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 English Tea Party (6004 2C).

Aug 04, 2010

I am in love with sable calm. It totally seems serene and wonderful to me! I would like to paint a room that color right now!! Good luck with the decision! I'm horrible at actually purchasing paint. I can never decide what color to actually use!

Aug 04, 2010

I like Slate Court. It's gray, but has blue undertones that really give it something extra.

Aug 04, 2010

I like "secret moss". I really love the name of these paints! I want to work for them. I loved "cream in my coffee", but not for your bedroom. I just love the name!

Aug 04, 2010

It might not be dark enough for you, but I like "Lighthouse shadows." It reminds me of the ocean, and since that's your (sometimes) view, it might be a nice complement.

Aug 04, 2010

My comment got eaten. :(

Ok, I looove purple, all shades except fuschia because that is PINK, PEOPLE. Ahem. I kept into account you liking grey and liking more modern colors and having white bedding..I came up with 1001-3C which is called Gleeful Joy. I also looked on the Earth Elements brand and really liked 2 grey colors-- Prairie Rock and Cliff.

Aug 04, 2010

We painted our bedroom a warm brown (the color was Victorian Gold, I think) it's between Ultra Premium Muddy Mississippi and Ultra Premium Magic Lamp but maybe a bit warmer...I can e-mail a picture if you promise not to judge how messy our room is. We love it because it's warm and cozy and just leaves one feeling calm.

Aug 04, 2010

I have a grey room with white accents and I LOVE it! Warm and cozy, but not dark at all. I suggest Ocean Storm, and how appropriate for when you can actually see the ocean.

Aug 05, 2010

If you like the grey at Mama Shelter what about Iron Frost or Blindfold. Can't wait to see the finished room.

Aug 05, 2010

Muted Ebony would look AMAZING! Its very dramatic but not too "Marilyn Manson goth" if you get what I mean!!

Im thinking crisp fresh white cotton sheets, with a splash of red- cushions & throw at the end of bed etc.

Thats my vote!


Aug 05, 2010

For me, the ideal bedroom color is Lucent Purple, a dusky purply gray... I love how calming and warm it is, with a touch of romantic.

If you want to go a tad more neutral, I'd do Bleached Shadow, which is a great warm color between taupe and gray and brown and purple... Looks great with turquoise accents!!

Aug 05, 2010

I say Safari Brown - it's got gray in it, but is kinda warm as well and so many things will look great with it! Good luck :)

Aug 05, 2010

I can't really add anything here, except that I wish desserts were named after all those colors. They sound like heaven.

"One portion of Soul Chocolate with with some Smokey Hazelnut sprinkled on top and a side dish of Gypsy Rouge please."


Aug 05, 2010

So, I am not eligible for the prize, but I just love the colour grey at the moment.
this pic is the colour i would paint my room
(I couldn't decide quite which one of the swatches was the same so you have the original.....)

Aug 05, 2010

I really like Cosmic Blue (to celebrate being by the sea) or Gypsy Rouge. I actually think a nice, dark deep red/burgundy might look really nice against the floors too, but they don't have exactly what I mean. Along the lines of fabulous red though.

Aug 05, 2010

Sorry, forgot about pacific pleasure, which is gorgeous and you have to get just for the name alone!

Aug 05, 2010

Ultra premium deep earth. It's kind of grayish brown, and I think it would look great with white.

Aug 05, 2010

Are you set on just one color? we just redid our room and did the wall where the headboard is a slightly brighter color than the rest of it. I wasn't sold at first but I quite like it in the end.

I like Ocean Storm for the gray. I've short circuited on what I would recommend for the other color. Color overload!!

Aug 05, 2010


I painted my bedroom this color 3 years ago when I bought my first house and I am SO IN LOVE WITH IT. STILL. Other rooms have been painted over and over because I love a great paint makeover, but the Magnet Dapple SHALL NOT BE TOUCHED.

Seriously, it is moody and sexy and I love the contrast with my white bedding and dark wood floors.

