Monday, June 24, 2013

Dark or light side?

Hello all! Hope you had a great weekend! We took a little road trip to the Chicago area for a couple drum corp shows (for hubby), Legoland (for the kiddo) and IKEA (for me). It was a fun, quick trip!

So now that the powder room is done I’m moving on to a room I’ve been itching to change up for a while – our master bedroom. I made some changes earlier this year using things I already had, and the room got a few other changes a couple years ago.

We have a new addition coming to the room that kind of spurred a new redo on but I’ve been wanting to change some things up for a while – No. 1 on my list is getting rid of the striped wall behind our bed. It’s given me the itches for a few years now.

But my biggest dilemma before I can really get moving is the wall color – I’m torn between the allure of a deep, dark wall color and the light and bright look. I STILL can’t decide. Every time I think I have I see a new picture and it takes me back to the dark side. Or light. Or dark.

You get the idea.

I’m drawn to the moody, comfy feeling of a dark room:

dark walls bedroom

(source)

Did you notice the trim is painted the same color as the walls? What do you think of that?

Although if I went dark I would keep the headboard light like Dear Lillie’s room:

dark brown walls white bedding

The light bedding brightens up the room and gives great contrast – I’m a lover of contrast you know.

I actually have a sample of a deep navy color like Carmel’s room:

dark walls dark wood bed

Mine has a little more of an aqua tint to it, if that makes any sense – like a peacock blue. Can I just say how much I LOVE that mirror above her bed too??

In general I think it’s easier to pull in colors with a lighter room, but I love how color was used in this room, even with the dark walls:

dark walls with aqua and blue

(source)

I do love the pop of pink with the dark chocolate walls in this bedroom:

brown walls white bedding

(source)

Just not sure the hubby would go for that. ;)

Here’s a great example of how a darker color completely changes the look of a room:

light room redo to dark walls

(source)

There’s plenty of other changes too, but isn’t funny how much bigger it looks in a dark color? You always think it will be the opposite but that’s not always the case.

But here’s the thing – I’m finding I’m loving the power of a neutral wall color. It’s soothing, yes, but it also allows you more options when it comes to decorating with color:

decorating with color lighter walls

My friend Layla’s old master bedroom is one of my favorites:

cottage style bedroom I love that the walls and bedding are light but the room is still so warm and colorful.

I think it’s evident by my photos (and recent projects) that I’m loving the wall planks:

white walls, black and green accents

(source)

I just adore that room – I think every room can take some black pieces and this looks amazing with the white walls and green accents. Love!

And no, I’m not planking our bedroom walls – I need a break from the painting for awhile. ;)

Of course it doesn’t have to be white on the walls – I don’t think I could do an all white room anyway. This greige-ish space is just beautiful:

light room with blue and greenI love that you could pull in pretty much any accent color and it would work. It’s that a gorgeous room?

I love this blue color too – and it proves that a lighter color can still offer plenty of contrast against white trim:

two story bedroom

(source)

I also love that there are plenty of darker accents in there (rug, chairs, ottomans) that offer some depth without making the room really heavy.

Overall I just love the idea of a calming, serene space:

molding same color as walls

(source)

But the thing is, our current wall color is darker (Tornado Watch at Lowe’s) and it feels super cozy too:

dark walls bedroom

A dark room feels like a hug to me, a lighter one feels like a big breath of fresh air.

Decisions, decisions.

A few months ago I was getting ready to slap a deep color on the walls, now I’m leaning big time toward a light color. I think I’m ready for a change!

What is your favorite for a bedroom – dark or light? Do/did you struggle with your wall color like me or did you know exactly what you wanted? Do tell!

P.S. I also painted the Bub’s room a dark blue but kept it light with lots of white trim – you can see it here.

68 comments:

  1. I don't understand why you can't have both!
    Have one wall a dark color, maybe two, the rest a light color. Best of both worlds!
    I did that with my livingroom/dining room. One small wall is black the others are a banana cream (creamy yellow)and it does look like the pie!
    Yes, I do feel I want to lick the walls, but I am an adult now, so must behave...

