How to Transform Any Room with Color

#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover AUGH! I can’t even express how excited I am about today’s post! So we affectionately named the new project house #ElsiesNashvilleBNB and today I am here to share the first ROOM MAKEOVER with you!

I am so, so, so glad I challenged myself to use a completely different color palette than my own home. At first, I was tempted to make this project a continuation of what I always gravitate toward and love, but branching out has been really inspiring! I am already learning so much.

Step 1
Ace Paint

We partnered with Ace Hardware on this post, and they were super helpful to work with while picking out paint colors for this room. Ace actually just started a program called the Extra Mile Promise, meaning they’ll help you with a checklist in store and promise to help you get everything you need for your paint project in just one trip! We’ve all been there when you realize you’re just short on supplies and have to make all those trips back to the store (Ha!). And at the bottom of the post, I’ll share three ways to transform ANY room with color.

Time for project photos … but first, a little walk down memory lane. Although this time we don’t have to time travel too far because it looked this way only a few weeks ago!

Remember how I said there was a “Frozen” themed room?


Here it is in all its glory. Blue walls, blue trim, blue doors and a blue ceiling. All the blue.

To get started, Collin painted the whole room white. FRESH, CLEAN WHITE. He used Marshmallow, which is what I used in my house, and after talking with the team at Ace we learned that it is a universal color. That means you can order it from any brand. So we ordered it in flat, interior Valspar paint for the walls and ceiling.

For the trim, I always like to go as white as possible, so we chose untinted, pure white Valspar Aspire paint in semi-gloss. We also replaced all the plates with bright white and swapped out the old wood veneer fan for a white modern fan.

Step 2The bed I chose was a very simple platform bed. I loved how clean and simple it was, but to be honest, it was a little boring. And the room looked empty. So I decided to create a faux headboard with paint!

Not going to lie, I spent forever choosing the color and I fell IN LOVE with this color once it went on. It’s Thunderbolt by Valspar (in flat finish). I love it because it’s a pop of color that doubles as a neutral.

We taped off a rectangle around the wall behind the bed to create the faux headboard. It can be any size you want, but be sure to choose the size when you have the pillows on the bed how they are going to be, because they add a lot of height.

Step 3I forgot to do the BEST TRICK EVER—paint a coat of white (or whatever your base wall color is) first before the accent color and there will be no bleed and great lines.

I had to do a teeny touch up round with a small brush and white paint, but it wasn’t too bad.

Peeling back the tape is my favorite moment!

Completed HeadboardHere’s my faux headboard. I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out! It’s clean and modern, but still cozy.

This was shockingly easy to throw together. Anyone could do this project in an afternoon!!

Step 1 I wanted to use my new favorite color in at least one more spot in the room. So I decided to create a really unique shelf situation from budget-friendly shelving and a little paint in the shape of a half circle.

First, tape a straight line where you want the base of your shelving to be. Pro tip: A lot of people hang everything (shelves, art, hooks, etc.) too high. Keep it eye level, which I know is relative—so we usually split the difference between eye level for me and my husband.

Hold a string down in the exact center of the taped baseline. Pull it tight and draw the half circle (pulled tight the entire time) with a white pen or pencil.

Step 2
Step 2 Use lots of small pieces of tape (and extra patience) to tape the half circle. Then paint and remove the tape right after your last coat!

Then screw your shelf onto the wall and paint the shelf the same color, so it all blends together. We used simple brackets and shelf board to make our DIY shelf.

Completed ShelfHere’s the completed shelf. I love how the pops of color tie in together.

One more little DIY detail!

I took a plain gray planter and added rainbow paint all the way around it! I did so in a messy way without any tape and I love how it turned out.

Planter Steps

The colors I used are Aromatic Blend, Cosmic Sunset, Pineapple Lily, Promised Land, Wild About You and Harmonious by Clark & Kensington. I also snuck in a little bit of the room color: Thunderbolt by Valspar.

Here’s the finished result …

#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover

And here are some more images of the completed bedroom.

#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover
#elsiesnashvillebnb Bedroom Makeover

Three ways to transform any room with color. 

1. Go bright.

This past year, I have started to notice colorful painted walls coming back into style, but white walls are still a solid choice in my book! What I love about white is that it can so quickly make a room look larger, more airy and open. It can also hide architectural flaws and generally make a space look more clean.

I love color, but when I choose a neutral I almost always go for bright white over beige or gray. I tend to choose wallpaper or painted walls for my more dimly lit rooms and bright white for space I want to seem endless—like a hallway, a living room or open living spaces that connect.

If you are someone who craves a home full of bright light, I highly recommend sticking as close to untinted white as possible. I’ve never found any other color that creates the same airy feeling.

2. Go bold. 

As I said above, color is most definitely making a comeback. And as much as I love my white, I CRAVE color and welcome this change in trends.
There is nothing that can transform a room as quickly as a bold paint choice. While white may make rooms appear bigger or brighter, bold colors can give your rooms big personalities!

Bright yellow is one of the happiest colors in the world, in my opinion. Blush pink can make a room feel romantic and very cool. Poppy red is inspiring me like crazy lately. Black rooms are insanely stylish. And I am pretty sure I will be using this Thunderbolt color in other rooms through my project house. Maybe kitchen cabinets or possibly in the dining room? Going bold with color is so worth the risk because if you hate it you can always paint over it!

3. Choose a tight color palette. 

Rooms decorated with every color in the rainbow can be stunning, but they can also look messy and cluttered FAST.

To transform a room quickly and ensure it feels curated and intentional, limit yourself to three main colors. Less is more!

