APT: Cobble Hill

New bedroom sneak peek. Painting!

Benjamin Moore Deep Space

It’s been just over a week since we moved into the new apartment, and I can tell you two things with certainty: We’re going to be holding onto this place for a good, long time, and we’re also going to be working on fixing it up for a good, long time. Both of these things make me happy.

Now that all of the deep-cleaning is done, I’ve started in on painting the bedroom. I knew I wanted to use a dark charcoal gray with a little blue in it, and after spending a while looking at paint chips in natural and artificial light, I went with a color I’ve had in the back of my mind for a long while: Benjamin Moore Deep Space (matte finish). I think I first saw it in this sneak peek…or it might have been this one. I really like how soft it looks, and that it reads as a true charcoal in daylight. It’s definitely not black, but it doesn’t go green or brown or anything, either. It’s just right.

before and during

Yes, the bedroom is enormous—about 500 square feet. Seriously! It’s bigger than our last apartment was in its entirety. It’s stupidly large, and it’s kind of a weird space. I dig it. The apartment is a converted attic, and that jog in the front wall is where the original building façade ends. The clerestory windows are part of the vertical extension of the attic, and are not original to the building. (Does that make sense?) Also: SKYLIGHT. Yes. Love.

One of the biggest challenges I’m up against is an enormous amount of wood. Shiny, orange-toned, unpainted, stained and varnished WOOD. Wood floors (no complaints there), wood baseboard moldings, wood windows, wood window casings, wood cabinets and lots and lots of wood doors. Sigh. At least the moldings are wide and the doors are solid.

Now, if I had my druthers, I’d be painting all of that wood (OK, maybe not the floors) white in a hot second. I don’t own this apartment, though, and as much as I believe in doing what you need to do to make a rental your home, I also believe in respecting other people’s property. There’s a fine line between improvement and destruction depending on your point of view. I’ve rented a lot of apartments over the years, and I take pride in the fact that I’ve left every one of them in better condition than I found it in—by anyone’s standards. No landlord in his or her right mind is going to complain about me stripping the paint off of old door hardware, tiling a backsplash or recaulking a bathtub, but painting unpainted woodwork is another story.

In other words, once we’ve been living here for a while, I’ll ask the landlord if he minds if I paint the woodwork. Haha. In the mean time, this deep charcoal paint really does a good job of taking the edge off of all that wood by making it way less high-contrast.

painted bedroom walls

Pretty nice, yeah? Scroll up to that before picture again to compare. It’s like night and day! Har, har. Jokes aside, the dark paint makes a HUGE difference. I really couldn’t be happier. Isn’t it amazing what a $50 can of paint can do? I wasn’t sure how much of the room I wanted to make dark, so I just took it one wall at a time. Once the window wall was done, I realized I had to paint the side walls in order to de-emphasize the jog, so I kept going right up to the side of the chimney. I’m 95% sure I’m stopping there.

I still need to paint the remaining white walls and the ceiling in my favorite white (Benjamin Moore Moonlight White), so please ignore the harsh white semigloss that’s there now! It’s awful.

Speaking of awful, ASKJALKSJFLKSDJFLKS LIGHT FIXTURE NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. It’s bad. So bad. I know. Trust me, once it comes down it’ll go in a bag in the closet and stay there, untouched, until the day I leave. Let’s never talk about it again, OK?

Yes, we need a dresser and we need to put things away and that desk looks too tiny and we’re going to put a sofa in there and NO I am NOT planning to leave all of my tchotchkes on the window ledge like an old lady.

wood overload

In case you thought I was kidding about the wood overload, take a look at this! Oh boy. I mean, the upside is that we have 20′ of closet space along that wall (!!!), so that’s great, but wow. That is a lot of shiny, orange wood. New, non-brass doorknobs will help, as will going over the damaged areas of the wood with Restor-A-Finish. And averting my eyes.

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  • Reply Abbey February 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    OMG! That light fixture! I had the EXACT same one in our last rental and I took it down and left it in a box and was Soooooo glad when the super told me I didn’t have to put it back in. SERIOUSLY ugly, Home depot style.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:50 am

      It really is one of those things I’m amazing even exists. Someone actually designed that thing, manufactured it, sold it to stores…AND people bought it!

    • Sam February 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Ha-ha the “nipple lights” are so awesome. Gross. I had a house full of them to get rid of and brass door knobs everywhere even cheap brass vent covers and terrible brown carpet all from home depot. So ugly. I can’t believe someone approved those designs….why?! Looks good! Huge space!

