Dashes, Risk and Imperfection

master bedroom wall diy

I put dashes on our bedroom wall.

bedroom walls

If you’ve been around here for long you know I’ve been in a white phase. After having all sorts of pretty colored walls, and patterned drapes and hanging out on pinterest I just needed a break and white seemed like a logical answer. So I painted lots of walls in our last house white, and this new little house has gone white too. But our bedroom gets so much natural light that I painted one wall a dark grey “peppercorn” by Sherwin Williams.

sunburst mirror

It’s a beautiful gray and cozified our room, but now the space between the top of the bed and the ceiling is really defined and I couldn’t find anything I liked to hang on the short wall space that didn’t compete with our round ceiling light. {Sidenote, ceiling light has yet to work in this house, such is life}.


The book page wreath looks ok in the picture but I didn’t like it there in real life. And I really wanted Chad to be able to keep the little cabinet, that was another piece of competition for whatever went over the bed.


Love the monogram, don’t like it over the bed.


So one Sunday afternoon, on a whim, I pulled out a little can of white paint, a tiny paintbrush and took 20 minutes and dashed all over the wall. If I hated it, it was just one wall, I could paint over it any color I want, right?

white dash wall

It was just the playful feel I wanted, it filled the space, and I didn’t have to find the perfect object to hang over our bed. There are still a million things I’d do if I had all the time and money in the world, like paint the cabinet a non-yellowy color and try to make the stuff on the walls on each side of the bed more balanced, but the dashes put all of that in perspective and suddenly those things don’t matter as much because oh my gosh, we have dashes on the wall!

They are like a hundred arrows pointing away from all that is wrong in our room.

dashed wall

This post is not about me telling you that I think you should dash your walls. And that they are the new style and that you should love them.

This post isn’t about dashed walls at all.

This post is about me reminding myself (and you?) that they are just walls. And they are there to serve me and my family. It’s okay to take a risk and try something, even something I might get tired of and hate.

I can’t think of a better place to take a chance than in the safety of my own home.

I want my boys to grow up in a house where they see a mom not afraid to do something as silly as paint a wall a little crazy. Because all good things in life involve a little risk.

Risk. Take some and pass it on.






  1. You are brilliant. This changes the entire room into a serene snow-scene! Can you hear the silence of the snowfall? Perfect for a bedroom.

  2. First thing I thought was that it looked like it was snowing too! I love it!

  3. Do you realize, you just painted disco-ball sparkle all over your walls????

    {squealing with disco-ball delight over here. LOVE it.}

  4. I love your fearlessness! This is so perfectly you. Quirky, playful and sophisticated all at once – how DO you do that? Love!

  5. I love it!

  6. Love you and your riskiness. It might just be contagious. I’ve got a new venture or two I’m hoping to roll out through the blog and I keep making practical excuses when really, it’s just fear holding me back. I’m not running for president here. But still, it feels a tad scary.

    So thanks for the pep talk. : )

    • Marian, I don’t know why I clicked on your name above the reply today but I’m so glad I did. Your blogpost about your friend’s coming death touched me deeply. I have now passed it on to my entire list of friends, many of whom are cancer survivors. We have, with God’s help, lived through the loss of many friends and your words speak to how we could do that and still celebrate each day. Thank you for your heartfelt words. God bless you.

  7. The dashes are fantastic. But that feather pillow… SWOON!!

  8. Everything you touch turns to gold. Love every single thing about your home.

  9. I’m taking a risk and am in the process of re-painting my entire house Edgewood gray (a very VERY pale gray…). It was once golds, reds and greens. I am working my way through the kitchen now (my very teracotta red kitchen) and I LOVE it. :) I started all this after reading your book! :) My husband doesn’t really care, but my mom and sister think I’ve gone a bit mad! Me? Well, I think it is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the push!

  10. The dashes are fantastic. But that feather pillow… SWOON!!

  11. Love it. Love you. Love “Risk. Take some and pass it on.” Love the dashes that look like fabu wallpaper without the committment! Rain, snow, whatever! LOVE!

  12. OMG we painted one wall in our living room and the back wall of our house with peppercorn over the summer-it really is a gorgeous color. But adding dashes? Brilliant! It looks so cozy! I love the chandelier! Any hints on where it came from? Thanks, always, for your inspiration on design-you truly have a gift!

  13. Love it!

  14. I love the way your creative spirit works!

  15. You are so brave and it always looks amazing! Thanks for encouraging me to try new pillows because IT’S JUST PILLOWS!

