Eleanor's Room Parenting The Victorian House

Eleanor Picks Paint Colors

August gets excited when we do something different to his room. “A new blanket? For me!? WOW!!!” He’s two though, and he is not the bundle of opinions that is four-year-old Eleanor. She’s a character, but I love that she’s so into personalizing her room. She has been steadfast in her wish for dark blue walls, so I wanted to make sure she would like it by showing her some mock-ups of her room before we paint.

E was making silly faces for me the other day, when she asked me to take pictures of her wearing her new shoes. As I looked through them, I realized that they were pretty representative of her opinions on the paint colors. So here we go! Mock-ups and reactions.

First up, pink. I don’t think pink is the way to go for her new room, but we had to start with a baseline.

E's Room Mock-up - Pink

What do you think, Eleanor?


That’s what I expected. Here’s aqua.

E's Room Mock-up - Aqua

This could be nice. See? It works with the light, and the bedding. How about it, E?


OK, that’s a no. All right, all right. Dark blue? Yes?

E's Room Mock-up - Blue

Do you like it?


Ah. I see that I have your interest.


Oh, oops, I hit the lightness slider too far to the left. That’s really dark.

E's Room Mock-up - Dark Blue

Let me just fix that. Wait, what? You like it?


Of course that’s the one you go for. DARK BLUE. All right, kid. It’s your room! Let’s make it work.


Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

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  • Laurie
    October 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Well, it’s always fun to have a big change. Her expressions crack me up. I love four-year-olds. They are so uninhibited.

  • Kate
    October 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Your daughter reminds me of that lovable childrens’ book character, Eloise. So cute, and such a character!

  • Jessica S.
    October 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Definitely one of my favorite posts from you, in a while! Thanks for letting us see a little more of your little lady’s personality.

  • amber
    October 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Great post, Eleanor is quite the character. I love her faces!

  • Jessica @ Sunday Loves
    October 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    She is hilarious. Love the expressions. One thing about four year olds is their propensity for being transparent!! :-)

    Cannot wait to see how this works out!

  • Stacey @ Likes to Smile
    October 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    This is the most clever blog I’ve read all week! Just joyous and delightful!! Thank you for adding some charm to my Wednesday afternoon!

    • Julia at Home on 129 Acres
      October 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Clever post, I agree completely. Perhaps I will have to take a few selfies the next time I’m picking paint colours to figure out my true reactions. :) I really like the dark blue. I think with some pops of white or bright it will look great. I’m sure you’ll pull it together with your usual style and flare.

  • Brandie
    October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    She is too cute!!!! Kinda love her choice too. Unusual but could be gorgeous. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  • Rebecca
    October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    These are amazing! I love her physical comedy!… But I’m sad she didn’t choose the aqua :(

  • Jeni
    October 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Completely off subject, but where do you typically shop for baby/kids clothes? I have a 7 month old and I love Eleanor’s outfits and style.

    • Making it Lovely
      October 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      The kids’ clothes are about 90% from Old Navy, Gap, and Target. Sometimes Children’s Place or Carter’s, maybe Boden or Hanna Andersson on occasion, but usually it’s the first three. I don’t like to spend too much on their wardrobes because they outgrow everything so quickly.

  • Katie
    October 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Those shoes are too much for me! What a stylish little girl you have!

  • Beth
    October 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm


  • Tia
    October 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a goon. She is too darn cute. Plus, she’s got good taste, that’s a lovely shade of blue

  • Heidi
    October 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Her expressions are just too cute!

  • K
    October 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Its a great blue–i just re-finished a dresser for the nursery in that mid-range dark blue.
    But, please, oh, please say that you’ll stay white above the trim line. Please?

    • Making it Lovely
      October 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Ah, but I have plans for the ceiling! It’s a surprise.

  • Amber
    October 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    She is SO BIG! I remember when she was a tiny baby in that Eames chair!!! Super cute.

  • Stephanie, Sandpaper and Glue
    October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    love this post- she is too cute!! I think the dark walls are going to look awesome, and I also think it’s awesome that you let her pick it out. :)

  • Cristina
    October 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Bahaha I love this!

  • Tena
    October 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    You’ve got to hand it to her, Eleanor knows what she likes. My daughter wanted royal blue walls when she was around 8 years old and she loved it for a long time. I think it was when she turned 14 that she was ready for a more neutral color. I was so thrilled to see that blue covered, but also glad she had enjoyed it for 6 years. It’s just paint.

  • Emily
    October 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I am loving how this is all transpiring! It’s so exciting to see how a designer works in elements that she doesn’t naturally love – but that are important to the person using the space. Excited to see the end result!

  • Nicole L
    October 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Most adorable post ever!

  • emily @ go haus go
    October 9, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Eleanor, design intern at MIL!!!!!! Can’t wait to see. I love the dark. Your girl has some taste, which doesn’t surprise me at all!

  • decor8 Holly
    October 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I love the aqua but yes, she has to live in there so she gets what she damn well wants! Yay Eleanor!

