The Guest Room Game Plan

Guest room makeover! Dark gray bedroom via Yellow Brick Home

The guest room in our Chicago home was one of the very first spaces we completed after the initial wave of renovation. Do you remember? It started as a somewhat-crumbling tan shoebox, and one of the most time-consuming tasks of the makeover was repairing the drywall. As a bit of backstory, our home turned 131-years-old this year(!), and at some point in the house’s history, the plaster walls were replaced with drywall. In some areas, the drywall is fine, in other areas, we spent days, weekends, entire weeks sanding, patching and prepping for fresh paint. It’s been one of the largest labors of love, and even still, it’s not perfect. That’s okay though; there are stories in these walls.

When we revamped the guest room, we brought in a salvaged headboard and incorporated several pieces from our former condo life. We added pretty black + gold wallpaper, a green velvet chair and white bedding. It was so peaceful and calming – truly, because it was the only room in our under-construction home that was a place of respite! You may remember that after wave one, it looked like this (and kudos to you if you’ve been reading our little corner of the web for that long!):

Guest room makeover! Dark gray bedroom via Yellow Brick Home

The room has served us so well over the years, but it no longer felt like us. To be honest, it felt more like a hodge podge of that former condo life, and every day, we’re learning more about what we truly love for our home. (There’s so much changing coming in our home, and we’re giddy every day just thinking about it!) We’ll be teaming up with Leesa to share the complete transformation with you next week, but in the meantime, we’ve been sharing on our Stories that change was on the way! Our goal was to incorporate a few new pieces while keeping most things relatively the same – i.e., the layout, wallpaper, chair and bedding. But the biggest change to come? The wall color!

Guest room makeover! Dark gray bedroom: SW Peppercorn, SW Grizzle Gray, BM Kendall Charcoal | via Yellow Brick HomeGuest room makeover! Dark gray bedroom via Yellow Brick Home

Above, left to right: SW Peppercorn, SW Grizzle Gray, BM Kendall Charcoal (color matched to SW)

The funny thing about a small room (for reference, this space is barely 7′ wide by about 15′ long) is that the light walls were making the space feel dingy. We knew that darker walls would not only feel cozy – you know we love a dark bedroom! – but it also allows the walls to recede, ultimately making the room feel larger. It sounds counter-intuitive, but our gut feeling was right:

Guest room makeover! Dark gray bedroom via Yellow Brick Home

We swapped out the ornate headboard in favor of this upholstered headboard + this platform bed frame for a tone-on-tone look. The winning wall color turned out to be a bit of a custom mix. After debating between endless swatches of dark gray (SW Peppercorn was a close second, but it felt a bit too cool), we landed on a color match of BM Kendall Charcoal, mixed to Sherwin Williams Infinity paint at 90% strength. Did you know you could do that? We loved the warmth of Kendall Charcoal, but we feared it was too dark. We lessened the strength by 10%, and we think it’s just right! (Alternatively, you can strengthen a color – by any percentage – too! This knowledge can be dangerous and cause intense paint indecision. Proceed with caution, friends.)

Our little guest room is full of challenges, but we absolutely love a good challenge! There’s a lack of electrical outlets. The drywall is uneven along the ceiling. There’s a weird soffit. It’s skinny. It’s extra long. I could go on, but we’re already feeling really good about the direction it’s heading. We’ll be playing off of the wallpaper and layering in warm metals, adding outlets with this handsome guy and keeping the bedding and floors light and airy.

Guest Room Game Plan

Guest Room mood board via Yellow Brick Home

1. Kendall Charcoal paint (90% custom color match to Sherwin Williams Infinity) | 2. extension cord | 3. pair of gooseneck sconces | 4. Cities Toile wallpaper in ebony | 5. gray coverlet | 6. moss bolster pillows | 7. percale sheets | 8. French seam headboard | 9. arc mirror | 10. jute rug

The best part? The mattress, the very foundation of our guest room, is getting upgraded to the Leesa (our favorite), which is what kicked off the whole refresh. The new direction feels so good. It feels… well, it feels very us (Kim and Scott, circa 2018, we guess?). We can’t wait to share the reveal with you soon!

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  • Stacy11.1.18 - 7:01 AM

    That paint color is gorgeous! Question though – you’ve mentioned a few times before about mixing paints to certain color percentages, but how do you decide on that? Do you get sample pots mixed to different percentages first?