I'm not going to lie, I piked out this color, then chickened out and went lighter with Shark Fin. I immeditately regretted it. I went back to Lowe's that same day to buy the Magnet Dapple and repainted the whole room. (The bathroom is Shark Fun and I love it in that space.)
BUT SERIOUSLY, MAGNET DAPPLE. If it helps, I am an architect...I can't save anyone's life but I can pick a nice paint color.

Aug 05, 2010

I think gray would be a good pick, especially if the room gets a lot of light. I think "coastal jetty" is a great, warm neutral gray, and I'm love the name. I've been wanting to paint my home office gray - I'd love if you could post pics when the room is done!

Aug 05, 2010

I like the idea of gray a lot -- and I think Volcanic Ash is lovely, though perhaps a bit too dark.

Aug 05, 2010

I like muted ebony, if you're feeling adventurous enough for a really dark, sexy grey. With white bedding and the nice light from the window, I think it would be so, so gorgeous.

Aug 05, 2010

Mark Twain Ombra Gray
I have found sticking to the historic colors palette helpfully limits my options and provides at least a little more protection from the "Wait, the gray swatch looks purple on my walls!" effect.

Aug 05, 2010

Quarry Pond! 5011-10

Aug 05, 2010

I like ultra premium twinkle night!

Aug 05, 2010

I recently painted my bedroom a very similar color to "Sky Space" - a gray blue. I was concerned that it would be too dark at first, but my room is super sunny and I accented the walls with a couple yellow and white pops and I LOVE IT. It's so calm and enveloping. In a good way.

Aug 05, 2010

I like High-Speed Steel and Mark Twain Gray brick best. Good luck with the project, I'm sure it will look fabulous!

Aug 05, 2010

Rogue Blue

Aug 05, 2010

I like the Ultra Premium Black Evergreen or Ultra Premium Cosmopolitan Olive. Both dark and mysterious without being too cold. Good luck with your bedroom makeover! Can't wait to see it!

Aug 05, 2010

la Fonda Turquoise, Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue or Mark Twain Grey Brick. Though my bathroom is Jekyll Club Verandah Blue and it is fantastic. All from the National Historic Trust line.

Mary Daiger
Aug 05, 2010

I'm a huge fan of the Lilac Gray! We're currently renting, but I can't wait to have our own space to color!

Thespian Libby
Aug 05, 2010

Love the Sable Evening.

Keenie Beanie
Aug 05, 2010

In a room with lots of natural light, I would do an accent wall in a really deep color behind the bed. I had an aubergine sort of color in mind, and then saw the Chocolate Raspberry shade (1010-10) and thought that fit the bill and sounded divinely delicious as well. I'd do the other three walls in a related shade of lighter gray like Seagull Beach 1002-10B.

Looking forward to seeing what you choose!

Aug 05, 2010

I vote for Cooper Adobe Brown. It may say brown, but it totally looks gray. I tried it with the Virtual Painter Tool using an image of a room with floors similar to yours, and it looks pretty fabulous.

Grammar Snob
Aug 05, 2010

I like Muted Ebony. Love love love the gray!

Can't wait to see pics!

Other Holly
Aug 05, 2010

Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue from their historic colors. Weird name, but I love the blue almost gray shades. I have lighter blue grey color in my bedroom and it is suprisingly very, very neutral.

Aug 05, 2010

I like Volcanic Ash. Bluey-grey, or perhaps it's greyey-blue.

Last year I painted our room a chocolate brown and it sucks all the light right out of the place, but boy do we get a solid night's sleep in all that darkness.

Good luck with your choice, and can't wait to see the result - I'm sure it will be magnificent!

Aug 05, 2010

I love the blue-grays; "Beguile" is my favorite of the bunch.

Then again, "What Paint Color Would AB Chao Choose?" is sort of a fail safe approach. Good luck!

Aug 05, 2010

I would go with Shaded Lake. It has both gray and blue tones.

Aug 05, 2010

Blue Twilight. It will end up darker than the sample looks, so I would go with a lighter tone than you think would work.

