This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Valspar.


One of the things that’s been so thrilling about moving into our own house---apart from the fact that we can finally justify buying one of those awesome metal tape measures; you know, the kind that you can pull out really far and then snap back with a satisfying zhhhhhrppppp---is the knowledge that we can paint the walls any color we like. Sure, we painted a couple of rooms in our old apartment, but they were safe, small spaces---the bathroom, the hallway---that we could whitewash back to rent-friendly conditions the weekend before we moved out.

Our new house is, quite literally, a blank canvas---and I mean a really, really blank canvas: every single room is white---and we’re itching to get started on livening it up. Of utmost importance is the bedroom. The rest of the house might be in chaos as we struggle to organize and unpack, but in order to maintain my sanity, I need the bedroom to feel like…well, kind of like a hotel room.

Yeah, I said it, I want my bedroom to feel like a hotel room. I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms you see, and I find them rather comforting. Everything’s so clean! And so calm! There’s a place for everything in a hotel room, and everything’s in its place. And I’d like my bedroom to feel like that too: like a very upscale, very nice, very you’re-only-staying-here-because-your-company’s-paying-for-it hotel room. You know, the kind of hotel that has three types of hummus on the room service menu and the sort of toiletries you hoard in your suitcase so the maid brings you more. (Wait, we all do that, right? Oh, we don’t? Well then, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I bought all these mini bottles of Kiehl’s shampoo at the store!)

“Anyway,” you’re wondering. “This is all very well, but where do I come in?” Well, here’s where you come in: I need you to help me choose a color to paint the walls. Thanks to Valspar and BlogHer, who are letting me run wild in the aisles of Lowe’s, I’m going to be painting this boring bedroom of ours---and I’m going to be asking for your help.

But first you probably need to see some before pictures, right? Hey, I know how this makeover stuff works.

Welcome to the world’s most boring bedroom. Is that not the blankest canvas you ever did see? To be fair, it does have a couple of things going for it: a lovely big window with a view of a big tree and the ocean (the latter appears only about eighty percent of the time: if it’s a good day and you squint), and also some excellent hardwood floors.

As for what I’m hoping it will look like, I’m thinking something dark would be nice: the room gets enough light to carry it off and all our bedding is white and airy, so the contrast would be perfect. I’m wildly inspired by this French hotel room my sister and I stayed in during our trip to Paris earlier this year: the walls were dark and sharp and modern but also cozy and inviting and warm.


Could I do that? Do I dare? Is gray the way to go or should I go in another direction?

Anyway, here’s how it’ll work: if you want to help me choose what color to paint my new bedroom, have a look at Valspar’s color chart and leave me a comment letting me know which of the shades there you think would look best. (You might also find the Virtual Painter Tool quite helpful---particularly if you have a sudden urge to procrastinate for three hours when you’re supposed to be working, because trust me, that thing is addictive.)

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random win a $100 Lowe’s gift card, and everyone else’s suggestions will be pored over obsessively by me (and Sean too, probably; I guess it’s his bedroom as well) until we come up with the perfect color. We’ll narrow it down to a few final choices, which we’ll reveal next week and have you cull further, and then we’ll start painting immediately in the hopes of changing our boring white bedroom into the first room in our new house to be exactly as we want it.

So to recap: head over here to choose a color. Leave a comment with your suggestion and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card from Lowe’s. Read the official rules if you’re the rule-following type. And we’ll pick this up again next week and have a look at some of the colors that have made the final cut. This is totally just like watching a makeover show on HGTV, right? Except instead of yelling at the TV, you can yell at me!


Aug 04, 2010

I like City Storm. Not too dark, but still a strong grey. It would look nice!

Aug 04, 2010

If you're thinking gray, it looks like Lilac Gray or Roaming Pony (in honor of your recent trip) would be nice. My bedroom color is fron BenMoore and looks to be similar to Valspar's Grand "Hotel" Mackinac Blue. I guess that's the closest I get to a hotel look!

Aug 04, 2010

I think Fields of Green would be good. It is darker and would bring a bit of the green from the trees outside in. It also appears to have shades of grey.

Good Luck!

Vespa Rossa
Aug 04, 2010

2nd vote for Roaming Pony.

The name is awesome and it's this sort of dramatic purply gray.

Crucible is interesting, too...for a stormy gray.

