Music Room

Music Room Walls — Solid Black Or Stenciled?

I am so excited about the progress I made this week on my music room. Last weekend, my music room looked like this…

stationary built-in french door room separating panels - interior sidelights - 1

…and now it looks like this…

music room built in bookcases - 32

Not too bad for five days of work! 🙂 And I’ve been thoroughly enjoying actually doing the work, too. That’s a nice feeling to have again after being so uninspired for several weeks.

At the rate I’m going now, I’m thinking I might actually have this room finished in a couple of weeks. Of course, I’m not talking about the decorating and accessorizing. I have two chairs I want to reupholster for this room, and I don’t think I can get those done in two weeks. But I’m talking about the actual room — ceiling, bookcases, walls, trim, lighting, etc.

I am still trying to decide about my walls. I know that the upper part of the walls will be black, and the lower part will be white waincoting. When I first changed directions with my music room, and decided on black walls, I had pictured just solid black.

Traditional Bathroom

But when I mentioned my plan the other day, several of you remembered the stencil that I had purchased a while back for my breakfast room, and suggested that I use it in this room. The more I think about it, the more I like that idea.

The stencil that I purchased is from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs.

large trellis wall stencil by Sarah M Dorseyvia Sarah M. Dorsey Designs

The design is very similar to Kelly Wearstler’s Imperial Trellis, which has been a long-time favorite of mine. And if I did the design in black-on-black using matte and glossy paint, it would look something like this…

Traditional Hall by Brisbane Interior Designers & Decorators Highgate House

I love that subtle tone-on-tone look, and the stencil design, while not matching my door design completely, definitely complements the design. I think it could really be pretty — just enough pattern to be interesting, but not so much that it would overwhelm the room.

Interestingly, in all of my years of DIYing, I’ve never stenciled walls before, so the process has me a bit confused. If I do use the stencil, I should  stencil the walls before installing crown molding and chair rail, right? It seems like that would be much easier than stenciling after all of the trim has been installed. And I’m still baffled about how to get the stencil design in the corners of the room.  The stencil is made of a thick plastic and doesn’t bend very easily. Is there some trick to stenciling corners?

Anyway, I’m not sure if I’ll use the stencil or not. What do you think? Will it be too much, or just what the room needs?



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149 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danielle
    November 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I love that tone on tone wall! I think that would look great in your room.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Stephanie
    November 20, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I would just paint the walls black. I think you will like it better.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim
    November 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    With the room empty like it is, I think the tone on tone black stencil would be beautiful, but I have a little concern that once those bookcases are accessorized, it may become a little busy. Love the bookcases – I did something similar in my kitchen surrounding my french doors to the backyard and love them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SilvanaJoanne
    November 20, 2015 at 9:17 am

    That black stenciling looks amazing I say go for the tone on tone stencil!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SilvanaJoanne
    November 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I forgot to say this but I do agree that accessorizing can be a bit trickier with the stencil option but I’m sure you can make it work in any case 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenna
    November 20, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I LOVE the tone on tone, but I feel like you won’t, in the end 🙂 I think it will be too…. Something. Busy, yes, but that’s not why I don’t think would be happy with it. In the end though, it’s just paint. You could finish out one wall, wainscoting, stencil, and all, and if you don’t like it then it’s super easy to paint solid black back on top of it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Adrienne
    November 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I’m on Team Solid Black.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jackie
    November 20, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I love the tone on tone idea! I can wait to see what you do!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    November 20, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I love the stenciling idea. The tone-on-tone is beautiful with two different finishes of paint, but I really like the idea of black and white. Too much?
    I have never stenciled, but I would imagine it would be much easier to do before you install any trim. I have read a couple of blogs in which the blogger stenciled the main portion of the walls and then cut the stencil to do the edges. Maybe two identical stencils is the way to go?
    Have a great weekend, Kristi.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Susan
      November 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

      Ignore that last idea. I just visited a stenciling website and they suggest gently bending the stencil to fit in the corner. This makes much more sense since it ensures that the pattern matches up on adjacent walls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deniz
    November 20, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Solid black.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    terrillr
    November 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Different brand stencil, but I would think the process is the same. You might get some help from this site…

    http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/how-to-stencil-videos.html
    http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/stenciling-instructions.html

    I love the stencil wall, I’m hoping to do one in my master bedroom.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    November 20, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I love the tone on tone look. At first I thought it would be too busy, but if you keep everything else simple, especially with the yellow piano, it will be GORGEOUS. Go for it (or go with your gut).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darnell Baker
    November 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I think the tone on tone stenciling idea is beautiful in and of itself but not right for this room. I think it would diminish the focal impact of your doors. I could see using a similar pattern on upholstered chairs or something but think it’s way too much on the walls. If everything is over the top, nothing is. Just my thoughts.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Winnie
      November 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

