Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I’m painting my first black room…in BM’s Witching Hour



(very cute room…but no it’s not mine)


Please don’t be shocked.

But this past weekend I grabbed a can of Benjamin Moore’s Witching Hour and started painting my first-ever all black room.

I know what you’re thinking.

If you’re a regular to my blog you already know how fond I am of my creamy white walls… so you might be a tad surprised by my paint choice.



But my youngest is back home finishing his last units before he transfers colleges and he’s moved into our upstairs bedroom. Remember this room with its beachy cottage vibe? Well something soon became apparent about my youngest.

It seems that Michael has a definite opinion about his bedroom. 


(Mr. Cute-But-Opinionated)

Unlike his brother who could care less about his room’s decor, Michael soon began staking out his right to decorate his own room. And recently, he ordered a very cool looking black and white print of a favorite musician and began to talk paint colors, “Mom, I’m thinking I want a black room,” he says last week.

Black?! Gulp.



But instead I tried bringing home some dark alternatives.

Ones I’ve always wanted to use like Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue.


I’m sure many of you have already seen Hague Blue in this classic looking home. I really wanted to try this color. I really did…ever since I saw this picture, plus it was more like the inspiration photos I had in mind:



I like this.


And I like this.

(ah hem, are you noticing a lot of “I” in this post?)

Well even though I slathered it all over a wall and I loved the vibrant, pristine color I had to agree with Michael. It was too blue for what he wanted.

Okay. So I went into Sherwin Williams for Urbane Bronze pictured here:


and (don’t ask me why I switched)

but I came home with Mount Etna seen here:


Looks dark right?

But believe it or not in our lighting it had green undertones.

So goodbye to that color.

Okay, at this point I know why I could never be a interior designer. I have a short attention span for following the design whims of others.

However I was warming up to the idea of a darker, classic room more like this one but with a urban, young guy vibe (i.e no equestrian pictures)




Although I was back to square one and in need of a break.

And by then of course I read Mary Ann’s post about this new store in Newport Beach—only minutes away—and I decided to stop by and take a look, maybe find some pillows that might pop against the navy blue headboard I had already bought (was stuck with) for this bedroom.



Walking into the large airy warehouse with it’s industrial-vintage flair was a fun reprieve from thinking about paint colors.

There was lots to look at and almost immediately I found myself in conversations with the friendly co-owners of the place. Both named Kim. Both women who had ten kids between them and were happily juggling this year old business.

And wouldn’t you know it? After I admired a chic looking gallery wall painted in glossy black I got into a conversation with one of the Kims who had just designed a bedroom for a college-aged gal in a smoky blue-black shade called Witching Hour by BM.

“I love color!” she had said as she shared the details of her room.  She was also totally jazzed by the fact that Michael was involved with his paint selection.

Which made this the conversation I needed to have.

It was a quick reminder of the purpose of decorating this room in the first place, which was after all, to create a really special space for the precious time that Michael is home again.

So with this in mind I texted him and told him I’d found the ‘perfect’ shade and without even seeing it …came home with my gallon paint can.

How’s that for decision-making?

Nope, no more samples this was commitment time.





in the morning light


I wish I could convey how warm and enveloping this color feels when you walk into the room. It actually reads more like a smoky deep, charcoal rather than a stark black. Which I’m so happy with.

I get the blue undertones and Michael who says, “It’s lookin’ good Mom,” gets the masculine, dark look.

So far so good, although I’m still not finished but I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

In the meantime our living room wall is being worked on as I type these words.

Sigh, I wish there were design awards for projects that took the longest time because we’d definitely win with this one.


PicMonkey Collage


Oh and one more thing.

Before I go I have to share my humble gratitude for all the kind, uplifting comments on my last post. It was truly touching to hear how other women are experiencing similar feelings about growing and taking risks.

And it really reminds me how very connected we all are.


pretty mind-boggling huh?


Peace and love to you



I’m sharing this post with these friends:

Savvy Southern Style

Elizabeth & Co

A Delightsome Life

Share Your Style



Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Can't wait to see the room all redone.

mollie's mom said...

I recently discovered your blog and have been reading it like a book :)
I painted our dining room black over 10 years ago and I still love it!! It's now a library but we kept the black walls and everywhere else downstairs the walls are white!! I get it! And funny enough I just did a blog post about my favorite SW strip which contains... Urbane Bronze!! So funny but I love the color you chose and it is "looking good" as your son says!! Can't wait to see the finished project!!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Oh I LOVE this peek...the color looks amazing!! Can't wait for the full reveal!
Just saw your last post...way to go my friend!!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Michael's room is already looking hip, or rad, or whatever young people say these days! You found the perfect compromise between the blue you like and the black he wanted, and his artwork is going to really pop against the dark color.