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  2. Love, love, love a dark bedroom. I lean toward charcoals or Potomac blues- now I want to redo my master bedroom! : )

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  3. I might do one wall dark and the rest lighter! I haven't tried that yet but I'm anxious to! Have fun deciding!

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  4. I'm with you on the whole back and forth thing. In the end I would probably do a light neutral, because it is easier to change things up when I get bored--and I get bored and change my mind A LOT!

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  5. this is a tough one Sarah - I chose light colors for my bedroom but I see the allure of dark browon walls. I think in order for you to pull off dark walls, you have to have LARGE or plenty of windows - that way, once you feel a bit overwhelmed with the color, you can make it look bright again. Good luck!

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  6. I like dark walls. They are rich. I think, however, that it depends on how much natural light there is in the room. I just did my Master in indigo blue and cream. LOVE IT. I am debating as to weather I will do a wall in Indigo. I am loving the light and airy feel right now.

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  7. I had dark chocolate brown walls in my master for a long time. I loved it, but when our master bath flooded the whole room, leading to pulling the carpet out which led to "hmmm, why not paint". And, I ended up with off-white walls, which I thought I would NEVER do, but now I love it. I change my mind often of color schemes and such, and now I don't have to paint when I want to change out accesories :)

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  8. I think a dark accent wall (maybe with wall planks) behind the bed and then a lighter color on the rest of the walls. Have the best of both worlds. :)

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  9. Light - I didn't care for any of the dark examples above, just my gut response. I think the example above that changed from light to dark felt bigger more because of the furniture placement than the wall color. I have a darkish room now (medium colored paneling - it's a rental) and it feels like it's harder to wake up and get moving in the morning than our light-colored bedrooms were. A hug, maybe, but I need energy and freshness from the walls in the bedroom more than I need a hug, since it's dark when I go to bed anyway.

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  10. I painted my master a really deep/rich blue and absolutely LOVE it. I used Behr's 'Restless Sea'- navy w/ just a hint of green too it. I love how dramatic it is, especially at night. It's so cozy- not cave-like at all! I say if you're going to go bold w/ a dark color, the bedroom is the perfect place to do so- hello romantic!

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  11. I'm gonna have to vote for light! I love that if you choose a neutral pallete you can change it up anytime just by changing out accessories or bedding etc. Either way I am sure it will look fabulous!!

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  12. I just painted our master bedroom a couple of weeks ago. I did a light gray on 3 walls and a super dark charcoal color on the wall the bed is on. (I painted our headboard and footboard bright turquoise blue!) I love the dark color, and the contrast with the bed color, but i just couldn't pull the trigger on doing the entire room that color. So I just did one big wall in that color, and I am very happy with how it turned out.

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  13. I have really dark brown walls in my bedroom now and I crave a change, like a grey/blue but I don't know if I will miss the warmth that the dark color brings.

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  14. I'm with Stephanie Confer on this one. I live in a rental, but if I could I would paint my bedroom a light dove gray with a charcoal gray accent wall. Then accessorize with a bold color Of course, turquoise is my favorite as well but any bright color would work great.

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  15. Oh you make these decisions so difficult when you present such beautiful eye candy! I'm amazed at the room that went from light to dark - gorgeous! I had to do a double take to make sure it was the same space! I can see your dilemma though - I love elements of both styles. I love the dark because it's so wonderful for sleeping - my husband jokes that I like our bedroom to be like a cave when I sleep. ;-). But the light spaces are so fresh and inviting! Can't wait to see what you do!

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  16. I tend to stick to lighter colors for bedrooms. Feels more peaceful and restful to me. We're renting right now, and hubby doesn't want me to bother painting since there's word that the owners will be wanting to sell this place next year. Our house that we still own back in NC, I had never gotten around to painting most rooms as we were waiting for things to settle and then get repaired (new construction). I had big plans to do our master bedroom in some shade of grey, though. I've done a brownish color in a previous house and while it worked well with being able to change accessories, I got really sick of it after awhile. I think grey will work a little better with my tastes.

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  17. I can't wait to see what you choose. My husband painted our wall behind our bed in Sherwin William's Anonymous yesterday and the other walls in their Amazing gray. I'm going with white trim for it...but I really like the dark trim in the first picture. Good luck with the decision making process.