  • Reply Victoria Smith February 26, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    first off, i love that it’s called ‘deep space’, that makes it extra good. and second, it looks amazing!!! what a great room, which such interesting bones. i like that soffit thing. would be a rad spot for mister woo to work his built-in book shelf miracles.

    bravo, k2! looks awesome! xo

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Thanks, K1! <3

  • Reply amy h February 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good charcoal. I have this long dividing wall through my living area that has various warmths of light hitting it, and I do NOT wanting it going green or brown. I’ll have to paint a swatch of this.

    The paint looks great — and that room is crazy huge!

  • Reply Josh @ Wait Another Day February 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Deep Space is fantastic. Really looks great on the walls.

    All that wood is making my eyes burn but I totally understand the situation you’re in. Can’t wait to watch the room continue to transform!

    PS: I still love that IKEA bed. So so much.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:51 am

      I’m SO glad we bought that bed before it was discontinued. The gray was already gone when we got it, otherwise I never would’ve chosen green (which I’ve wound up loving). And it was on clearance!

  • Reply M.E. February 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    So excited to see you transform another space! It looks great so far (although the orange wood does kind of burn the eyes). That ginormous bedroom looks very bright. Any window treatment plans? Or just leave it all as is since the skylight will be just as bright?

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Window coverings aren’t really needed for privacy because of how high up they are on the wall, but I’m considering some kind of sheer, flat panels on sliding ceiling tracks just to hide the windows themselves. The sashes are pretty ugly up close.

  • Reply kay* February 26, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    such a difference. you are making me insanely impatient for my own move this spring!

  • Reply Joy @ OSS February 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Your new room is freaking ginormous. I love what you’ve done with it already but I’m so looking forward for you to paint the wood. I hope the landlord sees the light!

  • Reply Monica February 26, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I am a massive fan of dark paint in the bedroom ever since the bedroom I had in my first apartment was painted poorly in a very dark blue- as in you could see the white paint underneath, most likely due to someone doing a rush job. That said, the potential of that dark room stayed with me, and when I finally had my house, I knew the bedroom was going to be a gorgeous dark deep blue. There is nothing more relaxing I find, it is instantly calming, and in the dark winter evenings is can get so inky dark in there, it is very easy to fall asleep. And in the summer, it feels cooling and serene. Love your new room, gorgeous as always.

  • Reply Emily February 27, 2013 at 12:28 am

    That room is HUGE for Brooklyn! Also, is that a crazy awesome skylight I see in the middle of the room next to the hideous light?

    I’m living in a rental right now with wood planking on one wall of my bedroom (it’s real wood, but not pretty). What’s the deal with painting over wood in a renta? Is that a general “no”?

    Can’t wait to see pics of the rest of the place!

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Yes! Skylight! Yay!

      I think it really depends on the landlord. When in doubt, ASK. I’m big on fixing stuff up and making things better, but when it’s someone else’s property, there are lines that need to be drawn. I think unpainted woodwork is one of those things that needs to be discussed first.

  • Reply peggy February 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Ha! I was just thinking how cute your tchotchkes look lined up! I adore the dark paint, and the windows are fabulous. Putting a sofa there is a great idea. Maybe you can line up your candle holders on the ledge. 🙂 I’m with you, I’d want to paint all that wood too. You’re off to a great start. Can’t wait to watch the place evolve.

  • Reply Pati N February 27, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Looks awesome Anna…so inspiring. I seriously am in awe of your esthetic. Love the black color and can’t wait for more updates.

  • Reply kory February 27, 2013 at 1:56 am

    that color is beautiful!
    the view in the before-photo is amazing

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Downtown Brooklyn! 🙂

  • Reply Adriana February 27, 2013 at 3:01 am

    If those two sets of doors are covering closets you could take them off and hang curtains. Just a thought.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

      That’s definitely an idea, but I’m actually not big on walls of fabric. You’ll notice there are no curtains anywhere in my house! 😉

  • Reply christiana February 27, 2013 at 3:11 am

    LOVE that color! What a difference some beautiful paint makes. I think my whole apt is 500 sq ft, so am envious on multiple fronts 🙂