    Oh oh another question! If you do sample pots – HOW? My local Lowe’s only mixes sample pots in semi-gloss, and while I understand why, that’s not a sheen I would ever use on a wall so I worry about that affecting my color choice :(ReplyCancel

    • Amanda11.1.18 - 7:35 AM

      Our local Lowes and Ace will only mix in semi-gloss too! I’ve wondered if it was a regional thing? Or maybe a small town thing? Sure makes samples hard!ReplyCancel

      • Stacy11.1.18 - 8:58 AM

        I always assumed it was because they decided that it doesn’t make sense to carry ALL the sheens in those tiny pots, and semi-gloss is the middle of the road as far as paint sheens go, so that’s what they use. I mean, I get that, but yeah, it makes me question paint samples like crazy!ReplyCancel

        • Kim11.1.18 - 9:41 AM

          Great point!ReplyCancel

        • Amanda11.1.18 - 1:21 PM

          Good point about middle of the sheen road!

          Our walls in our 60’s Mid-Century Modern are HIGHLY textured, almost popcorn like. Even the semi-gloss had light bouncing all over. Thankfully in matte the colors we’ve chose (thus far!) look good but we were skeptical!ReplyCancel

      • Kim11.1.18 - 9:41 AM

        Our samples are semi-gloss as well. We try to not let the sheen distract us!ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.1.18 - 9:40 AM

      We sort of guess, haha! We had a sample pot mixed once, but because the amount of paint is so small, we were warned that it might not be a true representation (and it wasn’t). So now we just sort of make up a guess. For this, we loved the shade, and we didn’t want to mess with it to much, so we knocked it down by 10% and it’s always a bit of a risk – but it paid off!ReplyCancel

    • Mrs Mike11.8.18 - 7:30 AM

      I have been able to get satin and egg shell at home depot. Their computer has color formulas for different brands of paint, so if you find a Sherwin Williams color, you tell them what the color name is and they will mix it up. HTH!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica11.1.18 - 11:08 AM

    I’d like to paint my dining room a dark color and am wondering what sheen you used – flat? Our walls really show a lot of imperfections when we use anything but flat paint, but when I went to Home Depot they didn’t seem to recommend flat with a darker color like black due to a “chalkboard like finish”. What do you think?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.1.18 - 11:10 AM

      We use eggshell for our interior walls, but I think a matte finish in dark colors is SO pretty. That said, it may show scuffs a little easier. If you’re worried, go just one step above flat, which is typically eggshell. (Eggshell is what you see here and in our black bedroom.)ReplyCancel

  • Jaime11.1.18 - 6:46 PM

    OMG. I would have driven from CA to Chicago for your old headboard!! LOL! Ok, maybe I am exagerating a tiny bit, but man oh MAN I love that thing!

    The new color looks great! Even with the new headboard ;P Cant wait to see the reveal.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel11.2.18 - 11:40 AM

    i painted my dining room ceiling and living room walls grizzle gray!
    it’s an excellent color, and i chose it over peppercorn and kendall charcoal.
    my dining room, with coved ceilings painted dark, looks like there is no ceiling. it’s a glorious room now.
    my living room has a giant window, but it gets very little light, so it feels delightfully cozy year round.
    my favorite thing about grizzle gray is how it sometimes reads like a warm navy, and sometimes a dark green. it contrasts beautifully with both colors, and especially makes wood look handsome.

    i regret some of my paint choices, but not that one. i’m sure your paint will be great, but i know grizzle gray would have been excellentReplyCancel

    • Kim11.2.18 - 1:21 PM

      That sounds so gorgeous! We noticed that Grizzle Gray looked greenish in some lighting throughout the day, which is really beautiful! We were leaning towards a more true warm gray though. If such a thing even exists, haha.ReplyCancel

  • Quinn11.4.18 - 9:04 AM

    Love this! I’ve been eyeing that headboard and love the bed frame you chose to go with it! How did you attach the headboard to the bed frame?ReplyCancel

    • Quinn11.4.18 - 9:06 AM

      Ooh! Forgot to ask: do you like not having box springs? I’m nervous to skip them, but would love to hear more about it!ReplyCancel

      • Kim11.4.18 - 9:17 AM

        It’s just much more sleek without the box frame! New platform beds don’t require it, so why add the extra bulk? ;)

        Scott screwed through the headboard and into the back legs of the bed frame to attach. It couldn’t have been easier!ReplyCancel


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