In this episode, Cara sits down with her DIY Bestie, Jessie, as she shares her design advice for decorating with black. From her favorite paint colors, to tips for making black look chic and sophisticated in your space, Jessie dishes on her best tips and shares why black is her favorite color for home accents.

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chat with jessie // #OBSESSED — what I'm loving // WAIT, WHAT?! — stuff we just have to talk about // Pin this episode // Episode Transcript // Leave a Comment

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what i'm loving this week


This paint add-in helps to eliminate brush strokes & roller marks on painted pieces.

I was BLOWN AWAY by how well this stuff worked! It gave me a super smooth finish on my cabinet doors to where they literally look like they were professionally sprayed.

You add in about 8oz / 1 cup to a gallon of paint, and I'm totally SOLD on using this whenever possible from here on out.


This is #NonSpon, I'm just legit obsessed with this product.


stuff we just need to talk about

i'm Speaking at haven Conference 2020!

I'm going to be speaking at Haven Conference this July in Atlanta, GA.

I'm teaming up with Tracy Pendergast to host a session all about how to launch and grow your own podcast! So excited to share with you all and meet you IRL.

Are you going? Let me know!

let's talk about it!

What do you think!?

Leave a comment below or use #MakeSpacePodcast to share your response on social media (@makespacepod)


Jessie is the blogger, interior designer and muscle behind She is a fearless & unstoppable DIY-er ... sometimes to the point of madness! 😉 She's a military wife and mama to 3, so we are always on the move and there is never a dull moment & i wouldn’t have it any other way!

get in touch

Instagram: @eyeinthedetail //


Listen to Jessie on Episode 08:

Super Bomb Rental Decor Hacks + Must-know Tips for Moving 


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podcast hotline: 720.319.7438 — Leave a voicemail!

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...just in case you wanna read

Cara Newhart: 00:00 You are listening to the MakeSpace podcast. Episode number 32

INTRO: 00:23 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home. In Cara Newhart sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin worthy rooms. To tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design, tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and chief creative enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like people style watch and Denver style magazine as an influencer, Cara has collaborated with brands like Amazon,H and M, Twitter, and Thrillist. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.

Cara Newhart: 01:20 I'm back, so you may have noticed that I had took a little bit of a break, took a couple of weeks off little pod cation. I didn't actually go on vacation. What happened was I lost my voice by attending a woodworking conference. Um, that was predominantly men. So it was having to talk over all these guys for an entire weekend with my best friend Jesse who is on this episode. I'm very, very excited to launch into that interview, but let's dive into what I'm obsessed with this week and the wait what segment and then we'll hop into the interview before we get started. Just a reminder that if you're not following me on social, you should be because that's how we can connect throughout the week between episodes. You can find me, Kara at never skipped brunch and the podcast at MakeSpace pod, I have so many literally amazing guests booked for the show and I cannot wait to let you listen in on all these amazing conversations. And so social is the best way to stay up to date,

#OBSESSED: 02:28 hashtag obsessed.

Cara Newhart: 02:33 So what I am obsessed with this week is a product called flow troll flow troll. I'm not really sure how to say it. I think it's a combination of flow control, flow, troll. Anyways, it's an add in that you put in paint and it helps eliminate brushstrokes, ruler marks so that when you paint things, you get this really smooth finish. Honestly, it looks like it was sprayed with a paint sprayer. This is not sponsored at all at legitimately. I'm just so impressed with this product. I'm building some built-ins for my coffee bar. It's like a little black furniture slash cabinet situation and I didn't want there to be any roller marks or brushstrokes. I wanted a really smooth, polished cabinet looking finish. And while I own a paint sprayer, I'm like building this thing into the space. So I didn't want to go through the hassle of like trying to tape everything off so that I could spray this with my paint sprayer.

Cara Newhart: 03:27 So I found this add-in. Um, my paint friend at the home Depot paint desk recommended it because he said he uses it to pour and paint to thin it out so he can pour it, make like paint art where you pour the paint like on a canvas or um, different applications. But he said basically you just add a little bit in. I think it's like an eight ounce, like a cup per gallon of paint. Stir it up really good. Just paint away. And then it like self settles or self little levels. I'm not really sure exactly how it works. It's kind of like magic. But yeah, it gives you like a legitimately smooth finish and I'm so impressed and I'm so excited because I'm a messy painter. Like brush marks, paint dripping everywhere, like way too much paint where look is globbing up and the finish I was able to achieve without attention to detail is very, very exciting. So I will link it in the show notes if you want to check it out. Great for if you want to paint cabinets and you want to do it yourself and you don't want to have to get a sprayer, this stuff will work. Amazing.

