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Design

The Family Room Update + The Case For A Dark Moody Room

Well, I think you saw this coming. I really, really tried to avoid repainting this room. I’ve learned SO MUCH about myself and design during this renovation process, and now I get to share that all with you. Listen, I like to choose paint color last (and always have) because there are endless paint colors to choose from, whereas every other piece of decor is rather finite. So I like to choose the sofa, the rug, all the major players, and then decide on the paint color. Usually, I know roughly what color I want but choosing the right tone is based on those other pieces. Also, there is the whole “we don’t know how we are going to live in this room” conundrum, and only time holds that answer. I’m saying this for all of you who have been in this situation (having to make decisions without enough info) and know that I see you and hear you (and join you). If you are wondering if you can just prime all the rooms and then paint them room by room, trust me, I lobbied for that. But the cold hard fact is that the prep work of the paint is so laborious – all that taping and plastic shielding is a beast, so paying for that twice is not only extremely disruptive to your life and home, but also very expensive. Now if you have more basic drywall (not this much wood that requires more specialty painting) you can do it yourself. That’s all to say, I chose the wrong paint color for this room the first time around and have not only lived through the regret but made it to the other side – RELIEF.

I also want to admit that I am not experienced in painting or living in dark rooms, and have historically played paint fairly safe. This is a byproduct of living in SoCal where natural light floods most rooms so light tones are an extremely safe bet. All of you PNW or British folk are nodding with an “I told you so” fever, and you were right:) The light is just different up here so contrast, color, moodiness, and vibe are far more important (and something you design with in mind). So when we originally wanted a dark green, I changed our mind at the last minute. I now know that the green that we had chosen (SW Privilege Green) wasn’t going to be right anyway, but I do think other people have an easier time with bold dark colors than I do.

We originally wanted “moody” and I screwed it all up. We couldn’t decide on the tone so we chose a dark green (the far left above). Now looking back at the photo, the one that we recently repainted was the one that my left shoulder is touching. It was under my nose the whole time! I think we were so afraid of it being a dark cave. So we went “safe” and this is a great example of when “safe” just doesn’t work in a room.

You see, this room has only one source of light and it’s the door to the covered patio (and the glass in the pocket door but that’s pretty minimal). Plus the ceilings are high. So ironically (jokes on me) this paint color which is actually super pretty (SW Ponder) just looked like a non-color because of the lack of natural light. And with the high ceilings, the whole space felt vacuous and cold.

It has purple undertones which I actually liked, but didn’t work with the sofa that we had already selected and it just didn’t have a point of view. I thought I could accessorize it enough to bring life to the room, and I could have. But I knew deep down that the color needed to be darker, richer, deeper, and bolder. So here we are…

Where We Are Now… “Still Water by Sherwin-Williams” FTW

So after staring at the sticker of paint on all four walls for MONTHS I decided that 80% sure was the closest I was going to get to feeling confident. Still Water by Sherwin Williams was the winner – with the same greeny undertones as the sofa, and was dark but “bright” if that makes any sense (still full of color and pigment).

Wait, Is It Super Dark?

I mean, it’s really dark but absolutely wonderful. It’s exciting and calming and moody–making it a really joyful experience to be in here. The color is gorgeous and with the lamps all off (which is how we shot this) it does indeed look and feel very dark, but with the chandelier on (facing the ceiling, not downward) and the lamps on it’s so warm, fun and pure ambiance.

What you may notice is all the wallpaper samples on the ceiling–yes, I want to wallpaper the ceiling with a subtle pattern that makes the high ceilings worth the effort to look up. Nothing bright, bold, or graphic–but more just a secret treat for the eye when you notice it.

That blue and gold/wood combination is EXCELLENT. Imagine that whole wall of seascapes with the lights on them!

This is THE coziest sectional where I can snuggle both kids in that corner.

I need to choose art to go up there (I’m thinking a framed version of my favorite vintage plaid).

The fact that we shot this without the fireplace and lights on was so dumb! It’s so cozy once you get the ambiance going so I’ll shoot it again soon with both so you can see.

We have a long ways to go for sure (but I’m closer than you think). The coffee table might move into the living room (but looks good in here, too). The rug was supposed to be the greener version (Enkay’s Raksha Rug in Aqua) but this indigo version still looks good and is so pretty! (and the greener version is now back-ordered). So we think we are going to mix blues and greens in art and pillows and make it work. So yes, we need art, a bookshelf behind the sofa (to put lamps and drinks/popcorn on), pillows, and to figure out what goes on top of the bench. We are also still adding the door to the hallway so we can shut off the light when we want to (it’s western and blasts in the summer) and then put roman shades over the glass on the patio doors. We are making it more of a dark room, but I suppose that’s what dens were always supposed to feel like – just a dark respite from the rest of life. Embracing a mood is clearly not easy to always execute, but now that I’ve nailed the wall color I’m alllllllll iiiiiinnnnnn. xx

Resources:
Paint Color: Still Water by Sherwin-Williams
Sectional: Rejuvenation
Chandelier: Rejuvenation

Fireplace: Vermont Castings
Rug: Enkay
Flooring: Oregon White Oak by Zena Forest Products

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Dana
1 year ago

Stunning room, it was absolutely meant to be that color!! What a cozy environment to relax into.

