Dark walls have been quite popular lately, and I think this bedroom makeover from Molly Molina Crawford provides a perfect example of why this trend is here to stay. The patterned rugs, the gold accents, the colorful artwork — everything just pops against those rich, sultry walls. Colors seem more vivid, whites feel super crisp and every pattern feels a little more special and sophisticated when it’s offset by a dark hue.
Molly’s done an amazing job at keeping things streamlined, fresh and bright, and I’m impressed by how many DIYs she’s tackled in order to transform the room on a low budget and reuse many of her own pieces. Last but not least, I love her decision to add the detailing on the roman shades — it’s the perfect finishing touch to this glamorous navy and red room. Awesome job, Molly! — Kate
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Time: 6 months
Cost: $500 (paint, bed frame, end table, fabric and trim for shades, accessories, some bedding and rug cleaning)
Basic Steps: The original room was painted yellow. We lived with it for two years before painting it Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy. The room gets a good deal of natural light, and I thought it could handle the dark color. Because it is SO dark, the walls actually recede, and it does not feel closed-in at all. I created a mood board of rooms I admired and learned from them. I brought in a lot of white — white bedding, white shades, white accents. I also kept the colors in the room pretty controlled to a certain palette: navy, black, red, white, gold. These colors were found in the rug, and also in my husband’s artwork that hung in the “Before” room. I was most surprised by how much more pulled together the exact same elements looked in a navy room rather than the yellow one. Even his Fender guitar amp fit in perfectly.
I painted the bedside spindle table Martha Stewart’s Vermilion. On top of it is a lamp from Goodwill that I sprayed black and added a Target shade to. On the other side of the bed is an old brass trunk that was mine as a teen and a brass lamp from a thrift store with a new gold-lined black shade. Above the dresser I hung a gallery of Italian mirrors that belonged to my grandmother. The artwork over and beside the bed is by my husband, Taylor, and the paintings beside the étagère are paint-by-numbers done by my great-grandfather.
I made the Greek key roman shades using ordinary mini-blinds, fabric and trim. My husband and I also undertook a fairly extensive (read: pain in the neck) stripping project to get the walnut-stained Jenny Lind bed down to its natural wood. We really love the way it brings a grounded, earthy element into a room with its fair share of glitz.
My advice: Take time to think about what you really want and how to get there. Build a board (hello, Pinterest!) and figure out why you like what you like. Then don’t be scared to go for it! Be confident in your vision and give yourself time to do it thoughtfully. If you are dealing with a lot of family hand-me-downs, try to think of them in a new way. I love classic pieces, but try to make them less old lady-like. Finally, don’t be afraid to try new projects. Making the roman shades and stripping the bed were hugely daunting, but because we were doing the work ourselves with a minimal cash outlay, I figured we didn’t have a lot to lose. And in the end, we have a room we really love. — Molly