WAIT, WHAT?: 04:37 wait, what?

Cara Newhart: 04:41 So my, wait, what for this week is a little bit of exciting news. I'm going to be teaching a session at the Haven conference. If you don't know what this is, it's a conference for DIY and home content creators, designers. There's actually all sorts of people in that space that go. But I'm teaching a class all about podcasting. I'm teaming up with one of my friends, Tracy Pendergast, who hosts the homeschool podcast, and we are teaching a session all about how to launch your own podcast. So if this is something that you've been interested in or you want my tips or you want to just meet me and like have a high five or I don't know, a picture, what do you do when you make new friends in real life? I don't know. Um, you can come to Haven. It's in July. It's an Atlanta. It's a really fun conference.

Cara Newhart: 05:27 I went last year for the very first time and it honestly changed a ton of things for me. So if you are a content creator, I would totally recommend it. And if you're going, I will see you there. Okay. So let's dive into this interview with my DIY bestie, Jessie. So she was on episode eight. If you listen to that, you might already be familiar with her, you might be following her on Instagram. But just to recap, we met at Haven last year. We both did the orange tank pitch competition with home Depot where you present a project and they pick one. So we kind of bonded over the fact that we were like panicking about having to get on stage and give a presentation. I was like stress eating cheese and I sat next to her and we just like became friends in the weirdest of ways.

Cara Newhart: 06:09 I honestly should have had her tell the story because she does it hilariously, but she is the queen of using black and her decor in a way that's sophisticated, not too dark and looks just super chic. So as black is increasingly becoming a trend, I wanted to bring her on the show so she can share her advice and her tips and you can go check out her account if you want to see kind of her style and her vibe and how she's really, really using black very well. So let's dive in and listen to her advice for going dark.

Jessie Ecker: 06:41 Hey girl. Hey.

Cara Newhart: 06:42 Hey, how are you? So glad to have you on today. Thanks for having me. I'm so excited to be back. Of course. So okay, in a world where we've been really obsessed with like Brighton Arie styles, painting things, white, all this shiplap going on. I feel like trends are now moving towards like a little more edge, a little more moody and black is becoming super popular and I'm so excited to bring you on because that's like your thing. So I know you have a ton of good tips to share with the listeners but first let's just start out, why is black your favorite?

Jessie Ecker: 07:16 Oh my goodness, I there's so many reasons. So black is definitely my thing. I am super into the moody look right now and have been for a while. It's like such a big statement piece but all you need is like one color and then you have like such a huge statement with such like it's such a big impact and you don't have to do much. Like you can just paint a wall black and you have an entire space that is transformed with one accent wall, one color and it's just such a cool and different dial that's happening right now because everything has been so farmhouse and chippy paint and white and clean and fresh, which we all love. But it's cool to see things shifting a little bit and becoming a little bit more dramatic, a little more moody. And I like love seeing the change.

Cara Newhart: 08:09 You love that so much. Cause I'm like such a color person obviously, but I know there's a lot of people out there that maybe are afraid to use color but also just don't want their house looking like a rainbow. So I feel like black is such a good way to like add that contrast and that interest and that like depth without adding a bunch of color.

Jessie Ecker: 08:27 Yes. I feel like it's like the new neutral like black, um, instead of just like your basic white or your even your gray. Now everyone's really turning to black, which is so fun.

Cara Newhart: 08:41 So fun. I think like most people's biggest fear with black is that it will look too dark. What advice do you have for someone who is using black maybe for the first time or trying to incorporate like a little more of it in their home. Okay.

Jessie Ecker: 08:56 Why would say if you're trying to use black for the first time and you're scared and you want to use paints, like to remember that it's, it's just paint. So you could just really like go for it. I think I debated painting my entryway for over a year, which was white lack because everyone's like, it's so dark and there's not a lot of light in that room. And the second I did it, like completely transformed the space. It looked incredible and that was my gut feeling. So I feel like if you really want to do something and you want to paint it, it's just paint. Like if you seen it, you will paint back over it. It's probably going to have to prime it, but it's definitely reversible. So I would say be fearless, like be bold. Uh, just really go for that look, if that's what you're looking for.

Jessie Ecker: 09:42 I wouldn't go all out and do like every single wall in your room. I would pick like pick an accent somewhere to start with and like really figure out if that's your style and that's something you want to incorporate into your own home. Yeah, that's such good advice. So let's talk paint because I know it's funny when you get into neutrals that like there's, everyone has a favorite and like undertones really mattered. So what's your favorite shade of black or I guess multiple maybe for, okay. Yeah, I feel like finding a black paint, it's like finding the perfect white paint. You don't want it to pull like you don't want it to pull purple or green or you know, like there's so many shades I can pool. So my favorite go to black color is called black magic and it's by Sherwin Williams. And that's normally the one I use for everything in my home.

