Cottage Talk: Going Dark in the bedroom

So the plan is to go light and bright on the 1st and 3rd floor walls, but in my master bedroom I intend to do a moody peacock blue / teal hue.  It’s been funny to see people’s reactions when I tell them my bedroom will be dark.  My flooring guy told me it would close in the room.  My Nana was concerned about natural light.  A few of my friends nodded at me with what-are-you-crazy looks in their eyes, and a few others got really excited about it.  Dark colors in the bedroom could be considered risky, I suppose.  Occasionally I stare at the light and bright room and wonder if I really need all that color.  But I love how warm and rich these rooms feel below.   If there is one place to be cozy and dramatic at the same time, why not have it be the bedroom?

So I’ll go from this…

To something more like this…  (I love that this bedroom even has the bump in the wall like mine!)

I’ve been studying teal rooms and have come up with the following thoughts on how to do saturated successfully…

Mix in other colors!  The room should not be blue overload.  Love the contrast of camel here.

Light elements are essential for contrast.
Light bedding works particularly well for for maintaining crispness.

Break up the walls with art.

Nate Berkus

Embrace the cozy.  My space is small, and once its dark I expect it will be more intimate.  
Yes, I think that’s a good thing.

The right hue will make your walls sing, so don’t skimp on samples.

PS- my bedroom has been swatched out with Benjamin Moore’s Naples Blue and Deep Ocean.  I like both, but I’m leaning toward the greener one.  The question is, which is which?  According to the label on my paint samples, Naples Blue is the one on the left, but it sure looks more like the one on the right based on the paint chip.  Do paint chips lie, or did my paint guys reverse my labels?

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  3. shari

    any idea what brand and color the first pic is??? Thanks

    • Naomi

      Sorry I have no idea. This is a room from Elle Decor.

  4. Carrie

    Hi I know I am a little late to this thread I really loved the swatch with the more green hue to it. Which one did you pick and do you remember the name of the second one? I recently bought a 1970 A frame house and the master has a white car siding ceiling which is so cottage looking and I love it. I picked a flooring that is a grey driftwood look for a beach feel. After trying multiple colors of blue grey it just feels blah so I’m thinking maybe bold is the way to go, thoughts?

    • Naomi

      I did Naples Blue in the bedroom.

  5. Carol

    I’m doing teal in my bedroom as well. So excited, the problem is there are about 200 shades of teal . Thought I had it all figured out, now I have got to check out the shades at Ben Moore to be sure. By the way did you use flat, eggshell , or satin?

    • Naomi

      I think I used eggshell on the walls. For trim we did semi-gloss.

  6. K. Doukakos

    We are getting ready to paint our master bedroom in a teal color w/bright white trim/ceiling. The color is Splashy by: Sherwin Williams. I fell in love w/the color after testing it w/their online design room colors. I am going w/black bed & dresser/chest. Can’t wait to see how all turns out! Will have to post pics to see what viewers think:)

  7. Tiphany

    When I got october’s Elle Decor magazine I set my eyes on the cover room. I know it is going to be really dark. I want to do the same color on the walls. I am also looking for solid color peacock/dark teal bedding with chocolate sheets (something like BlissLiving Max Peacock Duvet, google it). I was wondering if it would be too risky with chocolate carpet? I must add, there will be a wall of windows so light coming in is not an issue. This will be in my master bedroom. I was thinking about doing a lighter, nuetral color wall in the master bathroom. Using the peacock/dark teal color accessories like a matching rug like the one in the bedroom, towels, and the peacock curtains in the bathroom. any opinions would be appreciated… as far as the chocolate carpet. Im building a new home so this is my chance to decorate how i like. The rest of the home will be all rustic decor and i wanted a little girl touch in the master.

  8. I went with Dunn Edwards Nocturnal Sea for our family room. TH was more than apprehensive about my decision but that rooms gets so much light and one wall is practically all doors and window, so it really isn’t that much wall surface. The bold choice gets a lot of compliments. Can’t wait to see how you work this color in your bedroom!

  9. yes, Yes, YES Naomi! I love the first pic from the cover of last months Elle Decor. Tres sexy. The second photo with the camel is amazing.

  10. I have the same colour in my bedroom and I love it. It’s cozy not dark:) But really, what better place than a bedroom for a warm, rich colour?

  11. Hi, liked your samples & your ideas …did my dining in blue and grey recently ..and tho’ I blundered on the blue selection ( actual shade was brighter and more mediterranean blue than the paint chip) still I loved the way it brightens up the whole space go ahead and trust your heart !

  12. I have to say that when you said “teal”, I went, “ew, ’80’s!”! But boy oh boy, did you change my mind!!! I love all those rooms and it really does make a gorgeous bedroom color!

  13. Emily

    I’m so excited to see what this looks like when you’re done! You have such a great vision and creativity for projects. Thanks for sharing (and inspiring) others!

  14. Amber

    I love those saturated colors and can’t wait to see your room! Regarding the paint samples, i bought a paint sample and loved the color, so we went back and bought five gallons (we have an open floor plan) and found that the sample was tinted wrong. I compared the five gallons to the paint sample and it was correct. (Not sure why i didn’t compare the sample to the paint chip….) Fortunately, i love my color.

