By | May 1, 2013

Have you ever been able to dream something up and actually see it come to fruition? An idea, a concept, or a theme–actually materialize before you? It’s kind of breathtaking, isn’t it?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to give my parents their dream home. It’s one of those things I would immediately do if I won the lottery. Thanks to Sherwin-Williams, I was able to have a slice of this dream come true.




A while back, I was approached for a blogging campaign centered upon making over a room using Sherwin-Williams paints. Without hesitation, I knew which room I would makeover: my parents’ bedroom. If ever there were a room that needed a makeover, it was that room.

I am the middle child of six, and our family has quadrupled with spouses and grandchildren. Having all of us visit home at the same time is like organizing a summer camp. The top priorities are sleeping arrangements, bathroom arrangements, and eating arrangements. The in-between is all fun and games, but those priorities never change. Besides the kitchen, my parents’ bedroom operates as the second hub of the camp, I mean, house.

For some reason, we all congregate in that room. The best conversations go down at the foot of their bed. The girl talk is hashed out at the bathroom sink over curling irons and makeup bags. If you want to take a good nap, their room is your best bet because it is more quiet and cool than the rest of the house. It’s also the only safe place to change your clothes. Anywhere else, you’ll probably have an unwanted audience.

It’s the safest room in the house. Isn’t it funny that as a full-grown adult, I still think of my parents’ room as the safe haven? I know I cannot be the only one who thinks so.

But as much as we all love that room, it’s really not much to look at.





Yes, it is a secondary hub in the home, but it also the most overlooked space in the house. The walls have never seen anything beyond the initial slap of paint given to all the rooms in the construction phase. The light fixtures are atrocious and act as hideous reminders of bad design choices. There have been two attempts at saving the place; both the curtains and the bedspread speak of separate and failed ventures.



We’ve all talked about redoing the room on countless occasions. Yet, it always stood as such an enormous task, and, ultimately, we couldn’t rally the necessary funds and energy to tackle it.

I don’t know which was more fun–telling my mom we would be redoing her room, or getting to see her face after it was finished. On both occasions, I felt proud to be able to give her something so wonderful, so deserved, and so long-waited for.

My initial plan was for the room to be a retreat from all the chaos of a large family. With this in mind, I wanted color and style that would generate a peaceful and cheerful ambience.

How do you decide on cheerful and peaceful colors? Was it even possible?  Whatever we chose, the room had to change from drab white to color. I’ll be honest, the severity of such a transformation slightly intimidated me.

Amazingly, there’s an app for that.

No, really, there is.

Gone are the days where you hold a tiny paint chip and nervously hope the colors come together. Now, you can actually get a visual before you so much as crack open the can of paint!

Say, what?

Sherwin-Williams has a Color Visualizer where you can upload a photo of your room and try out the colors before you make your purchase. Yes, this is a dream come true for folks who have trouble visualizing concepts. Not only that, but you can also scroll through thousands of paint chips on your phone.

The ColorSnap® app lets you access all the Sherwin-Williams paint colors on your smartphone. You tap on multiple shades of color until you find the shade you prefer. There is also a ColorSnap Studio™ for iPad

If you already have a particular item or color you want to find, Chip It!™ will locate the Sherwin-Williams paint color to match. Do you know how fun it is to find names of all the colors you love?  As someone who loves color, this is a fascinating tool to have access to and get to use.

So, what did I use? Cheerful and peaceful…

I landed on a page of coral shades and decided this would be the cheerful part. I love coral. It’s a known fact on this here blog. At first, I thought to use yellow, but when I saw the options for coral, my heart would not be swayed.




Now for the peaceful part. A simple gray and white were automatically added to the equation.

Did you know there are a zillion different options for gray and white? Sheesh.

We finally decided on Gray Matters and Snowbound. Quite Coral was our accent. We later implemented Leisure Blue as another accent.

I am so thankful for the amazing set of skills my family can pull together. My brother Nate is a professional painter, and my sister-in-law, Candace, has the experience of choosing colors for her entire house. She just so happened to use Sherwin-Williams, too, so we walked into the Sherwin-Williams store with a wealth of knowledge.

I really like the Sherwin-Williams store. They have coffee for you while you wait, and they were so patient and helpful for the entire time we were in the store. Coco and Chaucer had a little too much fun pulling out paint chips and stirring sugar in my coffee when I wasn’t looking.

When we left, it was with a sense of confidence and excitement that I’ve never had before for such a project.




This was our basic plan of attack:

1.) Gray Matters on the walls and Snowbound on trim and doors.

2.) Gray and white stripes on a focal wall, continuing on into the vanity area of the bathroom.

3.) Lamps and bookcase painted in Quite Coral.

4.) Custom made headboard using scrap lumber and painted in Leisure Blue.

5.) Shelves for books along one wall.

6.) New light fixture/ceiling fan, and new light fixture for bathroom.

