BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home


My favorite white paint colors - @psstudio -

The number one question I’ve been asked is what my favorite white paint colors are. Whites can run the gamut of colors. There are warm whites, cool whites, and true bright whites. There are no hard and fast rules on what is a right white; it truly boils down to what looks best in your space.

No matter what line you go with you are bound to find some great options to fit your budget. I’m a Benjamin Moore fan, but you can find some great options at Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. (I’m still in mourning over the loss of Martha Stewart’s paint line at Home Depot (RIP!) and I used her Heavy Cream color a lot. It worked so beautifully in pretty much any interior.) I highly recommend grabbing a fan deck of whichever line you prefer to keep on hand. I have a few different fan decks of Benjamin Moore’s; it’s easy to pop it open and survey all the different color options. Most of the time I like to choose one that has a little ivory to it, but it always depends on how much natural light the room gets.


  • ALWAYS paint a few swatches on each and every wall in the room you’re going to paint. You can never go by just a paper swatch as the paint will react differently to the surface it’s being painted on in addition to the light the room receives throughout the day.
  • Choose at least 3 samples to test out, but ideally closer to 5. One will almost always be immediately ruled out.
  • Look at your paint samples in different lights: morning, afternoon, evening, and with your overhead lights on.

Ok, on to my favorites!

Favorite cool white: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White. A cool white can be a little bit sterile unless you get a ton of natural sunlight which will warm it up. We used this in our entire lake house and because of all our windows and high ceilings, it feels airy and loftlike. Great for kitchen cabinetry, bathrooms, trim, etc.

Benjamin Moore decorator's white - favorite white paint colors - shiplap -

Benjamin Moore decorator's white - favorite white paint colors - shiplap -

Favorite warm white: Benjamin Moore China White. This one is almost always a win-win. It’s creamy but can skew pretty bright in a well-lit room. We used it in our master bedroom and a few other corners of our house.

pencil shavings studio bedroom minted-13

Blue and aqua pop beautifully against it and warm metallics are also a great match.pencil shavings studio bedroom minted-6

Favorite grey white: Benjamin Moore Pale Oak. I LOVE the undertones to this white. It is oh-so chic.

Benjamin Moore pale oak -

via a Cup of Jo (Jessie Randall’s home – a gorgeous home tour! Photos by Alpha Smoot)

Favorite mix-well-with-other-colors white: Benjamin Moore Steam. We used this on our kitchen cabinetry and family room. It’s part of the Affinity collection which means that you can pick any color from the 144 options and know that they’ll coordinate together.

pencil shavings home tour-9 pencil shavings home tour-25

I’m not the only one w/ strong opinions on favorite whites:

A Beautiful Mess

The Decorologist

Amber Interiors

One Kings Lane

Elements of Style


Playing with Pattern above and below


We talk a lot about simple ways to add some color, pattern, and texture into your space. Throw pillows are always a great go-to for adding a little depth, texture, and life into your space. However, I actually love letting a bold choice in a rug or tile lead the way and set the tone. The rug game is so good right now and there are such a great range of super affordable options to choose from. It is fun to start with an exciting piece as the foundation of the room and pull colors, and textures within the rug as inspiration for the rest of the room.

Playing with Pattern above and below


And the tiles right now…can we talk about the tiles for a moment please?! So many stunning choices and patterns that really have the ability to completely set the tone and lead the story in a space. I love this strong choice of tile and the layering and mixing of rich brown tones and blacks.

Playing with Pattern above and below


More stunning tile! The patterns are just so beautiful and intriguing. You can see how a pattern like this will become the star or the room. If you are ready to go big with pattern take the tile right up off the floor and onto the back splash of a kitchen for really high impact!

Playing with Pattern above and below


Playing with Pattern above and below


This is a great way to go if you prefer a more conservative approach to pattern. The impact is just as high however! This rich saturated hue and energetic stripe sets the tone for the whole room. The great thing about this approach is it is easy to refresh this space by changing out just the rug and pillows. This room could have a totally different look overnight because the major furnishings are so neutral.

Playing with Pattern above and below


We cannot forget about the ceiling which is the final layer that makes your space look finished and completely pulled together. You can keep everything else simple in your space if you want to make a big statement from above. It is also nice to add a little texture if you want to go a little more subtle. Super simple additions like ceiling medallions are great for adding interest and texture to the “fifth wall”. Love the texture under foot and visual interest above in this image. What a perfect blend of romantic, cozy and organic

Playing with Pattern above and below


Wallpaper on the ceiling is such an amazing way to add the final bit of life into the room! It really is the icing on the cake and I love how the color is repeated in the pillows.