  • Reply liz February 27, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Looks amazing. When I saw the sneak peak picture on instagram I couldn’t believe how huge the space was – the table gave me the scale.
    You know more about the taste and limits your landlord but if he/she isn’t keen on you painting the doors could you stain and varnish them? I’ve had some quite good results with not good wood when I’ve stained it really dark and then finished with a very flat varnish with no sheen. I pick paint over stain but when paint isn’t an option stain can be a good way to get rid of the orange.
    And yes, I’d avert my lives too.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

      I’m sure I could do that, but it would be a PHENOMENAL amount of work. There are 7 doors, 7 windows, and miles of window casings, window sashes, baseboard moldings, etc. It would take a very, very long time…time that I just don’t have to devote to the apartment. I’d much rather spend that kind of time stripping the stair treads in my own house. 😉

    • liz February 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Yeah, I hear you on the time and effort. I guess I was thinking of the doors (or some of them) rather than all the trim and windows. But then you have the mismatch problem of too many woody finishes. Where I am the focus has been on not painting big things like doors but for the rest it has been more relaxed. I think in part because in lower value 19th century houses here (most of my rental experiences and now what i own) not much was left as plain wood – even what looked like plain wood tended to have a painted finish on it to make it look like a more expensive wood.
      And I can empathise about the stairs; mine are part stripped but I’ve run out of energy to finish.

  • Reply Sherri February 27, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Holy crap, that is a huge room! I would never assume that’s a Brooklyn apartment. Love the color. I hope you get to do the white trim, it would make the space really crisp, but the color is looking really good. Congrats on the new digs!

  • Reply Cristina February 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Very cool! I was always afraid of doing a dark/rich color in a bedroom, but the last time I painted, I chose a bold teal. It’s not as dark as the color you chose, but the space is much smaller. It’s amazing what can happen when you just go for it…and when you contrast with a bright white. Your bedroom looks great. Happy decorating.

  • Reply Layla February 27, 2013 at 8:14 am

    That paint is gorgeous! With a room that huge, I’d be tempted to just go ahead and do the whole room. =)

    How purple does this color ever read? I’m on the lookout for a blue-y charcoal. A little blue-y purple is allowed in some light, but I’m scared of paints that end up reading pretty purple once they’re on the wall.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

      It’s not purple AT ALL. It’s definitely on the slate side of charcoal—a smidge bluish, but really it reads as a true dark gray in all light.

    • Layla February 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Sounds perfect! Might have to splurge on a can on Benjamin Moore – just one, since the room is pretty small (I like a small, dark bedroom). I’m gonna assume that coverage is pretty awesome with this, it being BM?

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Yes, Benjamin Moore paint is good. You won’t get away with just doing one coat, though—not if you’re using a dark color over light (or vice versa).

  • Reply lauren February 27, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I love your blog and visit daily. Could you enhance that “Deep Space” feeling by painting the ceiling as well, or would that mean painting the whole room and making it too dark (ahern objects!) for reading, working etc.? Would it work if you just kept the wall behind the bed white?

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

      I think the reason Abigail Ahern’s all-dark rooms work so well is that they tend to be on the smaller/cozier side (I think small rooms look better dark than large rooms), and, more importantly, they usually have nice moldings and stuff that are ALSO painted dark. I’d do a black ceiling in my house, but not in this apartment.

  • Reply Elsie Harrington February 27, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Love the aerial views and space, and the Deep Space charcoal walls. The orange wood is an eyesore, no doubt, but if the landlord won’t let you paint, maybe he will let you stain a darker, cooler hue, or strip it to raw wood, and wax or oil it for a softer more natural finish that will work with your MCM furnishings. It looks like decent quality wood under the orange varnish. You could also do a wall to wall curtain with a tension wire, making a dressing room along the closet wall, like we did in our huge rental wreck around the corner from you on Clinton st. a few years back.) The doors, if you don’t remove some, can also be hidden by panels in a different material that could be removed later, with your new knobs completing the look. Or the entire wall could be covered in panels for a uniform surface to treat with pattern or texture. The space itself is unusual enough to be creative with! Congratulations on the new place and returning to that great neighborhood. (I lived there as a teen and several times after and always loved it.)

    • molly h February 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about a curtain wall (something heavy & drape-y…) over the closet doors (assuming you have a place to store them if they’re removed). It could be a fix if the LL nixes the painting idea or just a temporary change-up while you’re waiting to ask.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      I actually really hate walls of fabric. I can’t even deal with curtains! I really would rather just have consistency throughout the apartment, anyway. I don’t want to introduce a million different finishes and textures and colors. The wood isn’t torturing me or anything!