Jessie Ecker: 10:37 But I have literally like went through probably like 50 black pants to find my favorite one. So my other go-to are my other favorite ones. I guess I should say are uh, really like tricorn black by Sherwin Williams. And then if you're looking for something a little bit less bold, I would go with a suit. And that is by Benjamin Moore and it's just a little bit lighter. Like it's like a super dark gray. So you're still gonna get that like shade of black, but it's not like that jet black. Do you know if you are still like on the fence and you want to try something, that would be my suggestion is to like maybe start with like the lighter shade. Yeah. When you're finding a black and you have all these paint swatches and you're like, they all look black, how do you like kind of tell the difference or how do you tell like what shade something could be pulling if you know once it's on the wall.

Jessie Ecker: 11:29 Yes. So just using a paint sample or a chip, you know, obviously you know this is not going to do it for you. You need to be like in your home, in the actual space. You need to look at it at the different times of day. The lighting, you know, like when it becomes morning or afternoon or you know, so my suggestion is I would really like narrow it down to a few of top favorite, like maybe your top three of blacks that you're really debating between. And I would actually do like samples on your wall and just really look at it, sit there for like a day or so because it's really hard to just like a thumbnail picture of a paint is not going to show you what you need to see and it never does. You know? And then like home Depot, uh, they also, everyone has like the coolest things now where you can actually paint on the like the paper and then stick it to the wall and if you want. So that's like a good option too. But those colors that I told you, those are on point, so you don't even need to look. I don't even need to second guess. Don't even second guess yourself. I have already done this. I did all the leg work for you. You're welcome.

Jessie Ecker: 12:41 No need to go any further. Yeah, don't start from scratch. Just listen to Jessie Sheen's can also like obviously make a huge difference because they like reflect light differently. So I feel like it can help a color look amazing or like make it look really out of place depending on which one you pick. Do you have any advice on like when to go glossy or keep it matte or do satin or all that when using black. So I like glossy, just like semi semi glass, um, on your trim it looks really, really nice and black. Um, other than that, like I would never go glossy with black because black is already like such a bold statement color. Like you don't need that extra like shine. It just like, it just doesn't work very well. Like on the walls and stuff. My GoTo is always, uh, like a satin.

Jessie Ecker: 13:31 Like I use the cashmere by Sherwin Williams and then Benjamin Moore has a finish that's called Pearl. And both of those like sheens are like, I don't know what they are, but they're perfect. Like the perfect spade that you could ever imagine for your paint color. And so those are always like my GoTo finishes. Yeah. So the Pearl is like Matt, but like a little sparkle is that even know how to explain it. It's just like, like reminds me of like butter or something, you know, like it's like so perfect. It like goes on so smooth and then the finish, it's like, not shiny but it's not flat, but it's not like, it's just like, it's really my favorite sheen by far is like the, yeah. And then the only time I've ever used Matt for the black is, I did it for my bathroom ceiling and that actually looked amazing.

Jessie Ecker: 14:25 Like the matte finish on a ceiling, but like flat or a matte black, like on your actual walls. I feel like just like, it just doesn't like really make it pop the way you really, there's not enough depth to it. It just looks like not, well, almost like a little like dirty, you know? Like it's just like really not, it just looks like not finish, not polished. Not, especially if you're doing black, you're already, you want obviously like a dramatic look. Right, right. But unfinished, that's a good way to explain it. Like, yeah, it's just like completely like unfinished, like you forgot to like do your top coat or your like last coat or something. It's really doesn't look like polished either, so that's not probably the look most people are trying to achieve. I mean maybe you are, you are but like you need to do that on purpose. Right. But yeah, if you're looking for like that really polished like accent wall, I would definitely go with like a satin or that Pearl finish. Just really give it some like a really nice like Polish at the end. Yeah.

Cara Newhart: 15:34 This episode is sponsored by make space premium. Yes. We finally have premium content available only to subscribers or you can get exclusives like bonus episodes with me, extended episodes with guests and access to members only guides, eBooks and checklists to help you implement tips from some of the episodes. There are currently three membership levels. Number one is guests chats where you can listen into exclusive extended mini episodes with guests where they answer extra questions and share tips not included in the free episode. The second way is bonus episodes with me where you can tune into exclusive bonus episodes as I sit down one on one behind the mic to share advice, tips and insights for creating a home you're legitimately in love with and finally you can get it all with the pink couch party membership tier where you get access to extended guest episodes, bonus episodes with me, access to all the members only guides, eBooks, checklists and more plus a private community where we can chat, swap tips and team up to give each other encouragement and accountability and you'll also get access to the insider calendar which tells you any upcoming makes face event as well as all of the places you can find me, whether I'm speaking at conferences, attending different events so we can meet up and hang out.