  • laura
    October 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    That is a very cute post! I have a newly 6 year old daughter and so I am familiar with the faces and steadfast opinions! I actually like the middle shade of blue A LOT though:) You don’t have to make me happy though:) LOL

    House Envy

  • Jeanne Cameron Washburn
    October 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    You have inspired me – our plan has been to flip-flop bedrooms for our daughters and then decorate with their input (ages 8 and 12). The younger one will have two twin beds and the older one will get new furniture including a full bed. We had talked colors but until your post I was planning on choosing the paint that I thought would work best and then “selling” the plan. But, really, how fair is that?!
    Now…I am going to be brave and let them decide the colors and bedding and well, the whole thing….yes, I’ll be braveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • ddu
    October 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Eleanors always know what they want; mine does too. Love the leggings! Best wishes.

  • Kelly
    October 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Dark blue seems so drastic and dark, but on the other hand I loooved the old Young House Love guest room. It’s definitely possible to have a bright cheery room in spite of the dark walls.

  • Emily
    October 9, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    You’re a generous mama! But I think sometimes kids have the best ideas…even if they seem risky! I think it’s going to look fantastic!

  • jenny
    October 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    nice choice, kiddo! that’s my favorite too! and look how much it helps that gorgeous wood to pop! :) can’t wait to see the finished result!

  • Risa
    October 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    As I look at these pictures of your daughter, it makes me realize how long I’ve been following your blog (before she was born). How time flies. I love her personality! She seems like she’s tons of fun! Enjoy!

  • Amy
    October 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    This post is too funny! Funny and creative! :)

  • Chernee's House
    October 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Love all the pictures of your daughter – too cute! I saw she has a Jenny Lyn bed. My daughter had one too – til she broke it! My Mom found it in a dumpster and fixed it up. I am saving it for her, maybe for her daughter. Anyway we are also redoing our daughter’s room and she is the person designing it too. Here is our first post in the Emma room adventure.


  • Lucy
    October 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I love that your letting her put her personality in there! My little one wants dark blue walls, too, but is happy with any shade of blue.

  • erin
    October 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    YEAH! Dark blue FTW! :)

  • Katie
    October 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Our nursery is dark blue with some natural woodwork and I love the combination. I actually find the color to be realty cozy!


  • Kimberly @ Turning It Home
    October 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I am excited to see how you make this work. My boy’s two favorite colors? Blue and orange… which is the color our across the street neighbor just painted their house (not in a pretty way, might I add). I’d love to make it work for him, just like you would for Eleanor.

  • designdiana
    October 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    How clever of you to use that tool to allow your daughter to visualize her choice! I know I would have been doubtful that this was the hue she was thinking of – but sure enough – you gave her the visual and she said yes, yes, yes! Congrats on having such an adorable and decisive daughter with obvious great taste!

  • susan
    October 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I {heart} this post too!
    Good one, Eleanor – taking the ‘pain’ out of paint colour selection!

  • julie Q
    October 10, 2013 at 4:40 am

    I had a navy bedroom as a teenager. It was navy with white Laura Ashley wallpaper and navy curtains. It was lovely and dark at night time, like a little cave and the white print made it bright in the daytime. So I approve of Eleanors choice.

    Julie q

  • Corrin
    October 10, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Oh goodness. My mother would have NEVER. We weren’t allowed to have knick-knacks, posters, or anything besides approved “decorations” in our rooms growing up.

  • Candice
    October 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

    If you haven’t already decided on an actual dark blue paint color can I suggest Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. We did our dining room in it and it is so absolutely gorgeous. I was so nervous about it prior to actually taking the plunge and putting it on the walls and I have absolutely no regrets now, it’s beautiful.

  • Amanda
    October 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I’m really excited to see how you’ll tackle this as it’s unlike anything you’ve really done in your home before. It’s so exciting to push yourself and explore! Aaah kids making home decor fun.

  • Elena
    October 10, 2013 at 9:06 am


  • Holly
    October 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Hi Nicole! I’m actually working on a project right now and looking for the perfect blue for one of the walls. Could you tell me what color that dark blue is (the third room photo before you darkened it)? It’s pretty perfect for what we’re looking for. I’m looking at Mountain Lake by Olympus right now but yours has a little more green in it, and it’s more of what I’ve been looking for.

  • Dianna
    October 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Ha, cracked me up! If only our Finn was interested in choosing paint colors. He was all, “I want green walls, like grass green.” I said: How was this green?” (pulling out a nice subdued sage green. He says: Yea, that’s it! Um, there was nothing grass green about the green I picked out for him, but I was thankful he was so easy about it! I remember really wanting pink walls as a young girl and I got them…go mama’s for letting us girls express ourselves how we want!

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    October 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    She is too cute. Personally, I like a dark wall color in the bedroom, if the room has enough natural light to bounce around. That could be really cute!

  • Jane
    October 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    You know, I kind of love it. Maybe she will start a trend in the design blogosphere!

  • Link Love / 03 | The Barn
    October 11, 2013 at 4:03 am

    […] kid’s facial expression says it all when picking paint colors. […]

  • HDog
    October 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    E reminds me of my O. Who is also super-opinionated and only three years old.