Decorating, Humor

Big Blue Wall


In the spirit of winter homesteading or home tending, I have been nesting into our home this winter like no winter before.

In fact, I haven’t really nested in my home this much since my little birdies were much younger.

I have to say that homeschooling Ella has made me appreciate our home more because I am in it more.

That’s not to say that we never leave the house, but since schooling her within the walls of this home has led us to take our time each day, stay inside a little longer, and just linger, I am enjoying our home on levels that I had never before.

When my girls were small, we didn’t venture out as much in the winter because let’s face it, winter in the Midwest sucks. There has always been plenty of fun things to entertain them inside of their home, and honestly, my girls are very much homebodies at their core.

I’d like to take a little credit creating a home that my family doesn’t care to leave but I think it might have something more to do with cozy beds, television streaming, and not having to put outside pants on but let me live in this delicious oblivion, okay?


Green Ceramic Mug on Person's Feet


I have wanted to do little projects around my home since fall but with schooling Ella five days a week on top of the regular stuff that needs to happen around here, it didn’t get done.

But one December day, I got a wild idea while (insert irony) watching television.


I want to move the sofa facing the fireplace and not the television. 

This didn’t go over quite well with the masculine part of my family and no, that isn’t our dog.

I have never liked the idea of facing furniture towards the TV and I have no idea why because I love to watch TV as much as the rest of my family.

But it was during the time of year that we MOST watch TV that I decided to move the one piece of furniture our asses sit on to watch TV facing AWAY FROM the TV.

Toward the fireplace to be clear.

Back in November, I pinned this:


How to Paint Tile in 3 Easy Steps! NO SANDING REQUIRED! Before and After DIY Painted Fireplace Makeover.


The blogger over at Setting for Four had a tile inset on her fireplace that looked very similar to mine and she painted it white.

When we were looking at this house during the spring of 2005, it took two walkthroughs before we realized there was a fireplace in our soon to be family room.



It doesn’t show up on this terrible photo but the wall was painted the exact color of the tile around the fireplace: mauve.

And now that I am looking at this, I realize they even had the couch facing the fireplace!

Smart. People.

Anyhoo, I have had a hate/hate relationship with the tile that surrounds the fireplace.

In that, I hate the color of it.

But I never thought of painting it because my brain doesn’t think like that.

I thought about slapping wood up there and creating a much cooler surround but never painting it because that is just too easy.

Isn’t it?

I ordered the paint using her affiliate link (hey, bloggers gotta stick together) one late December day and decided I would make this a January project.

In If You Give Kari a Painting Project fashion said to the rhythmic timing of If You Give a Pig a Pancake, I couldn’t just paint the tile surround of the fireplace.

I also needed to create a focal wall with a different color as well.

All because this blogger made me do it:

Courtesy of Thrifty Decor Chick

This chick (also her blog name) has been the bane of my existence since 2011.

Long story. Buy the book.

Let’s just say she has been instigating projects in my home (without her knowing) for the past eight years.

But that color. THAT COLOR. Above her fireplace. ABOVE HER FIREPLACE.

I needed it.

Even though just 10 months ago, I decided to paint our family room a color five shades lighter than what was on before, I must have this dark color.

It’s called Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams.

So during my headache spiral, I decided that paint was going to be my salvation.


I also decided to make it a teachable moment in homeschool by bringing Ella with me to Sherwin Williams for paint swatches.

Mom, you mean all of these paint swatches are…….free? You just take them? 

Blink, blink.

I had been working so hard teaching her about things like multiplying triple digits, our solar system, social awareness, civil rights, and racial injustice that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t taught her about things like painting on the cheap, rearranging furniture, and spending no money to redecorate.

After we took our free swatches from the Sherwin Williams store, we headed straight to Home Depot on the way to a homeschool event and got our little paint samples in two different colors because I was deciding between TWO colors now.



These samples were $3.98 each but honestly, they didn’t really help with my cause because they really were true to the swatch. Once I put them both on the wall, I knew I still wanted the darker color my blog nemesis (said jokingly, I swear) used on her fireplace, Cyberspace.

The other color is Distance by Sherwin Williams, in case you love it.

It was a little too light blue for me in this room.


Both colors up from the samples; Distance on the left, Cyberspace on the right.


But before I get ahead of myself yet again, I began painting the tile surround white. Or I should say, we began painting.



This doll wanted to help me and let me just say that the memory of her spending an hour on a Saturday morning giving this surround a second coat while singing the Hamilton soundtrack at the top of her lungs with earbuds in will live with me for the rest of my days. Every time I look at this fireplace, I will think of it.