      I really agree with Darnell. Lovely, but I’d go with the solid black.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Cindy
      November 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      I also agree. The tone on tone is a cool look but too much for this room. I vote solid black.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Michele
      November 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      I agree that the dark tone on tone stencil would be too much for this space. The idea itself is very cool, just not here. Too many distinctive elements in a smallish room.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Susan D
      November 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      “If everything is over the top, then nothing is”
      I couldn’t have said it better! Kristi, you still have a lot that goes into the room – let your piano, chairs, light fixture and accessories add the oomph! Solid Black gets my vote!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelsey
    November 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I love the stencil as well, but I think this room needs something simpler. Solid black!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Summer
    November 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I have to say…. I love the bookcases and the idea of the stencil. It will compliment your doors nicely. However, I’m not a fan of the black. And the reason being is that in that small space, black walls will make it feel smaller that what it really is. I know it would bother me, so I’m guess it would bother you as well. I do love the ceiling treatment and how it makes the room seem bigger and taller than what it is. And I also love the new french windows coming from the entry into the room. All brilliant ideas, except for the black walls. Not sure what color to go with, but thought I would through in my 2 cents.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      carswell
      November 20, 2015 at 11:47 am

      You would think that black will make a room seem smaller or darker but in many cases you would be wrong.

      I did my bedroom last year – I have knee walls and open cross ties at the ceiling (I don’t have an attic – the upper rooms are right under the roof line). I painted the short wall behind my bed black, carried it up the sloped wall to the peak and then painted the cross ties as well. The other three walls I painted a creamy white.

      Amazingly enough that black wall opens up the entire room. It recedes and makes the room seem larger and the ceiling higher. it’s also an amazing foil for white and any other colour you put against it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Brette
      November 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Black is good for accents, but I would never paint a room black.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Andrea
      November 20, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      The black is very stunning and i think the stencil will be subtle enough not to be overwhelming. I love black and white with an accent color.

      I will warn you, my oldest son painted his room black with red and green accents. It looks great, but he has decided to repaint in a lighter color (gray-blue). Even with a window and lighting, he finds it to be a bit on the dark side. If you envision intimate, candle-lit evenings in this room, the black will be great. If, on the otherhand, you picture bright, lively times with family and friends you might want to reconsider.

      I just wanted to share our experience. I know whatever you choose will be gorgeous. I am still smitten with your kitchen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dawn
    November 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I found this video on wall stenciling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlzcVzPcnG8

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bridget
    November 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I think GO for the tone on tone for one wall see what you think after you have lived with it for a bit. I mean it is only paint! I think it would look gorgeous though just a subtle pattern to the room. cant wait to see what you do! you have me wanting to do black walls and I never thought I would want that!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Bridget
      November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am

      OH and stencil BEFORE the crown and such it would be soooo much easier!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        carswell
        November 20, 2015 at 11:48 am

        Definitely stencil before the trim is in place. Soooo much easier.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Carol
      November 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Its only paint…..
      #1 grassclothe treatment
      #2 striped with nailheads
      #3 black stencil
      #4 ?
      I say go solid!! Love the stencil in another space;)

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Margo
        November 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        OMGosh, I totally forgot about all those nailheads you hammered in! I’m leaning toward the tone on tone stencil. You’ve given me an idea for my guest bedroom, except no black for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Perhaps the stencil is a little too busy and different from the doors to do all of the black walls. Maybe vertical sections spaced a ways apart – sort of like vertical stripes with more wide black areas in between. That might eliminate the issue of corners. I’ve never stenciled so no advice on that.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lexi
      November 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      I like the idea of tone on tone stripes to balance with the wainscoting because the bookcases, entry ways and ceiling are already having a battle but the piano is the statement and I think it shouldn’t have to compete so hard

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    PML
    November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I love the stenciled look. You can always do a section, photoshop to see what the rest looks like, and then decide. Or just paint over it if you don’t like it. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marigene
    November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Personally I don’t care for stenciled walls..have always loved black walls, but never been brave enough to try them. As “they” say, it’s only paint, so whichever you choose and decide you don’t like, you can just paint over it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Aly
    November 20, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I think the black on black stencil will compliment your doors beautifully and add just the right dimension to your walls. I love everything you do and whatever you decide will be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jacqui
    November 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

    That black on black stencil is so elegant!