Aug 05, 2010

I think dark and cool is the way to go. I particularly like the London Coach, 4002, 1B. You get the dark with a hint of color. It could be lovely with the right highlights in the room.

Aug 05, 2010

Love that you're open to going dark! I recently painted my bedroom a dark blue/teal color & love it! I think Valspar's Pitch Cobalt or Rouge Blue look like lovely dark gray colors with a hint of blue. My theory is that what goes wrong with a lot of people's color choices is that they want color but are afraid to pick the darkest shade & go with a shade from the middle of the card because they think the darkest color will be too overpowering. Then they often end up unhappy with the results but the in-between shades often end up too bright. I find the dark shades calming, especially with wood/faux wood floors.

eva woods
Aug 05, 2010

Turkish coffee. It's not coffee, it's more of a dark mushroom grey, and as everyone knows, mushroom is the best wall color. Plus, greys with brown in them make you prettier. Blue greys make you old.

Aug 05, 2010

Blackstrap or Chocolate Raspberry

I love the idea of going dark when you have all of that natural light and light linens. Can't wait to see it finished.

Aug 05, 2010

I adore dark purples... Gypsy Rouge, perhaps? Or is that not gender-neutral for a bedroom?

Aug 05, 2010

Secret Moss

I've been wanting to paint a room medium to dark gray for months but am scared I'll miff it. So I'll be waiting to see if you use gray, and then I'll, let's face it, probably just blatantly copy you.

Chris in NY
Aug 05, 2010

Eddie Bauer Mercer Blue. I think a straight gray would be too neutral and if you go too dark, even with the white airy bedding it might be too depressing. The blue really adds something but is still not too much in your face color.

Aug 05, 2010

I really like Metropolis or Wet Pavement.

Aug 05, 2010

I really like Metropolis or Wet Pavement.

Aug 05, 2010

I like Metropolis or Wet Pavement.

Aimee DuRant
Aug 05, 2010

Love Winter Calm!

Aug 05, 2010

London Coach.
Now I want to paint my bedroom!

Stephanie Swalley
Aug 05, 2010

Winter Flannel! I like the subtle green tones.

kim b
Aug 05, 2010

I think a dark gray would be great, my vote is for Almost Charcoal.

Aug 05, 2010

I like semi sweet. It's dark, but not too overpowering. And also a shade I'm thinking of painting my own bedroom.

Val M
Aug 05, 2010

I love the idea of using gray and like Stone Mason Gray.

Aug 05, 2010

my vote is for the raspberry wine!

Aug 05, 2010

I love the idea of a modern dark color to off-set the white bed, but something with some color still. I love Turbid Amethyst, but if you're a bit more on the blue side, Pacific Coast is beautiful.

Aug 05, 2010

I think that National Trust La Fonda Midnight in the Historic Colors section would be perfect!

Gray, but with some blue in there, very sophisticated. Would look great with some crisp white molding.

Aug 05, 2010

I am all about the grey hues too. I love Notre Dame. Cool name + cool hue (no puns intended) = win!

Anxiously awaiting the "after" pictures, your decorating posts are always a great inspiration.

Aug 05, 2010

My vote is "beguile" mostly for the hue, but partly for the name.

Aug 05, 2010

i really like ultra premium pitch cobalt. kinda dark, but yummy and relaxing...

Aug 05, 2010

Almost Charcoal - 4008 2B

H Cain
Aug 05, 2010

Coastal Dusk

Aug 05, 2010

I really love Ebony Field myself. It sort of looks like a mix of grey and brown, which I think it fantastic. I would love to do my bedroom up with a dark color like this, and have white bedding, big glass lamps and possibly a wire bench and lots of wooden and woven baskets or something. But my husband won't let me, sigh. Do it for me, Holly!

Aug 05, 2010

I really like crucible. My boyfriend and I just painted our bedroom dark grey and we love it! good luck!

Aug 05, 2010

Holly, is there more than one window in that room? I honestly would be reluctant to paint it too dark; it looks like it gets SOME light, but not enough to pull off dark gray.