  • Reply Francine February 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I’m kind of picturing that light fixture taunting you from inside the closet and it makes me giggle.

  • Reply Anathalia February 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Wow, REALLY big bedroom! That’s fantastic! Love the dark paint! It’s already looking awesome!

  • Reply Heather P. February 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Great start to a new rental space! I also struggle to enjoy that tone of wood all over our apartment, and our landlord is never going to allow us to paint (not that I’d want to…it’s all terrible fake wood anyway). For now, I just try to work with it or do my best to ignore it.

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the space, and how the bedroom ends up!

  • Reply Katrina Peralta February 27, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Absolutely LOVING the dark walls in the bedroom. I completely agree on your view of how to deal with the wood and respecting the landlord, until maybe you can ask him and he agrees after seeing that you really have style and know how to make a space look great! Can’t wait to see how the rest of your space unfolds!!

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Yeah, I figure I’ll wait a year and let him fall in love with us as tenants before I ask. 😉

  • Reply Sarah February 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I did the same thing with those same ugly light fixtures in my last place. I call them nipple lights. God, they’re ugly. Ours was so old that the wiring was shot when we went to put it back up and we had to replace it. I can’t believe I spent $25 of my hard earned money on one of those awful things! But I really wanted my security deposit back.

    Your bedroom is massive. How many rooms do you have in this apartment? I can’t wait to see how it all develops. You must be so excited! Mazel tov!

  • Reply jodie love February 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

    What I would give to have your advice on overhauling my rental!

  • Reply Alex February 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Welcome (back) to the world’s best neighborhood! It is nuts how transformative that paint is. I have absolutely no doubt that the woodwork will look totally rad when you are done working your magic, and suddenly, I’ll be desperate to replace my doors with orangy, polyeurathane-caked, wooden ones. Work it, girl.

  • Reply guada February 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Wow! What a transformation already! I find myself liking wood again after a looong period of painting everything woodish, and except for the orange tone, I kind of like it. It certainly has character.

  • Reply Laura Casey February 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Oh, Anna!!!!!!!

    I can’t even describe my love for those walls. And definitely ask the landlord about painting or refinishing or stripping the wood. Painting might be a hard sell, but refinishing (in my experience) would probably be okay, unless they’re crazy-attached to that color. There’s always “I’ll put it back in the original condition before I move” thing, but unfortunately, that’s a tall order for the wood (and staining it back exactly as it was would require massive stripping and sanding, no?).


    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Oh, I’m sure he would not mind if I refinished the wood, and I wouldn’t even ask before doing that. It’s pretty badly damaged in a lot of places and there are paint spatters (NOT FROM ME) all over everything (plus the original stain/poly work is pretty awful), so I’d really be doing everyone a favor in that case. That’s just a monumental task, though—there is SO MUCH WOOD in this apartment. We’ll see, though. For now…I’m OK with the wood as-is.

  • Reply The Countess of Nassau County February 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I can’t lie, too dark for me. But if you love it and can handle all that dark, you can have one dramatic bedroom – and who couldn’t use more drama in the bedroom!!

    WOW that’s a lot of orange wood is right. What about wrapping the doors in FABRIC?? I knew I had seen it somewhere and sure enough, Apartment Therapy did a post on fabric covered kitchen cabinets (which frankly sounds insane). I didn’t read it, but here is the link.


    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Well, considering I have black paint all over my house, it’s safe to say that I can handle dark paint…

      But yeah, I’m with you on the cloth-covered cabinets—that sounds absolutely insane in the kitchen, and just gross elsewhere. I’d much rather live with the wood than have cloth-covered doors all over my apartment. I don’t even like curtains.

  • Reply Emma at The Marion House Book February 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I love Deep Space. We used it on a loft space for a client here in Toronto. (It’s on the first page of our portfolio over at Marion Melbourne if you want to have a look!)

    I think those closet doors would look great just sanded so you’re left with the unfinished wood. Maybe a bit rustic for your style?? Not sure.

    There is something Frank Lloyd Wright about those windows. Great space…and I can’t believe how much closet space you have. Very jealous…no tiny Victorian closets here!

