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Design

Why Rashida Chose Blue Walls For Her First TWO Client Makeovers (+ What She Learned)

Hello EHD! Rashida here! It’s been a minute since I’ve written on the blog. For a little over a year now, I decided to add Interior Designer as one of my titles. What I thought would take me an extra few hours a week (how naive), has actually taken over most of my time. Although the schedule shift wasn’t what I planned for, creating a special haven that improves my clients’ well-being and their family’s well-being is truly the reward of this career. So with that being said, I wanted to show off two homes I’ve done. The first one is a feel-good makeover I did for a couple that really gives back to their community, so I wanted to do the same for them. The second is a design I did for a gentleman who loves to cook and entertain. These two clients are different, but there’s one theme shared across both designs, and that theme is BLUE (well, the color lol)!

Blue is no stranger to the EHD blog. In fact, I would go as far as to say, it’s a signature color here! But for me, I never actually used blue when designing. I’ve always admired the color but never had the opportunity to use it in my personal designs. After experimenting with different hues of blue, I’m finding it to be a versatile color that can be paired with other cool tones, or with hot fiery colors like red or orange. 

Project One

In my feel-good makeover, I designed a living room for my friends. The challenge with their space was that the room was wide and narrow as well as a pass-through room. This meant there wasn’t much opportunity for furniture layout options. So, to maximize the space I decided to do a massive U-shaped modular sectional. I love a modular design because I get to configure pieces that work for the space I’m designing. We decided to go with the Homebody 6 seater sectional. In fact, we actually configured our own sofa with 4 seats and two ottomans to make the U shape. I preferred the two ottomans over the two end seats to keep the space more open. The ottoman is a place for my friends to put their feet up when it’s just them lounging on a day after work, but when they have dinner parties, guests can utilize the ottomans as seats. They love to relax with their dog Ziggy, so the seamless recliner (in one of the center seats) is perfect.

This sofa sectional is extremely comfortable. Even if you rest your back against the arms, it’s like a pillow! We chose the color Gloomy Day In, because we love it, but also because they have a dark-colored dog, and his hairs show up less (the pups take over our lives). Now that the anchor piece was in the room, it was time to finalize the remaining details. And the question that challenged my mind was, what paint color? I wanted a color that could hold the massive sectional. It needed to be bold, and also interesting enough to play up the gray sofa. And in came my grand idea to do indigo walls. Indigo to me is like a violet blue. It has hints of purple mixed with navy blue. It’s what makes navy blue more interesting. I chose the color Blue Gaspe by Benjamin Moore. You truly do gasp when you walk into their home and the depth of the color pulls you in. You crash on the sofa and feel like you’re under the midnight sky. 

Now I must say that the color is much more appreciated in person. It’s one of those colors where it’s hard to capture the true hue on camera. 

Wall Color | Sectional | Rug (found mine on FB marketplace!) | Nesting Coffee Table | Drink Table | Tan Pillow | Black Woven Lumbar Pillow | Velvet Ball Pillow

To warm things up a bit I added natural wood tones, brown and even black. They had overhead lighting but layering in secondary light is one of my favorite things to do. So I installed plug-in wall sconces that are wrapped in woven cords from Troy Lighting and a wide semi-flushmount brass light from Corbett Lighting.

Sconce

Semi-Flushmount Light

Project Two

Next up is my client’s home. We worked on four spaces: the kitchen, powder room, basement, and basement wet bar. He initially had a white kitchen that didn’t have a ton of cabinet storage. He wanted to add a pantry cabinet and a trash can cabinet. The problem was, I couldn’t find his exact cabinetry. The solution was to buy cabinet boxes for the new cabinetry areas and reface all the doors for a cohesive look. And since we were doing new cabinet doors, I suggested why not change the white to… you guessed it, BLUE. He was nervous, but after some convincing, we decided to go with Sherwin-Williams’s “In the Navy”. And let me tell you, the color is divine and completely transformed his home.

We bought in-stock, off-the-floor cabinets from The Home Depot, and just removed the doors. The new cabinet boxes provided pantry storage, pull-out trash can storage, and we ended up changing the whole upper cabinet layout as well. It was much cheaper to buy ready-made cabinets versus getting someone to build custom boxes. All the other cabinets we kept the same, and just tossed the doors. Switching out just the cabinet doors is not new for me. If you recall, I did it in my kitchen a few years ago. There are a few cabinet door companies that provide a custom product, and for my client’s space, we used cabinetdoors.com. The name speaks for itself!

Brass Cabinet Pulls | Brass Cabinet Knobs

To really ignite the blue cabinets, we replaced all the hardware with unlacquered brass knobs and pulls from Rejuvenation. And then we replaced all the lighting with new over-the-counter pendant lights and a new light over the dining table that sits off the kitchen. Both lights are from Hudson Valley Lighting.

Brass Faucet | Cabinet Fronts | Cabinet Color | Woven Roman Shade (in golden poppy) | Vase | Pendants

Chandelier

For the powder room, my client had his heart set on the Bequia wallpaper by Malene Barnett exclusively sold at Lulu and Georgia. And of course, it’s BLUE again. We removed his current sink and added an all-black wall-mounted console sink.

Wallpaper | Sink

Now let’s move downstairs. My client has a collection of typewriters that he uses for his thank you cards, and he also has a collection of Thurgood Marshall photos. He loves to entertain and loves wine. I think he actually has a wine club. I immediately thought…let’s go with a speakeasy vibe. 

We went with large format tiled floors, in the asphalt matte color. Then it was time to choose the paint color, and yes we went blue again. I loved the color Britannia Blue. It’s a moody shade of blue enhanced by a dark gray shade. The ceilings in his basement are less than 8 feet. So to distract the eye from the height, we painted everything that color. The ceiling, the walls, the doors, and all the trim. 

