Before and After: A Colorful yet Serene Bedroom Redo Includes a DIY Lime Wash Wall

published Jul 9, 2023
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About this before & after
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Before: an empty white bedroom with a pain roller and ladder

Apartment Therapy has tons of advice for creating a relaxing primary bedroom: Cut out technology from the space, keep it clutter-free, use plush textures, fill it with what makes you feel happy and calm, and, most importantly, if you can, try not to bring work or exercise or laundry — or any other separate-room stressors in. The same applies to guest bedrooms, too. (And if you really want to make sure the space is relaxing before guests come over, try spending the night in it yourself and see what you’d change!)  

Cassandra Kirkpatrick’s (@cassandranoelhome) newly reimagined guest room is the picture of serenity, but it wasn’t always that way. Cassandra and her husband, Peter, moved into their current two-bedroom Chicago apartment about three years ago, and they were thrilled to have a guest room to host loved ones “almost every weekend” in the summer. Still, the extra room wasn’t quite what Cassandra knew it could be.

“Before we reworked our guest room, it was a multi-purpose space — but not in a good way,” she says. “It was a sometimes-office slash storage room slash guest room, and it just didn’t feel purposeful … the room felt chaotic and we wanted a space where our guests could feel relaxed and at home.”

Cassandra kicked off the room revamp with a collaboration with one of her go-to furniture retailers, CB2, which supplied all of the furniture the couple needed for their new, purposeful guest room including a queen-sized velvet bed, the lamps, and the marble nightstand. Cassandra says her favorite piece is the bed, and for transparency, she adds, without the partnership, what would’ve been a $3,000 room redo wound up costing only $200.

Her $200 budget went to paint: Portola Paint’s “Shelter” in Lime Wash, a chalky, textured olive-green paint, which Cassandra says “screamed — or should I say whispered — serenity.” Cassandra says she was thrilled when she found the perfect color, and her DIY green wall project was the “biggest and most exciting change for the space.” 

“It set the tone of the room,” she explains. “Because lime wash has such a beautiful texture to it, I gravitated toward other distinctive textures, [such as] the velvet bed, marble coffee table, and the rattan and brass lamp.”

Her biggest takeaway from this bedroom paint project? “Mixing colors and textures can ABSOLUTELY create a calm space,” she says. “It took me a long time to realize cozy and peaceful doesn’t always mean an all-white, minimal aesthetic.” 

And Cassandra has some painting PSAs for any fellow lime wash newbies, too: Pick a cool day, and have a helper on hand to keep the paint from drying up. 

“I ended up painting on a hot, sunny day, and the paint dried so quickly that it was a challenge to keep the edges wet,” Cassandra recalls. “I would definitely recommend having at least two people around when lime washing.” (And for further tips on how to lime wash walls, check out this step-by-step guide and photos!)

Ultimately, her endeavor paid off, and she created a “more intentional and peaceful,” as she puts it, space without sacrificing unique flair. “I love the texture and how well the colors work together,” she says. “Walking into the room, I immediately get a sense of calm. I want every space I create to evoke a feeling, so I’m super proud of that.” 

Inspired? Submit your own project here.