My Lady in Palladian

The office makeover continues!   (insert crowd goes wild here – or just really bored moms with Cheerios stuck to the bottom of their fuzzy slippers saying ‘umm…okay’)

If you are new to this game, let me tell you what we’ve been up to…first we started with a very ugly & messy office.   It was painted the very breathtaking colors of Poo & Eww.

Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine offered us $300 to makeover a room and this space topped the list.  So we started out with a plan,

contemplated chair options here, got a new toy to spray the walls and ceiling…

and then pulled the trigger after some major prep work.

After two coats of sprayer-painting was complete, we were left with one heck of a brighter lighter space.  (you can see the before and afters in the link above).


Now comes the part in this story when I tell you about picking colors for the upper part of the wall.

You probably would guess that it would entail some sort of emotional breakdown on my part where I end up on the floor telling Jeremy to just pick a color because (and I quote) “I CAN’T HANDLE ANY MORE DECISIONS!  I AM ONE GIANT SMELLY BRAIN FART AND I AM GOING TO SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST IF I HAVE TO CHOOSE…AND YOU DON’T WANNA LIGHT THIS FART ON FIRE!”  And if you guessed that…you probably would be right.  It’s kindof amazing that I ever got pregnant.  or got him to marry me…or date me…or speak to me in general.  I’ll be the first to admit that.

In the end, we ended up going with Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue.  It’s a great muted but still slightly vibrant greenish blue that looked good with the adjoining office bathroom and was pretty enough to fulfill my dreams of a Kate-Spade-ish office space.  Did I mention that?  I totally want this space to be girly and happy with pops of color and inspiring just like the feeling I get when I peruse

For all you folks wondering – here’s what we used for the paint agenda – 2 coats of Olympic’s Zero VOC premium in Eggshell colormatched to Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue for the upper part of the walls, 1 coat of Kilz Premium waterbased primer & 1-2 coats of Valspar’s Premium Bright White Base in eggshell (no color or tint added) on the lower part of the walls and the ceiling.

(note – I normally use semi-gloss on trim – and flat on ceilings – but since we were spraying them all, I split the difference with Eggshell)

It also helped soothe my hyper-emotionalism when I saw how lovely my pots looked with the new wall color.  The front one is from the discount shelf at Target and the back one is from Lowe’s (love love love the color and the drippy bits).

I was able to help with the painting….as in I did all the rest of the painting all by myself (which to a toddler mom, two hours of silence is like a vacation).  I must admit, it felt really good to get something done.  And God bless the inventors of the zero VOC paint.  I mean, this baby would probably be born with three arms otherwise…although that could be kind of awesome when it comes to sports  – like wrestling or swimming.

And now through the magic of the internet – here is the finished walls!

Hello Palladian!

It looks crazy weird at this angle – but it’s actually much bluer…

and yes, once the paper comes up off the floor, it actually looks different (I’m such a tease!)

Next up – new lighting (err…old lighting in a new home)…and some furniture makeovers.

Oh and for the sake of keeping it real – yes, whenever I am making over a space, I move everything into a different room.  It looks like a bomb went off.  In this case, the office exploded into the dining room and the foyer.  I call it my ever-migrating mess.  It just moves from one place to another.  I would call it my diminishing migrating mess…but that would be a lie.  It never gets smaller :)

Okay – now here’s where it gets even more real.  Like unzip those harem pants and hold onto your underroos kinda real.  I am  going to attempt to post the furniture makeovers, the lighting redo and the big office reveal….

all of em…


Still got your panties?  Me too.  Which is good…because I might pee a little I am so excited.  Hope you stick around for the ride!



  1. says

    I just wanted to say a couple things. First, the color is gorgeous! It already looks about ten trillion times better. Second, your writing style is absolutely joyful. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I don’t think there has been a post yet that has failed to hit me emotionally (usually it makes me laugh and smile, but you write about trials very poignantly and honestly). And I wanted to say thank you for that.

    And I can’t wait to see the rest of the office!

  2. Rachel says

    LOVE the color! It looks great with the trim! I don’t know how you manage to do so much painting in your house. My husband and I repainted just two rooms and it was soooo hard to do with a baby (painting while she sleeps or the hubs painting while I keep her busy). Anyway, it turns out that we both hate the color I picked for the kitchen so we are going to paint it AGAIN. We are both DREADING the process and keep putting it off. Kudos to you for your painting cabilities!

