Note: See the first post in this four-part series right here!
I’m back with a big family update as part of our Dream Room Dream Team collaboration! If you’re just tuning in, we couldn’t be more excited to be helping three families transform one room in each of their homes through the power of paint and window treatments. For the last month, I’ve been working with the families and Lowe’s Home Improvement to demonstrate how to balance color and light, together with the Olympic Paint® and Bali Blinds® Dream Team! The process will come together in 3 easy steps, starting with palette, choosing their window treatments, and, finally, getting to work. In case you missed it, here’s an introduction to the families and their respective rooms, and today, I’m going to share how they rolled up their sleeves and kicked off their dream rooms.
ROOM #1: PETE + RACHAEL’S FRONT ROOM
Pete and Rachael’s front room has no shortage of windows, but it is surrounded by old growth trees, making for a mostly shaded space throughout the day. Their old home is full of original charm—look at those windows!—so we knew we wanted to create changes that were minimal and slightly traditional, with a modern twist. Here’s how their room looked on day one:
Because of their (super cute) tree-lined street, they weren’t worried too much about blocking even more light during the day. Instead, their goal was to focus on privacy while still allowing as much natural daylight to shine through. In the evenings, with the blinds drawn, they didn’t want the room to feel closed off, but they worried it wasn’t possible.
Not only is it possible, but there are also a handful of options to choose from. Initially, we considered solar shades for their loose weave and durability, but after checking out Bali sample books at their local Lowe’s, they ultimately fell for sheer shades.
Sheer shades are unique in that they offer the traditional styling of horizontal blinds, but up close, you’ll be surprised to notice that even the vanes are made entirely from fabric. Those fabric vanes are woven between two sheer outer layers, and yet you still have the ability to keep the horizontal fabric vanes open or closed. When drawn all the way, the design is minimal and airy—perfect for showcasing their windows. After digging through their free swatches in-home, we all agreed that the Westford 2″ shades in Vanilla Creme would be the perfect accent.
Next up was paint! Rachael gathered a handful of Olympic test jars, and I recommended that she paint large swatches onto pieces of foam board. This way, they would have the ability to move the swatches around the room throughout all times of the day. At the same time, the white of the board will act as their white trim.
Although they originally thought they wanted to update their ivory walls with a deep shade of yellow, I urged them to consider a medium warm gray. The slightly yellow hue of their walls wasn’t properly showing off the beautiful millwork in the room, and going even more yellow wouldn’t allow the room to feel relaxed—a request they had from the beginning. Intuitive ended up hitting the nail on the head, and after painting all the trim work in a satin finish using Olympic’s Delicate White, Pete began rolling the walls with Intuitive in a contrasting flat finish:
The difference in color on paper wasn’t very drastic, and yet once the color was on the wall, Rachael and Pete couldn’t stop raving over the subtle shift.
ROOM #2: DAVE + CARMEN’S MASTER BEDROOM
Dave and Carmen’s bedroom has great bones to begin with—just check out those espresso floors, thick trim, and large windows. However, the dark flooring in combination with their heavy bedroom furniture was making the room feel weighed down. The blue-gray walls are carried throughout most of their home, a decision that was made before they moved in:
Their windows face toward the east, making for very bright mornings. As a quick fix, Dave purchased off-the-shelf horizontal blinds from the hardware store, and while they served their purpose, the long cords were a distraction, and over time, they were becoming increasingly difficult to pull open completely. I suggested bringing in texture with tailored Roman shades, and once they saw all the fabric options available, we had a field day choosing free swatches to feel in person.
They were drawn to color and pattern, which I loved. We had a lot of fun considering everything from vibrant yellow to poppy red, but in the end, we all fell for the high contrast of Shiraz Nightingale. The deep gray floral against the off-white background is so pretty, and it had me wondering where we could use this same pattern in our own home.
To counterbalance the bold shades, I suggested a clean white for the walls. Dave and Carmen prefer darker bedding, and I felt like this was a simple way to create symmetry throughout the room. Initially overwhelmed with the amount of white options, I guided them towards Olympic’s Delicate White. It leans slightly warm without feeling yellow, and it never leans too cool. For ease of cleaning and extra durability, they chose an eggshell finish (one of my favorite finishes for walls, too), and that crisp, fresh white perked those walls up immediately.
They’ve since decided on new bedding and a large area rug to break up the sea of dark flooring, and I’ll be injecting a few finishing touches with simple accessories. I’m looking forward to seeing those tailored Roman shades in place!
ROOM #3: JOE + MEG’S MASTER BEDROOM
Meg and Joe are already design wizards, so I knew that right off the bat we’d have a lot of fun pulling together their master bedroom. As a bit of back story, they run an awe-inspiring furniture restoration business in Chicago, which is where that incredible headboard and buffet (slightly out of frame, below) came from. The only reason their bedroom isn’t yet completely finished is because they moved into their new home less than a month ago:
Their style leans casual and comfortable, but they have no problem injecting high contrast by way of bold metal finishes and wallpaper. I knew they’d be a great contender to give Bali Natural Shades a try, to which they both agreed right away. Natural shades have slightly imperfect weaves that feel laid-back and retreat-like. Together, we chose an array of hues, from washed whites to green-grays, but we ultimately landed on Faroe Twine, a soft honey color in a slightly tighter weave:
Now, here’s where we had some fun! Meg was originally torn between painting over the builder beige with a fresh white or something really deep and saturated. I couldn’t help but persuade her to go bold, especially after she shared that they’ll be updating the bedding in shades of white and laying down a neutral rug. We toyed with deep blues and greens, but green won out:
After swiping a few samples on the wall, the winning color was Olympic’s Midnight Clover, a dramatic green that leans ever-so-slightly cool. For the same reasons as Dave and Carmen, Meg and Joe decided on an eggshell finish using Olympic ONE paint. It’s always so much fun watching a bold hue go up on the walls:
I know this is the smallest of sneak peeks, but Meg has since texted me the fruits of their labor, and it is stunning. Once the furniture goes back in the room and we mix in neutral accessories, this is going to feel like such a special treat at the end of a long day at their shop.
I like to think of it this way: Paint is going to set the tone and mood of your space, whereas the window treatments are the final piece that allows the room to shine! Adding sleek blinds, shades, or curtains to a space is like framing a work of art; it’s an important step, not to be missed. When we visit the families again, we’re going to take a tour through their finished spaces!
To take advantage of your own room refreshes, be sure to check out your local Lowe’s stores, where you can brainstorm with friendly store associates to bring your dream room to life with Olympic Paint and Bali Blinds.