Eleanor's Room The Victorian House

I Have a Lot of Painting in My Immediate Future

I tested a few paint colors in Eleanor’s room today. Which does Eleanor like? Dark blue. Which color, besides dark blue does she like? “Only dark blue.”

Testing Ceiling Colors


It’s just paint. Dark, dark paint that takes four million coats, on a ceiling which is always a pain to paint, but OK. I can make this work for her. The ceiling star pattern will break it up a bit anyway.

Also: bug pillow!

Small Updates

And a light. I’m trying it out, and I think the angular shape is a nice contrast to the girlier curves happening in the bed and nightstand, but I can also easily find a brass sconce with a similar form. Or even another task lamp, but with more brass. Either way, the round eyeball sconce is on the outs with me.

p.s. There’s still time to enter my Chairish giveaway! Three hundred bucks to spend on the site. (Might I suggest putting it towards these finds?)

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

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  • Kimberly
    November 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The good news is that by the time she’s thoroughly sick of dark blue, she’ll be old enough to help you repaint ;)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Yes! Perfect way to think about it!

  • Jessica S.
    November 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    This is a pretty take on a dark blue child’s room, too, with a festive tactic for adding “bling” towards the ceiling. http://ow.ly/qpai8

    (Also, after giving this photo another glance, I noticed there’s a big “E” in the room that’s pictured. I thought, “How perfect! It’s like, “E” for Eleanor!”. Isn’t that funny?)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I like that. Oh, to have white trim though! Seriously, it’s SO much easier to decorate around.

      • Lindsay Széchényi
        November 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        I’d have to paint it all white. I don’t care how many people cursed me for “ruining the wood.” I’d just have to.

      • Making it Lovely
        November 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

        People are hard-core with their opinions about painted wood sometimes! I’m enjoying the process of decorating around ours right now, but I think the house would be equally great with white trim.

  • Mary
    November 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I like the aqua on the far right.

  • Erin
    November 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I just really love that you’re letting her lead on this. I know it’s probably hard to bend to a preschooler’s aesthetic. (It would be for me) Thank goodness it’s just paint! ;) But she will have so many great memories of this space. And like Kimberly said, hopefully by the time she’s ready for a change, she’ll be able to help paint. You’re a great Mama! And I’m really looking forward to seeing the dark ceiling with the stars! Thanks for including us in this process. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      It’s worth it to see how happy she is so far with the dark blue walls. I’m a little concerned that the room is going to feel really dark, but E wants to feel like she’s outside sleeping under the stars. That’s pretty cute.

      • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
        November 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        What a great imagination! I suppose E loves the thought of “night time” …. how about all white drapes? It will brighten up the room nicely.

        Waiting for the stars to come out!

  • april
    November 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Wait-why is the eyeball sconce on the outs with you? Do they suck? I was going to order one for my 8 year-old…

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      No, they’re great lights! The scale is a little small though, and I like the contrast of bringing something angular and a little more grown up in to E’s room. There are too many curves, so I need some straight lines in that corner.

  • Laura at RatherSquare.com
    November 1, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    This is an interesting experiment (the way I’m looking at it) in letting a child curate her space so much. My daughter is only two years old, and as long as her stuffed bear and blanket and assorted favorite books are present and accounted for, I don’t think she’s noticed anything else about her room. When she does, my instinct is to try and work with her to “co-design” her space. But where to draw the line? I’m glad you’re going through this before I have to, so I can see how it all works out!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      August is the same way. He’s only two, so I don’t know how much of this difference is due to age or inclination, but he is definitely not as interested in making decorating decisions! He likes having a light above his bed, but does he care what it looks like or what color it is? I doubt it. He’s happy when we do something to his room and he notices the changes, but he doesn’t pay too much attention to it all.

      Some things, Eleanor doesn’t care about. The light again, for example. She wants a light, but it doesn’t matter which one. But for things that are easy enough to implement (and later change) like paint color, she can have her way for the most part. She provides direction, and I help guide her choices within that framework (like choosing the specific shade of dark blue).

  • Kathleen
    November 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Have you thought about using metallic spray
    paint to transform your white lamp? Just one more thing to add to the
    ‘paint list’.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Yep! Though I was thinking of keeping just the brass part metallic and painting the light gray portions a fun color.