    Perhaps trace the stencil onto some cardboard or cardstock for the corners?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan Kirby
    November 20, 2015 at 9:44 am

    STENCIL!!!!!! WOW!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra
    November 20, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Instead of pouncing on paint, which can leave “fuzzy” edges, I would use a gloss spray clear coat over satin paint, sprayed over the stencil. Quicker, easier, sharper edges!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      nancy
      November 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

      A gloss spray paint would work but deal with the overspray of getting on the rest of the walls AND it will!! May be subtle but you can count on it landing somewhere. I used a pearl paint for a stencil. Use a small foam roller and load it very lightly. I would use a gloss poly for the effect. I was really hoping you would use that look in your breakfast room. I also like the wide horizontal stripes in your hallway. I hope the design doesn’t compete with your door. I would use a new matte black and pit a satin topcoat for the stencil. Make sure you use the spray adhesive for your stencil. LIGHTLY! I would do it before the crown and any other trim. Just that much easier. I would probably start at the corner of your bookcases and work to meet up with the french doors you just built.That way you don’t have to actually go around a corner. Stencils are thick but will bend in the corners. Melanie Royal from Royal Designs has a video on it I think.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        carswell
        November 20, 2015 at 11:54 am

        I agree – I’ve stencilled walls before and although spray paint is tempting, a lightly loaded foam roller is much better for large areas.

        I have used spray on occasion but as you say – overspray is a big issue and you have to mask off a larger area than you think. There’s also the issue of smell in a confined space. Most sprays are not low VOC, that’s for sure.

        The pouncing thing is a pain in the butt and only efficacious in small applications.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy Schwarz
    November 20, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I don’t know what to suggest. I kept scrolling up and down comparing your options. I think you would like the clean black and white look. But when I look at the room, there isn’t much light in there and wonder if it would make the room look too dark. I love the tone on tone stenciling and the stencil. I’m planning on doing some stenciling in a room in my home soon. I think the tone on tone stenciling with create a softer wall and the way the light reflects of the sheen of the finish could be very beautiful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine
    November 20, 2015 at 9:51 am

    What’s the worst thing that can happen. You waste some time and end up repainting. Why not try it?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea
    November 20, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I think the subtle stencil will add elegance, but the good news is you can paint the room black first and see how you like it. If you love it that way, you’ve saved yourself some work! 🙂 BTW, congratulations on your exciting progress this week!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri
    November 20, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I vote the tone on tone stencil. Yes, it would be easier to stencil before adding trim..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    November 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I think the black walls with no stenciling would be best. The stencil is nice but it might detract from your beautiful doors. If you need a bit more pattern in the room I think a similar black and white fabric could be used to recover your chairs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    DENISE
    November 20, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I went back to your Pic of room and thought of what was going in that room. I definitely would do the stencil. The tone on tone would give the walls depth not busyness. It will give the room a feeling not a look of too much stuff. Am I making sense. Your eye will go to the site of the whole room not to each detail ( expect Piano, shelves, etc)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Theresa M
    November 20, 2015 at 9:59 am

    If you are undecided, I would leave it out. Even though it would be easier to stencil before the crown and trim work is up, it’s not that hard to add later if you think the room still needs a punch of something. You already know you will love the black walls with white bookcases and wainscoting. I would live with that for a while, and finish other fun decorating elements of the room. Wait until you have the dining room and entry way completed, then if you feel it needs something you can always stencil. It’s not as easy as just painting over it if you don’t like it. You will need to sand down the wall to remove any bumps and thickness that the paint may leave on the edges of the design. I think it will look beautiful whichever option you choose.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    November 20, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Love the black walls with white wainscoting. The stars of the show
    are the beautiful doors and yellow piano. I think the stencil would
    overwhelm those.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna
    November 20, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I’m on team solid black: You will come up with some spectacular framed things – on the right side of the room, on and around the piano to make being in and through this space happy and inspiring.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marcia
    November 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

    black walls with little or not much exterior light – question if would look cave like

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      November 20, 2015 at 11:24 am

      I like to think of it as “cozy” rather than cave-like. 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      carswell
      November 20, 2015 at 11:51 am

      With all the white trim and wainscotting in there framing the black walls I don’t think there’s much fear of it looking like a cave.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tina
    November 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Hi Kristi!
    Stencil all the way! It is super easy to do with big blank walls.
    I have done it many times.
    I do not think it will be too much with everything else in your room as it is tone on tone
    so it will be more about the light reflecting on it rather than a contrasting stencil.
    Definitely do the walls before any moulding. A matte paint background with glossy stencil makes it really easy bc matte will absorb the glossy paint instead of slide around on top of it.
    Use a little sponge roller to do the stencil. It will go fast.
    Please email me if you need more help!
    I have always used cutting edge stencils.
    Tina

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila
    November 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I’d go with plain black here.
    I love the look of the tone-on-tone stencil but I’m afraid the impact would be lost in that interior (no windows) room, unless you can figure out a way to really wash those walls in light.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    November 20, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I like the idea of tone on tone stencils. The glossy stencil would add extra light reflection to the room. I would worry that solid black would look too much like the ever popular chalk board walls. But then again, the inspiration photo doesn’t really look like a chalk board, so what do I know…. I have done lots of stenciling- you can bend the stencil around the corner- it’s a bit tricky. You’ll need to make sure when you wrap it around the corner that you keep the design level.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
      November 20, 2015 at 10:12 am