  15. It’s going to be gorgeous! I think most people are scared of color…especially dark colors. As your photos have proven, they can be gorgeous! My hubs was initially scared of design things I’d suggest until I showed him photos. Everything has always turned out fab so now he doesn’t even hesitate when I say I want to do something. Can’t wait to see the room done and decorated! You have an amazing eye! I was sad you had to leave your old place, but excited as it meant a new reveal on the blog for us to feast our eyes on!


  16. LOVE it and dreaming of a nesty, cozy, dark bedroom in a very similar color. Please, please, please let me know what color works best! Cannot wait to see it.

  17. Erin

    Aww, thanks for the link love! And I’m still really happy with the dark harbor… it’s the best color in the house and the only one that feels 100% right to me (I’m giving the others from 90% – 50% right on the Erin OCD Scale (EOS)).

    If the room is already small, dark and cozy is the way to go! I’ve never ever been unhappy with a room I painted dark, but light colors have disappointed me a million times.

  18. Glad you guys agree with me. WTF Benjamin Moore! I’m going to need to confirm before ordering gallons.

  19. Gorgeous spaces! I definitely think it’s safer to go on the greener side with this hue. Love the right one too!

  20. Our guest room is a deep navy, and while everyone thought I was crazy, now everyone wants to sleep there–it is SO SO retful! Love teal for you.


  21. Jamie

    Funny!! I just sampled three teals for my living room. I think I’m going to go with hague blue by farrow and ball which looks nicer with sheen (looks more like a navy blue in the flat finish). Next time paint the sample on white boards sold at paint stores. They have labels on the back so you’ll never forget which color you’re looking at 🙂 cant wait to see the final product!! Can’t wait ro share my after photo but here are the samples up on my wall

  22. I love having a dark bedroom. I would definitely double check the swatches to make sure they didn’t get mixed up. The color on the right is my favorite of the two. I REALLY love the darker colors on the paint swatches.

  23. stop it. just stop it. i have been planning to do peacock in my office! even have naples blue samples on the walls right now. kinda freaking me out a little bit at this point….

    also planning charcoal grasscloth in our bedroom, so i approve of the dark.

    and, yes, i think he switched your swatches 🙂

  24. It will look beautiful! I am working some teal into my kitchen/hearth room redo. It is such a hot color!

  25. Karena

    Naomi I love this color and have it in my entry , hall, and study. I never tire of it!

    2012 Artists Series

  26. Yum I love how rich and jewely this color is. I say go for it! Paint is just paint afterall, but I know you won’t regret it. I think you’ve got some pretty good gut instincts lady!

  27. I like the one that you like at the bottom on the right. It’s a pretty color for a bedroom because you don’t really need a lot of “light” in that setting {unless it’s the bathroom} and I definitely think contrasting with another color is perfect {like the camel color above}. Can’t wait to see!

  28. Hannah

    I looove that you’re doing peacock blue! My bedroom is peacock blue and I recently added black drapes and EEEEVVVERYONE said no. That it would close in the room. But I am with you…if anywhere can be dark, moody and closed in, it’s the bedroom. I absolutely love it now, and am so glad I didn’t listen to anyone but myself. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  29. i LOVE the tealy blue you chose!! i CANNOT wait to see it covering your room! The best part about it is that giant window letting in all the light. It will do such cool things for your paint color.
    we, too, just bought our “first home” and it is soooo exciting. people thought i was crazy when i said i was going dark in the bedroom, because our bedroom is very small. but i figured it’s small, so might as well make it cozy. we ended painting the walls FArrow and BAll Down Pipe, and couldn’t be happier. 2 months later, i still stare at the walls everyday with a smile. and everyone who was skeptical now loves it too 🙂 I offsetted the dark walls with predominately white bedding, white crown molding and baseboards. And some walnut wood, and antique brass accents. love it! and cant’ wait to see your room in progress. 🙂

  30. I love it! and think it will be spectacular! I think the trick is to add a lot of white in bedding and such….I’m thinking of going dark for my office too…like a chocolate brown….or dark grey…yum!!

  31. I adore that color. I painted something close to that (only with more indigo hues) in my library. It is my favorite room in my house.

  32. ahhhh….love the direction you’re going with this! it’s going to be beautiful!!

  33. I agree. It looks to me like they switched the labels. I love dark colors in the bedroom because I like it nice and dark when I sleep. So tell your flooring guy that YOU’RE the designer! haha

    Good luck!


  34. It’s going to look great! We have a similar color in our guest bathroom and it’s probably my favorite room in the house. I would love it in a bedroom!

  35. Ashley

    Add me to the group of people who likes the idea of a dark room. It seems like the natural light in there is pretty abundant, so go dark!

  36. Ann

    I love your idea for a dark bedroom, and it does appear that the paint samples were switched.

  37. I would have been the friend getting all excited with you! It’s going to be gorgeous. I’m a little partial…these blues make my heart sing! Can’t wait to see it.

  38. Bedrooms are a great place to go dark and moody – I think this will look fab. And from my screen, it looks like the paint guy had it right, but i’d do the samples again just to be sure.

  39. On my computer the chips look correct, or in other words, it looks like you’ve drawn the arrows to the wrong colors.

    And I like the greener one too!

  40. Ooh, I love where this is going! If there’s anything better than a blue room it’s a greenish-tealish-blue room:)
    And yeah, paint often looks different on walls vs paper so maybe the chips DO lie?

  41. I love the pair blue color
    saludos from Chile

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