Annie
1 year ago

I love it, it’s gorgeous. And I bet it’s even more lovely in person.
Now that you have found the ‘dark side’ I bet you and your readers would love to look at the website of designer Abigail Ahern who is based in here London where I am. Amongst other things, she has her own paint range of ‘bottom of the pond’ colours, as she calls them, though I think they might only be available here in the UK.
https://abigailahern.com/collections/paint

Deb
1 year ago
Reply to  Annie

Love that Bowery Blue. The web shows they are available for the U.S. now. Thanks, Annie.

Stephanie
1 year ago
Reply to  Annie

Ooo, gorgeous. Thanks for the link, Annie.

Kristin
1 year ago

Uggggghhhhh. I love this too much! These are my favorite tones and I use them everywhere in my house. You hit this one out of the park!

KD
1 year ago

It’s just so different to adjust to new weather, especially going from sunny SoCal to the rainiest city in America. The weather (and gray!) really changes everything, no?

Meg
1 year ago

Yes! I used this in my guest room and it’s the prettiest green blue. If your feeling very moody- try a few shades deeper with SW Cascades. My master bedroom is like a rich, jewel toned cave. It’s a soothing vibe.

Mariana
1 year ago

Yes!!! Love love love!

Brenda
1 year ago

Stunning color and seascapes! Looking forward to seeing the wallpaper selection! Love this space.

Holly
1 year ago

I love this color so much. I think you made the right decision to repaint. I think it’s going to look spectacular once you get the art up on the walls. I don’t want to be mean, but do you really have your heart set on wallpaper on the ceiling? I think once you get that art up, plus the vintage plaid fabric, will that pattern on the ceiling be too much? Seems to me that might take away the sereneness of the room once you add the gallery wall and the plaid fabric and then yet another pattern on the ceiling. Just a thought. But I really love the direction it’s going!

Jeffrey C
1 year ago
Reply to  Holly

If it was me, I would definitely hold off on any ceiling decision until the rest of the styling as I think you may be right.

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Holly

Or, hear me out here, put the plaid as the wallpaper on the ceiling? Like this https://www.decoratorsbest.com/products/brewster-home-fashions-antoine-flannel-denim-wallpaper or this https://www.decoratorsbest.com/products/mulberry-mulberry-ancient-tartan-indigo-wallpaper.
Love the dark room/paint for this room with its purpose and light, etc. I’m going the opposite direction in our primary bedroom in Chicago though. It’s currently BM Brittania Blue and has been the last 4 years since the painters mistook the name of the BM Brittany Blue I’d requested. We were already 4 months behind on moving into the house we we’d been renovating for a year (far too long to have 2 mortgages) and I had to say “its fine – keep moving”. But while I’d always wanted to try a ‘cozy cave like’ bedroom, it just hasn’t worked for me. Back to light blue it is.

Juanita
1 year ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Hi Emily, If you do decide to go along on the Wallpaper the Ceiling plan… the above idea for a tartan does seem to match the mood of the plaids you showed us for the mudroom… so that plaid/tartan direction might be a really nice fit… I actually came to suggest a different direction for the ceiling treatment: do you know about the handprinted Victorian wallpapers of Bradbury & Bradbury? I worked in an office that had them and it was AMAZING: you could see the quality of the silk screening and therefore the vibrancy of the paint pigment on the wallpaper. The Victorian treatments are the only ones they have that are handscreened. If you haven’t seen these papers in person, it’s worth it to get Samples! I could just see the gold slightly flickering on your ceiling with this type of treatment. Don’t be alarmed by the full on Victorian display of patterns linked, you’ will only use one simple “field” 😂, rather than 15 coordinated patterns!! https://issuu.com/bradbury/docs/victorian_handprints_catalog video: https://bradbury.com/studio.html here’s the link to some ceiling stars https://www.bradbury.com/stars.html

BradburyStars.JPG
Deborah
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

Oh! The stars on the ceiling! 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

The stars on the ceiling would pick up the warmth of the gold frames and chandelier AND would tie in with the seascapes– think navigating by the night sky full of stars. LOVE this suggestion!

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  Lesley

Oh, those stars on a dark background are soooo pretty!

Mitten
1 year ago
Reply to  Lesley

Me too! It would be such a playful touch. I’ve been reading this blog a looooong time and stars on the ceiling seem like such a happy throwback to early Emily’s carefree design moves!

Sara
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

I LOVE the new dark color Emily! Like a few other posters I came to the comments to suggest maybe you hold off on the wallpaper. As another commenter suggested, maybe style how you want it/love it and then decide. And if you do decide on wallpaper I think it should be dark and not too busy/too much contrast and really pick up the beautiful wall color. And then Juanita shared the stars!!! And I strongly second her suggestion to get samples and seriously consider!!! Totally agree with Lesley that the subtle gold will pick up all your other gold accents and tie in beautifully while still drawing attn/adding more interest to the great high ceilings. And Juanita I’m bookmarking these for my own renovation. Love this community!

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

I suggested the plaid, but wow! Now I’m trying to think of someplace on my ceilings that I could work in these stars. So simple but impactful and yet not too serious or overwhelming. Yum!

Kate
1 year ago
Reply to  Juanita

Love this dark paper the gold stars–what a mood, what a feeling of being at sea or in nature at night!

Sarah
1 year ago
Reply to  Holly

This can be the English granny room layers and layers and layers.