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  18. I vote for light! My bedroom walls are a pale blue and I find it calming and serene. I think I'd feel suffocated in a dark room. But I'm sure you would make it cozy and wonderful if you choose dark.

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  19. Hi! I vote for dark. We just built a house and I love white and gray. Our whole house is light and bright and I love it! Then you get to our room. I went out on a limb and painted it Thunder Gray by Sherwin Williams. I LOVE IT! It's a huge contrast and I like that. It feels soooo cozy. Surprisingly it never feels dark. Our trim is bright white and our bed frame is white and I love how it all pops off the walls. I'll try to get a good picture and send it to you. (I don't have a blog.) I know you like Sherwin Williams so you should take a look at the color. :)

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  20. What about deciding on the colors you want for bedding, curtains, etc. first and then choosing your wall color. I had chocolate walls for a while and got tired of the cave feeling after a time. The photo of Layla's bedroom is one of my all time favorite bedrooms. Also, what colors does the hubby like for linens? If I were him, I wouldn't want pink.

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  21. Is it bad that the first thought I had was what your son would think if your room was painted super dark, since you recently posted how he hated that dark corner in your room. Would it creep him out if it was so dark? I tend to go for bright and light. I really love the almost all white room with accents of blue and green. So comfy!

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  22. I've found that I'm somewhere in the middle. I love cozy grey walls, then lots of white and pops of colors layered in. You can see my five favorite bedrooms spaces here http://bit.ly/14thtl0

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  23. I love the lighter colors. We have light grey, ocean blue, and light green in our house and I love them! But I really love lots of color anyway. I am always amazed by how much depth color brings to a room and feel like I can't handle a really really dark room or a white room (although I think they are great as accents). I think everything else in-between is great if you love it. That being said I am sure it will be lovely however you make it, light or dark!

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  24. Our master bedroom is pretty much the same color as the picture you have of Carmel's (I think its Easton Blue by CIL). We chose it because it makes the room easier to make dark during the day and my hubby works shift work so he needs that. I do really like it though - its cosy. Also, since the entire rest of our house is light, neutral colors, its nice to have something a bit different in there. We did white bedding and lamps to keep the room from being too dark. We do have a large window, so when we open the black out curtains, the room is still nice and bright.

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  25. For a master bedroom? Dark!! Love the sophistication and sultriness all rolled into one. Besides that, I like for my bedroom to be a cool space (literally, I like to sleep in a cold room--can't sleep if it's too hot), and having dark walls makes the room feel cooler to me. Does that make sense?

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  26. I've been dreaming of a White Bedroom for a few years. Maybe I will do it this summer! I even have a Pinterest board for my white bedroom inspiration. http://pinterest.com/mydoodlebug/white-bedroom-ideas/

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  27. I've done both in my master bedroom and while they were both pretty, the dark drove me crazy after a while. It's light now and it just feels better to me. I just love living in a light and airy space though. I'm sure it will be beautiful no matter what you decide. :)

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  28. Like some other commenters, I painted my room a lovely chocolate brown and while it's very cozy and pretty, it does make the space a little too dark for my taste. I painted the adjoining bath 50% lighter brown and even THAT is too dark! Even with mostly white furniture and a light jade quilt--I miss the light, bright feel of mid-tone walls. It will be a big project to change (primer, and a ceiling sloped up to 11' feet), but eventually I think I will return to something lighter.

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  29. I fell in love with Adam and Kristina Braverman's master bedroom on Parenthood, so I shamelessly painted mine the same and I. LOVE. IT! Van Courtland blue from BM historical collection...bought myself an upholstered, linen covered headboard from Pier 1, glass globe lamps from Target (Threshold!!) with threshold lamp shades in burlap and I'm refinishing the furniture in chalk paint in a soft grey and redoing a chandelier to hang in there, will be gorgeous!! So I guess I went in the middle with color, not too dark, not too light, great contrast with the white trim, just right! ;-) Can't wait to see what you do...if I am honest, I am in LOVE with the light look, I still think it's very cozy at night.

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  30. That very first picture of the dark walls is my favorite one of all! I love it!