7.) New mirror for vanity.

8.) Gallery wall using black and white photos of the grandchildren.

9.) New curtains and bedspread.

10.) Decor limited to natural, garden style and kept to a minimum.




Well? Are you intrigued? Do you want to see the transformation? Next time–I promise!



How do you find color inspiration for your home projects? Tell us in the comments below, and you just might win a $100 Sherwin-Williams gift card from BlogHer!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.


This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.


This sweepstakes runs from 5/1/2013-5/19/2013.


Be sure to visit the Sherwin-Williams brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

119 thoughts on “Before!

  1. Wehaf

    I draw most of my color inspiration from my garden. It’s my favorite place, so bringing hints of it inside makes sense to me.

  2. Melissa from the Blue House

    It USED to be HGTV… gosh, I love Candice Olson… but now? Pinterest. How did I ever decorate without Pinterest? I’d LOVE to win this… I NEED to win this… because we just bought a big old fixer upper house and I’m going broke already! ????

  3. Betty C

    I usually choose a neutral color for walls because it absolutely has to work well with my existing photos and artist prints. Accent colors are usually taken from the photos because, after all, I wouldn’t have chosen those photos to hang if I didn’t love the colors.

  4. Debbie B

    I find inspiration by reading magazines, pinterest and watching HGTV!

  5. amy rouse

    How do you find color inspiration for your home projects? Looking thru magazines

  6. Cori Westphal


  7. Sally @ Homemaking Reality

    These days, I get my color inspiration from blogs mostly ???? Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Maria Cantu

    I look through magazines to find color schemes and then clip them out.

  9. April

    I get inspiration from the outdoors. The bursts of colors I see all around me are so beautiful and breathtaking. From flowers to sunsets, finding colors that match in quality are difficult. Sherwin Williams is our go-to though. We painted the outside of our home in fun colors from them, and the whole neighborhood has stopped by to tell us how great it all looks!

  10. Mikele Meether

    I have become a slave to Pinterest and it takes up far to much of my time!

  11. Jannie Bryant

    I do research on how colors and moods can fit the room.

  12. April V.

    I look for color inspiration everywhere. I look to nature, advertisements, magazines, the furniture or accents in a room, even a special piece of art.

  13. heather c

    Tweet –

  14. Hesper Fry

    I find inspiration from family and friends along with colors that relax me.

  15. Would You Rather: Preggo Edition

    […] Enter the giveaway! Also, have you seen the incredible “Before” pictures from my Sherwin Williams project? People have asked if it was staged…it wasn’t. The big reveal is coming up but in order […]

  16. Adrienne Gordon

    I get inspiration by looking outside or by watching shows on TV.

  17. One Frugal Girl

    I like to take tours of homes that are for sale.

    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

  18. Check This Out

    Highly educational, look forward to coming back again.

  19. Shaunda E.

    I find inspiration from watching DIY shows.

    Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com

  20. Rebecca Graham

    I get ideas for my home projects by looking through home decor magazines.

  21. Christy Rosander

    I am REALLY looking forward to the next post. What a great family project! Sorry Margo, but I am a thinkin’ this transformation is a life changer.

  22. Bridget Vanover

    I get inspiration from looking at other people’s rooms. I love Pinterest for that purpose! I have a hard time picturing how a look will look, I need to actually see it to know I’ll like it.

  23. ky2here

    We have an Eastlake Victorian so it’s easy to find color inspiration from other Victorian homes. Thanks for offering this.

  24. Jimmy

    I go to the store and check out the paint cards. I take the colors I like home to decide on a final color

  25. Olga G

    Love to watch HGTV, and visit model homes and browse through magazines for ideas.

  26. Stephanie Larison

    I like anything that is bright and brings life into a room. I like the country-home feel to the colors as well. Blue’s and white’s are used a lot.

  27. April

    We have professional painter friends who will ONLY use Sherwin Williams, because of how great it is to work with, and so we’ve always used them too. I do love looking at their paint swatches, but the inspiration I actually pick colors from comes from the outdoors. Nature is my go-to. ????

  28. Susan

    The color visualizer app from Sherman Williams sounds great. Love this sort of thing, though I have quite the addiction to the In Style hairstyle app. I swear I try on hairstyles with it every day. I should just chop it off already, right?

  29. Brenda Elsner

    I look at magazines and browse the internet for ideas.

  30. Wild Orchid

    I find inspiration in my favorite decor accessories.

  31. Kelly D

    I find color inspiration from nature. I like green and almond colors so I usually go for these types of shades.

  32. Margot C

    and here’s a tweet!:

  33. amy rouse

  34. Erica Best

    i love using art work to find colors to add to a room

  35. Tara

    I love looking at different fabrics and seeing how the colors work together. If it catches my eye, I must really like it ????

  36. Margaret Armour

    I am excited to see the end result! I usually get color inspiration for my home from looking at fashion mags. I rarely see color combos that I would wear personally, but my walls can totally rock them!!

