Two Things Every Room Design Needs

A little inspiration so the top of this post doesn’t look like the train wreck that it is.  Takeaway from this photo?  Black accent wall. Via @Made by Girl

Last week our guest room looked like this. And the week before that, and the week before that. The worst part was I didn’t have a vision, a goal of what I wanted the finished room to look like.  Normally, I’m more after a feeling than a certain look anyway, but with four blank walls ready for anything, there were just TOO many possibilities.  It was overwhelming so I just kept the door closed.  What I needed was a limitation to get the ball rolling.

So I created one.

I remembered that I really did want a black accent wall. So that was my jumping off point.  And then, I still had way too many options, I got the new bed and the color was really different from what I expected and I knew I could easily slipcover it or hey, I was even willing to paint it.  But, that actually made it worse, too many options. I had no direction.

So I told myself I needed to keep the bed as it was and create a room around that.  I needed something to start from.  Then everything started coming together, especially once I knew I had a friend coming next week who might actually need to sleep in the bed.  I painted that wall black and just to make sure I was gonna like it, I grabbed the headboard and leaned it against the wall.  Then I shopped the house for anything of a complementary color that could possibly help me catch a vision for what I want in this room.

And then? I liked it!  It was all blush and nude neutral-y and subtle yet striking with the black wall.  Yippie! We have a vision!

I then went to Pinterest.  I needed to see photos of black walls and also rooms with a pinkish blush color in the room (my bed) to make sure I would like it. So I added to my Guest Room Pin Board.

So here is where we are now.  The room is painted.  Karrie and I will put the bed together tomorrow and for now, the plan is to keep it that weird color that it is. I actually kind of like it. I grabbed some too short black drapes to see if I would like them in the room–I do, but I need  them to be lined and longer, and ideally velvet.  The light fixture is begging for mercy, his time will come.

Here’s the other side of the room.  I was hoping that chair would work but I think it’s a little too big.

Also, as I was snapping photos of the guest bedroom and its color palette, I couldn’t help but notice what I was wearing. Hello neutrals and blush necklace.  Cue Twilight Zone music.

I’m so grateful I had two things to help me get this room started:: limitations and motivation.  Usually creating a beautiful space is less about money and smart designers and more about inspiration, confidence and having no choice but to work around a few things.

Related Posts

The time I redid that chair you see in the room:

The Two Most Important Tools You Need for Your Next Project


  1. There is a lot to be said for motivation. I get so much done when I am expecting company. Want to drop by? :-)

  2. I love the colors but besides that, I love your skirt. Wish I could wear a long one like you, tall girl :) It does NOT work on me.

  3. Emily? I thought we were the same height? I’m 5’4″

  4. You make me want to be a bit more courageous – I’m so neutral and blaaagh and boring! Lovin’ that outfit by the way. Please tell me that’s not something you just throw on for the school run…

    • I took my paint clothes right off and had to pull something out of the pile on my dresser to wear. It’s basically TShirts made into a cute shirt and skirt! #winning!

  5. Did you see that Lowe’s has some pretty lighting on clearance…like $60? Your skirt and mirror frame actually made me think of one in particular…it’s like a silver/ gold mercury glass and it’s a pretty large scale. So glam. I can’t find a pic online. Boo. Anyway, the black wall is awesome!

  6. Looks great so far! I love the black accent wall. I find it so much easier to design a room when I have guidelines or limitations as you said. When the possibilities are endless it can take forever for me to decide!

  7. I noticed the colors in your outfit right away! This post gives me hope! My master bedroom (well, every room actually — we just moved in) is in a sad state and I need a vision for it. Curtains have been taken down, wallpaper is partially removed, and there’s a mish-mash of furniture in there, but I have no vision for it. When the options are wide open I tend to freeze.

  8. I’m absolutely loving the blush, black, and white color palette. It feels very chic and luxurious. I don’t know if I would ever be brave enough to paint even one wall black, but you make it look so good that I’m tempted!