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  31. Wow, now I want planked walls :) I adore every pic you posted, but the last few lighter ones made me want to jump in the blog and take a nap. They seemed more cozy somehow to me. Our bedroom walls are a gorgeous light green and I love it!

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  32. These photos have only served to deepen my dilemma, which is same as yours. How about half and half? Or divide the room into thirds and do an oreo cookie effect? Yes! We can have it all!

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  33. I love contrast too - I could go for the dark walls with the light furniture and bedding, or pale walls and a black bedframe. For me, I am a morning person and I love having a bedroom that reflects back the early sunshine, so the pale walls/black bedframe would be my first choice. My current bedroom faces north, is tiny, and has one window. It also has burgundy carpet. Our bedding is pale but that room is DARK most of the day unless many lights are on. The moral of this story is that unless your bedroom gets a lot of natural light you may not want to paint the walls a deep shade unless you are willing to fumble in a cave when you walk in.

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  34. I had a navy master bedroom up until a few months ago. When we moved into this home I didn't mind it. But after living with it for about 18mths. Even with our beautiful white trim and white closet doors, I was starting to feel like it was a cave. Granted our Master isn't huge maybe 13'x13'. We have a HUGE window and I still was feeling something wasn't right. So I painted it a light sky/ocean blue. It's amazing how beautiful and bigger the room feels. I love the colour. I love waking up and thinking its going to be a beautiful day. So for me, I couldn't do dark. It was too cave like. BUT, dark is still beautiful.

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  35. I prefer the light but I have serious issues with anything dark. Wood trim brings me down so I am hopeless with anything dark. I always love the look of those beautiful dark bedrooms though. I don't like dark blues normally but some of those navy blue bedrooms you see designers do are gorgeous. I just know that, personally, I would like it for about a day before I would feel depressed... Good luck choosing!

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    1. By the way, I just happened to come across that mirror on another website straight after reading yours. Here is the link to it. http://www.ballarddesigns.com/bone-sunburst-mirror/194351?redirect=y

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  36. First of all, thank you for your blog! I love reading about your home projects.
    Then, my opinion. Even though the dark pictures look quite pleasant in those photos, they are a bit...dark. For example, it is hard to see the gorgeous light fixture in the first photo because it's a match for the dark wall color. But I like the feel of the room otherwise, the wall color is just very dark.
    I think dark color in the walls works if your windows are large and there is plenty of natural light in the room. Somehow dark rooms make me feel more tired and restricted. On the other hand, bedroom is the one room where you totally CAN go for the tired feel!
    One of our bedrooms was tiny, but I wanted to do a dark wall behind the bed. It was dark blue wallpaper with beautiful shiny golden curls. I loved it. The rest of the walls were white. I didn't spend much time there other than sleeping, so dark wall didn't bother me.
    At the moment we have one white paneled wall behind our bed, one very light blue wall and two white walls. I love the light and cheery feeling of our bedroom. We have black curtains because my hubby cannot sleep in a light room...not my favorite, but we both need to be able to sleep there :D
    What does your husband think? Does he like cave&hugs or prefers something light? Or as typical men, doesn't really care? :)
    The gray rooms were my favorite in your pictures. I think a peacock blue would be gorgeous too, if it doesn't get too dark. More jewel like, perhaps.

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  37. First of all, thank you for your blog! I love reading about your home projects.
    Then, my opinion. Even though the dark pictures look quite pleasant in those photos, they are a bit...dark. For example, it is hard to see the gorgeous light fixture in the first photo because it's a match for the dark wall color. But I like the feel of the room otherwise, the wall color is just very dark.
    I think dark color in the walls works if your windows are large and there is plenty of natural light in the room. Somehow dark rooms make me feel more tired and restricted. On the other hand, bedroom is the one room where you totally CAN go for the tired feel!
    One of our bedrooms was tiny, but I wanted to do a dark wall behind the bed. It was dark blue wallpaper with beautiful shiny golden curls. I loved it. The rest of the walls were white. I didn't spend much time there other than sleeping, so dark wall didn't bother me.
    At the moment we have one white paneled wall behind our bed, one very light blue wall and two white walls. I love the light and cheery feeling of our bedroom. We have black curtains because my hubby cannot sleep in a light room...not my favorite, but we both need to be able to sleep there :D
    What does your husband think? Does he like cave&hugs or prefers something light? Or as typical men, doesn't really care? :)
    The gray rooms were my favorite in your pictures. I think a peacock blue would be gorgeous too, if it doesn't get too dark. More jewel like, perhaps.