Shannon
1 year ago

Just gorgeous, Emily! I am feeling the relief right along with you, this color just feels meant to be! I remember you saying that the reason you went with the lighter tone the first time was because you were afraid it would be jarring or odd to go from a light room (the great room) through the moody/dark pass-through den, to another light room (mudroom and primary.) I never fully understood what the issue was and now I’m even more curious to know your thoughts on the transitions and how the issue you anticipated is working out. I have partially selfish reasons as I’m planning a deep, raspberry den off a very light and bright great room in my new home.

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

A deep raspberry den sounds amazing!!!! I’m painting our front door a deep peony pink as soon as the weather warms up. It’s BM Royal Flush – not sure how it would look on 4 walls, but I think it will look great on a door. I hope you share a picture when you are done!

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Thank you, Cris! Love your door plan, too. I’m using Radicchio by Benjamin Moore in a deep gloss. Nervously excited!

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

Oh, Shannon, the Radicchio color is gorgeous! I saved it on my pinterest inspo board.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Cris S., please post more pics of anything as you get it done. Your house sounds so fun!

annie
1 year ago

I feel like the only appropriate response here is YES GIRL YES!! With those delicious seascapes and the couch and the vintage plaid sounds gorg, can’t wait to see this cozy room finished!

Colleen
1 year ago
Reply to  annie

I agree–the wall of seascapes is going to be stunning against the dark paint, and the gold frames sing!

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  annie

What Annie said! I was one of those annoying people who suggested going dark and tonal so I’m glad it’s having the desired effect and working so well.

emily jane
1 year ago

Congratulations -the room is beautiful!
And, welcome to the ‘dark & moody rooms are Awesome’ club : )
I am so glad you are experiencing the calming/enveloping/insulating affects (also known as ‘dark paint’s super powers’) that create that much needed “respite from the rest of life’. Adding the door not only solves the blasting sun issue but that light-to-dark-room transition you were concerned about as well as the sure-to-come-up-eventually necessity of a sound barrier -multi-tasking solutions are my favorite.
Again, congratulations on overcoming renovation (as well as self-imposed ; ) challenges and finding your way to a beautiful, ‘meant to be’ room.

emily jane
1 year ago
Reply to  emily jane

PS. An enthusiastic “Yes!” to your favorite vintage plaid framed on the wall adjacent to all those wonderful vintage seascapes -can’t wait to see you play with weaving together all those yummy greens and blues : )

Suzanne
1 year ago

Gorgeous! Love the dark monochromatic color scheme.

Caryn
1 year ago

Oooh, you will love this forever! I have a blue/green room with yellow/gold accent pieces (a table lamp with a wooden shade! A leather chair that looks a bit like a baseball glove in a metal frame!) and it is my favorite room in the house. You have so MANY cute spaces you’ll just have to alight from room to room!

Sarah
1 year ago

The color is beautiful, but please, for the love of all that’s holy, do not frame the weird patchwork plaid fabric and hang it on that gorgeous wall!

MKP
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

I disagree. Do whatever the heck you want. Plaid may not be my jam, but it clearly is Emily’s. Also I think the fabric is a nice counterpart to the seascapes. It doesn’t clash and it doesn’t compete. I think it all really works together.

For me, this new color makes it ALL work. The seascapes (I realize now) were feeling a bit forced to me before, but now they just sing. It’s so so lovely. And had you done with the initial dark green, do you think it would have been good enough to keep? I’m betting yes. Different but still good.

Lane
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

I actually like the idea to hang it more than ever, because now there’s a humor side to it, and a way to put a bit more distance to the serious side of decorating and making a perfect decision. I’d frame it to give it a more refined side for sure. I didn’t like it before, but I love it and the back story.

Hannah
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

I love the look of the patchwork plaid on that wall! And Emily can make anything look amazing–so that’s a double yes from me! 🙂

Mitten
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

I agree that the fabric would look weird behind glass framed as if it’s a picture, but doesn’t Emily mean that it would simple be stretched on a frame like a canvas so the texture contributes to the room? That’s what I assumed and think it will look really striking, especially if plaid is picked up in cushions.

Leila
1 year ago

You resourced it all but the coffee table. Do you have that?

Sal
1 year ago
Reply to  Leila

It’s from Anthropologie but it is almost always out of stock–I think it’s come back once in several years.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Sal

Yes, it was first mentioned on this blog back in 2017(!): https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/achieving-effortless-expensive-style-furniture.
And was a “bestseller” back in 9/2022: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/unique-wood-coffee-table. It might come back in stock, or you might find it second hand. Search Antrhopologie abstract coffee table or Antrhopologie live edge coffee table. Good luck!

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

Looks like a great place for family movie-watching!

robbie
1 year ago

i feel like something is wrong with my attitude but the farmhouse reveals and updates are just feeling flat for me. I’ve been reading this blog daily for years and I’ve been enthralled by many of the super high end house updates, but this project is either making me very very jealous (which I want to put on the table, since I’m concurrently renovating a small farmhouse with much much less of something which I suppose is just less money) or leaving me feeling like the soul has been lost a little bit due to money. In this situation the before looked super workable to me, or at least I would have tried hard to make it work bc of budget. In my house, full of this type of compromise from which I move on or settle for, I’d just put the money into something else with a bigger impact and move on. there is really no need for the poor attitude in this comment to be shared publically except to just say- to everyone out there who would have just stuck with the before bc changing it isn’t worth the money or investment, and there is a list of… Read more »

Alice
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I would be jealous, too, except that I recognize that this is Emily’s job. Not very many of us readers would have the means to renovate on this scale. It’s ok…it’s a project that is a part of her business. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got a book out of it once it’s done.