Thanks so much for reading. I am having SO much fun with this house. It’s a dream project for me. If you have any questions about sources or anything, just ask me in the comments! xx- Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer, Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. 
  • Good job girls! Love the colour you chose! it´s so fresh and relaxing , ideal for sleeping time. It s a good solution when you don´t have a headboard. I am architect and designer and it´s an option I suggest sometimes to my clients.

    Feel free to have a look of my blog on

  • I love this green! It’s gorgeous and breaks up the white really well. I also love the idea of painting headboards and the half circle where the shelf is.

  • I wish I had your talent for decoration, I soooo admire that ! You are very talented, if I was rich and if I had a private jet, I would hire you to decorate my house, I never have great ideas for decoration. You’re the best Elsie !!!

  • A nicely planned, beautiful coat of paint will transform any living space. It’s a shame when decorators spend fortunes on high priced furniture, cabinets, appliances, etc. but don’t properly plan and coordinate it with the color scheme.

    You also did a nice job of not just using bright wall colors, but using bright colors in accents to breath life into flat colored rooms. Nice post!

  • Might just have to steal this faux headboard idea!

    x Silje

  • Love the faux headboard idea! The room looks fabulous. Great work!

  • I love how you did the green wall shelf with the green background! It’s so cute! I’m putting up shelfs right now and am inspired to bring The Hague blue from the room’s accent wall over in the same way. Extremely clever

  • Thank semi-circle wall colored shelf thing you made is SO unique! WOW, I’ve never seen anything like that before. It adds instant wall details to a pretty empty space. Seriously a genius design hack. Headboard is cool too though!

  • I just wanted to say that blackboards in my school were green so I have a gigantic urge to take some chalk and write all over that headboard. 😀

  • I definitely love the headboard idea, it really transforms the whole room!

  • I love that you just added a splash of bold colour in a few key areas. I never thought of using bold colours this way. Very creative!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Love the color and the entire makeover. Is the pouf from HomeGoods?

  • I’m all about white walls, too. It’s much easier to change out colorful decor than to constantly be painting walls.

  • Lovely updates to the room! I agree with a commenter above- I think you need a nice fluffy white comforter with the blue folded at the bottom. I’m so glad that green in the color for 2017!!

  • White with a touch of bold color surely a good choice. I love it 😀

  • I absolutely adore the look and style of this bedroom. Great idea for a headboard and burst of colour. But…the blue bedding is throwing it off for me. I know it goes with the rug but I think an all white ( so typical I know ) would look much better. You can fold the blue cover at the bottom if you want to keep it in the room 😉

  • I love, love, love this room! The color scheme feels so fresh; I love a dark green. I’m also dying over that bedspread – do you have a link for it? Thanks so much and keep up the good work! I’ve been following ABM for years now and it’s always inspirational, especially when it comes to home decor.

    • Hi Lauren,
      I’m having a little trouble with the Target website, but I just purchased it a few weeks ago.

  • Love this! I really love that rug too! And that is just about my favorite color green. I wish you could come redo my whole house, you have a great eye. I just do not have an eye for stuff like this!

  • I love this! It gives that pop of color without losing the brightness of white. I can’t handle whole walls of bold color. You guys are champs for taping that half circle!

  • Love the post…Amazing choice of color!…That little shelfing idea is my favourite….So unique.

  • I can honestly say that I got so many ideas from this post. Like the name of your blog, my room is a beautiful mess and It’s time for a fresh remodel. Love this article!! Btw.. Where can I buy a chair like yours? Oren

  • The magic of color! I’ve seen Justina Blakeney do the montone shelf shape like this– I like your half moon interpretation.

  • Is there a reason you choose flat paint? Usually walls are eggshell so just curious! Love that green colour

    • I second this question in wondering the same about flat paint, Elsie!

    • I switched to using flat last year because it’s more photogenic and also easier to touch up.
      xx! Elsie

  • Do you have a link for the platform bed frame?

    I love the dark green added! We did one solid wall behind our bed of a dark green and it adds so much drama to our otherwise super bright bedroom! I love it!

  • Ahaha, there is so much blue in the before picture!!!

    I really love that green. I really think green should be used more often when painting walls.

  • Hi Elsie, LOVE this post. I just painted our living room a slightly darker version of that green (my all time favorite color) and it’s great to see a color palette with it that I hadn’t thought of. I’m a long time ABM fan, and enjoy pretty much everything on the site, but do wish you would be more consistent about posting links to your decor sources at the bottom of posts. I frequently find myself thinking “that would be the perfect …” and then see no link and a zillion comments, and so I don’t bother following up.

    • What were you curious about?

      I try to respond to comments a LOT. xx

  • Beautiful, inspiring & quick project! What’s your favorite place to shop for ceiling fans? Looking to replace our dreadfully old, out-of-place existing fan in our master bedroom.

  • That green! Such a great choice. You have a great eye for design!

  • Love the addition of the green! Where are the side tables and planter stand from?

    • Thank you!
      The side tables are from World Market (they are outdoor, so they are on sale now) and the planter is from Home Goods.

  • Love this room! Can you let us know where you got the rug and planter ?! 🙂
    You are always inspiring!

    • The rug is from West Elm. The large plater is from Home Goods, the small one is from a local Nashville shop called Hewitt Garden Center.
      xx- Elsie

  • Good for you for going bold. It is so true! Color can make a huge impact in any room! But personally, I think since nature has so many colors around, then so can we! The secret in getting the mix right is all about balance. ;D

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.