Aug 04, 2010

I think, if you want to go with gray, why not try a blue gray. Since you can see the ocean, it works as a theme, plus a the blue will work nicely with the green of the trees.

My recommendation: Prussian Cadet
(also, what an awesome name)

Aug 04, 2010

Mountain Smoke would look awesome!

Aug 04, 2010

I like Blue Twilight. It's a designer-friendly room color. Not too dark or bright and it won't soak up all your natural light.

Aug 04, 2010

I would have to go with Mark Twain House Ombra Greay because:

1. Mark Twain was way funny and so is this blog so it's color by association.

2. It's just a great name. I am very sophisticated and pick paint colors based on names in much the same way that I pick wine based on the label.

3. It has a smidge of taupe, which I love

Aug 04, 2010

I like Coastal Jetty, seems appropriate since you have a view of the ocean.

Aug 04, 2010

Quarry Pond-- a pretty shade of blue that would look great with white linens.

Aug 04, 2010

That's funny because before you even started talking about grey, I was thinking that's exactly what you should paint your bedroom. I've been seeing it a lot lately and it makes for a beautiful, serene room. I'm loving Opal Slate. I think it would be perfect.

Aug 04, 2010

I like the Cooper Adobe Brown. While labeled brown, it really is more of a gray with a warm, gold tint to it. I think it would be perfect for a bedroom to keep it warm, but still dramatic. A regular gray can seem very cold.

Aug 04, 2010

I love Winter Delta - i think it would look gorgeous with the white bedding!

Aug 04, 2010

i really like "night scape" and also "high speed steel" i like that they're both modern, yet still warm.

Aug 04, 2010

I'm really liking Spirit Blue (4011-9) from the Ultra Premium line. A lovely dark gray/blue that I think would be lovely with white accessories...

Hmmm... my bedroom needs painting as well...

Aug 04, 2010

Have you seen AB Chao's bedroom? She used the farrow ball color "down pipe" but I think Valspar's "Black Evergreen" might give you a similar look.

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 04, 2010

Ryan, I LOVE AB Chao's bedroom! Wanted to put a picture of it in as inspiration, but then wondered if that might be.....creepy.

Aug 04, 2010

I like Cathedral Stone and Coastal Jetty.

Aug 04, 2010

I like Seafoam Storm - nice gray with a hint of blue. Seems very calm. Good luck!

Aug 04, 2010

I'm fond of Success or Cinder Fox. Or, about 97 other colors. How does one choose?!

Aug 04, 2010

Seine 6005-2B. I love this!

jennifer in sf
Aug 04, 2010

Ok, I'm going to say Sharkfin.

But really you're going to need to do swatches of gray, because gray does weird stuff when it's actually on your walls. All of a sudden it's brown! Or blue! OR purple!

(What you really, really want to do is get the closest color to Farrow & Ball's Down Pipe that you can. Doing as AB Chao does, is the right choice here.)

Aug 04, 2010

My choice would be Cliveden Forest from the Historic Colors line. It is more of a deep greenish-gray than just strictly gray but it is very calming and would also look fantastic with white bedding and your wood floors.

Aug 04, 2010

What about Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, from the Historic Colors? (My boyfriend, however, insists that purple is the way to go; his pick is the Oatlands Violet, also from Historic Colors).

Aug 04, 2010

Hotel St. Francis Spirit Blue. Still bold and dark but a bit of color. Yes!

Aug 04, 2010

I'm torn between Elephant Gray and High-Speed Steel. I think both would look great with white bedding and they're not so dark that they'll overwhelm the space. You'd also have a great opportunity to bring in some colorful curtains or throw pillows to brighten things up!

Aug 04, 2010

Ooo I like this game. I've always thought that the color-namer job (of paint, nail polish, etc) would be awesome. I really like the looks of Twilight Purple (despite what that name brings to mind - not that I didn't love those books, cuz I did, but it's nice to be able to forget about vampires now and again) and Forest Canopy. I'm so glad you're doing this! I'm just about to move into a new apartment in September, and I was really wishing I could paint my bedroom something deep and intense like this, but as a renter, sigh, I think I probably will have to keep it safe and easy to re-paint.

Aug 04, 2010

We are in the same stage with our walls (!) but sadly we moved in over a year ago...

I like Metropolis and SHARKFIN. I also would like to be the person that gets to name all of these paint colors! Interesting job...