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  38. Choosing paint colors brings out the worst sort of indecision in me. It sort of paralyzes me. I painted one wall in our keeping room/breakfast area (medium blue), and can't decide whether to keep going with it, or paint the rest in the light taupe of most of the rest of the house. Weird angled ceilings, too, so do I bring the color up there (making it simple to paint) or paint white ceilings to make it lighter (but lots of taping involved). Ack! I'm no help! :P

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  39. I feel like you are lightening/brightening up the rooms in the rest of your house, so a dark bedroom would be going in the opposite direction of that. I have a dark bedroom (a dark grey) and I see light bedrooms and wish it had that light, airy feel - dark rooms can still have it I think, but it is harder to pull off. I think in the long run, you'd probably be happier with a lighter color!

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  40. If I had lots of natural light and a good size room I'd definitely go for dark walls. But in my tiny 12x14 master bedroom with only one east window, completely shaded by a large oak I fear that dark walls would be oppressive. After 6 months, 7 sample paint colors and still no decision on the paint color I can definitely say that YES, I flip flop an mire in indecision when it comes to paint

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  41. I think the dark walls thing is trendy and you might get sick of it sooner than you ever would light walls. You definitely lose the decorating options you would have with lighter walls as well. And the other thing I always worry about with dark walls is how will they effect my mood. I am by nature and upbeat person and love lots of color and lightness around me. I find when I'm put in darker rooms, I sort of start to feel bleh. So, obviously I'm in the light color walls camp... it will give you more options for change ups later which means more blog posts!!! :-)

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  42. That's tough! Both are gorgeous, I'm drawn to the lighter rooms :) can't wait to see see what you do!

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  43. I LOVE the color of my master walls. It's Pralines and Cream and I don't remember from who/where. What I hate is my bedding and window panels. When we remodeled the master bath I went with brown and cream, neutral, cozy, and I love it. Our first comforter was a dark purple with golden wisteria vines and I loved it. I would buy it again if I could find it anywhere (10+ years ago). But it ripped, and so I forced myself to buy a stupid gray comforter with white flowering, which matches NOTHING and I don't want to paint my room...I want my purple back. So I'm trying to craiglist the comforter (and get back $50 of my $250 spent..) and I'm trying to find the perfect purple comforter/curtain combo to replace it. So right now my room is brown and cream also...blech. Someday...I'll get it just the way I want it.

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  44. I love the dark walls, but I am not sure I have the nerve to go through with it. What about an accent wall behind the bed? With a lighter contrasting wall? That way if you get bored of it, it can be a quicker fix. I could do that. I like the drama of a dark color in the master bedroom. However, I do not like the trim painted the exact same color as the wall. Why have trim then? I have bright white, tall baseboards and crown molding in my bedroom and love it.

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  45. Hmmmm.... I'm torn too! Perhaps your "addition" will have a play in the color scheme? And the other accessories... if you change to lighter, will you have to get new/change up a lot of things? Does your Hubs have an opinion? (Hey! You have a Hubs and a Bubs! :)). He might say he doesn't, but is he drawn to some of the pictures over others? (and for me, when my husband finally picks one, I can gauge my true feelings by a slight disapointment or excitement, at his decision :)) Good Luck! In the end, you'll make anything beautiful. Can't wait.

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  46. I struggle with this everyday! My home is full of dark walls but there's a part of me that is wanting to lighten things up! I say "go with your gut".....it's only paint, right?! Good luck!!~~Angela

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  47. I'm with the Parenthood fan up there. I gravitate towards rooms that look "real." Somewhere in the middle is always good. Going light or going dark makes more of a statement, but I think you should keep looking for a color that feels like a hug AND a breath of fresh of air. Who says you need to choose one?