Playing with Pattern above and below


I cannot get enough of this bold graphic statement from above!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could snap our fingers and magically have projects completed? [insert big sigh here] There are so very, very many projects that need to be done at the Dream House: gardens need to be planted, bees need to be tended (children too), art work needs to be hung on walls, and rooms need to be decorated. In the case of the mudroom, which is a complete blank slate, we are long on plans and short on time. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. On the contrary, I know pretty much exactly what I want our mudroom to look like when it’s finished…whenever that might be! I want to keep the mudroom fairly neutral and natural. I want it to be bright, clean, and well-organized. If I could wake up tomorrow to a finished mudroom, here are the features I would want it to have…

white paneled mudroom with hooks and storage bench

  • a paneled wall, painted white: While the house was still under construction, my husband mentioned that he wanted to install horizontal paneling in the mudroom (someday) and paint it white. And I thought, “Good grief, I’ve married a genius!” I love the idea and think it will add brightness and a subtle, understated texture to the room. (photo from Dandee Designs)
  • double wall hooks: In my last post, I said, “The more hooks, the better.” And seriously, I think that’s my new mantra. I want not one, but two rows of double hooks so that coats, scarves, hats, and backpacks have a place to go that isn’t the floor. (photo from Home Depot)
  • lower baskets: We already have five baskets and just need one more so that everyone has a place to store sunglasses or frisbees or stuffed animals or sunscreen–all those little odds and ends that need corralling. (photo from Pottery Barn)
  • a long bench with room for storage: A nice bench (ours will mostly likely be homemade) provides a place for those storage baskets to go and gives everyone a place to sit to put on shoes. (photo fromPottery Barn)
  • vinyl flooring that looks like rustic barnwood: I love the look of hardwood flooring. We put it in our entryway and dining room, and it looks beautiful. But the mudroom floor gets pretty messy, especially during our muddy Oregon winters. I love that this vinyl floor is ridiculous tough, super easy to clean, and really nice looking. It really does look like rustic barnwood; I’ve even started using our sample piece to take pictures on for my blog, and you can’t tell at all! (photo fromMetroflor)

Finding the perfect rug for a space is hard work, folks. It has to be the right size, the right price, the right color, and the right texture, not to mention easy to track down and buy. We went with fairly neutral walls and flooring for our playroom, which meant that we could bring in lots of fun color using a bright area rug. Need a little inspiration? Check out the colorful rugs in these rooms…

playroom rug inspiration colorful circles


colorful playroom rug inspiration purple and pink


colorful playroom rug inspiration orange pink


colorful playroom rug inspiration abc rug


 colorful playroom rug inspiration floral


 colorful playroom rug inspiration ikea


 colorful playroom rug inspiration floral


Scouring the internet for a place to buy that darling rug you spotted on someone’s blog post can take lots of time. So I’ve done some of the hard work for you! Here are a few of my favorite colorful playroom rugs and the links to where you can buy them.

colorful playroom rug inspiration

the affordable workhorse: Off-Set Chevron Multi Rug by Mohawk from, $135.99 for 5×8′
This is the rug we ended up buying for our playroom because it is colorful (the colors are much prettier in person than they look in the pictures), soft, cleans up easily, and is ridiculously inexpensive. We paid less than $190 for the 8×10′!

the classy floral: Threshold Floral Wool Area Rug from, $179.99 for 5×7′
Target has lots of pretty, colorful rugs in their stores. If you need something larger than 5×7′, you can find options online as well.

the pretty polka dots: Candy Dot Rug from Land of Nod, $399 for 5×8′
This one is a bit of a splurge, but it is beautiful, well-made, and a nice mix of colorful and understated.

the grown-up stripes: Momeni Delhi Red from, $349 for 5×8′
I love this rug! It’s bright and colorful, but would look great in a grown-up space too.

the rainbow chevron: Momeni Delhi Multi Rug from, $349.99 for 5×8′
In love with chevron? This is the colorful playroom rug for you! The rich, beautiful colors make it classy and fun at the same time.

the cool hopscotch: CB2 Hopscotch Rug, $199 for 4×6′
The only decidedly un-colorful rug on the list, it is just too cute to pass up! Slightly smaller than the other rugs on the list, but less expensive than most of them as well.