  9. Oh, I LOVE blush!!! The room is looking great. Love what you say: limitations ARE a blessing, no doubt. They get creativity flowing.
    The contrast of blush and dark walls and velvet, speaks of sophisticated drama to me. Big fan.
    But, now, seriously. You are going to have to divulge to {dar} WHERE did you get that skirt. MUST HAVE {why don’t you bring that sweet skirt to Allume, and just put a bow on it for me, m’kay?}!

  10. So now I’ll be humming na-na-na-na na-na-na-na (Twilight Zone style) all day. Thanks!

    I’m loving your room–the dark wall turns that blush color into something special. But I really love that photo of you. I don’t do the long skirts–somehow I just feel too old for that. Or maybe it’s just that I have an absurdly long waist and ridiculously short legs. Anyway, I just don’t think it would look good on me. But it looks fabulous on you! And you look like you’re about 20″ around, or maybe 22″. I know you’re little, but have you lost weight? You look just tiny in this photo. I am trying not to covet, but not doing too well at the moment. . . .

    • you know, I think I’ve lost about 10 pounds this year, eating better & having diarrhea after Tanzania both contributed. Also, if you turn to the side you magically look smaller!

  11. Long time reader. First time commentor. : )
    This is going to be your best work yet! I’m looking forward to the end result. Also, as another woman with three boys, a black and pinky/neutral room is just the balance for some feminine, but not too much in a guest room. Good job!

    • Oh Farmer’s Wife, you feel my pain!!!! yes, I think there’s something in me that likes to sneak a little pink in here and there, my men can totally handle it!

  12. I used to love you, but I am now forced to hate you, because you lied and are really a beautiful, leggy supermodel! And here I thought you were just a Sears catalog model like the rest of us! Oh well.

  13. Sounds like we’re ready to throw the room to the wolves and focus on the great outfit! Gotta have balance in our lives!

    Once you put the bed together, add the bedding and that slip covered chair you may or may not have, all will start taking shape.

    I just re-did my son’s room. My color pallet must be engraved permanently because it’s the same throughout the house. That’s ok. Fits into my comfort zone.


  14. Love your outfit! The skirt, the top, the whole thing! Also, love your blog :)

  15. Nester, you’re as stylish as your rooms! ps impressed with your correct spelling of diarrhea. Did you google it? tee hee. As a veterinarian, I write that word often. Clients usually bring me little notes about what they’re dog/cat’s symptoms are, and rarely do I see a correct spelling of diarrhea. Now from bodily functions to home decor: I love the direction your room is going. I totally envision a sparkly chandy in that space.

    • YES!!! I SO GOOGLED IT!! I actually learned how to spell it back in May because I wrote about it so much, then today I realized I had forgotten, thanks for noticing!

  16. I’d add a third thing … courage! It took courage to paint a black wall, I think. My husband wanted a black room when he was a teenager and his mom wouldn’t let him. I bet he’d really love it if I painted a black wall now! :D

    I love your color palette; it is very chic.

  17. This made me think how fun it would be to have an accent wall in the guest room that each guest could sign or write a message on, a huge guest book! :)

  18. I’m dying to paint a wall black. Now I just have to pick which one. And I’ll be showing hubs your pics to convince him :-)

  19. Loving the room so far, and your thoughts are so true. The other thing room designs need (in my case) are funds. ;) I won some gift cards on a few blog Giveaways, and that was finally the kick I needed to get some stuff done in our kitchen!

  20. I love where you are going with this… but something about the black wall is coming up short for me. I think it’s too stark. It either needs to lead into a colored wall – or, as I reference back to the first photo you have up for inspiration – the black seems warmer and I think it’s because it seems to have some sort of texture to it.
    Maybe if it were mottled with some very dark grays?

    But what the heck do I know? I’m planning to elfa my office (former closet) this weekend… and thought I wanted to paint it gray — but now I’m thinking blue. Gah!

  21. I freakin’ LOVE the black wall……that took some serious guts to paint a full wall black! I think some black velvet drapes would look fantastic and the blush color is the perfect accent :) Go girl!