Laureline
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I’m with you on this – and I’ve expressed it several times in more “angry” tones than you. For me the main thing is that it’s not inspiring. It’s starting from scratch as if you’d never owned anything before. Everything is new and budget or waste are non-subjects. Without any constraints, I think it’s difficult to make choices, it often leads to misery (like, I should have chosen this instead of that – which if course you could have, since you have no constraints) and personality is a little lost. I don’t know if i’m making myself clear here but I did like Emily’s designs better when she had less income as she had to make do with what she had and often used vintage. On a more practical note, I don’t think the sofa is suited to the room. Its colour is both too close to the walls’ / but not exactly the same so it doesn’t look right. i’d have gotten a more contrasting sofa, in a warm colour maybe, like camel?

1 year ago
Reply to  Laureline

I absolutely agree. I too have been a long time reader and have begrudingly coming back to this blog out of habit, and am constantly disappointed. Flat and soulless is right. It would have been more interesting and visually exciting to sees the challenges and creativity used with working with more of the original house, this feels like a brand new build with some salvaged windows – I guess, because it is.
All of the content lately seems very stretched with no actual meat on the bones. Like, here is a $12 pair of pants that I like and, Oh no, I had to spend another $XXXXXX to repaint a room.
Anyhooo, I know no one wants to hear from the grouchy peanut gallery so I’ll show myself out..

Caroline
1 year ago
Reply to  Bethany

I agree

MBJ
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

@robbie, I see what you mean and I’m finding the content less relatable too, BUT I do love when Emily reworks a room and acknowledges that she messed up design-wise. I love the new direction of this room it’s kind of fun to see it evolve in a warp-speed, money-is-no-object manner. For me, decorating and painting let alone RE-decorating or RE-painting would be years and years given my budget and constraints on my time (career, small children, etc.) And that would be super boring content if she did it in that “normal” manner! To echo what someone else said, yes it’s ridiculous, but this is her job and she’s also obligated to certain timelines in order to publish things in order to make money.

But also I want to request to get more content from the rest of the staff and contributors’ – Jess, Caitlin, Ryann, Albie, Julie, etc.! I still feel I can relate to their spaces and lifestyles and like seeing how they deal with the constraints of budget and rentals. It keeps this whole site a little more down to earth.

Vera
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I find that even though on the construction side the projects are not relatable – the content in general still is, because of Em’s voice – she is so open and shares so many thoughts and feelings – compared to other blogs where I don’t feel they are really “letting me in” (which is totally fine of course but it does mean I’m way less engaged).
I will say (and I bet almost everyone feels the same, including EHD themselves) – I would LOVE way more MOTOs and feel-good makeovers!!
Again, for me it’s all about the personal stuff haha!

Anna
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I will definitely keep coming back for all the farmhouse reveals and am still excited by the project, but it’s actually made me super grateful to NOT have the range of resources & choices available for home design that Emily & family do, for exactly the reasons mentioned in some of these comments– it’s paralyzing to feel like you have everything available to you, and having fewer options/more constraints can end up encouraging more creativity and satisfaction. We bought a small, affordable home close to family & beautiful nature that felt bright, happy and charming the moment we saw it, despite lots of little imperfections and finishes I would not have chosen. I painted all the walls myself and have enjoyed furnishing and decorating with almost all hand me down and cheap second hand pieces we have stumbled on, art by family members and salvaged items, etc. Sure, someday I’d love to change out some light fixtures, window treatments, and maybe countertops (white tile with white grout in the kitchen was… an interesting choice), but overall it brings me so much joy and feels so homey and comfortable. I like reading design blogs & magazines for inspiration and fantasy but… Read more »

Vera
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna

Anna, so well said 🙂 and my gosh your home sounds lovely! If you don’t already you’ll probably love Myquillyn Smith’s books!

Laureline
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna

I love your spirit, Anna! Same here, I bought an old house (think XIXe century (fun fact: it was the 1st house in our village to have indoor toilets! – I’m French BTW) which had been a rental for a few years, which meant a bit rundown but thankfully no awful modern update that would have erased its soul. Like you did, we mostly painted the rooms without tearing any wall (no open kitchen for me, thanks!), sanded the lovely wooden floors and that’s it! I feel like it’s respecting this old house, gently updating it but keeping it mostly as it was meant to be. Sure some things are wonky, or some things I wouldn’t have chosen but I’d rather spend time reading or looking at nice art or going for a walk than tearing my hair out trying to chose between endless options for whatever I want to change.

Emilie
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna

I’ve recently had a realization similar to what you are describing. I love the decorating process, but it’s about the challenge and the puzzle, rather than having something as “perfect” or as grand as I can imagine. So this blog isn’t always a good fit for my current interests, but I still keep reading.

LouAnn
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I really don’t get the point of any of these rants about the farmhouse. I mean, did you people actually find Emily’s LA house to be “affordable”? Or the house before that? LOL. It’s been a loooonnng time since she did DIY on a shoe-string budget. Why get so angry over someone else’s success. Just odd.

