Eleanor's Room The Victorian House

Dark Blue in Eleanor’s Room

Eleanor is thrilled!

Dark Blue Curtains in a Dark Blue Kid's Room

The room is far from done, but the dark curtains look just as I imagined they would, softening up the room without drawing too much attention to themselves. A lot of comments were calling for patterned curtains, but there is already pattern on the bed, there will be stars on the ceiling, art on the walls, more toys, and lots of books. Adding pattern to the curtains too might be a bit much.

Say! I changed the orientation of the bed. It’s neither better nor worse. The white bed with a white bedside table, and white mirror are falling a little flat though, so something there needs to change.

Eleanor's Bed

I had a pair of white curtains that weren’t being used anywhere, so I hung them on one window to test it out since so many people made that suggestion. I don’t mind them, but I don’t love them either. E prefers dark blue, of course. I think the white ones chop up the room, but what do you think now that you see both options with the painted walls?

Which Curtains?

I know, I’m really selling the white ones here, with the wrinkles and the pole-pocket gathering vs. the smooth-hanging navy curtains with brass clips.

Brass though! Alison suggested Country Curtains as an alternative to Restoration Hardware for brass curtain rods, so I placed an order. They were a little more expensive than the black ones I’d tried from Ballard, but the finish, larger diameter, and glass finials are worth it. The only problem is that I was clearly not functioning at full capacity; I ordered everything in multiples of two (for two windows), including the curtain clips. Just two, and only for the outermost rod. I have more on the way now.

Brass Curtain Rod and Clip Rings

I still haven’t decided on a ceiling color, but am leaning toward a more subtle bluish-gray than straight aqua. Or just go all-out and paint it the same color as the walls (Sherwin-Williams Loyal Blue)? E wants everything to be dark blue, in case you’re wondering why I’m not deferring to her. Walls, bedding, curtains, ceiling, and even the wood trim. She walked in while I was putting coat #2397 on the walls, and asked why I hadn’t painted the doors yet. So yeah, the room is being decorated with her input, but not to her every spec.

Still to-do:

  • paint the ceiling and wall above the picture rail

  • stencil the ceiling with a star pattern

  • find a better light (maybe this can wait?)

  • find bedside lamp/sconce

  • trim out and hem the curtains

  • mount curtain tie-backs

  • paint bedside table?

  • reupholster rocking chair cushions

  • hang art

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  • Reply
    Boni B
    October 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Chartreuse curtains would look great in E’s room. Isn’t one of the ponies on her bed chartreuse?
    So much fun to play around with endless possibilities. Happy decorating.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Loving the dark curtains with the dark walls… What if you trimmed out the navy curtains with pink Pom Pom trim? Would that be too kooky or just kooky-good?

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    THAT is a beautiful color! SO many people shy away from high-pigment colors because OMG THEY ARE SO BRIGHT GASP. I think you’d like my house very much…pretty much every room has a vivid shade in it, even my son’s nursery which is a dark blue (much like Eleanor’s) and a bright mint green. Paint is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to transform a room; I don’t understand why so many people cling to their white walls.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Where did you find the wooden bed rail for the jenny lind bed?

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I’m not a fan of the white and the navy curtains don’t do much for me either. What about aqua drapes to go with the sconce and keep the ceiling white with stars? Maybe paint the side table or mirror aqua too.I also wouldn’t mind pattern… you can never have too much pattern in a kids room.

    • Reply
      October 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Aqua with pink (or red?) pom-pom trim!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I love the dark blue curtains, they look great!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing Alison’s tip! I had just given up on finding brass rods with a glass finial for a bay window at a decent price. Placing my order now! Love the blog and can’t wait to see how her room turns out.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    What is you mixed the two pairs of curtains — cut width in 1/2 with white on top and navy on bottom with a bright trim inbetween — yes, the pink pom poms would look great.

    I’m not a fan of painting the ceiling the same color as it would feel like a cave with that dark color, although gorgeous on the walls. How about a pretty pink — but not too bubblegummy for the ceiling?

    Love where you are going here.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    My 2 cents:

    I love that you honored Eleanor’s wish to paint the walls dark blue. It seems a bit of a trick to pair it with her existing decor, but I have a few ideas how it might work:

    1) Add color. Rainbow pompoms on the navy curtains?

    2) Add color. Mints and more goldens, yellow-greens, even salmon pinks.

    3) Add color. Instead of a white or navy ceiling, a beautiful complimentary buttery pale yellow or golden white with blue stars would look fantastic.

    I want to approach the room from a color wheel perspective, and find its compliments. You can still use the existing pale pinks and most of the whites but small additions of pops will go a long way.

    (Sorry this sounds so didactic!)

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    The walls look great and I really like the change in bed placement. I was pushing for white curtains and while I do like them, they do need something…some sort of trim for a jolt of color. I also think there is too much white in the bed corner. I would lose the mirror…you said there is already another mirror in the room…plus you said you wanted a sconce there. I would definitely paint the side table. The bookcase isn’t working for me either…I get what you are saying about making it recede…I think it is the color or it could be the chunk factor. No matter what you decide on the bookshelf, you need a hit of brass/gold on it…there are lots of brass animal figures out there I think the pink poodle needs a brass friend. My thoughts on accent colors:

    If the cat artwork is staying then I would paint the night table that yellow/green…although that might complicate things because I’m not sure if I’d like the brass w/ that color.