  22. Love the black wall! Also, maybe if you angled the dresser across the corner that chair would work?
    Just a thought, I do things like that because we’ve always lived in smallish houses, so stuffing way more than should fit into a room is my specialty!

  23. Emily Jane says

    Love the color scheme – it is going to look fantastic! That first inspiration picture is beautiful. Can’t wait to see more!

  24. Beautiful inside and out. I LOVE reading your posts. They are so real and you inspire me constantly. Lovely limitations, I have a couple of paint projects that I need to limit myself on…after all like you say…it’s only paint, I can always change it.

    Thank you so much for not following the blog world and having us click over to read your posts! It is so much easier to read by email for me. I understand if you end up having to switch.

    • thanks april!!!

      and about the truncating, posts at Nesting Place simply don’t get stolen near as often as some of the other more project related DIY blogs, I totally support their choice to truncate in order to make feed scrapers to have to work extra hard to siphon over their posts from their feeds, there really is no easy fix right now.

  25. Agreed. I recently redid our home office and I created my own limitation of a $150 budget. My husband added another limitation of incorporating a Godzilla poster. The limitations actually helped the room look better than it did before!

  26. Oo.. I really like the direction your heading. I actually really like the blush because there’s enough grey in it to keep it from becoming juvenile. It’s going to look beautiful, I know it! Also- really cute skirt, it looks fantastic on you!

  27. Yes! Those lovely limitations!!! They seem to be in abundance over here! Hehe! I guess that means that I should be on the cusp of some awesome inspiration and creativity!!!
    Looking forward to seeing your room in all its finished glory.

  28. Love the dark wall! I read your recent post about fear and decorating and immediately painted a wall in my kitchen black – realizing I wanted to paint it black but wasn’t doing it because I was worried about what everyone else thought! I love the wall and the boost of courage – thanks for the inspiration!

  29. When I was a teenager, I requested a black (print) bedspread and curtains. Loved black then and I love it still and I’m not a goth-person. Your room is terrific. I like the nudey-pink color with the black.

  30. Love this post. I love you are looking for/needing limitations. Just lovely.

    Also – since black isone of my fav colors – I totally love that u were brave enough to try it. LOVE IT!!

  31. You are totally gorgeous. And I want that skirt somethin’ fierce.

    And that neutral palette with the blush? Gorgeous. Can’t wait to see how the room evolves!

  32. Love the color direction you’re taking! Also, obsessing over maxi skirts. I have some fabric coming this week so I can attempt to make my own.

  33. The lovely limitations even applies to my kitchen. When we have a fridge and pantry full of food I can’t think of anything to make for dinner. But when we are about half empty I get all kinds of creative ideas to use up what we have.

  34. Love, love the black wall! I live in an apt but can paint and I’ve been trying to decide what color ~ black, charcoal or a deep turquoise. See, why I can’t get anything done? I can’t make a decision! :) Of course, the black would be my first choice.

    Love the skirt also and you look dynamite! Thanks so much for sharing your room and encouraging me to make a decision….now.


  35. Love it! Maybe this has been my problem in our new house – I’m overwhelming myself with a huge number of options for every room and then just don’t do anything!

    Would that chair work if you swapped out the dresser for a more narrow dresser or just a side table or something? Is that an option?

  36. you look lovely and the room is shaping up to look lovely. But that mirror – is to die for – I have a dream for a mirror to lean against my dining room wall. Can’t wait to see the end result of the room!

  37. Love those rooms, love the paint colors used on the walls.

  38. I’m a little late on this post, but I actually have some black velvety curtains that I don’t need anymore… if you’re interested I’ll send you the specs and you’re welcome to them if they work. Love the black wall!

  39. I’m dying to know what brand/color black you used on this wall, as well as the sheen :)

  40. Your content about design is just awesome! I really hope that you will continue doing this much more regularly!

    John from

  41. It was always difficult for me to design my apartment. I’m already starting to understand that you can’t live like that anymore and it’s time to change something! Your blog inspires me.

    Todd from

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