Laureline
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

the point is, not everybody views it as “success”.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Laureline

Lol if this house makes Emily and her family happy, which apparently it does, in spades, then yeah, it’s a success. Even if readers who can’t get past their own jealousy and share that happiness want to waste their time pointing out how it supposedly lacks “soul” and “personality.” It’s just pointless, mean-spirited drivel and no one asked for it.

Anne
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I don’t think anyone is trying to be unkind; just a bit flummoxed by their own reactions to the content. I have a theory…for a lot of the long-time readers, we got “into” Emily via SFAS and her early blogging days. And it had a very different feel. So we’re maybe just missing that? It’s unfair to ask her not to evolve in her style or budget, so I try to take away from it what I like, and ignore the rest. The problem for me is that I preferred it when she focused more on styling, and less on reno. (And that was even when it was stylistically different from my taste.) I do like that Emily lets us into her process for sure, and appreciate she has an impossible task trying to make content that is broadly appealing. I just miss the “stylist” aspect of her work, because it’s the easiest thing to emulate in your own home. Renovations can, by nature, be a bit alienating because of budget concerns. Now that she’s got this room painted a way she likes, I’d love to watch her take us through actually styling it. I have a media room I… Read more »

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

It’s her dream home! Of course she is going to make it every bit as beautiful and functional as she can dream and afford. As would any of us. Emily and team bend over backwards to keep readers from feeling “less than” budget-wise, which is above am beyond and so thoughtful and kind. And she’s often rewarded by guilt-inducing criticism of how her designs have lost their “soul.” This is her life now and good for her. If you don’t like it, don’t follow. Complain about it to your friends and family. But I think we owe Emily the reciprocal kindness of not shaming her for her success.

Angela
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

I don’t read any shaming or guilting here…just thoughtful comments working out the harder emotions that blogs sometimes make us feel. I’m actually finding it really refreshing to read and appreciate the honesty expressed.

LouAnn
1 year ago
Reply to  Angela

Ah, the old “honesty” rationalization for being judgmental and rude.

bh
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

Disagreeing with someone and voicing it isn’t being rude/judgmental, it’s having an opinion and voicing it – because we’re not zombies, we have a brain and we chose to use it.

MM
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

I agree with you. I try really hard not to post negative comments on other people’s posts/pages, because negativity is not the kindest. I’ve followed her for years, and have used a lot of her tips along the way. But I do feel that this house is blue on blue on blue. It’s all blue, white and wood. Which is pretty, but I’d love to see more depth and character. When you dig into the designers like Whittney Parkinson, you see the depth of the colors and pieces, and the design has a soul. This house feels like just “putting things on” – instead of pulling a beautiful design together. I’d love to see something besides the blue! It’s really a gorgeous house. I am definitely envious of it!

Karen
1 year ago
Reply to  MM

We need to have some patience. She has to put out content while in the middle of things. Things will shift as time in the house grows.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  MM

Early on Emily explained that she’s learned what kind of surrounding make her happy, so that’s what she’s doing here. She loves blue, it makes her feel calm and focused. Comparing her negatively to some other designer whose work you happen to prefer is pretty darn nasty imho.

Vera
1 year ago
Reply to  MM

MM – I personally LOVE blue white and wood, and I find every single EHD reveal to be so interesting and beautiful. And best of all, this is their home! Where they fight, make up, raise children, gather with loved ones, try hobbies, work hard, and find rest. That’s what gives a home soul!

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  MM

MM, try harder.

MM
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

@Shannon – I’m not really a fan of internet arguing.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  MM

Oh ok MM, but you’re clearly a fan of internet trolling. Yes, it’s still trolling even if you state that you try hard not to do it. Keep working on that will power.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

Yup!
Whatever happened to “PERFECT IS BORING…LET’S GET WEIRD!”

Robbie
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

Hey all, og ranter here – this is a super interesting discussion and I agree with all the points about having more approachable content in the day to day being more than welcome. I also want to add that I’m an incredible supporter of women owned business and am in no way intimidated by Emily’s success which though a throw away comment that is worth addressing because I’m not here to pit women against women. I’ll +1 to Rusty’s comment using Emily’s own words – I’m here for the weird and the making it work. In case its helpful for me to re-word and avoid the term jealousy and instead concentrate on what has made me sane during my stressful, high end two year+ renovation of a farmhouse, its simply that nothing is ever perfect, and done is better than perfect. The budget needs are endless, and having a limit to what i’m willing to commit is helpful. I learned that here, on this blog, and that is not the lesson this post sends. If Emily were my sister, I’d say, go hang out in Ojai for a few weekends, come back and see if the walls still bug you… Read more »

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie

Wow, the level of condescension here is truly staggering, Robbie. Apparently you missed the joy and excitement in Emily’s post. Spoiler alert, she’s thrilled with the end result. She didn’t like her original paint and because she can afford to change it, while also creating content for her blog, she went ahead and changed it. Seems like a sign of a healthy, self-aware person who doesn’t beat themselves up over mistakes. You, on the other hand, might want to look into Ojai.