      It doesn’t look like there are any corners to go around in your room, though?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kristi Linauer
        November 20, 2015 at 11:28 am

        I don’t have any areas where the design needs to wrap around corners, but I would just need to get the design right into the corners near the bookcases and then in the corners where the side walls meet the trim on the new French door panels.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim
    November 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

    While I do think the stencil is gorgeous I myself would not do it in the room. The solid black will be beautiful and simple. I reallly would like to see those beautiflu doors be the focal point of the room since the furnishings will be sparse. Let THEM shine!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine
    November 20, 2015 at 10:18 am

    LOVE the tone on tone stencil idea. It is a bit tedious to execute, but worth the elegant results in my experience. Will be much easier to do before the molding, so you will only have to fuss with the corners. There are lots of instructional guides out there for how to do those. Can’t wait to see it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dee
    November 20, 2015 at 10:21 am

    The stencil done with tone-on-tone would be beautiful! It would give the walls depth, and would not compete or distract from your beautiful doors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Val
    November 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Go for the tone on tone black! Accessorize the bookcases with all white with a touch of bright yellow. The same coral colors on the chairs as in the sideboard in the entry! Love what you do!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauren
    November 20, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Does the wall width divide evenly by the stencil width? I read somewhere about using temporary spray adhesive (I use something similar to baste quilts before quilting) to get the stencil really flat to the wall. Spray paint is also a good idea. If the gloss stencil would be too much, what about satin? I’m doing exactly this on my guest bath ceiling, in washes of blue and green in lots of medium, so I’m biased 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Martichou
    November 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I really like the tone on tone stencil. It is so subtle and so different. I just worry that the stencil not matching your doors will end up bothering you, like the recess panneling on the pony walls and the moulding on the walls. If you are sure you love the pattern (and not just that you can live with it… that’s not the point in your ‘forever’ home) then I vote for the stencil!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Adelle McA
    November 20, 2015 at 10:35 am

    I like the stencil. I think it will be subtle not overwhelming. And if you make the semi-flush light with the chain you can use the stencil pattern as inspiration for the edge design.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    PML
    November 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Also, if the stencil you have is too busy there are other stencil options with more subtle designs… 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alicia
    November 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Love the tone on tone, but not that pattern. I think it is too busy. Maybe some really wide vertical stripes?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Wendy
    November 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I love the stencil. I think flat black with a satin finish for the stencil…or vice versa. Maybe I need to reprint my entry way walls!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim
    November 20, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I love the stencil, but I think you should save it for another room. There’s so much going on already…doors, ceiling, bookcases and divider walls. It’s hard to know which pretty thing to focus on. And I think it would be more difficult to pick a fabric for the chairs if there’s even more pattern going on.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    katy
    November 20, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Love the tone on tone stencil idea, do not think it would be too busy. Actually the opposite. The room is the center of your house, with no windows and therefore no natural light. I think the glossy tone on tone would give the black walls a brighter feel.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MERCEDES
    November 20, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I love the idea of tone on tone or matte with gloss. In my experience it will sometimes read as solid color depending on the lighting, so I don’t think it will be too much.
    As for working against trims and moldings it is defintely much easier to do with trim not installed.

    When I have stenciled walls the issue of inside corners is easier to talk about than execute. In spite of instructions to fold stencils I have found it easier to pencil thru the stencil with a color pencil similar to the background then trace the design with artist paint brush.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nikki
    November 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I love the elegance of the plain black walls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diana
    November 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Go with the stencil. I used flat paint and polyurethane when I stenciled my daughter’s bedroom. It turned out great. I bent the stencil, but when I was done with the main part, I did put cuts in the stencil to get it really flat against the wall in the corners.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle
    November 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

    French doors, sliding doors, bookcases, wainscoting, ceiling with two finishes, yellow piano – too many focal points to have the stencil I think. Your eye would just keep travelling around looking for a place to rest. Remember, all your favorite things don’t have to be in ONE room. Save something for the rest of the house. I do love your work and your ideas and we are very similar in that I want to put all my ideas to work too. But living in a small space where you see all the small living/dining room space as soon as you enter, I found I did too much. I’m now slowly in the process of “un-doing” little by little to see what works. If you paint your walls black, couldn’t you LATER go back with stencil in glossy black if you think it would enhance the space? I think the smart thing would be to finish the room, furniture, accesssorizing and all, first. I avidly follow each and every post, Kristi, and learn something from you every time. I’m always amazed at what one little lady can do all alone!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sandy
      November 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      I agree 100% with Michelle. No sense wasting time saying the same thing twice 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rachel
    November 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I’m on team solid black! Personally I’m starting to think of anything trellis patterned and/or stenciled are part of the chevron group: too trendy, will be dated soon, it’s overused, and on its way out! And I’m just loving that little bulk head, soffit thing above the sliding doors. It took those bookcases to a new level of fabulous. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Robin McG
    November 20, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Love both. They are great solutions each with merit. I think I am favoring the Tone on tone more though. Just adds a little something more. Good luck with it. I have done these stencils and have been very pleased with the final look. BTW, I just love how motivated you are and how quickly you manage to get things done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    chiflipper
    November 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I think the size of the stencil will be the deciding factor. If you make a stencil that matches the size and shape of your sliding doors I think it would add just the right amount of interest without overwhelming the room. Just my 2 cents.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    AndyZ
    November 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Solid black is my vote! But whatever you decide to it, it will be fabulous