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  48. I have a dark bedroom and I love it. The light rooms however are also nice...

    Good luck.

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  49. I had a dk brown comforter w/blue flowers on it, and tan-ish colored walls, and dk brown curtains I just re-did mine, the walls are a soft grey and comforter has yellow and grey on it, and curtains are a sheer white. I'm sooo glad that I changed it. I absolutely love it. It's light and airy, yet cozy and comfortable.

    xo

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  50. So much fabulousness! I really love the planked walls, too.

    Also, the name of your bedroom's color, Tornado Watch, is one of the best color names ever. That's EXACTLY the color our skies used to turn when a tornado was coming when I was a kid. I love it when a color name resonates like that :)

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  51. I like light. Dark always feels like its closing in on me. I really like the light with the black bed and green accents.

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  52. I love all your dark room inspiration photo. BUt I can't picture myself living in any of it! I think my mind loves dark rooms, but my heart prefers light colours!

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  53. I love, love the last three light bedrooms you posted, especially the grey-ish one with the gorg chandy. I don't think you'd ever tire of light walls because they are soothing to the eye. Dark is trendy but not long-term. I prefer light walls, white trim and some darker accents with pops of color. Just my two cents!

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  54. It has to fit with the rest of your home, most importantly. I absolutely love a dark room. Honestly though, we have started staining all the floors in our home Ebony, so we've been going with Stonington Grey on the walls in the bedrooms. I like that it changes throughout the day. It'll seem pretty light, then pretty dark the next hour. You'll make the best choice though, and we'll all be "awed" in the end. lol.

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  55. No question about it light is the way to go. Especially with the long cold winters, you can retire to your light crisp sanctuary. It appears your taste has changed. Continue the fresh new light look

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    1. Scratch the thought of one dark wall.

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  56. I love dark for a bedroom. I just think it looks elegant & classy.

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  57. I love a room with lots of contrast so I vote dark. I painted our kitchen dark brown/gray and I get so many compliments on the color. Go dark!

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  58. Gray / Beige....maybe Greige! Kinda beige kinda gray!

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  59. Had a dark bedroom and recently painted it white. It feels SO much more restful and peaceful. The dark color was starting to close in on me. I do have dark flooring and like that contrast. Good luck!

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  60. I absolutely love your blog! It gave me a lot of ideas when I redecorated my living room and my family room. I was also able to decorate for less!! It was amazing! I just check out home decor that was for sale online !!! Great quality and prices!!

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  61. I've always had a lighter bedroom, but a few months ago I painted it a darker gray, and I absolutely LOVE it!! I actually just said to my husband today how much I enjoy it-it's such a warm and comforting haven for me. I've never loved my bedroom as much as I do now!! I can't wait to see what you decide-I'm sure it will be look AMAZING!!!

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  62. Wow! Its look really wonderful,

    Thanks for Sharing!

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  63. It probably depends on how your mood is swayed, we had deep red living room walls and pretty dark blue bedroom walls for several years. We had had some rough times with my ex and custody issues and so on, but the atmosphere was just rather oppressive for some time when I wondered if the colors could actually have something to do with it ( our previous house had been a rental and all white and even though we'd still been dealing with the same stuff, I couldn't remember feeling this way). Hubby came home to me painting the walls beige as fall was coming (we also live in the already gloomy but beautiful northwest, lol) and that made the BIGGEST difference! It was crazy! We kept marveling over how color could have such an affect! Lightened up the bedroom, too. Wonderful. On top of that, both kids with the ex are adults now, done having to deal with that jerk on a regular basis! Wahoo! Anyway, my vote is light!

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  64. DARK!! When we built last year, I had the wall and trim of our master bedroom painted the same color. Glidden Pro Wood Smoke. We love it! It is sophisticated, dramatic, and romantic. I think that trend wise you will be seeing more and more walls and trim the same color. (I personally think that accent walls are outdated) You can lighten a dark room with the accents. We did a cream bedding and used coral as our accent color. People are always wowed when they see it all together. (Most of them thought I was nuts to paint the walls and trim the same color! but love it once they see it!)

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  65. Light is my favorite :) If I could plank my entire house white I would!

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