Spark
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

True…… But she felt the same way about SW Ponder when she first painted it. In fact by her own admission,she’s only 80% sure about this color. I personally think the room just needs more contrast and Emily needs to “live” in the room *before* styling it. Function will always beat form, so unless she’s comfortable and finds a flow in the room,we’ll keep seeing these posts.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Spark

Spark, please reread. She was only 80% sure about this color BEFORE they painted. Now she feels she “nailed it.” Also, the previous den post where she was really excited about Ponder, was also BEFORE the paint went up. She’s been regretting it since then. Anyway, I personally love that she lets us into the trial and error process. I find it incredibly interesting and also reassuring. I don’t wish for her to make more mistakes, but if she does, I welcome more of “these posts.”

Spark
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

I assume she was 80% sure after they had it on four walls as she said, so maybe painting it throughout won’t make that much of a difference with respect to the light. With respect to Ponder, in the comments of the den post, she herself says that she really likes it. And it’s understandable, considering that painting room is stressful enough without having to show it online, getting any color on the walls will make you happy for the week or two that it is painted. I think the issue that me and other commentors are having is with her going the safe route; the mistake with Ponder was that she decided to play it “safe” and while she is (finally) going for a dark color, it still feels that she is unsure about it and trying to play it safe. Like other commentors have said, Emily’s design process used to be using the weird and making it work but now it feels more sanitized and “soulless” because it feels like she is playing it safe. The issue we have is that we don’t want safe, we want what her style is.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Spark

Just to clarify, she had the Samplize sticker up on four walls and was 80% confident so decided to go for it. The moody, dark color is the chance she was originally avoiding because it didn’t feel safe to her at the time. But she decided to go with her original, “risky” dark and moody choice. So I don’t understand what you are referring to, honestly.

Hillary
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

You could have just posted the last sentence of your comment, spared Emily your rant, and still gotten the point across that it’s possible and sometimes preferable to live with design mistakes.

Nicolette
1 year ago
Reply to  robbie

You say you would put the money into something else with a bigger impact and move on, doesn’t paint have the biggest impact and generally the biggest bang for your buck!?

LouAnn
1 year ago

I love the paint and the sofa. I think it’s the rug that looks wrong. It’s too much blue with the rug. Plus the tones of the rug are cold, and the tones of the paint/sofa are warm. It seems like the rug should be neutral or just have a hint of blue.

Anne
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

Came to say the same thing. The monochromatic quality of the walls and sofa work fine for me, but the rug feels like a miss–just one too many blues. I think I’d opt for pattern there instead of the ceiling.

Emma
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I agree – the rug reads cold and modern to me. Could be gorgeous in another room, but in here I would do something Persian or Moroccan-inspired with warmth and print.

Vera
1 year ago
Reply to  Emma

Emma – totally agree!
Love everything else though Emily and really enjoyed this update! 😊

Tara Lynch
1 year ago
Reply to  Emma

Agree about Persian or Moroccan rug – with maybe raspberry and/or golden tones pulled from the seascapes?

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I love the three tones together. It’s cozy and homey and fresh and unexpected at the same time.

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

Agreed Shannon — It absolutely works! Varying similar tones (because blue-greens are very difficult to match exactly but they often work together) give the room depth and richness through layers of color and different textures.

christina
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I agree.I am a big fan of tone on tone. I see the idea behind the rug, but I would have chosen a rug closer to the floor color to draw the eye up and to lighten the room. But it looks like a lovely rug.

Edan
1 year ago
Reply to  LouAnn

I agree. I love the wall color and the echo of that color with the couch. I want to see something more lush and colorful with the rug. Why not something with a bit of red? Something old. I like the calls for a Persian rug.

Lucy
1 year ago

This looks amazing–can’t wait to see it with all the art up. I’m impressed by how well the walls coordinate with the sectional. Do you mind sharing the fabric you used for the sectional?

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucy

I believe it is the Harbor Vance Velvet.

Kristin L.
1 year ago

I absolutely love the new color but I’m a bit confused as to why you would incur the extra cost of painting the ceiling if you plan to wallpaper it.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Kristin L.

When hanging dark wallpaper, paint the wall dark first and color in the white edges of the paper. Always use a wallpaper primer for any wallpaper. https://www.goodandcraft.com/post/hanging-dark-wallpapers

Kristin L.
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

You don’t really need to paint the entire ceiling. You can paint skinny stripes where the wallpaper seams are going to fall.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Kristin L.

Yes, but if the painters already have the entrie room taped off and are spraying, that would be a little silly! And if you haven’t selected your paper yet you don’t know the width of it, right?

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Yes – wallpaper widths can vary widely (make sure you check when you think you’ve found something awesome and it seems like a steal). And maybe you live with the ceiling a bit and see if you just like it as is. It’s much easier to spray the whole thing than to try to tape off stripes – especially as you don’t know where you’ll want to start a pattern from.

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Nice tips on wallpapering from Kj & Cris — thanks!

1 year ago

I really love the color. I’ve always been pretty nervous about using color in decor but this shows me how well it can work.

Jennie Grip
1 year ago

Looks amazing! Thank you for going bold and cozy! Feeling so inspired. May I ask, is that semi gloss? Or what sheen level did you go with. Love the light it reflects!

