Trial and Errors in the Guest Bedroom

Pop quiz time–how many paint colors can you find in this room?


I’ll get to the answer below, but I’m going to tell you a little story first.

When we moved in to the new house, I decided to try a new decorating approach in the guest bedroom. A “no work” approach. I was simply going to put our furniture in there and call it good. Part of this was out of necessity, because we are living in the downstairs bedroom for a while until we can things upstairs sorted out. Another part of it was because I made a value judgment that the downstairs bedroom was FINE. Not great, but OKAY. GOOD ENOUGH.  As a reminder, this is what it looked like before.


Nothing much happening here, but nothing too terribly wrong, either. So we tried the no work approach, and for about three months it went really well. It turns out that putting your stuff in a room and calling it good is a very relaxing and hassle-free way to decorate, which is probably why I couldn’t stick with it for long.

The trouble started when I wanted to hang some curtains. I needed to raise the rod, so I took everything down and patched the holes left by the anchors. I want to mention that the anchors were poorly secured, and a few of them came out of the wall and left unusually large holes. That’s my excuse for why I made such a big deal of the patches later on. The previous homeowner left all her paint cans out and neatly labeled, so I figured out would just find the right color, paint the patched drywall, and be done. But after digging through all the cans in the house, there was NO matching paint.

In hindsight, what I should have done at this point was to hang the curtains anyway. Two of the patches would have been covered by the panels, and the third one would have been visible, but so what? Instead, I decided there was no alternative but to paint the entire room.

I also decided that I was going to be thrifty and pick a color from one of the many spare cans of paint in the house. That didn’t exactly work out. I’ll save you the tedious details of this series of fails, but suffice it to say that there are now FIVE colors on the wall in the guest room.

Five paint colors

Did you spot them all? 1 is the original color, 2 is the first color I painted that was too dark, 3 is the second color I painted over #2 that was then too light, and 4 and 5 are colors I tried out from testers that probably just aren’t going to work.

And the paint isn’t even all of it. I mentioned here that our plan for the windows was to keep the windows themselves wood but replace the casings with white trim. Well, I decided to test that plan on the window in the guest bedroom, and I immediately had to get in bed and languish for a while indulging my regrets. Our windows are a dark stain, and the contrast initially looked VERY stark to me. Now that I’ve lived with it for a couple weeks, I’ve come back around to the idea that painting the trim a good choice. The majority of the wall is a cream color right now, but a darker wall color would probably balance it out better. Plus, there is this rule (which I just made up): Never make a final judgment based on a naked window in a haphazardly painted room. I think that seems reasonable enough.

Since I ruled out the previous 5 paint colors, I’ve been paint swatch collecting and Pinteresting some inspiration, and I think I’ve figured out the direction I want to take this room. I’ll be back next time to talk details, but for now I’d love to hear your thoughts/feedback! Or, if you’ve had a painting mishap, please share–it’s therapeutic!


11 thoughts on “Trial and Errors in the Guest Bedroom

  1. LOL. I found this highly entertaining to read. It is exactly the type of predicament I often find myself in. The, “oh I’ll just make a small change here” factor, that upsets the whole thing. In the end, it would have just made more sense to do it at the onset. Oi. I feel your pain.


    • Haha, thank you for sympathizing! You are so right–just starting out with paint would have been tons easier in the end. I guess you gotta know who you are in decorating, and I’m definitely the “can’t leave it alone” type. Life lessons and self discovery happening here. 🙂


  2. From my experience–lighter the better no matter the room decor because you will regret a darker shade eventually even if it’s years down the road. Also, never underestimate an accent wall. And by accent wall it doesn’t have to be a completely different color. In my living/dining room there is one wall that is slightly darker thank the rest and somehow this adds dimension and variety to the room but is so subtle that it’s not distracting. Lastly, I have learned you can’t go wrong with the right white (paint on a canvas and hang on the wall before actually painting the wall when trying to decide which white). We all will learn many lessons in the years to come. But I have to say I actually love the white with the dark windows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you see the potential in the white/wood windows! Justin is going to re-case the window, too, and I think that will make it look a bit more neat. I do like it a lot now, but it took me a couple of days to take it in. Plus, there were mini-blinds up when I first painted it, and taking those down made a big difference, too.

      I definitely take your point about lighter color paint, and I don’t disagree at all–but I’m feeling a little bit bold and like maybe I want to take a darker color for a spin for a bit? I think in my mind I don’t really paint for the long term; I kind of figure I’m going to change my mind about any color given enough time, LOL. Can’t risk the chance of running out of projects. 😉


  3. This brings back so many memories and paint testings. Lots of trial and error. Frankly, I like
    paint colors #1 and #2. In your photo #1 seems to pull it all together and bring something out of the rugs that I don’t see with the lighter colors. You mention feeling bold right now….why not do a bold accent wall and if you get tired of it in a year, a month, a day…..there isn’t much work to repaint it.

    Will the painting above the bed and the comforter, etc. stay? If so, then pulling a color from them might help. If not, perhaps making a duvet cover of another color and/or switching out the picture might give a look you like. Simple and you don’t have to paint!

    And I am always in favor of painted woodwork because of how it expands a room.
    It will be fun to see what you finally come up with.


    • Haha, it’s so funny that you like #1 the best and that is the one I started out with. My husband likes it too–he suggested I just try to get it matched, but that I never have luck with that. The painting is going to stay, and I was kind of thinking what you were thinking–that shares many of the same colors with the rugs and so forth, so that will be a lot of my inspiration. And I am so with you on the woodwork! In honesty the room was looking a little, well, brown. I think painting the trim will give the brightness and contrast it needs! Thanks for thinking through this one with me. 🙂


  4. So you painted the window castings, it was wood in the previous picture. Yes these mishaps happen. Its difficult to find the right shade of paint that matches the previous paint on the wall, so many a times its better to paint the room with a new colour. Good you got your inspiration, takes lots of research and contemplation to target on a colour palette.


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