On “Renesting” and Painting My Dining Room Magenta

Dining Room 1.jpg

Since my youngest child left for college last fall I have been on a redecorating rampage.

It’s been tremendous fun and well, most definitely therapeutic.

And during this process I decided rather than think of my home and myself as an empty nester, since, empty, often defined as “containing nothing” seems quite negative and is not at all how I feel. So, in an act of rebellion, I am calling myself a “renester”.

Re means “once more, afresh, anew.”

Now that’s more like it.

And just as we nest when expecting our babies, I think it is perfectly natural to renest when those grown babies leave.

It just seems like such a natural thing to do as I start a new chapter in my life.

A new, fresh, and definitely bolder Charlotte is emerging.

It all started with the family room remodel which yes, I have got to focus and do posts to show you all those projects.

Here’s a sneak peek of the colors in the space…

final family room.jpg


1. Fabric from Hobby Lobby; 2. Painting by Geoff McFetridge; 3. Rowe Slipcover Fabric #13252-08: 4. Behr Field Gold 1A9-4; 5. Benjamin Moore Royal Flush 2076-20; 6. Olivenite Bori Curiain from World Market; Favorite Throw in Teal from West Elm  8. Flea Market dresser painted in Behr Parsley Sprig S-H-450; 9. Isaac Swivel Chair from Pier 1; 10. Quill rug from CB2; 11. Parallel Reality from FLOR

And you see, #5. That’s Benjamin Moore’s Royal Flush and the color I just painted my dining room. The color is, as my son Ted put it “striking”, and the color captures perfectly how this period of renesting feels to me.

See it started with a magenta throw I found at IKEA. The color was deep and gorgeous and went wonderfully with the colorful inspiration fabric (#1 in photo above) I used to guide my family room color decisions.

When I put the throw on the back of my new sofa slipcover, not only did I immediately fall in love with the beautiful contrast of the black and white and magenta, but when I stepped back I saw how the throw made the magenta in the new FLOR tiles pop….

throw and tiles.jpg

I was in love.

So naturally when I saw the dining room and that brownish red paint color that’s been on the walls since we bought the house 14 years ago and all those cracks…

dining room before.jpg

I knew those walls were going to be magenta.

So off to the nearest Benjamin Moore dealer I went to get the striking Royal Flush…


This wonderfully saturated color, combined with the new bold blue and white striped curtains make a refreshed and delightful space.

Dining Room 1.jpg

And since the art work I had hanging, although quite pretty, wasn’t quite saturated enough for the new color, I decided to hang the companion piece. But, the frame’s glass broke years ago and because the mat and print were stored behind an armoire all these years the mat was damaged. So, as anyone who likes to decorate knows, there is always something to do. So now I am off to the craft store to buy mat board so I can cut a new mat and off to the glass store to purchase new glass. But the effort will be worth it, because I think once framed this piece will definitely hold its own against the magenta.

dining room 3.jpg

And then, because completely redoing the family room and dining room (I haven’t even told you about the kitchen) wasn’t enough, days after I hung the new curtains which by the way are form and function. I picked these babies because they have black out lining and the dining room window is western facing and during our Alabama summers the room gets HOT. So now I can pull them closed in the afternoon and quite possibly save a bit on our cooling bill.

I digress.

Days after finishing the dining room I was in Target and discovered a new line of paint and wallpaper and well, of all things, they had navy and white striped wallpaper. Yes. A near perfect match for the dining room curtains.

And well the entry way’s wallpaper was the color of the old red…

Entry before 1.jpg

and that red wallpaper was cracked and torn from foundation settling and that great idea I had 14 years ago to sponge paint the crown moulding and ceiling gold kinda leaves my head shaking …

entry before 2.jpg You know what happened next…

entry 3.jpg

I love the new spaces. They are bright and happy and bold. You know, they are just what I want from this new “renesting” chapter in my life. The Magenta Flow.jpg


About Life&Ink

Hi, I'm Charlotte and armed with the experience 24 years of marriage, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 8 homes and a closet full of power tools brings, I come here to share how the processes of raising my kids and transforming my home raised and transformed me.


    1. Thank you! They are indeed vibrant and energetic and I love living in such wonderful energy! So glad you stopped by. May your day be filled with delightful energy as well.:-)

  1. I enjoyed the term and the philosophy behind “renester.” That is the stage of life that I am in too. I am already thinking what I want to do with my youngest son’s room when he graduates from college. :) The colors you choose are bright and full of expectation for this new season of life!

    1. Thank you! Empty nester just didn’t seem right, not right at all. Don’t you feel like you are on the verge of a whole new, exciting chapter? No way at all do I feel like the best is behind me, no. I loved raising my kids, I loved that time of life but I love where I am now too and I want to promote the idea that women have different chapters in their lives and each chapter, like a great novel, grows from the chapter before it. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the bedroom! I will catch myself thinking about what I want to do with my daughter’s room too!:-) Enjoy your Renesting!:-)

  2. Yes, re-nest – I like it. It makes total sense. Oh, that painting of the girl with her blue dress held up – made me laugh, and it’s just delicious! A very improper kind of image to have in your family room: good for you! Royal Flush – they named that well, didn’t they! Your color sense is so sophisticated – and your ability to mix patterns without it being too much – I can see you’re having a great time. The stripes look great in the entry – I couldn’t do them in a room I sit in, but in an entry, that’s perfect. You are one bold lady…I look forward to seeing more.

    1. I loved the girl in the blue dress so much I bought a 48″x 48″ canvas and did my very first acrylic and she, or rather, “Flasher Girl” as I have named her hangs proudly over the sofa. One must remember to laugh and not take ourselves and design too seriously and she does all for me! Thanks for the kind words and for encouragement, it’s been fun trying on bold, it seems to be fitting quite nicely!:-)

    1. Thank you, Karen. It’s been an interesting period in my life and this need to redo, to brighten, to enliven seems to be an external manifestation of what I feel inside. So glad you stopped by.:-)

    1. Thank you so much! As I was painting that crazy color on the wall I thought many times, be colorful because life is just too short to be neutral!:-)

  3. Wow! I’m speechless. You have an amazing gift and talent! I wish I could figure out how to do this! Your house is absolutely beautiful! Personally….I’m loving this “re-nesting” time of my life. I hope you are growning accustomed to it as well. It’s a good place to be:) And once again I must say – your re-decorating skills are extraordinary!

    1. Why thank you Becky, you have me smiling here. I have been having a lot of fun, just jumping in and making things how I want to make them and going with that which I am drawn to. You can do it, I know you can because when you surround yourself with what makes you happy, well then, happiness comes and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about! Cheers from one renester to another!:-)

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