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeannine
    November 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’m with the solid black crowd. There is going to be pattern in the adjacent room & you can add pattern on the chairs and via accessories and paintings. I think the stenciled look would really limit your artwork choices as well.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julia
    November 20, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I know you love black. I KNOW you love black. But I just think that looking into that room from the hall will look like a black hole. The doors are so beautiful….. In my world I would paint the walls above the chair rail white too and put some amazing art for color. Showcase the doors with the black. Just one woman’s opinion, whatever you do will be right for you!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Alicia
      November 21, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Agree. I also think black with a yellow piano will look like a bumble bee. White with art that compliments the yellow piano would be great and would allow for the black doors to be a focal point.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janis Cannon
    November 20, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Love love love the tone on tone stencil idea. I have a lot of dark walls in my house (none black) but sometimes I wished that they were lighter because they suck the light out of the room, but I really can’t see them being any other color. The little bit of shine would reflect some of the light and I think would look stunning.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra
    November 20, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Just a warning – beware of flat paint in dark colors! I was a victim of the Hunter Green 80’s, and everything would mark it. It had chalky streaks wherever a hand touched or a piece of furniture bumped. Satin with gloss over would be much better and easier to keep clean.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Len Williams Carver
    November 20, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Sometimes less is more and I think this is one of those times. I love the stencil but feel it may be too busy and/or take away from the beautiful doors and their design. I know you will probably try it though hehehe, If you choose to try the stencil I agree it should be done before trim etc. This music room is so beautiful and classy the stencil is not necessary. I could see it in your breakfast room though. Stay beautiful and be blessed today 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca
    November 20, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I saw something on a decorating show last weekend where, in a room painted a taupe color, they taped off stripes and applied a shiny glaze to every other stripe so it gave the room some shimmer without the overwhelming design of a stencil. That might be an alternative to that very busy (though attractive) stencil and far easier to do than stenciling a whole room.

    That being said, I know I am in the minority here by saying I do not like the idea of a black room even if there is white wainscoting to counter it. That room has no direct outside light and the black is going to suck up any light that is in the room. You have bright happy colors in the rest of your house, and imo the black won’t fit in or feel restful at all. The pictures you posted of black rooms made me think of insane asylums. Not what I’d want in my home.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    November 20, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I love the stencil with the black tone on tone. I think it will look really classy and elegant to compliment your amazing black doors and will also compliment your dining room, entry and kitchen.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    lois black
    November 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

    tone on tone black

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kari
    November 20, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I think the stencil is just what the room needs. It’s awesome! Also if you do end up hating it, you can just paint the whole thing solid black! 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MariaVictoria
    November 20, 2015 at 11:53 am

    My first thought when I opened the email was black, definitely black all the way, but the stencil is so elegant and interesting! Stencil all the way!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherri
    November 20, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Try the black, no stencil. Live with it for a bit. Then go back and stencil if you decide you need it. I think the clean black and white will allow the other elements to shine. Number one suggestion- ask your mother.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    November 20, 2015 at 11:58 am

    One of the things I noticed in the stenciled room example is how much light that room has to really highlight the contrast of glossy v matte. I noticed Jen at IHeart Organizing had a similar problem with satin v glossy in her bathroom. http://www.iheartorganizing.com/2014/06/the-little-bathroom-update-that-could.html I love the stencil you have but worry it might not translate as well in an inner room of your house. I vote for plain black but with some sheen to it so it doesn’t get that chalkboard look and reads clearly as paint.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    November 20, 2015 at 11:58 am

    So glad you got your groove back, Kristi! I’m loving these updates and how things are progressing. As for the walls, I think it depends on your artwork. If you do just a mirror like the sample picture, I could see it, but anything more involved and it’d be too busy for my personal taste. But I’m sure you’ll figure it out and do the right thing for you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lindad
    November 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    The stencil is pretty but it’s not for this room. It will get too busy esp. When you go to put furniture etc. in there. Go with the all black. It will make for such a dramatic room. I love following your work. You amaze me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marci
    November 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    It seems to me you get to control how you style those bookcases. Surely they can be styled in such a way that the combination of the bookcases and stenciled walls do not combine to look “busy”. Thinking clear glass objects, objects that are neutral in color, books could be wrapped in black or white “book covers”, and so on, with small pops of color (maybe in the bright yellow of the piano) here and there. I vote do the stencil. Like someone else said, if you don’t like it, you can paint over it………………