Your fireplace wall is coming along nicely. I wish I could do something like that to hide my TV when I get rid of our armoire! It may not seem like things are getting done, but you've accomplished quite a lot in your home in a very short time!

Mary K. said...

That is one beautiful color, but you have to be brave to be use it.

michele said...

I love the boldness and dare I say it..sextastic yadayada of the black. I also hope your son falls not in love with a pastel hue anytime in the near future as that could be a beast to repaint I bet! Great job pushing onward thru the diy madness!

Splenderosa said...

I love dark walls. Always have. Anyway, paint is so easy to change one need not be afraid of committment for 100 years, it's not fatal or permanent, so just do it!!

Blondie's Journal said...

I think it looks absolutely awesome, Leslie, but I must say I had my reservations much like you. Kudos for getting our kids to get us to take a leap of faith!

Jane x

Andi's English Attic said...

Isn't it weird how at some stage in their teens kids want a black room? My daughter has a mixture of purple and black. I think I went through that stage but my bedroom measured 8x10 (a cupboard really) and I think Mum persuaded me it would be oppressive. Really like the look of Witching Hour. x

Karen said...

I have wanted to paint a room black ever since I saw the image you share with the equestrian prints. I love the Witches Brew for it's blue undertones. I think it's going to look amazing.

I have really enjoyed your home updates. Love your style.

I hope your classes are going well and all that you hoped for.

Jennifer said...

It looks awesome. I see a lot of blue in it. Very rich looking color. Unlike my brothers room in high school which he lit up with a black light! Can't wait to see the finished product!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH is going to be good. It's a little fun to go over to the dark side...

Sarah said...

I think it looks terrific. I like all your inspiration photos too. Love the dramatic look of a dark room.
But the best part of all of this that I read is that you get to enjoy having your son back home again. '-)
My friend E is coming home tomorrow. Her treatment is complete! So grateful this young girl is in a better place with her health restored. Thanks for all your encouraging words, Leslie.

home before dark said...

After 25 years of living in a house that was mostly white, I've gone to the dark side of the force. I had my first floor paneled in bead board and I am painting in BM's black. I chose it because it does not have grey, green, brown or blue undertones. It reads pure black and I am loving it. I have big windows so there's lots of natural light. Art on black walls is amazing. I've always loved black. My mother wouldn't let me wear it in high school because I was "too young." At almost 66, I think I've earned it! Enjoy your days with your son. That's the best color of all.

Art and Sand said...

I totally get the need to fix up the room for your son. When KC moved back in with us, even though it was just for a few months, I set aside my style to allow her to be comfortable. She was moving home to save money for her move back north, not because she wanted to live with us. She was only in her room 4 nights a week, but still, it needed to feel like it was hers and not just a room in our house.

I can't wait to see the black walls.

I think our kitchen "refresh" gets the award for the slowest project. The pendant lights are hung and look great, but now the ceiling has to be repaired and the walls painted. Using our favorite workmen means waiting and waiting and waiting. KC and her brother are coming for Joshua's 40th birthday party (yikes, my son will be 40!) in October so my goal is that the kitchen will be completely done before they arrive.

Pam Kessler said...

You are brave there, Girl! Not the color, but letting your son be involved in the look! I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all done and "staged".

Anonymous said...

In our last home we had a dining room wall painted black. I loved it! Unfortunately, I painted it in order to stage the house...

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Leslie,
Isn't it funny how our kids can now lead us to new vision of what is amazing? My daughter decided she wanted a Japanese themed room with red walls and floor to ceiling black curtains, and it took weeks of convincing my husband but in the end, the room was stunning, and this is where I go to write (she's left home now), it's a cozy cave of a place, a safe haven. I love dark, dark colours, but then I'm more of an autumn-winter gal than a sunny summer chick these days. It's wonderful that your home is progressing, and you are slowly getting it to resemble your vision. Your words are magic Leslie, thanks for your blog. It's another good place for me to visit. xx Nancy

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello Leslie,

First, do tell, when do you start your teacher training? Are you already in classes? As I said in the last post, I am so, so excited for you!

Secondly, how exciting to go out of your comfort zone to a color that you have not picked before. I have recently decided to paint my Master Bedroom a dark blue... my husband is not too sure. However I am determined to make a change and am searching for a Navy Blue to paint the walls. I have a ton of "navy" fabric colors in Paisley, stripes, etc, so I am ready to move in that direction.

I know that you will decorate a beautiful room for your son! I annoy wait to see it!

P.S. More than you will ever know I wish that we lived closer. I have a feeling that we could be wonderful friends! Thank you for the email!

Debra@CommonGround said...

I'm loving this color, can't wait to see it finished!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Deep, dark and moody ... can't wait to see the reveal!

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

LOVE it Leslie. I have a bedroom project too coming up and you may have swayed me in a new direction??

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