I’m super excited to be back on Style Spotters writing about our new Dream House! When we moved in the first weekend of November, there were still quite a few things that needed to be finished: the fridge and freezer were on backorder, as were the master bathroom medicine cabinets; there weren’t any window coverings; the paint needed to be touched up in every single room; and several light fixtures still needed to be installed. And let’s not forget the basement! My husband and I both look at the basement as something of a gift–we both grew up in places where basements are rare. So when we were designing our house, we wanted the basement to be made up of little luxuries, spaces that we wouldn’t normally have room for, but that we desperately wanted and would use a lot. A dedicated guest bedroom, a studio space for me, an extra bathroom, a playroom for the kids. Since these spaces were luxuries and not necessities, we opted to leave the basement unfinished for the time being. And then we realized pretty quickly, when all of the toys were left in unopened boxes in the dusty basement while our kids started going stir crazy upstairs, that we really needed that playroom finished, and quickly! We had some friends help us finish it in time to surprise the kids with a beautiful playroom on Christmas morning! You’ll have to wait just a bit longer for the big reveal, but here’s a gorgeous playroom inspiration board to tide you over…

playroom rug wall paint color inspiration cubbies

  • Our goal for the playroom was to create a bright, colorful space that was fun for all the kids, that wasn’t too girly or too boyish, and that the older kids would’t find too babyish in a few more years. And that could house all of the toys, of course. Photo from 6th Street Design School
  • We spent a lot of time “researching” light fixtures for the playroom, which means I had fun looking at cute light fixtures on the internet for a few hours. We considered barn lights, vintage-inspired schoolhouse lights, and really colorful lights, but opted for some affordable industrial-style lights for a couple of reasons. #1) They had wall sconces and a matching semi-flushmount ceiling fixture, which were the two types of lights we needed, and I’m a sucker for things that match. #2) They have a wire cage covering the glass shade, so in case blocks or balls go flying, the lights are sort of protected. #3) Cute and affordable? Sign me up! We ordered the lights from Home Depot’s website.
  • You could probably guess what wall color we went with even if I hadn’t included a paint swatch–I guess I like light blue! It is a great playroom wall color: light, bright, peppy, and peaceful. Our playroom is on the side of the basement with no windows, so we tried to find a color that wasn’t too dark because there won’t be any natural light to brighten it up. The color we chose is Water Squirt by Sherwin Williams, and it’s the perfect light, icy blue.
  • One of my favorite things about our new house is all of the storage. I truly believe that if there’s a place for everything to be put away, the house will just naturally stay cleaner and neater. I’ve dreamed–and yes, this is very nerdy–of a playroom with a whole wall of cubbies. Not only does it look good, but it also keeps all of the toys, blocks, dolls, and puzzles neatly organized and off the floor. Photos from BHG and Young House Love
  • What’s a playroom without some colorful accents? I love these rainbow lights from Bright Lab. They look great even when they’re not plugged in. I’ve also had my eye on this “Amazing” wall hanging from Children Inspire Design for a few years now. I love that it’s got bright colors on a black background–such a nice change from all of our other playroom prints that are on white.
  • I can’t resist a good DIY project, and when I spotted this ABC wall art installation a few days ago, it knew I had to make it for the playroom. I’m not always good at finishing the DIY projects I start, so wish me luck! Photo from Project Nursery
  • The mini climbing wall was my husband’s idea. We didn’t have a chance to put it together before the big Christmas morning reveal for our kids, but we have all of the materials and will hopefully get it up soon. Our kids love to climb, and I’m excited for them to have a place where they can climb to their little hearts’ content. Photo from Fun At Home With Kids
  • Last but not least, the playroom rug! This was probably the thing I spent the most time researching. We wanted a big rug (8×10′) that was colorful, good quality, soft, affordable, and not babyish. That’s a surprisingly tough combo to find, but we managed. We love the rug we ended up with, this rainbow chevron rug from Mohawk, which we got for a steal from Photo from Makely School for Girls

Stay tuned for more playroom details from the Dream House!

Trend: Nautical Home Decor

Maybe it’s because I live in a landlocked state, but I’ve always been drawn to the sea. It feels exotic yet familiar, and the lived-in style of coastal cabins probably has a lot to do with that: crumpled linen, sun-bleached colors, and sturdy finishes that can stand up to salty spray and sandy feet.

I love the mix-and-match nonchalance of the bedroom, which proudly displays several humble collections (nautical flags above the bed, stick-straight arrows on the night table, and rough-and-tumble baseballs and softballs nestled in a basket). Plus, the classic color combo is nothing to scoff at!

Nautical bedroom

And the more formal living room, with it’s tufted yellow leather ottoman and chic rope-wrapped tray, shows how to play up texture while still maintaining a sophisticated style.

Chic rope accents

To bring the nautical look to your own space, you don’t need to complete a full-on makeover. Add a few key pieces to refresh the room — think thick rope accents, woven baskets, sea-inspired patterns, and a little candlelight for ambiance. Here are my picks:

Clockwise, from top left: 1 \ 2 \ 3 \ 4 \ 5

Want more? Check out another sea-inspired guide here!

– Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor

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