, I'm SO impressed!! that's a snazzy makeover lol

you have very good taste!! I will be back to visit your blog soon..and thanks for the chance to win!!


Aug 31, 2010

Love it! We are in desperate need of some new paint around here, our walls are BORING!

AB Smith
Aug 31, 2010

WOW! i love your taste! very impressed!

thanks for sponsoring this.


Diane Baum
Aug 31, 2010 come my results never look anywhere as nice?

Aug 31, 2010

I really like the Pool Party color...

Aug 31, 2010

I absolutely love the dramatic feel you've created in your bedroom! It really looks great!

Michelle H.
Aug 31, 2010

I love the combination of the gray and white. Another color I like from the palette is Academy Gray.

Aug 31, 2010

I love it, it looks like a magazine photo or a hotel room.

Aug 31, 2010

It is amazing!

Walter A
Aug 31, 2010

it would be cool if you could swap out the quote weekly

Walter A
Aug 31, 2010

it would be cool if you could swap out the quote weekly

Harriett D.
Aug 31, 2010

Simple but sophisticated! I love it!

I love the color Ultra Premium Blue Burst. It would look great in my bedroom.

Heather McDonough
Aug 31, 2010

I love the quote on the wall about the universe unfolding as it should. It is so true. The paint looked awesome too.

marci palumbo
Aug 31, 2010

Really beautiful! Love the buddha and the color scheme. A bedroom should be inviting and calm. THat does both! <3

Holly C.
Aug 31, 2010

I'm very impressed, it is amazing what a different color walls can do. We are in the midst of remodeling our bathroom, I should step out of my comfort zone and try a new color, you inspired me!

Joanne Schultz
Aug 31, 2010

I would never think of using grey for walls, but your room really looks great!

Enjoy it!!

Sarah L
Aug 31, 2010

Excellent results. Love the quote. Thanks for the contest.

Miranda Ward
Aug 31, 2010

This is so neat because I have been wanting to paint my kids bedroom and Bathroom. I think I would paint there Bedroom a Base of Parakeet Green With polka dots in the colors of Cosmic pink and Beach sparkle. The Bathroom I would paint the pink flutter

Miranda Ward
Aug 31, 2010

This is so neat because I have been wanting to paint my kids bedroom and Bathroom. I think I would paint there Bedroom a Base of Parakeet Green With polka dots in the colors of Cosmic pink and Beach sparkle. The Bathroom I would paint the pink flutter

Tricia Andrews
Aug 31, 2010

LOVE the room! I am a huge fan of dark colors in the bedroom!

Melissa Butler
Aug 31, 2010

I wanna paint our master bedroom Parakeet Green ~ and our living room Pale Tidepool. I LOVE repainting as tedious as it may be!!!

cathy miller
Aug 31, 2010

That room came out beautifully well done.

Susan C
Aug 31, 2010

I adore the sentiment expressed in the sign! The color is beautiful-I'm afraid I am too chicken to paint my walls anything but light and neutral.
smchester at gmail dot com

carol y l
Aug 31, 2010

I like Golden Sunset. This would be great for my bedroom as I am going to repaint it next week. We had a friend mud and texture our wall where we removed a very large patio door-in exchange for massive amounts of beer! That is true! He is a very good friend and wanted to do it for us free but we knoew what he would really like in exchange.
This color would look great with my quilt and it would be nice to have a rich color instead of the old cream color from 10 years ago. New drapes will complete the look.

Charlene Kuser
Aug 31, 2010

I would use Elizabethan Yellow for my makeover.I love the warm colors
Your room is breathtaking and very artistic

Aug 31, 2010

Love the dark, dramatic colors! Valspar paint is amazing!

R Hicks
Aug 31, 2010

Your room looks a 100% better. Good job!

I would like to do our bedroom in their ultra premium lush meadow. It is a nice soft green color.

ardy22 at earthlink dot net

brian e.
Aug 31, 2010

Thanks for the giveaway...the room looks terrific & the furniture really turned out well: just the right mix of light.

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Elizabeth DeHart
Aug 31, 2010


Kristi C
Aug 31, 2010

The room looks great. I would love to have the New Monsoon whenever we repaint.

Aug 31, 2010

I'd love to have my room done up in black and white as well, but I am learning more toward a vintage film noir theme. :)

Donna K
Aug 31, 2010

It looks very nice. I would like white walls.

Susan Smith
Aug 31, 2010

I love the white furniture contrasted with the dark walls

Suzanne Butler
Aug 31, 2010

Wow, it doesn't even look like the same room! Nice job!

Jennifer W.
Aug 31, 2010

Your bedroom looks awesome!!!

I've been wanting to redo my daughters room, and I really like the Ultra Premium Pink Frenzy.

Aug 31, 2010

Classy and clean!

teh Duchess
Sep 01, 2010

So, I just moved and the bedroom is BRIGHT YELLOW!!!!! Like a I'm-fairly-certain-the-color-on-the-paint-can-had-every-single-one-of-those-five-exclamation-points YELLOW and I've been trying to think of a way to tone it down without having to paint every single wall and you've solved all that for me. One gray accent wall, coming right up! Oh and just so this comment isn't all me, me, me, me, me - I LOVE what you've done with the room and I think you captured the "hotel room with a rock and roll edginess" just perfectly.