So after one coat, my helper was off to talk to one of her besties on the phone and that was exactly the moment I decided to start painting both the focal wall AND the third coat of the surround.

I say this because if she was still helping, she would have talked me out of it because she is sensible like that.

I, however, am not.


Side note- if you do decide to get a sample of paint, here is exactly the amount you will have to paint. I took this picture so that if you had a really small area or a touch up to do, get the sample size instead of a quart.


After a small trip to Home Depot to get a quart of paint to finish the wall, off I went.


I did have a moment of there is no turning back because that is dark.

Would it make this room smaller?

Am I doing the exact wrong thing for my winter blues?

Welp, too late now.


I waited until this point to send a picture to Anna because she is my reality check when it comes to well, anything.

I knew she would have no problem telling me her exact thoughts.

So when she said she LOVED it, I felt like I did the right thing.

I wasn’t ready to send it to Mike who was at work when I decided to do this.

Mind you, he had no idea I was planning on doing it on this day.

He knew of some sort of change that might be happening but being the smart man he is, he offered no objections.

I would send him a picture when it’s all done and pretty.

Yeah. That’s what I will do.

A few hours later, and after moving the sofa facing the fireplace, I sent him this picture instead:


His response?

Wow, how are we going to watch TV?

Blink blink.

Now, I do realize that we could mount the television above the fireplace and we may end up doing that.

But then it will cover most of that delicious paint color.


That surround, by the way, took four coats of paint.

Holy hell.

And it could possibly use another one but I am taking a break.



I brought in that yellow chest from the dining room and love it so much in here.

I, however, don’t love that I created a Go Blue situation in my Go Buckeyes family room but it softened the blow of the sofa facing the fireplace for my Michigan-fan husband.

Marriage is about compromises, people.


It has become my happy place room.

The day after I painted, Mike and I laid on the couch binge-watching a show and we were like, “this is so great”.

It’s like we appreciated this room so much more. More than we had in the previous 13.5 years we have lived here.

Rediscovering a room for the first time and truly appreciating it during a time of year when you really needed it?



And all it took was a little paint.

Okay, a lot of paint. but for real ONLY paint.




It’s a totally different room!

You can do this in your home too and you don’t need a design degree or a bunch of money either.

Paint AND shopping from your home are the best for changing a space.

Don’t know what shopping from your home is?

Essentially, taking stuff from other rooms and moving it around.

It’s fun. Try it!


I bought nothing other than paint to recreate my family room!

Here is the paint I used:


You can order this paint and primer in one from Amazon (affiliate link) or your local home improvement store.

I used that exact paint/primer for the tile surround on my fireplace.

As far as focal wall paint, I used Cyberspace by Sherwin Williams color paint chip but Glidden actual paint in a semi-gloss from Home Depot.


Looking for more on-the-cheap home improvements? Head here for my favorites. 


This page includes affiliate links as I am a part of the Amazon affiliate program.

26 thoughts on “Big Blue Wall”

  1. Dude! You are some sort of wizard! The room looks awesome, and you’re right, it looks totally different! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t convinced with the swatches. I was like, hmmm how am I going to break it to her in the comments. And then boom, like magic the room took shape and now it legit looks amazing. And I’m like, can she come to my house and tell me how to make my rooms look better?

    We have two living rooms, I know very swanky, and I wanted one to just be a fireplace room. So we bought a set of comfy couches and seats, and no one sits in there. Cause we haven’t had any fires and the TV is in the other living room. We call the other one the blue room, cause the walls are painted blue. We’re very creative over here. So now we have the most comfortable couches in the world, in a place where no one sits. And a crazy uncomfortable couch in a room where we always sit. Uncomfortably. Speaking of which, I should light a fire tonight. If I do, I’ll post it on Insta, and I’m dedicating it to you!


    1. I felt like I wasted $3.98 on the one color but I did use the Cyberspace sample so that was good. Next time though, I know that the free paint chip sample is good enough.
      I looooove that you have a “fireplace room”.

      Turning on my fireplace a lot this week because of subzero temperatures here.
      It’s a gas fireplace, which is never as good as the real thing. First world problems, you know. 🙂


  2. Ooh, I love it! It gives a nice pop and kind of, I don’t know “centers” the room if that makes sense. Shopping from your house is the best! I just did that last weekend. I almost donated a box of antiques from an Etsy store I used to run but I looked through it again when I wanted to style for winter (I refuse to jump into tulips and the like yet). I found some stuff that added texture and height and donated the rest. The only thing I bought was some frosty leaf garland from Hobby Lobby for 50% off.