  37. s riches

    I go to different web sites and look at the samples.

  38. Betty

    I find inspiration in magazines as I’m not so creative as many.

  39. Amy Tong

    I usually find color inspiration for my home projects by looking at different magazine and websites. I can’t wait to find out your “after” pictures.

  40. Wild Orchid


  41. susan smoaks

    i like to use colors found in nature for inspiration!

  42. Erica Best

  43. angie lilly

    I tweeted here:

  44. Margaret Smith

    I usually find inspiration from magazine photo’s or sometimes from tv.

  45. Tara Price

    When we decided to repaint our entire downstairs and upstairs hallway we took inspiration from our travels. Since we love our vacations to Maine in the summer, we decided on SW color Dorian Gray, reminiscent of the cape cod style homes we fell in love with up there. Looking forward to seeing the Big Reveal Hillary!

  46. Margaret Smith

    I tweeted:

  47. K. Cleaver

    Oh no! I hate waiting. Looking forward to seeing your “after” pictures.

  48. Lorena Keech

    I pull pages out of magazines and save them. When I need inspiration, I look through them for ideas.

  49. Margie Young

    I find my color inspiration from looking at my fabric collection for making quilts.

  50. Veronica Garrett

    I find color inspiration ideas in home decorating magazines and on decorating websites.

  51. Kellie B.

    You had me at Coral….I cannot WAIT to see how this turned out! I am currently having a color obsession with coral and I am looking forward to seeing the whole color palette. I get lots of inspiration from Pinterest – my husband will ask me, “Are you Pinteresting again???”. Okay, can you please post your after photos now? Pretty please?? ????

  52. Wombat Central

    I mostly get my inspiration from pictures–online or magazines. Love Sherwin Williams for paints–we did our foyer in a buttery yellow from SW and it’s gorgeous! When it came time to do our kitchen, we used the color visualizer to help us select a color for our kitchen. Now for our boring bedroom walls! Would love to win. ????

  53. Tabathia B


    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  54. Margot C

    I like to get postcards of artworks at the museum (abstract works best for some reason) and then bring those to the paint store.

  55. lynne

    I like to look through the color swatches at the store, although the practical side of me always pays attention to the room decor we already have (aka, we just bought new bedding this year so our new bedroom in the new house will have to compliment it)

  56. Tonya T.

    I love to look through magazines and read blogs and if something catches my eye, I pin it for later! ????

  57. Carol

    Most of my color choices have started with a fabric or accessory that knocked my socks off and I built up from there.

  58. Margo Hayes

    Oh the shame… (sigh). Actually – the first pictures weren’t TOO bad – except for the weird curtains hanging awkwardly. But then you had to include the pic with the ironing board:(

    Hopefully, everyone will forget that it looked quite this bad when they see the new and improved version you created!

    Great writing… every time I enter my room I think of you and am grateful:)

  59. Angel Jacklyn


  60. Jennifer

    I look for timeless colors that flow well with the rest of the home… but with a great color pop for fun!

  61. Stephanie G

    I often get inspiration for colors for paint from home improvement websites!

  62. Aunt Gloria

    Uncle Ed said “Great Scot!” when I told him he had to wait until next week to see all the completed photos. We used the same Sherwin Williams for every painting project we did both inside and outside when we lived in California. Your parents bedroom was always decorated with love. Love just took on a new look with the transformation you kids gave it! What a testimony to God’s grace through your family. We love ya’ll!!!

  63. Cori Westphal

    I use magazines or the web. And sometimes I’ll look thru books at the paint store. And sometimes I find inspiration in a cool store like Pier 1!

  64. heather c

    Sometimes I see a shirt or dress that makes me smile from the color combo.

  65. Veronica

    I get inspiration from everything I see in my life – what makes me HAPPY!! A sunset, a sunrise, rainbows, certain colors that I just see (in their ‘paint’ form) and they trigger my memory of something specific I’ve experienced (and remembered). Of course, if it happens to have any shade of ‘pink’ in it, it already has a good start!! ???? Can’t wait to see the “after” pics!

  66. One Frugal Girl


    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

  67. Tegan L.

    I go to sites like pintresrt to see what other people have done….and go to blogs like yours (I want to see the AFTER pictures) to be inspired.

  68. cassandra

    To gain inspiration I sometimes focus the room around a key piece I am really fond of that will decorate the room. Sometimes I will buy one small thing and design a ROOM over it haha.

  69. Rachael

    I like to look at the paint swatches in the store to get ideas of what color to paint my different rooms

  70. angie lilly

    My husband is GREAT at thinking outside the box for color. I often just follow his lead!

  71. Kerry

    I usually find my inspiration from a piece of artwork that I want to hang in the room. Or if it’s my bedroom I find my inspiration in a comforter I love. And then I match the paint to that.


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