      • courtney @PrettyCheap
        November 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

        crazy!! that’s what i was thinking :)

        haha have a great one!

  • Jill
    November 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I was looking for a table lamp for our den and thought this new one at Ikea would be perfect for a child’s room – so easy to turn on and off. They were sold out!


  • Laurie
    November 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Someday she will understand how much love there was to paint the ceiling so many times. And hopefully she’ll return the favor!

    The bug pillow is fabulous! I had a bug needlepoint project planned out at one time (talk about fabulous colors!), I should drag it back out and get it going again.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Yes, bring out the needlepoint again! I bought a beetle pillow at the same time too — it’s in August’s room. I guess they’re a thing right now?

  • Dana@chocolateandsunshine
    November 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Hey, she’s only going to get bigger and need a new room update. I’ve been through several updates with my daughter and it’s a great reason to try new color schemes, although painting can be some work to complete. I’m with the others on wanting to paint the trim white but it’s important to go with your heart on this. You obviously have a beautiful eye for design and know what you are doing.

    I just painted a focal wall in chalkboard black so I was able to achieve a dark finish and still have a light/airy feel throughout the space. It’s only paint!

  • Ali Burtt
    November 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Okay, so I’m looking for exactly a lamp like that, but brass and a sconce for under $100 each. Any luck on anything like that thus far?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Under $100? No. Lighting is depressingly expensive.

  • Tory
    November 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Have you used tinted primer before? Whenever I’ve gone for a super dark color I’ve started with primer that is tinted. It really saved on the number of coats of paint required to go from white to dark and moody.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Tinted primer will definitely help, but that blue doesn’t have great coverage and it drives me crazy to see uneven patches. It’s still going to take forever, alas!

  • Amanda
    November 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Any thoughts on adjusting the size or quantity/spacing of the ceiling starbursts now that the ceiling will also be dark blue? I wonder if slightly larger starbursts or an increased quantity of the smaller ones might help to differentiate the ceiling from wall issue . . . just curious. Lots of small ones though = major pain in neck (and back, and eyes, and . . . ). Looking great so far!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm

      I’m using a stencil, and thankfully I really like the size and placement of the stars. If I didn’t, I’d explore other options, like using metallic contact paper or making my own stencil.

      • Marcee ... ILLINOIS
        November 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

        To save labor and lotsa work …. what about stick-on stars that actually glow in the dark?

        We bought different (a bag) sizes at World Market. In the trinket section. Looked great in the g-kids bathroom. At the time it was painted a medium blue …. like cornflower but lighter.

  • KarenAnita
    November 3, 2013 at 9:37 am

    There may be a lot of blue, but this is a STUNNING colour. I’m looking for something similar for my kitchen so may take this as inspiration :)
    Karen x

  • Gloria
    November 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I painted my son’s ceiling navy and he didn’t even ask me too, he just turned one, too young for requests except for “more” everything. So I don’t know what compelled me to do it, but I love it! His room is tiny, 10×10 so it was an easy one. I’m sure her room is going to look great when it’s all done!

  • Virginia
    November 3, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I really like the blue in the middle of the light blues! They’re all nice though. You might (pseudo-shamefully) consider showing her your favorite blue with non-blue colors and asking her to pick her fave. You’ll nail it. Otherwise just paint it her favorite one and live with it. It’s her room- just pretend you’re not on a blog and nobody will see it. It’ll make her happy and she’ll never know it wasn’t the most popular or best coordinating color at the time. Orrrrrrr paint it while she’s at school and never bring it up again. Ha just go with your gut. It’ll be great.

  • Eleanor’s Dark Walls and Ceiling | Making it Lovely
    November 7, 2013 at 10:44 am

    […] wants to feel like she’s outside at night, sleeping under a starry sky. We looked at several test swatches in her room, but she wasn’t swayed. I would have gone with something closer to the minty background of my […]

  • Suzanne Fortescue
    November 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Loving your blog as always. Can you tell me where you got that fun dragon fly pillow from for Eleanor’s room?

    If you ever need a custom pillow for your next room project I would love to collaborate with you – offer you a pillow from STUDIO TULLIA in exchange for a mention on your blog…

    Have a great weekend – Suzanne