Laureline
1 year ago

PS to non-Americans: this colour looks exactly the same as Hague Blue by Farrow&Ball. I’ve used it in the back of my library, with Slipper Satin in the front and Oxford Stone for all other walls. it’s lovely, cosy, warm, looks great with a fire lit and lamps dotted around and in 10 years i’ve never wanted to re-paint.

LL
1 year ago
Reply to  Laureline

than kyou, this color is known in the US. Emily actually used it for her kitchen in a former LA home.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Laureline

SW 6223 Still Water is closer to Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue No. 289 than to Hague Blue No. 30. See swatches (Hague Blue on top right, Inchyra Blue on bottom right). Please note that the pic below is considerably lighter than the actual swatches. How do you photograph these dark paints??? My screen looks closer to Sw 6221 Moody Blue or SW 6222 Riverway.

201BDE51-D288-43AF-A07A-EF3FFBA1C7EA.jpeg
Allison
1 year ago

Should have been a deep warm colour IMO. There are so many deep blues that almost match but not quite, I find it uncomfortable and definitely cold.

Hannah
1 year ago
Reply to  Allison

Call me crazy, but I like that the shades almost match but don’t—it adds a subconscious tension that I think rooms need and often lack when they’re too matchy-matchy.

MBJ
1 year ago

Yessssssss the gray was depressing this is a cave, yes, but a super sexy cave

Rebecca
1 year ago

What type of finish did you use for the paint? Is it matte, semi gloss or satin?

Sarah
1 year ago

Good room to think about light balance.

I also just want to roll around in all that cozy blue!

KJ
1 year ago

I love the way the room looks painted this rich, deep, blue -green color that echoes the color on the sofa and rug. I think it was totally worth repainting. I do not , however, think you should wallpaper the ceiling or clutter up the walls with the textiles. The seascapes on the back wall work well, but you do not need to decorate every bit of wall space. To me, adding the textiles and papering the ceiling take way from the sophistication of the room. The walls have a lot going on anyway since they are all wood paneling that’s been painted. That alone is a lot of texture- one’s eyes need a place to rest – don’t over do it in here.

Caroline
1 year ago
Reply to  KJ

I totally agree! The room will be styled to death

Addie
1 year ago
Reply to  KJ

Interesting viewpoint on wallpapering the ceiling. I certainly wasn’t expecting it in a tonal/textured room but when Em showed it on IG stories, I got intrigued. It would really depend on the pattern in the wallpaper for me, if it’s subtle and smaller in scale, I don’t think it will become too busy or detract from the other decorative elements. It will be a neat “hidden” surprise if it works.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  KJ

It’s going to be so fun to see what Emily does in here!

Ame
1 year ago

I thought you might like to see my “Still Water” home in NOLA. It’s a beautiful color. Looks very different in the sunlight.

Image.jpeg
Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Ame

That looks really nice!

Gwoman
1 year ago
Reply to  Ame

To me, the room looks like an enclosed side porch where they didn’t bother to drywall over the exterior siding. This photo only only reinforces that feeling. It’s a lovely color but just not working for me in that room with the shiplap walls.

Vera
1 year ago
Reply to  Ame

Beautiful Ame!

Sonja
1 year ago

YESSSSSSSSSS

kim
1 year ago

This looks just right. Love it. But…the wallpaper for the ceiling — be careful! The samples with pops of white will be very distracting; the white draws the eye. If you are going to do wallpaper, please choose something without white or very light bits in it.

Eliza
1 year ago

is this the same paint color in the pantry?

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Eliza

No. The pantry is SW 7624 Slate Tile, a cool blue-gray: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/the-farmhouse-pantry-reveal.

Caroline
1 year ago

I love the wall color and the artwork but I get a bit worried when you want to add so many things: bookshelves with lots of stuff, wallpaper, pillows, blankets,… I think adding a bookshelv and wallpaper is just too much. I also do not understand why you americans put sconces everywhere. In Europe we hardly ever use those…. I like clean walls with just some nice art and not lots of decorative stuff everywhere,.

CGinAZ
1 year ago

Oh! She did it! That’s what I said to myself when I saw the gorgeous paint color. It makes me so happy. I also told myself that everyone seemed to agree. Until the boobirds came out again and just had to peck, peck, peck at everything. Just can’t seem to help themselves. I’d just like to say that if you’re so unhappy about Emily’s projects, please don’t keep coming here and whining about her perceived ( by you ) shortcomings. There are a million places you can go on line where they keep within your approved budget and your approved paint colors. Please leave the rest of us alone to enjoy Emily’s great work and lovely family home. Please try to have a pleasant day, if you can.

Laureline
1 year ago
Reply to  CGinAZ

How about not reading the comments that are so offending to you? Really!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  CGinAZ

It’s known as HAVING A DISCUSSION.

Hillary
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Except you are “having a discussion” right in front of the person you are discussing. Think about this way: If Emily took us all on a private , in-person tour of the house, would we stand there and nitpick every last detail? There is a big difference between offering advice and many of the comments here. The internet has enabled this really grotesque side of people where they think that every thought that passes through their minds should be published for others to see. It’s possible to politely and thoughtfully discuss this design without complaining that Emily doesn’t live/behave/do things exactly as we want her to.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Hillary

Exactly, Hillary.

Martha
1 year ago
Reply to  Hillary

So right, Hillary! Thank you!