Wall Color | Woven Roman Shade (in golden poppy) | Battery Operated Sconce | Floor Tile

The camel color curved sofa, paired with Romare Bearden’s “The Fall of Troy” art he purchased at an estate sale really gives the blue-gray walls some interest. 

Media Cabinet | Sofa | Task Floor Lamp | Black Metal Nesting Coffee Table | Black Pillow | Brown Pillow (similar)

Drapery | Tall Candlestick Holders (vintage) | Rug | Accent Chair

When I first saw the wet bar, the word “uneventful” came to mind. It was great that he had one in such a small basement, but you can tell it was an afterthought from the previous owners. Initially, I was going to do a deeper blue that went well with the blue-gray walls. But I felt that there was enough blue. I had reached my blue limit. I decided to go with wood-grained cabinets stained in black. These cabinets are actually from Ikea’s Lerhyttan collection. We did the top cabinet in a glass front and the complementing base cabinet. I encouraged my client to go with a bold countertop. This granite material is called “Black Rivers”. It has so much movement! Now, I wouldn’t use it in a large space like a kitchen, but it was perfect for this small wet bar. We also tripled the size of his wine fridge, added a faucet I found on Etsy that’s made in Morocco, and found a black hammered sink from Amazon. All the details pulled together created a luxurious area in his basement.

Faucet | Sink | Brass Pulls

I am so pleased with both blue spaces. Although blue is a cool tone, the depth of the color hugs you when you experience the space. It’s sophisticated and cozy! The blue tones pack punch and boldness but also provide a sense of calm. So don’t be afraid to use it. Pair the color with gray. Pair it with wood tones. Pair the color with orange tones. It’s such a versatile color that can take your space from uneventful and “safe” to a space that’s tailored and feels designer. So the next time you think about painting, try blue!

* Designs by Rashida Banks
**First Living Room Photos by Antwon Maxwell
*** Second Home Photos by Raul Rivero

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Reanna
6 months ago

Beautiful spaces and gorgeous blues! I appreciated your point about the ottomans vs. end seats – it’s a little detail that makes a difference in the overall feel of the room. And I love the statement wallpaper in the bathroom!

Rashida Banks
6 months ago
Reply to  Reanna

Thank you so much Reanna!

Susan
6 months ago

What was the client’s reaction to the blue kitchen cabinets and the whole space? 🤔

Susan T
6 months ago

That blue kitchen makes my heart sing!

Lia
6 months ago

Great spaces and perfect timing for me. I’ve been wanting to paint my bedroom blue but I was afraid it would be too cool. This is good inspiration.

Stephanie
6 months ago
Reply to  Lia

DO IT, Lia. I wanted to paint my room a rich navy for a long time and was sooo scared. I finally did it and it’s the best thing ever. Cozy, sophisticated, and at night, it’s nice and dark for sleeping. I’d recommend two things: Paint the baseboards and ceiling molding (if you have any) the same color as the walls (i.e., don’t leave them white–it’s such a harsh contrast) and two, use a matte paint instead of an eggshell or semi-gloss to eliminate any glare on the walls during the day.

Kaitlin
6 months ago
Reply to  Lia

Agree with the below post re:painting ceiling and trim. I also have a deep blue bedroom and I LOVE it. It’s a small room with dark furniture, but now everything blends in and it looks larger. Brown, red, and brass all look great with the blue and warm it up!

Bethany
6 months ago

That camel sofa against the dusty blue walls just glows. What a combo. 🙂

Rashida Banks
6 months ago
Reply to  Bethany

Thank you so much Bethany. It definitely warms up the blue tones.

Cici Haus
6 months ago

Beautiful spaces! I love the color-drenched basement and I’m normally not a fan of blue!

Rashida Banks
6 months ago
Reply to  Cici Haus

Thank you Cici! And I love how you put that: color drenched!

Andrea
6 months ago

Rashida, you described the way I feel looking at these spaces… sophisticated and cozy. Really beautiful work!

Rashida Banks
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrea

Thank you so much Andrea!

Stephanie
6 months ago

That curved camel sofa with the blue walls is 😍😍😍. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing with us, Rashida! I love your aesthetic. I STILL reference your kitchen all the time as I fiddle with mine.

Rashida Banks
6 months ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Thank you Stephanie! I don’t think any of us will ever be done fiddling with our kitchens. I still upgrade things like vases and artwork. Fiddle away!!

ZY
6 months ago

Great job. Did we ever see more of your “dining lounge” from this post? https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/non-traditional-wood-paneling-ideas

Jen
6 months ago

Wow, beautiful, elevated spaces and the details are chef’s kids perfect!

KL
6 months ago

I’m so happy to see how you designed a “regular” below-ground basement with those telltale half windows! EHD/the design world in general is lacking in non-daylight basement inspo. I added egress windows to many rooms of my basement, but the family/media room couldn’t have its windows enlarged due to the architecture of the main floor above, and I’ve been struggling to decide what kind of window treatments to use.

Deb
6 months ago

Love the kitchen. I have been thinking of going with a darker blue in my bedroom and I think you have convinced me. What surprised myself is my favorite thing was the bar and I don’t even drink😀
I just think the entire vibe of the basement
would make me spend the majority of my time there
even when I wasn’t entertaining.
Great job on both locations.

Janice
6 months ago

So there is a black sink in the powder room. What color is the toilet? Is it the only white thing in that room?

Tracy
6 months ago

Fabulous! You blew me away! Every room is amazing!

Jen
6 months ago

Rashida, I love everything you did here! Each blue room is its own mood. Beyond choosing great colors, I feel like you nailed all the details in each! I’m taking away a lot of inspiration here.

A.B.
6 months ago

These look fab!