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Yeah, sanded would be very nice, but like I’ve said in a few other replies, it’s not just these four doors. There are 7 doors, 7 windows with lots of casing wood, baseboard moldings, etc. It would be a huge ordeal. I’d rather use that time and energy for projects at my house, to be honest…

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      I just looked at the loft space in your portfolio. Looks AMAZING, Emma! I love the bright colors set against that dark field. So good.

      And yeah, I totally agree about the awesome closet space, thought it’s kind of wasted on us since we don’t keep much stuff in our apartment. It’s all at the house!

  • Reply Linda February 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    where are your posters from?

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Is there a specific print/painting/piece of art you’re wondering about?

  • Reply Lauren February 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    1. Are the doors solid wood? Guessing so with your hesitation of doing anything to them.

    2. How do you and Evan have enough time and money for both an apartment and house? What I mean is, fixing up one old house, plus working seems to occupy a lot of time. I’d love to see an entry regarding both of your life priorities. Is working on the house and apartment your “therapy” (as in, do you prefer this to relaxing, vacationing, or going out on the weekends, etc.?)? Do you view your house as your vacation home, since it’s out of the city and nearby to a lot of state parks/beautiful scenery? I ask because your situation is unique – not a lot of people choose your lifestyle.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Yes, as I said in the post, the doors are solid. They’re good quality. I’m not painting them without permission because they’re not my property!

      Our house is our primary residence, and was our sole residence for years. We starting renting an apartment in the city a few years ago because the 4 hours of daily commuting was having a very bad effect on my health. You can read more about that here:

      As for the rest of your questions, well, that’s pretty much what this entire blog is about. You’ll have to read along if you want answers! And yes, fixing up a house is a lot of work, which is why it’s taken us 7 years so far…and counting. We both have jobs, we don’t have kids, we own a house in a very inexpensive area, we do everything very slowly, we do all of the renovation work ourselves, and we’re very careful with how we spend money. I don’t know what else to tell you.

      For what it’s worth, though, this actually isn’t a particularly unique situation in NYC!

    • Lauren February 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

      I’ve been reading your blog for over 5 years. I remember when you got the first apartment, and I know that you have a general aversion to travel (flying is ok, though =).

      I’m not in an area where it makes sense to have dual living spaces (traffic and a large population are not an issue, yet). So, I guess the 3rd apartment move really intrigued me because this is, obviously, not going to be a stop-gap measure in your lives. You seem to be committed to the dual-living situation, especially with moving into a fixer-upper apartment. I’m fascinated by what underlying motives you and Evan have, what your life priorities are (I have no children, either), and what you find fulfilling and relaxing (e.g. I’ve seen your articles about your weekend adventures in upstate NY, but I still haven’t figured out what your “leisure” time is because you always seem to be improving both of your homes!). So, I guess I should clarify that these questions are from a long-time reader who would love to know how what you do fulfills life goals.

    • Anna @ D16 February 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Hi Lauren, I guess the best I can really offer is the content of this blog. I only write about a little bit of my life because the rest of it is private. Does that make sense? This blog is by no means intended to be a document or diary of everything on do on a day to day basis.

      I don’t really know how to answer your question about “underlying motives.” I’m not sure I think about life in those terms. I’m not a goal-oriented person—I just don’t function that way. I’ll do my best…

      • We will keep renting a city apartment for as long as it is necessary to our well-being.
      • I don’t consider this apartment a “fixer-upper.” I can’t imagine living anywhere and not painting, decorating, etc. I like to take care of where I live.
      • I don’t separate my life in to work/non-work/career/leisure time/relaxing/chores or whatever. My life is my life, regardless of what I’m doing. I look for the value and experience in everything I do, whether it’s designing a book cover, building a porch roof, or going to an art gallery. I can’t imagine anything more miserable than an existence divided into compartments and “life lists” or whatever. That’s not who I am. My work is my life is my pleasure is my job is my home is my happiness is my frustration and so on.

    • Lauren March 4, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Wow! If you would be willing to share your Myers-Briggs type, I’m totally intrigued!!! My life is definitely separated into spheres, but this may be determined by whether a person does what s/he loves, or does what makes the money, and finds aspects that s/he can love (esp. if within a “traditional” work environment). I’m all about goals -I’m amazed you can push through your house projects without listing! I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and guess “F” and “P” as opposed to “T” and “J”.