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    BeckiB
    November 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Tone on tone, with the stencil. I agree with Sandra about using a satin/eggshell for the base. For those who think it might be too busy, based on the picture above- it looks to me that the base color in the pic is a dark grey with black stenciled over. Your black on black with be much more subtle!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marci
    November 20, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I too love what you have and are doing !! Awesome.
    I’d go with the solid black walls. I think the stencil would be lovely, but am wondering if, even though it is subtle, if you do the wallpaper thing in another room, you would be overwhelmed with patterns. –just a thought. And would other decor in the room make it too busy??

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Anne Looby
    November 20, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Let me play devil’s advocate. As I flew through the response (at this time of year I don’t know how anyone can sit and read them all, let alone you) I think I some someone say “what’s the worse that can happen”? Well first off, the room will take longer to get done. Second, you are falling back on old habits of putting all your great ideas in one basket (room). The room is not that big. Solid black will create a negative effect and make it recede, making it appear larger than it is. You have fake French doors, bookcases, and fancy rolling pocket doors (not to mention plank ceiling, wainscoting and a yellow piano). Give the room some space to breath. Save some of your ideas for other areas. If, when the house is finished you still want the stencil, then you can go back and do it. Just please, finish a room, Blessings

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Jamie
      November 22, 2015 at 10:56 am

      You must be a newby here because Kristi has finished plenty of rooms:) When you free up some time I suggest you enjoy the multitude of before and after pics from over the years. The project check-off list that Kristi has completed puts most of us to shame.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janpartist
    November 20, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    You have pattern on the ceiling, pattern in the wainscoting, 2 different patterns in the glass dividers and rolling glass doors, and you will be adding items to the bookcases forming yet another pattern. In my opinion it will be too busy to add stenciling to the walls. But the black on black stencil is a beautiful idea, maybe your master bath?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl geiger
    November 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Team solid black all the way!!! Agree with all the comments of giving the room some room to breathe and let all the beatiful details shine😊 Always been curious to know…what about your floors that you never cover when working? Is the plan to refinish all of them when major work is done?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      November 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Yes, as I finish each room, I plan to clean the floors really well, and then do any spot sanding that is needed to remove anything that wouldn’t come up with the cleaning, and then give each room a final coat of Warerlox. The whole reason I chose Waterlox for my floors instead of polyurethane is because they can be coated with new layers of Waterlox as needed with no sanding needed between coats. You can also just touch up individual spots as needed. You can’t do either of those things with polyurethaned floors. And since I was taking on an entire house remodel, I knew that I would need to touch up the floors as each room was finished.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane
    November 20, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I love how the music room is coming together! After reading all the comments and looking at the photos several times, I think you should go with solid black walls. While I love the stencil, I think it will take away from your beautiful ceiling, doors, bookcase and doorway to the entry. And, I think you are going to have striped curtains in your dining room, right?

    I used to do a lot of stenciling for clients, but never did the tone on tone stenciling. In case you decide to stencil in this room or at another time, here are a few comments. I often cut parts of stencils to use in corners………use stenciling Mylar and cut with an exacto knife. I usually used painters tape to adhere my stencils to the wall rather than the spray adhesive. But, I also used a stencil brush and moved the brush in a circular manner rather than pouncing with it. I didn’t use a foam roller,…….if you do use this, I think the spray adhesive would be necessary. Of course, I would recommend trying all of on a piece of drywall first to figure out how much paint to load your brush or roller with.

    Good luck! I love watching your progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ashley
    November 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    i think go all black that way when the yellow piano will not compete as well as you use your book cases(which i love) you will not have to worry about a busy design flow. I am really enjoying the process of this room, cant wait to seethe end!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    November 20, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I think truly that you should have the wainscote go 3/5 of the way up the wall or about 60 inches and then do the stenciling above that at 2/5 area left over. That way the yellow piano will be enhanced by the stencil and not end up competing for attention with the stencil…….the piano will be the star of the room. so to speak.
    Susan