  16. I so enjoy seeing your familiar objects moving from space to space with such versatility. The stumps, the eye patched bust, the white boot “vase”/umbrella holder, the strings of beads and pompoms. Things MOVE in your house! Mine tend to stayput so your approach is refreshing to me and almost like one of those pages where you have to figure out what has changed from one picture to the next.

  17. Ok, that looks awesome! If you would have told me you were thinking about painting dashes on the wall it would have sounded crazy and I would have tried to talk you out of it. :) But it’s just paint so I should not think that way, it’s an easy fix if it doesn’t work. And, it ended up looking SO pretty!! You are so great at getting me to think out of the box and take risks in my home. Thank you!!

  18. Best. Just– best.

  19. Awesome reminder for a Monday morning!! ♥

  20. This reminds me of the reflections of your disco ball

  21. We all need a little risk in our lives. I painted the ceiling in one of my rooms blue, just because I loved the idea – my contractor (brother) made fun of me, but oh well, what does he know?! Also, your sidenote about the light not fitting in your house. Have you thought about using it in your office – the proximity to the barn and all the wonderfulness going on in there, I think, would make it perfect in your office space- like the two spaces would be best friends or something. Still in love with your barn – I’ve been dreaming of a barn, but I’d have to buy the little house next door to mine and tear it down to have a barn. (Which is not as horrible as it sounds – that little house is empty and needs waaaaaaaaaay too much work – tearing it down and starting over is probably a better option.). I dream.

  22. The greatest gift our not-so-perfect house has give us has been the freedom to try whatever DIY strikes our fancy without the fear of messing up the perfect.

  23. Well now I need to dash my entire house.

  24. Okay, must be getting rid of my perfectionism slowly, bit by bit. I would take a risk like this. Seriously, I would. It would just be a calculated risk; I would try the dashes behind my tall headboard to see if I really truly liked it first:) Hey, I’m getting there. Even a baby step from not even trying to behind the headboard is progress. Right? Please tell me it’s so! hahaha!

  25. Love it! You are so right! design is all about taking risk and doing what works for you and your room. BTW I like the dashes–it sure balances that wall right up.

  26. You. You’re just the best.

    Thank you for the way you remind yourself of important things and then remind us, too.

    Love you!

  27. What do you want to bet that that pattern will be Anthropologie’s newest wallpaper?!

  28. OK, you’ve outdone yourself this time. I’m going to be honest and say there are no dashed walls in my future. But the idea of being safe enough to take risks in my own home is ringing so true today. It may be a little risk that can be painted over or it may be a giant (to me) risk that involves major change.

    In either case, you reminded me that I am safe to risk within these four walls, inside the love of my family.

  29. I would never have thought of dashes. And they completely change the dynamic of the room. I love that you are so into “Let’s just try this and see what happens.” Such an excellent way to live. My favorite things usually happen when I think like that. And I think it looks like snow and disco ball sparkles, depending on your mood.

  30. My first thought when I saw your wall was of the song “Winter Snow” by Audrey Assad, which put me in the mood for Christmas. Before Thanksgiving. For the first time since I was, like, 12!

    My house doesn’t get enough light for a whole dark wall to work, but I would love a ginormous chalkboard with falling snow/disco lights/dashes all over it!

  31. I love the dashes! It does totally change the look of the space…and I totally agree…they’re just walls!

  32. I loved this, but I was thinking if your not happy with a room wallor colour, is it really a risk to change it? you know your not happy so anything is a step forward even if you decide dislike it. So I painted thd cupboard which will be a book nook today and the blue grey is about 100% better than the pink/purple/grey it was… that may have been a segway but that is what I got out of this. Take a step and try a colour! I don even know if I believe in the perfect ah ha colour anymore :) freedom!!!

  33. How do you do it??! Brill.

  34. Love the wall – never would have thought of that. Love the choc lab too, we have one and they r so sweet!

  35. I actually thought it was actual wallpaper. Figures.

  36. This is just genius!!! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to your post on my blog :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  37. This indeed looks like pretty peaceful snow ❄👌 How beautiful. Thank you for all of your encouragement and inspiration that you so graciously share 😊

  38. Diana Braziel says

    Encapsulates the idea in a sermon – looking at cemetery headstones with DOB – DOD dates engraved – the quesiton is – what is the DASH? It’s our life – just like your wall. Keen idea, simple, inexpensive, changeable – I’m enjoying it!

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