Aug 04, 2010

I think that 'Italian Ice' would be nice. I think that it is close to the colour that I am goign to do our bedroom in. I am not a 'blue' person - but I love this with whites, off-whites, fuscias and greys.

Good luck!


Aug 04, 2010


Can we wait for you to do this project 'til after Christmas? I'm staying at MAMA SHELTER for Christmas and directly after and I can't wait. I can give you a much better opinion after!

No? It can't wait?

Well then ... I think a sharp grey would look nice, I've seen it in a couple of other places and bedrooms and I think with ample light, it can be fantastic, and not too dark. Plus, it's a great background for art, mirrors and furniture. Everything - metal, wood and plastic - looks great next to it!

Can't wait to see an end result!

Also? The captcha for this comment starts with, "AH!" How appropriate.

Melanie D
Aug 04, 2010

I like Churchill Hotel Brown. And really, it's right there in the name. HOTEL brown! Our bedroom has been a deep brown in every home we've lived in (after we painted it...of course) and I love it. You can use lots of colors with it and it also looks great with white. Relaxing, calming, and warm. Good luck!

Aug 04, 2010

I absolutely adore Spirit Blue - 4011-9. Dark, slightly blue, calming and would set off stark white bedding perfectly!

Aug 04, 2010

I like Blackstrap (4001-2C). It seems to be the closest to the color at the French Hotel and is just very rich and smokey.

Aug 04, 2010

I like Thorny Brush.

It would be great to be the person in charge of naming paint colors. Just for a day. I think one probably has to be sort of drunk to be successful at that job, and I couldn't handle so many hangovers.

Best of luck with the painting!

Taryn O'Leary
Aug 04, 2010

My vote is for the Ultra Premium Summer Sparrow - nice, warm, gray - it will complement your wood floors, and will still make you feel posh and cozy on those gloomy, San Francisco summer days...

Aug 04, 2010

Roaming Pony!

Aug 04, 2010

Don't you just love paint color names. What a cool job that would be, "Manager of Paint Color Titles".

With that I am going with a boring name but a lovely color: Opal Slate 4001-1C.

Aug 04, 2010

Volcanic Ash.

I'm actually horrible at matching, so maybe don't take my advice?

Aug 04, 2010

Is it wrong that I choose by name? I'd go with Ultra Premium Chocolate Raspberry, accented with Ultra Premium Lemon Curd. Yum.

Aug 04, 2010

4002-1B, Ultra Premium London Coach.

Me, I'm thinking about painting my bedroom purple (but a warm purple) but somehow I don't think you and Sean are purple-types. But don't go too cool--I'm guessing you're in a fog zone of San Fran, and you don't want a grey that will make it feel chilly inside when its cold and damp and gray outside.

Home Sweet Sarah
Aug 04, 2010

I just went through this same thing, so I feel your pain/excitement!

I do like the idea of grey, especially if you do an eggshell finish so it has a more matte look.

That being said, I feel that there are so many interesting things you can do these days to make your space more one-of-a-kind...Such as...STRIPES!

I initially wanted to do a grey scheme, but because we chose really dark furniture, I ended up going with orange (Flickr pictures here: and here:

So! May I suggest the greys in the 4006 category? Perhaps Silver Leaf for the light, Drizzling Mist for a darker stripe, and Hematite for the darkest?

Happy painting!

Aug 04, 2010

maybe a dark warm violet like Ocean Storm? (this color is under 'violet', but it looks more like a grey than a violet.) the slightly lighter shade of that would be Mark Twain House Ombra Grey, which is lovely also.
(rooms with all four walls in dark or bright colors -anything non-neutral- seem too claustrophobic. so i would just do an accent wall, but that's just me...)

Aug 04, 2010

I vote for Mocha Syrup. It's the color I'd paint my bedroom if I win the $100 Lowe's gift card!

I vote for Crucible.

I have to be honest and say that it's basically the same color as my bathroom, so I'm partial to it.

Aug 04, 2010

We used Lowe's paint when we did our house and used Mudslide and Cooper House Brown in our living room and Cincinnatian Hotel Abbey for our kitchen. I love them both.

For your bedroom I would use Mark Twain House Ombra Gray. Gorgeous!

BTW, in looking at their designer colors, what is up with the names? A real grey was named navy. WTH?