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      BeckiB
      November 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      I like this suggestion about having the wainscoting coming up 3/5 and paint/stencil the remaining 2/5. It would allow your piano to pop against the white.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    November 20, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    I love the black and I love the stencil. But the stencil seems a little formal to me with the tone on tone. Are you wanting that room to be more formal than casual?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Bonnie
    November 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I too am feeling a little cautious about the stenciling…might be too much. Luckily, though, you have to paint the walls the matte black first anyway, so I think you’ll know then whether to continue with yet another pattern on quit while you’re ahead!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rebecca B
    November 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Wow! Love that black matte on black glossy stencil. But is the wainscoting is going to be white?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marlyn Bisher
    November 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    You have a lot going on in the room already. I love the stenciled look but perhaps save it for another room. I do not personally care for the idea of black walls especially in an interior room. What are you going to do with the chairs and floor? What will tie it all together?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer
    November 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Love the stencil, but I think it would clash with the design on the black doors and be a bit much. Team Solid Black!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Crystal
    November 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    For this room, I am in favor of solid black. And I am a person who generally likes extra depth, texture, or interest.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laniece
    November 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    1st Place: White walls with black stenciling.
    2nd Place: Black walls with black stenciling.
    3rd Place: Plain, black walls.

    Any of these would be pretty, though. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy
    November 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I think the stencil will be too busy. You will have a lot of trim work, drop ceiling, decorated shelving, fench door cutouts and geometric sliding doors, all in a small space. That’s a lot for the eyes and I think will detract from all beautiful above features you have put so much effort into. The solid black will compliment these features, where the stencil will compete. I do love watching your projects unfold!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Guerrina
      November 20, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      I agree with Nancy for exact same reasons. The eye needs somewhere to rest; the stencil will not allow for that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
    November 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I’m not going to pick one… I just can’t wait to see what you do (again)!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna
    November 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I like the idea of the 3/4 wainscoting in white and the top part black or stenciled two-tone. Then the black would be an attractive accent for the doors but not take away from the yellow piano. I have a dark color in a room with windows and it sucks up the light. Also, it marks up very easily. I think this will look fabulous with the black accents in the living room. I can’t wait to see what you do since I know it will be wonderful.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda Adney
    November 20, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Stencil…so elegant…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patricia
    November 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I love the community feeling of your home and how you put it out there and we all comment- it’s pretty fun.
    You may decide against the tone on tone, but I think it’s stunning and may do it in my home! I think a graphite tone instead of a true black is probably best because it is so dark and a little harsh. But it is a really sophisticated look. Don’t you also have a green with a strong graphic? Wouldn’t the stencil look nice as it harkens to the next room?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joanie
    November 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I love homes that are light and airy, so I’m not sold on the black walls. I do like the idea of the stencil just not with black. But, I always love what you do and find your drive inspiring,so looking forward to seeing the finished room and knowing it will be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cathy
    November 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    While I like the tone on tone idea, I feel that solid black is the way to go. The stencil treatment has the potential of being like your kitchen floor; once done you will find it too busy even though it is a subtle design. It might look good in your head, but my vote is plain black. Like the iconic ” little black dress”, let your accessories do the wowing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    KathleenC
    November 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I love, love, LOVE that tone on tone look. LOVE IT!
    Did I mention that I love it?
    But really, as so many have suggested, since your first step is to paint the walls anyway you’ll have a feel for the solid black first. Give the stencil a whirl if you’re still intrigued. And after the trim is in and you can see the whole effect… you can always change your mind and paint back over it!
    It’s not a race. No choice can’t be unchosen. Take your time, take some risks, have fun…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen H
    November 20, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I love the tone on tone look, but I feel like that particular stencil would be too busy once the bookcases are accessorized. As an idea, have you considered doing wide stripes in the tone on tone? Adds a little interest without too much busyness.

    Maybe something like this?

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/241787073718040900/

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurel
    November 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Kristi,

    I love your wonderful fearlessness in creating new spaces but wonder how Matt manages to move around in the construction zone. I know that when my husband and I are doing “homewrecking” projects it can be difficult to walk let alone roll!

    Laurel

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      November 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      I try to keep a path clear for Matt to get anywhere he needs to go, and when I do leave a tool or ladder in his way, he doesn’t hesitate to ask for help. It works for us. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marie Roxanne
    November 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I have a black wall, and I love it, the rest of the walls are banana cream yellow, but I would not paint my whole room black. Wouldn’t it be too dark for your room? Maybe half the wall? Bottom or top?
    I do love the stencil black on black though!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andi
    November 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I like the tone on tone look but for me, that stencil is too busy. What about tone on tone stripes in black instead. I think you were considering that at an earlier point. Maybe it would be too much with your black/white stripped drapes in the dining room?

    Either way, the room is coming along great!

