I finished painting my bedroom last night, and it is SO. MUCH. BETTER. Yes? YES. (If you want to toggle back and forth between the Tantown “before” photos and the current state, here you go. I tried to take my new photos from the same angles for comparison’s sake.)
If ever there were a perfect testimonial to the power of paint (and caulk, and wood filler, and sandpaper, and sleep deprivation), I think this is probably it. I changed nothing about this room other than the color of the walls, and it seriously feels like a whole new space.
Yeah, the carpet is still there, but LOOK AT THE REST OF IT! Glossy, Band-Aid tan walls begone! I’m convinced that white paint fixes pretty much everything. I used Valpsar Reserve in Swiss Coffee (flat) for the walls and ceiling, and Ultra White (satin) for the trim. I cannot say enough good things about Swiss Coffee—it’s such a soft, warm, pleasing off-white. I don’t like whites that go blue or look too cold/harsh, but I also stay away from off whites that run too yellow. Swiss Coffee hits that middle mark perfectly. The brightness it brings to this bedroom is unreal. The room looks twice as big, and all of the sad heaviness of that shiny tan is gone completely.
The door on the right is actually open in this picture—so the dark side (Valspar Royal Navy) faces the living room. The bedroom side is Ultra White.
I’m really feeling the bi-fold closet doors now, too. I didn’t plan to paint them since I suspected that painting the walls white would bring out the birch tones in a really nice way, and I was right. Instead of looking like an unfinished add-on, the closet now looks like it’s part of the room. It didn’t have a knob before, so I used one of the ULVSBO knobs from from my IKEA stockpile (the same kind I used in the mudroom). So perfect!
I have my new BJÖRNLOKA RUTA duvet cover and DVALA sheet set ready to go, but I’m forcing myself to wait until everything else in the bedroom is finished before I start using them. The rug and furniture are (hopefully) being delivered today, so if everything goes as planned, I should have the whole room put together by the end of the week. Wheeeee!
I cannot begin to tell you how deeply satisfying it was to take down the filthy, broken, improperly-installed plastic mini-blinds. Patching the dozens of nail and screw holes on and around the window casing was like therapy—I slept like a baby that night. I took a chance and ordered custom shades from blindsmax.com, and I’m not disappointed! They’re exactly what I envisioned, and the price was about as low as it’s going to get for custom shades. I went with Timber SolarVue solar shade (M screen) with 5% openness for the wide window above the bed, and a Nulite Best Buy room-darkening roller shade for the side window to block out my next door neighbor’s motion-detecting porch light. They came to $98.10 and $38.96 respectively—really not a bad deal. It took exactly 7 days from my order date for the shades to arrive (free shipping!), and installation was totally straightforward and simple.
Ordinarily I’d probably go with 10% openness on solar shades, but since this is a ground-floor bedroom facing the street, I opted for greater privacy. At night, you can see vague shapes in a lit room from outside, but no detail. It does block most of the view from the inside during the day, of course, but a ton of daylight still filters through. I’m really, really happy with these shades, and I’m so grateful to everyone who suggested blindsmax.com to me! THANK YOU.
Remember that weird framed vent on the ceiling? I took it down, spray-painted it white, caulked the frame (though not the center panel, since apparently it does lift for attic access), and now it’s totally non-offensive. White paint and caulk fix everything, man. Oh, and in case you were wondering, painting a mega-textured ceiling like this one does indeed SUCK. Using a roller-cover made for this purpose helps immensely, but the amount of pressure required to get paint into all of the nooks and crannies left my arms feeling like sharataki noodles after an hour. Worth it!
The blackout shade is totally working, by the way. A smidgen of light does get in around the sides and top because of the space the bracket takes up (to avoid that completely you’d have to mount the shade outside the window casing), but it’s a fraction of what I was dealing with before. I’ve had the shades up for about a week now, and I have yet to be awakened by the porch light coming on.
Hey! Even the circuit breaker door looks cute when it’s painted white! And how about that decorative object draped effortlessly over one corner! That’s a Door Blessing from Moorea Seal, and while I don’t feel like the circuit breaker door needs to be blessed, I do think it’ll make a really nice necklace. I also think I’m going to turn this weird little door into a place to hang jewelry above my dresser. A few nice nails in a row across the front…it’ll look good.
PROGRESS! Hopefully my next post will be about my new rug and dresser. It’s so great to see this room coming together. I’m already having more peaceful sleep because of the white paint. I know I’m going to love my bedroom when it’s all done.