      Please don’t be offended by my interest – I’m really fascinated when someone’s brain functions either 1. at a level I never could or 2. doesn’t need to organize the way I do. (and, I’m not an “SJ”)

    • Anna @ D16 March 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Sorry Lauren, I don’t know what any of this means!

    • Lauren March 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      This is 5 minutes – answer questions quickly: http://similarminds.com/embj.html
      About Myers Briggs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers_briggs

    • Anna @ D16 March 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Lauren, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m really not interested in doing a personality analysis for your benefit. My blog is my public face. I appreciate that you’re interested in knowing more about me, but my private life is just that. Please respect that boundary. Thank you.

  • Reply brianna [ observanat nomad ] February 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    so big and well lit! i wonder if there’s some type of removable vinyl or wallpaper like material you can attach to the door fronts to make them white? i have no clue, but just a thought. i am loving that paint color though. i wonder since the room is so big, that if you painted all the walls it might feel cozier? nice either way 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca February 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Love this room and thank you for sharing. Can you talk a little bit more about the why you love moonlight white? I’d love to hear your perspective as I’ve found it so helpful with lots of other home improvement projects in the past. You may have another post on this or something you could point me to as well.

    LOVE when you share your home improvement projects – you have a great eye.


    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca! I’m not sure I really have a lot to say about Moonlight White other than that I like it! I took Darryl Carter’s advice years ago and painted my entire house with Moonlight White and Simply White for the trim. It looks good everywhere! Nice with wood, and nice with other whites.

  • Reply christine February 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Love the color!
    Maybe this would work to cover your doors?


    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      I really don’t think I’d want to cover my woodwork with anything but paint, but this looks like it would be a fun wall covering for someone with kids!

  • Reply paige February 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    haha. i like this post. and your old lady tchotchkes.

  • Reply Ryan February 27, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Anna, could you replicate your fauxdenza underneath the windows? Take your need for a dresser away as well as add some more white to the space which might help the wood situation.

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      I thought about doing something like that, but we really don’t need the storage space. We don’t keep much stuff in the apartment.

  • Reply sarah February 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Love the new space! I’ve had this beautiful home bookmarked for awhile – thought you might find inspiration in the unpainted woodwork! http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2012/7/11/matthew-hranek.html

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      Yes, I love this house! If my woodwork were that pretty, I’d have no issues with it at all. 😉

  • Reply LifeLoveLuxe February 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Love, love LOVE the drama of a bold dark blue. This already looks so sophisticated! Excited to watch how things progress. Congrats to you!

  • Reply Kari February 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    love the charcoal wall color and totally feeling your pain on the orange-ish wood!

  • Reply Valerie February 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I don’t understand why the big fuss about the wood. It’s just a design challenge, like any other! Designers can very rarely work with ideal settings, but it’s that back and forth, between the things designers can’t change and the things they can that creates beautiful things! Right?

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      I agree, Valerie! I think people just want to be helpful, though. I’m fine leaving it as-is. 😉

  • Reply Natasha February 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Anna, this all sounds amazing, I am so jealous: I love moving because it’s a reason to rearrange all our things for specifically this apartment (we also move from one old building to another, always a challenge, in a good, exciting way).

    About the ‘wood problem’: since you have a lot of storage space (under the bed space will work too) and if your landlord would mind painting all these wooden treasures, maybe you can take these doors off, get white ones from homedepot / lowes / craigslist / idon’tknow, and when it’s time to move out — replace these. If you are going to stay here for few years, it might be worth doing (but I am also known for going way further than most people in rental apartments, because I don’t treat it as my temporary living situation and I would rather make it as good as I can).

    good luck with the rest of the apartment, can’t wait to see more details!

    • Anna @ D16 February 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      I suppose that would be feasible if it were just a door or two, but it’s not: It’s 7 doors, 7 windows, window casings, door casings, baseboard moldings, etc. Tons and tons and tons of wood, and I’m really not interesting in removing it all and replacing it later. I can’t even imagine trying to pry off 200 linear feet of baseboard moldings intact! Also, doors are expensive—and difficult to hang in existing frames (which is why new doors are usually sold “pre-hung”). It would be an enormous project.

      I’d much rather look at the wood, really!! It doesn’t bother me, and I’m not looking for a solution. That kind of time and money is much better spent on renovating my house. 🙂

  • Reply Modern thrifter February 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Echoing everyone’s comments… it looks amazing! I’m really excited to hear the paint color recommendation, too. It sounds like the exact shade I’ve been looking for. I’ve been dying to paint my bedroom walls dark, but we have terrible, dark floors in there that we need to paint white first.