    I’ve said this before, but seeing your progress helps me keep the drive to get my house done.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen W.
    November 20, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I’m on the fence about this. On one hand, I’d say stencil it, but on the other hand, I don’t know what you have in mind in terms of lighting, and what patterns & colors you’ll be upholstering your chairs. Those would influence me. Plus, that photo you showed the other day when you spoke of your mother’s suggestions (black wall above, white wainscoting below) had a gorgeous painting against a plain black ground, and it really wowed me. All of this is a very long way of saying that I’d stencil it if I felt the walls would be a focal point, but if your furniture and paintings are going to be the stars, then I might lean toward plain black.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debra
    November 20, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I vote black walls and use the stencil in the sunroom or whatever room we are seeing on the back of the black doors. Whatever you choose, however, will be gorgeous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    khadija
    November 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Hmmm, have you considered Sherwin Williams Naval? it’s nearly black but is a beautiful blue (I know you love your blues :D). I have it in my living room and at night my living room walls look black . (Don’t get it in Cashemere though….Cashmere and Naval don’t get along…) I would say think about Naval without stencils. It would look fantastic with your kitchen cabinet color too.

    Otherwise if you are really convinced about the black, I think it looks great stenciled.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann
    November 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I think if you stencil you may have too many clowns in the room. So far you have two clowns that will compete for attention 1)doors 2) yellow piano. But since you already have the stencil, try it on one wall. Paint before crown so it’s easier. Solid color in the back of the bookcases. Let the doors shine!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda
    November 20, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    In my last house the laundry room was the access from the garage into the house. I wainscoted the bottom half of the wall and painted the top half a very dark grey (elephant hide from Behr) and the door was a navy blue and it was awesome. I am sure your black will be just as striking. As for the stenciling, you will know from the first few applications whether you like the look and color sheen combo in that room. So go with your gut, it always leads you in your correct direction!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diana
    November 21, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Looks great! I have a feeling you are not done with the bookcases yet. What do you plan to use them for, display pieces? books? or both? Will you add solid doors to part? Have you considered putting a color or mirrors on the back wall of the bookcases? With two focal points in the room already with your beautiful doors and the yellow piano, I would imagine staging the bookcases will take some forethought. Therefore I vote for solid black and can’t wait to see what ideas you have up your sleeves for the bookcases.

    Have you considered using LED tape lighting above your crown molding? It would give your music room a special glow.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    November 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I keep returning to look at what you’ve done/are doing here. Just beautiful! And stately! Love it when you get me excited about your designs. Well done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    nonna
    November 22, 2015 at 7:16 am

    I love the stenciled look…..I think it would be beautiful in your music room..with all the color…this would be a magical room..you always amaze young lady

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    nonna
    November 22, 2015 at 7:18 am

    If HGTV knew about you they’d have u on tv…what is it about Waco and all that talent…..must be something in the water…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    November 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Previously I said I was on team black because I don’t like the two trellises competing with each other, but what if you did a stencil that was really similar to the wall paper you like but do it tone on tone? Black flat with black satin. You wouldn’t have to worry about all the details in the branches and birds because they would be all one color. I’m sure you could find stencil/stencils that would work. What do you think?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Theresa
      November 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

      I think this is an AMAZING idea! This would be so cool! Great thought!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    C.C.
    November 23, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Whatever you choose, please rethink the yellow piano – I fear it’s going to look like someone parked a bus in there.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    November 23, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Okay, my two cents….. while I love the idea of the tone on tone stencil, if you have never done it before, it isn’t as easy as it looks. I would advise having more than one stencil, because you will need to let the one space dry before continuing right next to it. If you have two, you can do more area in a shorter timeframe. As far as the color, have you thought about a dark charcoal rather than straight black? It would be a bit softer than a true black. I would rather see tone on tone stripes (vertical) than the stencil, personally, but I am a more classic style person. Take my opinion with a grain of salt and do what makes your skirt fly up! :-0

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    November 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Forgot to mention, if you decide you don’t like the stencil, you may have to sand the walls down before repainting, as the stencil sometimes leaves a faint “ridge” of paint that could shadow thru the cover up paint.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Justin
    November 24, 2015 at 11:09 am

    If you have some black paint on hand, I think I’d try a patch of it somewhere. If you want the two-finish look for the test patch, maybe you can just mix some glossy poly in with the black paint or just do a clear coat over the black…just to see how it looks. You could even practice on a corner. I’d imagine you’d have to match-up the corners as you would with the edges of wallpaper. Don’t know how you’d do that if you land in the middle of the pattern. Hmmm…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Allison Wilkins
    November 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

    The last time you mentioned the two-tone stencil, I went home and did a matte/gloss freehand stencil on my bathroom wall in navy blue. And I LOVE it. My design matches a water drop pattern on my shower curtain. I love that the pattern is extremely subtle, and it never feels too busy, even in my small room. It’s a great complement to the existing pattern and adds just a little extra umph to the room. I think you’d find that it would do the same for your walls. And, as others have mentioned, if you hate it, you can always paint over it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ricky
    November 29, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    That black stenciling looks nice …go for it 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patricia Smith
    December 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Love the tone on tone idea! Paint the walls black, then stencil with clear acrylic varnish to get the sheen.

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