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When we bought our house three years ago we hired a skilled painter to go in and change the color in every single room. It was a huge job, something we didn’t have the desire or skill to handle, and I wanted the end product to be something much brighter and more neutral than the dark colors the previous owners had used. Not that the dark colors were bad, necessarily. I mean, I bought the house from a friend who might be reading this. And in that case, the dark colors were lovely!

I chose a warm beige color called Architectural Cream from the Ralph Lauren collection, and had almost every room in the house painted in this shade. It catches light in different, beautiful ways depending on the time of day, and it’s the perfect backdrop for furniture and accessories in brighter, flashier colors. For instance, my six-year-old Leta loves pink princesses like so many other girls her age, so I gave her the pink and dialed back on the princess.



The two major colors in her room are magenta and medium-toned wood, and what I wanted to create was a space that could grow with her. Yes, she will eventually think that pink is hideous, but changing out that color will be easy with this design, just swapping out curtains and bedding. The dresser and bed, however, should last her through the goth stage and on into her first apartment in college. BECAUSE SHE IS GOING TO COLLEGE.

In my 11-month-old Marlo’s room, I wanted to play around a bit more, so I found a lovely yellow wallpaper that blended easily with the wall color.



From there I continued with the yellow, black, and gray in the wallpaper to give the room some punch. I also used some of the pink I used in Leta’s room knowing that Marlo would be inheriting almost everything used in that space. This is one of those times when I’m glad that I have two girls. Unlike the times when both are trying to manipulate me emotionally.

The kitchen came with cherry cabinetry, which is the dominating color in that room.



I continued that color with the frames of the pictures we put on the walls and then brought in a darker hue for the dining chairs. Then I connected the backsplash tiles and the granite countertops with the color of the bamboo in our dining table. I never like to go crazy with color in the kitchen because I like to focus on the food, not the giant red wall or the crazy orange curtain that threaten to eat me first.

I recommend this color to all my friends who are having trouble trying to figure out what to do with a room. This is a beige that isn’t boring. It goes with everything, and lets you play around endlessly with everything else.


Design Inspiration

14 Responses

  1. ozemum says:

    Nice Heather..I know you must clean up before you take your snaps of course…but something tells me you are freakishly tidy…I love your photo frames and am going to copy your layout and do one of my walls in the kitchen/dining.

  2. Rachel says:

    I got this link randomly from a friend and never looked at the url. So, when I saw that the author had a 6-year-old named Leta, I thought, "HEY! That Crazy Dooce Lady has a kid named Leta, too! Weird….wait, is this HGTV?" Scroll scroll scroll…

    You're everywhere!

  3. Carrisa says:

    I love that ceiling fan in Leta's room.

  4. Groovymarlin says:

    You're right, it's an amazing color. Look how nicely it blends with all three of those (very different) color schemes!

    Leta's room is my favorite. I WANT that room, and I'm 42.

  5. craftyashley says:

    I want you to come and fix the paint situation in MY house!

  6. iamafish says:

    Will you come decorate my home please?

  7. mommybyday says:

    THAT is what I'm going to do with photos in my dining room. I'm going to buy frames TODAY, then figure out what on earth I should but in them.

  8. lindapendante says:

    I wish HGTV would feature the designs of the Pioneer Woman. She's fabulous.

  9. ordinarygirl says:

    dooce and pioneerwoman wouldn't get along. Pioneerwoman TORE DOWN a chicken coop… destined to be frenemies I'm afraid.

  10. Susankinds says:

    Bonjour, Ladylike to tie you, I am Susan

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