  • Reply Jen February 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

    That paint color is so pretty. We have a small bedroom that only gets northern light. The walls are bright white, and it doesn’t help to lighten things up at all. Maybe I’ll take the plunge and ask our landlord if we can paint the walls dark. I mean, if it’s going to look like a cave no matter what, might as well be intentional about it!

    As for the wood, it gave me a chuckle, in light of your responses to those offering well-intended solutions, that your “It’s OK” banner is floating in the sea of wood in the last picture! We have the same orangey floors and have found that neutral rugs really help to downplay them. Also, I don’t know if this is to your taste, but a pop here and there of burnt orange (in a pillow, artwork, whatever) might help sort of tie the wood color in.

  • Reply iona February 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    With a 500 sq ft bdrm, what is the total sq footage of the apartment? Even with the orange wood which actually looks beautiful with the paint color you chose.

  • Reply Amy March 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    A SKYLIGHT in the bedroom is such an amazing treat. So wonderful. And that space under the windows and the deep ledge are so different, I’m really into them – it will be interesting to see what you do with those areas. The color! Plus the skylight! So good.

    I see above that you’re not looking for a solution for all the wood doors, but especially with those closet doors I could see a mirror or a blanket/throw hung on an over the door hook/rack to break up at least one or two of the doors. Though… it would be a challenge to figure out how to mount a mirror without harming the wood. But that’s what I’d be tempted to try. Plus, I appreciate your thoughts on what it means to leave a rented space in better condition.

    Looking forward to seeing what else you do with this apartment.

  • Reply Di March 2, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Love the color and love the wood! Kudos to you for not painting it. Everybody paints the wood, heck it’s the easy way out. But it takes true boldness and creativity NOT to paint it, and instead celebrate its natural beauty. You did an awesome job.

    • Anna @ D16 March 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

      I have nothing against painting wood, and it’s what I would do if this were my property. I love wood, but not when it’s coated with polyurethane! That’s not celebrating its “natural beauty,” it’s wrapping it in clear plastic. The opposite of natural!

  • Reply myeyesonthings March 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Ha , ha the boob light! I wrote a post about those a while ago.
    Great color for your bedroom and not painting the wood and respecting the owners property is good karma. Once he sees your changes he might trust you in changing the rest, too. Just do not give up hope.
    Renovating is tough and never ending…I am in the middle of it, too.

  • Reply cvjn March 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I have Deep Space picked out for my kitchen! After trying and trying to find the perfect shade of gray, I’m happy to see it’s everything I had hoped. Also, I think your taste is pretty spectacular, so I’m feeling pretty validated!

  • Reply justinehand March 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Oh, Anna. I can commune with you on the orange wood. The previous owners redid all the gorgeous floors and butler’s pantry in my new home in the same amber hue. Why, people, why? It’s not wood, it’s orange when you stain – I mean stellac – it that color. And not a good orange. But dark blue is definitely the right choice to neutralize it. You must be feeling better. (And yes, since I own my home, I will be repainting/staining in Scandi white – eventually…)

  • Reply MF Miller March 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    This is so funny.
    I bought “Soot” because of you for the accent wall in our new bedroom (we moved this past Friday) but in our last bedroom… It was “Deep Space” both because the colour is wonderful but also because we had the exact same colour of wood panel closet doors.

    Weird world.
    Also this colour looks lovely with that hot pink you like and totally goes charcoal in day light as seen here:

  • Reply Regine March 5, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I´m impressed!
    Grey is my favorite colour and I´m often thinking about to pain my bedroom in grey. Now I see your room and it´s time to go for it.


  • Reply afton March 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Hi Anna! Love the updates. Can you tell me where the desk with the white legs is from? Thinking it would be great for my studio space. Thanks. 😉

  • Reply Maria March 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Anna,
    About this closet doors – maybe you could mount a curtain in front of them? That wouldn’t probably be a problem even if the place is rented. Some nice natural fabric… It wouldn’t be that functional – you would always have to pull it away to gain access, but still would improve the general feeling of the space.

    • Anna @ D16 March 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

      I don’t mean to keep repeating myself, but I reeeeeeally am not into walls of fabric—I don’t even like curtains on windows. I’m fine with the doors as-is! I guess they bother everyone else more than me. 😉

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