White Walls + Contrasting Molding = HEAVEN


Our guest room has been an eyesore from day one of moving in. Despite a few efforts to spruce it up over the last few years, it’s always been sort of an afterthought. Here’s what it looked like when we first walked the house before buying it. Pink carpet. Golden Tan walls. Heavy furniture. Astroturf on the balcony. (Yes, astroturf.) Not totally my style I would say.




Right after we moved in, when my sister Heather still lived with us and stayed in this room, we painted the doors black, the molding white and used some leftover random light blue paint for the walls. It was an improvement on the tan walls for sure, but still not ideal, right? And those black doors were a pretty idea, but that’s a LOT of door there on that wall. It was essentially a black wall in a tiny, already dark room. Not a great choice.

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We didn’t realize it until it was too late, but we didn’t end up having enough blue paint to do the pitched ceilings, just enough to cover the tan paint. It has always bugged me, but apparently not enough to do anything about it for a really long time! Poor Heather had to live with janky paint lines like this for years.

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Enter, my friends from Ace Hardware! They invited me to check out their Optimus line from Valspar (which is Ace’s best paint and is the most stain resistant). I immediately thought of the guest bedroom. Followed by a lighting bolt of inspiration: PAINT THE WALLS WHITE AND THE TRIM A DARKER COLOR! YESSSSSSSsssssss….

I went to Ace to pick up a few paint chips in their Paint Studio (you can find your local Ace here!). Their Valspar line is so well curated.  I think they offer just the right number of color options. Too many choices can be so overwhelming, right? But too few can feel frustrating, since not every color looks the same, or good, for that matter, in every house. Guys, PINTEREST LIES TO YOU. What looks great in one blogger’s house just might not be the right fit for your home! It it SO important to get the right color for your space.

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Take our funky guest bedroom for instance. There is only one window in the room (and actually it’s not a window – it’s a paned door) and it is south-east facing, but its also on a little porch so the door is pulled back from the face of the house. It’s full, bright sun, spotlight style, for the first few hours of the morning, but then it’s pretty dark the rest of the day.


The tan was a terrible color for maximizing the natural light, but the blue I chose after we moved in was pretty sad, too.


For our little makeover, I knew I wanted to do a creamy white on the walls and a contrasting color on the millwork. I think its such a fun way to get the best of all worlds – where you get the beautiful light that comes with white walls and the depth and character that comes with a color on the trim and doors. I had these two inspiration images in mind as I was selecting colors.




After lighting and orientation of exposures, your floors are the most important factor of your paint color choices. Next comes your decor, of course, but that part is definitely last. SO many times I see friends choosing a color (usually gray, which is really hard to get right) based on their bedding or the color of their side tables… or solely because they saw it being used on a ton of blogs or in magazines. :/ And once they get their walls painted they realize the color of their carpet and the shadows in the room makes the gray paint look very purple! GASP!

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Don’t make the same mistake! Just grab a couple samples and try them out in your actual space. And the amazing news about Valspar at Ace Hardware is they guarantee you will love the color. And if you don’t love it, you can get a replacement gallon! How’s that for taking the pressure off?!

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I brought all my samples in the guest room, laid them out on my white painted plywood floors, and I instantly knew the colors I liked and didn’t like for the space – and I’ll tell you, they weren’t the colors I thought I was going to choose in the store! For the walls, I thought I would want Graceful White (top right), but I ended up really loving Soft Wool (top middle) with our floors! And for the trim color, I originally thought I would want something deeper and more moody. Like this beautiful color, called Old Soul.


But as soon as I got all the colors in there, I knew I wanted a lighter gray on the millwork. The bottom center chip called to me!

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It’s called Feathers of a Dove and I think it works beautifully with Soft Wool and the floors! Doesn’t the color combo feel so classic?


Before I started painting, I took the time to patch a few holes in the wall and to caulk some areas in the trim that had settled and cracked over the past few years. Here are the products that I use the most when painting. All of these items are available at Ace Hardware, except for the baby wipes (which I use to clean up drips!). And if you have any trouble finding anything, the Ace Hardware employees are always incredibly nice and helpful.

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When painting with a roller, my best tip is to avoid only rolling up and down. If you roll the paint on in a W or X pattern, you’ll get in all the nooks and crannies (if you have textured walls like I do).

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Also be sure to load the roller with paint for every 3 square feet you paint! If you try to roll on more than that, you’ll end up having uneven coverage. If you reload the roller often, you’ll probably only have to do one coat like I did! That Optimus line is REALLY good and covered my blue walls with no problem!

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I like to use a mini roller to paint all my base boards. If you keep a paper towel or a scrap piece of paper under your roller at all times, you’ll only have to cut in on the top of your base boards, SO EASY!


Here’s how the beautiful new paint job turned out! I’m SO happy with it!!





I painted the ceiling, the center beam and even the ceiling fan in the Soft Wool white color. The Feather of a Dove warm gray color is heaven to me on all the doors and trim in the room! It all feels light and so fresh, but still interesting/not boring!


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I’m excited to add these black pulls to the closet doors that I bought at Ace.


I think they’ll look so cool with these accordion sconces I bought for either side of the bed.


I’m also thinking of using one of my new prints called Hidden Heart from Jenny’s Print Shop in the room. I love how the pink and gray look together! (PS can you see the little heart in the cactus arm?) 🙂


All the furniture for the room arrives in the next week or so. I can’t wait to share the finished room photos with you soon! I’m SO happy with the progress so far though and can’t believe how different this room feels just by changing the wall and trim colors! The power of paint is REAL! 🙂

A HUGE thanks to Valspar and Ace Hardware for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Ace or Valspar. 🙂


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