    We also did what you did and matched a BM color to Olympic Zero VOC paint. I was under the impression that it was not actually zero VOC. The base itself is, but the tints they add when they mix your color contain VOCs. So I would still be careful with using that while pregnant. I’m sure it’s still much lower in VOCs than your average regular paint but just thought I would mention that to you as an fyi.

    Can’t wait to see the office when it’s finished! It’s gonna be great!

    • says

      Yes – you definitely are right. It’s LOW VOC after the colorant is added…so yeah, it’s definitely necessary to have proper ventilation. Thanks for the reminder to say that!
      xo – kb
      p.s. For anyone looking – there are zero VOC paints out there available for preggos or greenies so it’s wise to do your research before settling!

  3. says

    love love LOVE palladian blue. we put it in our master bath and love it so much we bought another gallon for our second bathroom. it really is a perfect color. your room is lookin’ good!

  4. Jenny says

    Yay! It looks beautiful. Palladian Blue is hands-down my favorite blue. I painted my living room that color, and I still LOVE it three years later.

    Can’t wait to see the rest of the makeover!

  5. D says

    Katie – Palladium Blue and Robin’s Nest by Ben Moore are the best! They are both in my house and are the absolute perfect green blues! Love the office, can’t wait to see it finished :)

  6. says

    this looks awesome! I mean, praise God for white paint because it is seriously the biggest difference maker I’ve ever seen in a room. love it! you are going to have so much fun finally having such a big office/craft/everything else only girl room for you to use! and i love that it’s right off the kitchen! oh yes… and the purpose of my commenting was to say i just got a free valspar sample of that palladian blue and now i can’t wait to use it! thanks! :)

  7. Katie R says

    KB, I always get super excited when you post updates but this one takes the cake and cupcakes and cookies and bacon! The contrast between the before photos and the newly painted walls makes my heart sing. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us.

  8. Natalie says

    OMG I could not be more excited about the extra office posts today. I have been stalking your website for about 2 weeks, sad about the lack of postage…BUT I know with you being preggo and toddler chasing I understand. SO HAPPY about the updates! You are amazing :) I can’t believe how different the room looks with color. Whenever I watch HGTV Househunters or My First Place or something and people complain about paint or anything cosmetic I’m like “HELLO go to BowerPower and she will show you the power of a good paint facelift!!!” Love it.

    • says

      Hmmm- you think I’ve posted less? Because I think my month’s count is like 21 right now…which is about right for me normally. Maybe I need to take a closer look :)
      xo – kb

      • Natalie says

        I think it’s more the 3 in day as opposed to a daily fix…It’s like crack I tell you :) I just can’t get enough of sweet Will is all!

  9. says

    The Power of Paint amazes me every time. I love the colors and can’t believe how much brighter this room looks now. LOVE IT! I can’t wait to see the rest of the changes/updates.

  10. says

    It looks SO GOOD! Amazing amazing. Maybe it will kick my butt in gear to finish painting my office. It’s been sitting half gray and half green (and half white–uh huh) for over a month.

  11. Stewart says

    “you don’t want to light this fart on fire” :) Filing that one away for use at an appropriate (or inappropriate time). :) loving the blue.

  12. says

    WOW!!! It looks amazing Katie!! Well done. Can’t wait to see all the other reveals today. Sounds like you’ve been very busy! Thanks for sharing with us :)

  13. Michelle B says

    Looks great! Quick question. I’d love to hear how spraying the walls went? How did you make sure the trim didn’t get painted with the wall color? And would you say it was better/faster than rolling? It looks like you still cut in (which is usually what takes longest). Would love a review of spraying vs rolling because I’m thinking of getting a sprayer for furniture but if it makes room painting easier, I’m sold!!

    • says

      Well – as a reminder, we sprayed the white and used a brush/roller for the blue. I think the sprayer would be great for larger surfaces – like if you have over 75% of a room in one particular color (like we did)…and when it comes to furniture – it is awesome – or like cabinet doors or something like that – but in general, I would not choose to use it for regular wall painting.
      xo – kb

  14. Amanda C. says

    The color makes the white pop even more. But how close is the office color to the rest of the house? I know you don’t like the “toothpaste” color of the rest of the house and the office color seems to follow that just a little bit. But then again, computer v real life=HUGE DIFFERENCE. Looking good, keep it up! You can dooooooo it!