    1. Thank you! Centers the room is the word I was looking for. It makes it look larger somehow, by painting it a darker color which goes against rational thought.
      Also by moving the couch, I created more of an “office” space for my desk that sits on the wall behind it (not shown) which is good because, since homeschooling, I have all sorts of doodads over there.


  3. I love that dark color, and I know just what you mean about feeling like it’s a whole new space and how good that feels and that you don’t have to do much to get it. Last weekend I hung curtains in my bedroom and got all of that feeling just from that. It was one of those “whyohwhy didn’t I do this months ago?!?” things because I’ve had the curtain rod and the curtains for months. I have been thinking that I want to do a wall like yours in my bedroom, but I’ve been saying I should wait until summer when I have more time because it’s definitely a “give a mouse a cookie” kind of thing in that room, but maybe I won’t wait. You’re inspiring me.

    I’m also trying, though, not to spend money by doing all the projects I’ve already bought materials for but haven’t done (which is why I finally hung the dang curtains). The dreaming/buying part of a project is my favorite, sadly. But this is inspiring me all the same.

    Can also relate to loving my house in a new way. Mine is still new to me, but I’m finally loving it for reals. And that feels really good.


    1. It is the little things, isn’t it??

      I feel like winter for me is when I do stuff like this because, during the spring and summer, we are always outside or on the patio (which I love). There is something to be said about nesting, that’s for sure.


  4. You are SO good at painting! There’s no way I could do that. I didn’t even know you could paint tile. Your room looks totally different; I didn’t even recognize it! Love the dark wall and how you now have the couch facing the fireplace. Is that the same couch or is it a new one? Also…how DO you watch TV now if you kept the TV in the same spot?


    1. Don’t look closely because then you will see all the mistakes I made. I still have to go back and touch up and or get rid of paint splatters EVERYWHERE.
      That is the same couch. We got it on Facebook Marketplace almost two years ago and really, we aren’t huge fans but it was cheap and it was sort of a sectional and we knew who we bought it from because normally I would never buy used furniture.

      So I lay on the long section facing it when I watch alone; when we watch together, we alternate or someone ends up watching it sideways but Mike is rarely home to watch TV so it works for now. But it does need to go above the fireplace eventually.


  5. this looks great! i’m super impressed that you just DID IT and that you also didn’t cover your light flooring, lol. i’m definitely not that skilled. enjoy your new space!


  6. Wow! You are brave. It is a very cool look, and it looks professional. Well done, you. I think my house needs a sign that says, ‘Chip and Joanna haven’t done work here, so don’t judge.’ I have painted a blue wall in my family room, not as dark as yours – but I love it. My island in my new kitchen is also blue. I wasn’t sure about that – but I do absolutely love it. I am definitely a scaredy cat.

    Some people just have the touch of knowing what to put on walls, where to add some color, what accent pieces, etc. I do NOT have that touch. I might need to check out the blog that you refer to for inspiration, but like you – I sometimes just get annoyed. Like, how in the world can she pull that off?

    Um, doing this without the consent of a spouse. Again with the bravery! And the memory building with the singing daughter is super special!


  7. Kari I also did the same thing on one wall in my living room and every time I sit down to watch tv I am bowled over by the transformation. I think a dark accent wall actually makes the room look bigger because it stands out and the other walls are white. I’m on a quest to paint almost everything in there so it looks right. I really love the yellow accent color too! Enjoy your “new” room.


  8. “A blogger made me do it.” Yes, that sounds like a very good line to use in the future!!! You had a bunch of good lines in here. Very enjoyable reading. Thank you for sharing at Best of the Weekend!


  9. Wow!!! Okay, so here’s what u need to do. Head down to my place in FLORIDA. Winter here with Ella and use that great eye you have to help me figure out how to make my place stylish on a dime. Seriously. 😯🤗🙏


  10. All the while I was thinking, Kari doesn’t realize a dark color will leave the room looking & feeling so dark…it will be depressing, not to mention when you go to sell the house, it needs to be painted a neutral light color. But you’re probably not going to sell the house anytime soon.

    HOWEVER. I really do like that wall! Surprise, surprise…I even surprised myself. It looks good! I love the white surround for the fireplace too…much better. I like that little yellow chest in there too.

    So you did good girl. I approve.


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