Aug 04, 2010

I really like "beguile", and also black evergreen.

Natalie R.
Aug 04, 2010

Umm I basically want to buy my own house JUST so I can paint my room a dark and cozy gray!! Its, obviously, hard to say based on the tiny sample here but I am really thinking sable calm would be perfect! So excited for you! (and JEALOUS!)

Aug 04, 2010

I am quite fond of Chocolate Turtle. This is quite close to what we painted our entryway and it is rich and lush. Love all the color names! What fun!

Aug 04, 2010

I like Quaking Bog, not only because it is a really nice gray, but also because it would be fun to tell people you painted your bedroom Quaking Bog.

Aug 04, 2010

Oregon Coast!

It's a beautiful color AND I just moved back to Oregon (from all too sunny California).

Aug 04, 2010

Churchill Hotel Olive. I like it so much, I'm going to go get myself a sample!

Aug 04, 2010

I vote for Sable Calm. it's delicious looking =) I'm totally biased on darker colors, though -- my library is charcoal & the spare bathroom is the darkest greeny-grey I could find. so cosy!

Aug 04, 2010

City Storm!

Aug 04, 2010

I have a gray bedroom so I vote gray. But if you wanted to go blue/green Birdsong Blue is lovely..great name too!

Lisa S.
Aug 04, 2010

Volcanic Ash looks lovely!

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
Aug 04, 2010

My bedroom is a muted blue, and it's very calming. May I suggest a muted grey-blue? Perhaps Carolina Club Aqua, or April Thicket? It's kind of hard to tell on the computer, but those are both from Valspar's "shaded" blue category.

Good luck!

Kate (and Ben)
Aug 04, 2010

oh! I love grey walls!!! And bold paint!! And fancy hotels!! I have a feeling I'm going to be very jealous of your new bedroom.

But my paint pick:
Fired Earth
I thought about something a bit more greenish in tone (like Montana Moss) but I kept picking out this beautifully dark grey. I'm totally in love with it and if your bedroom uses it I'll be absolutely jealous (the rock star doesn't like dark colours in a bedroom; so we're going to pick some airy neutral-y green).

Laura B.
Aug 04, 2010

Ultra Premium Night Blue

Aug 04, 2010

I just got done doing this! It's so exciting! What are you going to do with the light fixture? The room I redecorated had that exact fixture. I replaced it with this one: I bought it online at lamps plus. The glass shades come in all colors. It swings around and all the little lamp heads tilt to spot light anything. It, or one like it, might look pretty cool with the modern look you are going for

Lori B
Aug 04, 2010

I opt for Rogue Blue - I love that it's dark and gray, but is blue as well.

Aug 04, 2010

I like Sable Calm it's nice and dark but has some blue tones instead of just black/gray.

FunnyGal KAT
Aug 04, 2010

I swear this is true-- as soon as I saw the title of your post, I answered in my head, "Dark gray." And then you talked all about dark gray! I looked through the grays and I think having another hue to it will make your room look rich and modern. My choice is Semi-Sweet.

Christy Q
Aug 04, 2010

Ultra Premium Coastal Villa 6005-2A. After you mentioned you wanted something modern that would be a contrast to your white bedding, I immediately thought of a color similar to my bedroom walls. Unfortunately, my paint color isn't Valspar but this is awfully close to what we have and I think it'd be stunning if you have all that light coming in and the airiness of your linens providing a contrast.

Aug 04, 2010

My bedroom is gray and I LOVE IT.

Aug 04, 2010

Taking a different direction here. Fairmont Penthouse Stone (6008-1C) with white trim. A darker neutral that you can accent with bright accessories in any color. Change the accessory color when you get tired of it, and you'll have a whole new look.

Now, when you get to decorating the wall over the bed, I'm all ears. Three years after we moved into our new house and that wall is still bare. One big picture? A grouping? A wall hanging? Help!

Aug 04, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry. We had a bedroom with similar wood floors, lots of light, white bedding, and we went with a purplish brown wall color and WOW, was it awesome. So relaxing and so easy to sleep in.

Aug 04, 2010

either gray earth or mark twain gray brick-- darker, saturated, will make that white bedding really pop!