Rita
1 year ago
Reply to  CGinAZ

I can not believe the comments made here. How people can be jealous of someone and their success is beyond me. This is Emily ‘s home and she can decorate and re decorate how she likes. People need to get a grip and look at themselves and wonder what is wrong with their life that looking at someone who has the ability to build with a large budget / not to their liking causes them so much angst.

Karen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rita

The comments have been obnoxiously negative over the last year. Admittedly I check back in the day to read them which gives the site more activity which is good for it, but emotionally I do not know how the Team can handle it. I think the comments have left them to not engage in the conversation as frequently

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen

For Emily’s sake, I truly hope, and assume, that somebody weeds out the egregious negativity and she has presented with an abridged version of the comments.

Hannah
1 year ago

Obsessed, obsessed, obsessed!!! And imagining the seascapes with brass lights and the framed indigo patchwork…just makes me more excited! I love the idea of wallpapering the ceiling…sounds like it could be a job for House of Hackney!

Lisa
1 year ago

Yes!!! Finally some colour! Love how the light plays on the walls now. As in the pantry, the wood details really comes to life!

I agree with other readers, that I would be careful with wallpapering the ceiling. I think it will take away everything you have got going now with the moody cosy, calm space.

I don’t really understand what the point of it is? Why would you want to draw attention to a heigh ceiling when you have dark, heavy furnitures, tv and a fireplace to land on?

Best of luck with the rest of the styling!

DCJ
1 year ago

Totally perplexed by the color combo of the wall/couch/rug. I love them all separately. Together, the combo doesn’t work for my eye. The couch and rug look like a close match color-wise to the wall but “off” enough that, instead of looking/feeling intentionally moody, it just looks like the colors don’t work together. Maybe with more styling that will change? But every time I see a post about this room it feels wrong. My eyes want more depth and contrast. I love that rug but that’s the first thing I think should go. The colors in this room are genuinely my favorite colors but something doesn’t work for me about it. I feel like wallpapering the ceiling is also just silly. I love the ceiling the same color as the walls! A shame to change that imo.

Kim
1 year ago
Reply to  DCJ

Agree! That rug does not make any sense to me.

Hana
1 year ago

This looks great! Glad you went to the dark side! 😉

IreneL
1 year ago

Beautiful! I love the dark wall color you selected and the sofa looks very uxurious in it! Not that you need my two cents but IMHO I would consider a different rug – a patterned persian, moroccan… new or vintage – it would add some history/tradition, pattern, and coziness. I also love the ceiling dark as-is. It’s a gorgeous den!

sharon
1 year ago

No thanks. I cannot imagine living in the gloomy PNW and then have a dark room with only a small source for sunlight. Talk about depression. Give me as much sunlight and light as possible. I say that as someone who lives in Arizona, so guess I’m in the right spot.

Anna
1 year ago
Reply to  sharon

It’s for cozy movie watching & evening activities! There is so much lightness and brightness in the rest of the house!

Ano
1 year ago

Me out loud seeing the first pic – “oh my god, yes!” This is the right color. Congrats 🙂

Kelly
1 year ago

I just saw a popsicle lamp like yours in a local shop for around $100!

JJ
1 year ago

Room is looking good but I think the coffee table has to go. It isn’t working.

Jewel
1 year ago

I absolutely LOVE the paint and sofa! It’s perfection. I would add a rug with some texture-sisal?-or maybe even a Persian, for some contrast. Love the coffee table, too. YAY for figuring out what works for each space!

Gretchen
1 year ago

Oh, what a difference! Totally LOVE this color on the walls. I can’t wait to see the room with the seascapes up. Not sure about the floral wallpaper on the ceiling…? I’d probably wait on that and live with the room for a few months as is.

Nora
1 year ago

I absolutely love the color! Gorgeous, fits the space. Excited to see where all of this goes 🙂

Addie
1 year ago

In the previous blog post about this room I wanted it to go dark and tonal, just like you’ve done! It’s looking so good ! I’m excited to see the decorative layers added next and I love the pop the wooden coffee table adds (and it connects with the watery theme by looking like it could have been found on a beach).

I previously thought the indigo rug looked a little off in color with the dark teal sofa, but now that the teal color is reflected on all the walls and ceiling, I’m liking the subtle tonal and textural variation and when there’s a bit more indigo (like in the Japanese wall hanging) and mixed in with pillows etc. it will work even better! I’m not sure about the wallpaper on the ceiling but I’m intrigued: a smaller scale pattern with not too much contrast would work best (like the gold stars wallpaper another commenter suggested). An upholstered cushion on the long bench would be nice too.

1 year ago

I love this so much! Inspo for the dark and moody adult room (no children or dogs allowed) that we hope to create! Check out of house build journey that’s just starting https://instagram.com/no17_ourhome?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Patricia
1 year ago

That was the color it was supposed to be. And with a wall of gold framed art, fabulous. I can’t get on the wallpapered ceiling train, I think it’s just too many special things. When everything is special, nothing is. But you do you and you’ll love it. And that’s what’s important.

Patricia
1 year ago
Reply to  Patricia

Okay, I can hop on the stars with deep blue background train.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Patricia

My first instinct was to like the stars too. But now I just think it’s kind of kitschy. Maybe for a basement, but not for a family room IMO

1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

ok good

Debora
1 year ago

This dark moodiness does not work for me. I am very claustrophobic and would feel too enclosed in this room!