    I think the ceiling w/ the stars needs to be somewhat neutral…either the same blue, white, or grayish. And I would extend the blue paint above the picture rail.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think you were right on with the curtains; the white ones do break up the room. I would paint the ceiling a different color though to keep the room from getting too dark. The room looks great!

  • Reply
    Sarah from a fine line
    October 16, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I understand your dilemma, cause I’m going through the same thing with my preschool daughter. She wants an entirely birhgt purple purple bedroom. It’s a conflict between making my baby girl happy, and also pleasing my own graphic designer eyeballs. You have a tough client here, but I think you’re figuring it out. I’d wait til you’re done with the ceiling to decide about the curtains. I’m torn personally.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 6:42 am

    I like it! Eleanor has much more refined taste than I do. And I like the bed position much better, too.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

    It is all coming together so cute! I think you might have a little decorator on your hands. Her calls have been pretty right on thus far:) I like the blue curtains better and agree with you that the white kinda chops it up a bit. Have loved following this along!


  • Reply
    Shannon @ Fabulously Vintage
    October 17, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Definitely love the navy curtains over the white! I’m still leaning towards a pink ceiling!! Can’t wait to see what you decide! :)

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Lovely – especially if Eleanor is happy! The curtains: If you really like the dark, can you go with the same color in a different material? These dark curtains look ‘flat’ to me. I have experience with ‘flat’ curtains as I have some of the same kind in gray in my boys’ room that just don’t make it for me. I think a dark material with some sheen might look nice – a more satin-y, silky look. Just a thought!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I bought these in mint for my daughter’s room … maybe one of those would work?


  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    The room is looking great, love the wall color! I’m not really feeling the navy curtains…. since you’re not keen on adding more pattern or white, what about a contrasting color (mint, chartreuse, soft pink)???

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Oh, I don’t like this at all, not for a child nor anyone really. But if Eleanor adores it and you are willing to concede to her wishes…!!
    Personally, I prefer white or cream wallls with wood, anyhow, and would have introduced the dark blue (and I do like dark blue!) in the textiles or with large pictures or canvases (or framed fabric) with a dark background for definition, or dark wall stickers. Of course, I would also not use curtains with your wood trim, anyway – some kind of blind (plain or decorated or slatted…) would have gone in if it were mine or any of my daughters… I would have used the curtains (navy?) to make bed drapes for the cave feeling rather than painting the walls. I might even have considered painting the ceiling blue if there are to be stars…

    But as I say, YOUR house, you get to do what YOU want!!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I just love reading everyone else’s comments. As my mom loves to say “You’ll figure it out”. You have great taste so I’m sure the end result- if there ever is an end- will look fantastic.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    The whole thing screams ” lighten it up” to me. I guess I’d try to find a way to bring some crispness into the room with more white. I know brass is back and very suitable to a Victorian but I remember the 70’s far too well to appreciate the golden oak, brass thing :).

    That said, I respect your wishes for Eleanor to have imput and have always appreciated your style choices. But I do think you have a make it work moment on your hands here with all that dark blue!

    Can’t wait to see the end result!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I agree with the comment that drapes in navy but a different fabric would be an option. I would do a lined, quality silk would bounce a little light around and have a bit more impact. I would also pleat them in the back– modern but traditional too. They will fluff out and have impact but not compete. If you don’t want to do custom check out JCP… They have quality options and they look great in person. I like where this is headed!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 4:18 am

    while admittedly not as cute as your other choices (i’m in love with the search urchin chandelier from etsy), this might be a good option until you find just the right one. i bought it when i first moved into my new place, still love it, and get tons of compliments on it. and it’s on sale right now!

  • Reply
    Kim @ Yellow Brick Home
    October 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I am so, so, so in love with all the lights in your home. If you swap them out (any of them!), will you be selling them? If so, dibs! Dibs! (Can I call that already? Please?)

  • Reply
    Evelyn W
    October 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I lurve the Abigail-Ahern-ishness mixed with your style.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    It’s looking fab so far. You’re doing a great job of making dark blue girly! I notice you are still deciding on the bedside table – I would absolutely paint it. You have a lot of White going on it that corner with the mirror and the bed. The room feels a little unbalanced with the dark shelves on the opposite wall. Are they a candidate for painting a brighter/ lighter colour at all?

  • Reply
    October 22, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Love the room! I would leave the dark blue curtains, think they look fab. I do like the pink pom-pom idea that some comments have mentioned. However, I’d paint the mirror chartreuse, so it could talk to the chartreuse you have over in the bookshelves area. I think I’d also paint the ceiling a light gray. But yes, you’ll figure it out! It looks lovely so far!!

  • Reply
    Willow Murphree
    November 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Yeah, Eleanor!

    I read years ago that a happy child becomes a happy adult, and one of the absolute best ways a parent can help to insure this is by allowing a child to create their own space. It gives a child confidence in a way few things can, and it also teaches them what they like and don’t like along the way.

    I love the dark blue, with the dark blue drapes, and the only negative I’ve ever heard or read about dark blues in a bedroom is that while calming and restful and leading to a good nights sleep, it is a color that can lend itself to being hard to awaken someone, especially a child, in the morning.

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