Aug 04, 2010

I personally like cool grays...and I even painted my hallway a nice cool gray. The only thing I am thinking about your bedroom, is that you might not want to go too super dark since there's only one window. i am definitely a fan of painting swatches and seeing how they look at different times of day - with different levels of shadows. That being said I like Evening Eclipse or Academy Gray.

Aug 04, 2010

I bet Lyndhurst Mushroom would look very pretty.

Plus your hardwood floors are beautiful! Can't wait to see the finished product!

Aug 04, 2010

I'm not a big fan of gray myself (the dining room I'm sitting right at this moment was painted gray when I first moved in, and it felt like...well, prison), but I like this one, if gray it is: Indigo Streamer.

Myself, I think if you have nice wood and white accessories, a deep teal-blue or turquoise would be amazing. And like sleeping under mosquito netting with an ocean breeze (hopefully no dysentery, though). Thereby, my favorite is: Laura Ashley Sky Blue 6.

Aug 04, 2010

I think gray would be incredibly beautiful in your room. Add it in with white bedding and a few burst of color?

I would choose "Ultra Premium Chimney Smoke 4010-1".

I'm so excited to see what you choose!

Aug 04, 2010

I think you need some "Beguile" in your bedroom.

Aug 04, 2010

I think you need some "Beguile" in your bedroom. :-)

Aug 04, 2010

How about Beguile? A nice grey with a touch of blue.

Aug 04, 2010

I was going to suggest AB Chao's bedroom color, but I see that someone else has already beaten me to it. People with good taste, unite!

Aug 04, 2010

How about a turquoise? It's very important to match your bedroom walls to your website. Aquatic mist, maybe?

Now that we've bought a house I want one of those laser tape measures.

Aug 04, 2010

the first color i liked and clicked on was called "hotel st. francis spirit blue." how perfect! i swear i didn't pick it just for the name!

Aug 04, 2010

blue twilight - I think blue grays/ slate grays, and touches of teal to be very rich.

Aug 04, 2010

Twilight Purple. Oh yes.

Aug 04, 2010

If you're leaning to grey, love Porcelain Shale, very versatile. I like their color choosing program and how it will suggest coordinating colors. Can't wait to see what you end up with.

Aug 04, 2010

My vote is for Rogue Blue. It's blue. It's gray. It's a bird. It's a's ROGUE BLUE!!

It will be like a surprise every, single day. Plus, it's pretty.

Aug 04, 2010

My vote for first place goes for Blindfold (no, seriously. It's a great color.) My vote for second place goes for Muted Ebony.

Aug 04, 2010

Oh, I love picking paint colors!
I think the other suggestions for blue grey are nice, but you seem like you're a little less predictable than blue-grey (which I LOVE by the way -- my room has a blue-grey wall). I think you should go for a gray with a hint of a purple in it. Don't freak out! Anyway, based on the color chips appearance on my computer screen, I vote for Sweet Shadows. Not into the purple thing? Ultra Premium "Wool Coat" (doesn't that sound classic?) or Sable Calm both would look nice and really look good with white bedding. Morning Light is a gorgeous gray that's not so dark. Have fun and keep us posted!

Aug 04, 2010

I know you said gray but I prefer warm colors over cool colors so if it were me I'd go with Soul Chocolate or Roasted Coffee. I love brown because it goes so well with turquoise or red or, well, lots of colors! Pair Roasted Coffee with Filoli Morning Glory and Saffron Silk accents - beautiful!

Aug 04, 2010

Ultra Premium Relaxed Navy!

Aug 04, 2010

I'm impressed that you're able to consider a slightly unconventional color and have it truly appear doable. Gray would be fun to try. I like Spirit Blue for its slate gray tones--it wouldn't be too overpowering or industrial at all, and it wouldn't complete with the bones of the house or the lovely floors.

Kristina Robinson
Aug 04, 2010

It's not quite gray, but I quite like Gypsy Rouge... I think it's a color that would change as the light does. Close second: Roaming Pony.

Aug 04, 2010

I'm partial to Smoky Hazelnut. I seem to be on a brown kick, and this has an interesting pink tint to it that I love.

melissa murphy
Aug 04, 2010

I suggest Winter Calm from the ultra premium colors.

My take is that dark is nice but always dark...the midtones play with the light a little bit and look fantastic in the sun light and with your reading lamp on.

Aug 04, 2010

I quite like Piano Brown or Roaming Pony, though Petrified Wood is also quite lovely.