    • says

      I went around comparing the Palladian blue paint chip to all the other rooms and heres the synopsis – it’s much more saturated than our master bedroom/kitchen…and more blue than the toothpaste walls in the main section of the house/living room…and much more blue/green less gray than the reading room. All in all – it is the closest to the hallway we painted down to the basement and the dining room area down there (we haven’t shown that yet – so keep your eyes peeled for the future post).
      xo – kb

  15. Tammy says

    Keep it coming Katie!! So excited to see the final reveal….it’s already looking so beautiful. I don’t think you’ll ever want to leave that room!

  16. Carly says

    Gorgeous already! I love that calming blue color and the crisp white trim. Can’t wait to see the finished room!

  17. Merri Jo says

    Oh, SO gorgeous!! I would replicate the entire look in a living, dining or bedroom!!! I’m seriously contemplating requesting a paint sprayer for my birthday!
    Would you so kindly list the paint names of the chips left to right on the edge of the wainscot? I waver and waffle over blues ’til the cows come home!

    • says

      Here you go – from left to right –
      BM’s Silvery Blue
      BM’s ? (number was AF-485)
      BM’s Mountain Mist
      Valspar’s Portico (I LOVE THIS COLOR)
      Valspar’s 5003-3 (Sage Bud is the first color on this swatch and it was our old bedroom paint color)
      Olympic’s 503 (Sea pearl is the first listed color)
      xo – kb

    • says

      I painted the upper parts of the walls with a brush and roller so I just stippled the vents too and rolled right on over them :)
      xo – kb

  18. Donna says

    “Poo and Eww!” So funny! That’s why I love you, Katie.

    And the office…beautiful. I can’t wait to see the rest, although I have no doubt it will be as lovely as the rest of your house.

  19. Ruth says

    Underwear – Gripped! I can’t wait.

    I love how it’s going so far! I. die. for that jellyfish art you picked. I want it sooo bad!

  20. Jessica says

    I am loving this room. Your colors are very similar to our master. I am always so amazed what fresh paint can do to a room! Can’t wait to see the reveal.

  21. says

    Wowee, looking good! Amazing, actually! I have been dying to put some color on my walls. I have been stuck to white walls and bright accessories for so long that sometimes I think a little color will do me good.

    I’ll be back later today to check out more! You’v made an otherwise dull Monday very exciting. :)

    xo, emily

  22. says

    I can’t wait to see it all finished up! It is amazing what paint alone does to a room. I’ve been meaning to share a link from a friends blog. She is also a photographer and recently redid her office (they are also working on renovating/updating a new (to them) home). Her wall color is much brighter than yours, but I thought I would share anyway!

  23. says

    I hate/love you for including the Kate Spade link. I will now kill the entire toddler nap time looking at that damn website.
    Love the colors, love the pots.
    Do you love the spray painter? I’ve wanted one for awhile since we need to paint basically all the rooms in our house.

  24. patty says

    Gorgeous… amazing transformation… Can’t wait to see it pop when you take up the paper from the floor – put up some things framed in white on the walls and get some gorgeous panels for your windows… it’s really come a long way from the brown – what were the previous owners thinking? yep, i’m glad you got a great deal… but what a difference!!! great job!

  25. says

    I love the color and I must agree with everyone else that the transformation qualities of pain are unbelievable. I painted every room in my house over a week the same color before I moved in and the dross carpet was replaced. I am thinking about repainting. Any thoughts about whole house color schemes like your BF Sherry chose?

    • says

      I think whole house color schemes definitely work – but I also see the advantage of color. I say that as long as you have flow from room to room, then everyone shouldn’t feel the need to stick to a set ‘schedule of colors’…but if you have trouble with picking different colors for different rooms, then Sue the Napkin might be just the helpful assistant you are looking for :)
      xo – kb

  26. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the color! I’m in the midst of picking a blue for the top of my boy’s nursery walls. (Bottom half is white board and batten that is yet to be DIY’d) The whole picking out paint colors about puts me over the edge because WHAT IF I PICK WRONG AND HATE IT?? It might be the end of the world:) I’m about to the point of letting my husband choose between the two swatches on the wall, but then my OCD takes over and I get hot sweats thinking about him making that decision and not me. You’re glad you don’t live in my mind:)

  27. says

    I’m in love with the Palladian Blue. So much so that I’m wanting to use it in my new great room (house will be finished in September and I’m already dying to paint). How do you think the color would play in a large space? The trim in all the rooms and the cabinets in the kitchen will be a creamy white if that info informs your advice.

  28. Carolyn says

    Discovered Palladian blue about 10 years ago. It has been my “go to” color ever since. Last month I had a 5 gal bucket mixed and kept rolling from room to room. Love it.

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