I love Delicate Frost--a Valspar hue of palest green-gray, with Serenity, the sweetest softest blue you ever saw, for trim... and darker shades of each for accents everywhere. Including drapery in various corners of the room. For some reason, I always sleep better when I feel like I'm in a fishtank. Or a bordello.

Aug 05, 2010

Metropolis - with your white linens, add lavender accents and it will be both beautiful and suitable for you and your husband!

ana maria
Aug 05, 2010

I really like the Harbor Mist... We just bought a new house also and I'm in love with this color! :)

Aug 05, 2010

I'm liking Coastal Dusk. But if we're going for best paint name, it has to be Quaking Bog.

Aug 05, 2010

Lilac Grey! It is so pretty, although I do like Roaming Pony also. But I love the purple/mauve hint in Lilac Grey - that's my choice!

Aug 05, 2010

I say dark palomino 2011-2 - in the orange family . I recently painted my bedroom a similar terracotta color from the Ralph Lauren paint collection and I love it. Not tooo dark, but feels rich and with my all white bedding the room feels so crisp.

Elizabeth in Chicago
Aug 05, 2010

Elephant gray! Elephant gray!!!

Aug 05, 2010

Okay! I like Thorny Brush and Spring Spirits, and I definitely like the idea of a gray bedroom, especially when you pair it with white bedding. Can't wait to see it when it's done!

PS -- don't worry, I take the toiletries, too!

Aug 05, 2010

Crap that didn't work
Ultra Premium
Greenscape - 6005-10a
and Plum Burst -10b

Aug 05, 2010

I'm a huge fan of blues in the bedroom-very calming. I usually like lighter shades-but since you wanted dark-I really liked Deep Blue Sea and Peek a Boo Blue.

Aug 05, 2010

I like the Gray very nice.

Aug 05, 2010


Aug 05, 2010

Premium Rich Chocolate looks gorgeous!
It's warm and romantic.

Goodluck with your blank canvass!

Aug 05, 2010

I know you weren't necessarily thinking reds, but I love the Ultra Premium Heirloom Red. Not sure if you want to paint the entire thing red--but maybe as an accent wall (or 2!)... could be Olive Branch Gold, to stay dark, or something lighter and neutral, like Cliveden Sandstone. Good luck!!

Aug 05, 2010

We are painting our bedroom this month! Huge step for us and we're hoping to be bold. We've got it narrowed down to two dark blues, a really blue one and one a little gray. We're using a different brand (I totally won't get picked now right?), but I love Valspar's Deep Sea Diving and Filoli Dark Iris.

Aug 05, 2010

Oops, obviously I meant the 2nd two color choices to be the color of the other 2-3 walls, if you decided to do red just as an accent... wasn't clear about that, sorry :).

Aug 05, 2010

London Coach!

It's very pretty and calm. And, you're from London, so BONUS.

Victoria Leigh
Aug 05, 2010

I am going with Sable Calm. I do love the dark walls with the white linens!!

Aug 05, 2010

I think that you should go grey. I KNOW you have it in you. Of the greys, I like Sharkfin the best -- sadly, I rent, so I'll have to live vicariously through your paint!

Aug 05, 2010

I have always liked blue bedrooms best so I'd pick Summer Sky 5001-9B with white trip and white crown molding

Aug 05, 2010

I have always liked blue bedrooms best so I'd pick Summer Sky 5001-9B with white trip and white crown molding

Aug 05, 2010

I really like greens so I am voting for Filoli Ginkgo Tree 5006-4B. It is a darker (but not too dark) gray green - very spa.

Good luck!

Aug 05, 2010

We painted our living room Porcelain Shale which is a really pretty medium gray with purple and blue undertones. Our bedroom is Green Peppercorn which I also love-dark green blue teal color. The runner up was Gaucho which was an army green color. It was really growing on me. I recommend taking home a bunch of sample cans and boards. The colors online are not accurate so keep that in mind too.