a finished closet with benjamin moore natura.

September 16, 2015

benjamin moore natura closet redux | reading my tea leavesHere’s a closet, reimagined. Or, put plainly: repainted.

Mostly, here’s proof that the smallest fixes are often the best ones. The finished project (sponsored by Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint—more on that, here) is a simple update: fresh white paint on walls and trim, plus the tiniest touch of color. But it’s made all the difference in the way our apartment feels.

That’s the thing about white paint, isn’t it? I write a little bit about the magic of a fresh coat of paint in my soon-to-be book (!), but it bears repeating here that a fresh coat of white paint changes a space in a way that feels more visceral than visual. Yes, it reflects the light differently, but it also freshens the energy in a space, doesn’t it? A fresh coat of paint on a September weekend when the heatwave has finally broken and there’s a hint of fall in the air? Even better.
benjamin moore natura closet redux | reading my tea leaves Without beating you guys over the head with it, the biggest treat was being able to use a paint that didn’t smell up our place. The semi-gloss seemed to have only the slightest odor—a kind of barely-there, practically imperceptible, paint smell—but the eggshell, which I used on the majority of the closet, was, indeed, odorless. Both paints were an incredibly far cry from the usual experience of being overwhelmed by paint fumes and a truly noticeable improvement over other zero-VOC paints I’ve used.

benjamin moore natura closet redux | reading my tea leaves

Once I began painting, I realized that half of the rear closet wall was covered in joint compound from old plaster repairs and hadn’t even been painted at all. (No wonder it was looking so grody.) I put two coats on everything to make sure the wall was properly attended to, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I’m especially pleased that the Simply White (2143-70) shade finally offers me something to recommend to curious readers in search of a perfect white.) It’s a warm white that’s not too warm. It doesn’t look yellowy or creamy, per se, but it’s also not so white that it’s blue. In contrast, the Lily White (2128-70) succeeded at being the right shade of light blue gray for a little stencil accent.
benjamin moore natura closet redux | reading my tea leaves In the end, I decided to add the Stencilit Diamond Wall Stencil to just one side of the closet. The placement below the wood trim felt like it framed the corner just right and I feel like the finished product feels intentional and pretty but not visually overwhelming. And at the risk of sounding overly fickle, my favorite part about using a stencil was the lack of utter and complete committal. For this pattern-phobe, it’s nice to know that if I decide that there’s too much pattern for me, the fix is as simple as a coat or two of paint and not lost time or money spent on removing wallpaper. I trimmed the stencil a bit so that it fit easily into the corners of the wall and after one misfire with too much paint on my roller, the process was easy.
benjamin moore natura | reading my tea leaves To finish up the closet, I hung a bit of gauzy white fabric over our curtain rod to hide the diaper pail and added of dose of life with an over sized air plant that I can move across the closet pole depending on the whims of my acrobatic child. In the end, I’m really glad that the space feels like clean and fresh and bright enough for a baby, but that it’s not so baby-fied that it changes the feel of our apartment as a whole. When your dining room table is mere feet away from your diaper pail, these considerations are, after all, important. benjamin moore natura | reading my tea leaves Here’s a not-quite-perfect side by side analysis in case that’s something that you’re interested in. Isn’t it amazing how the light looks different with a fresh coat of a warm white?

More about the process of paint selection, HERE. A very special treat for a lucky reader coming at you tomorrow. Stay tuned.

This post was sponsored by Benjamin Moore’s Natura Paint. Opinions my own. Reading My Tea Leaves is proudly supported by businesses striving to do better. Thanks for supporting the brands that help this blog thrive.

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  • Reply Anonymous September 16, 2015 at 12:32 pm


  • Reply liz September 16, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Any details on the air plant hanger? Love it! (And the closet looks good, too!)

    • Reply admin September 16, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you! The planter is a longtime favorite from Pigeon Toe Ceramics! Here's the link: Faceted Hanging Tray!

    • Reply liz September 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks so much!!!
      (Can't wait to hear more about the book!!!)

  • Reply Kari September 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    We are also fans of Benjamin Moore. Our perfect white from them is Decorator's White. Not too warm, not too cool, just white.

    Have you had any experience painting over old oil-based paint? We have some old walls that could use a good paint, but I've heard that one has to use an oil-based primer before the latex if one is painting over old oil-based paint. Any ideas for odourless painting in that situation?

  • Reply Anonymous September 16, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    It looks lovely! I'm curious, though, where you keep your clothes? I know you have dressers and such, but where to hang your clothes that need hanging? Just curious 🙂

    • Reply admin September 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      In the closet next to this one! James and I share it and so far we fold all of Faye's clothes!

  • Reply Molly B September 17, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Wonderful! And speaking of tiny living… any thoughts to where Faye will sleep when she is grown out of her crib? I have a daughter the same age, we live in LA, and are considering downsizing to a one bedroom apartment… but where will she sleep?? Do toddlers really need their own rooms??

    • Reply admin September 17, 2015 at 12:33 am

      Faye's crib converts to a toddler bed, so we've got that to lean on! But we've also entertained the idea of moving our bed into the main room and turning the bedroom into a room for Faye. TBD!

  • Reply Brittany Wesely September 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    This looks really beautiful, Erin. I love the stencil idea!

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