Cara Newhart: 17:03 If you want to become a supporter and get access to this premium content membership levels range from three to seven bucks a month. It's a great way to support the show because as much as I love bringing you all this free advice and amazing guests all the time, some of my bigger goals for the show, like doing in person events and adding video, we'll take a little bit more support from you guys to make that happen. So I'm excited to offer this premium content for you, super fans out there so we can make more cool stuff happen to gather. If you want to sign up, just hop over to make space, where you can choose your membership level and then get started browsing through the content. So we touched on this a little bit, but black can be kind of hard to come back from if you change your mind just in the sense that it like requires more coats of paint for those with commitment issues, like how hard is it to go back to a lighter color once you've painted something black? And do you have any hacks for like maybe how to make it easier?

Jessie Ecker: 18:23 Yeah, I mean I feel like it's fairly easy. I mean you just want to use the correct products. So I'm, I did this with my blonde door when I did like a pole and I painted half of it, black and half of it white. And you would never be able to tell the difference that like one was one or one was the other. But um, the Kilz primer is like amazing. Normally you have to just do like one coat. Um, sometimes too, if you're going back like super light, like if you're going from black back to white, I would do two votes of primer and then your paint. But I mean as long as you're using the correct product. And I mean I really, that kills priming paint is, yeah, it does. It does all the things I have it for like everything. I'm like, where's that?

Jessie Ecker: 19:16 But so I mean I wouldn't not do something because you're afraid that you can't take it back kind of thing. Cause you can not, and it's not like you're, you know, like it's not a ton of work. You're not going to be like sanding and so it's not like you have to strip the paint or anything like that. So it's not all like this, like 10 where ton of work, couple extra coats and you have extra coat of paint. Yes, yes. And if you really don't like it, I would also like just like sit on it for a day or so. You know, like get like, cause if you're not used to it, like it might just be too much for you immediately. Um, although I feel like anytime I've painted anything black, like the second I do it, I'm like, Oh my gosh. Like why haven't I been doing this with?

Cara Newhart: 20:04 Yeah. Which is literally how I felt painting my black and I think I text you and I was like, black is like the gravy of home decor because it covers all the imperfections. Like, yeah.

Jessie Ecker: 20:15 And then it really like, yeah. And it like ties everything together when you don't even like realize like it could be tying things together and it's like just such a good like statement piece of the house. Yeah. Yeah. I like that. I love that.

Cara Newhart: 20:30 So something that I think is a really good tip, something that you do really well is like making sure that when you paint something black it has like good texture and good dimension because like, you know, black absorbs light. So if there's not texture going on it can easily look really flat. Um, but something that I see

Jessie Ecker: 20:47 you doing is adding architectural details like molding or wainscoting or just texture like brick, um, to keep it from looking flat. But can you talk like a little bit about that and like, yeah, I feel like black, like really like, um, the molding stands out so well in the color black. Like I really thought like it would just like all blend in, but once you like really add like some kind of like trim pieces or like texture to your, uh, wall or your space, it really makes like that extra like pop and like difference in the space. I feel like I've done this with like my barn door or even like black shiplap is like cool is like I thought it was like over ship lap, you know, and then IPI that black and I was like fine, I'm assists with shiplap. I been so it's like a good and that's like a good thing too.

Jessie Ecker: 21:42 Like if you are like, if you like ship out your whole house and you're like so over it and you're done with that style now like add a black shiplap wall and you're going to be like, okay, wow, I can get through this, we can get through this together, she'll blow up. So um, but yeah, the texture with the black paint makes like a huge difference too. But it doesn't always have to be that way, but it really does like add like an extra element when you add some kind of like molding or the trim pieces or just anything extra really stands out with that black paint. Yeah, I feel like it takes it from like a cool bold accent wall to like looking really sophisticated. Yeah, super chic. Super and like modern but not like too like weird mom, not like edgy, modern like live.

Jessie Ecker: 22:39 Yes. It's very, very liberal. Which like I feel like most people don't think of like having like black walls being like a livable like scenario. But it really does look very like classic, very chic. As long as you, I feel like, I feel like you have to like style it correctly though too, don't you think? Yeah. Let's talk a little bit about that. So yeah. So for like styling, do you have tips for accessorizing with black versus using it on larger areas like a wall? Like if someone doesn't want to do a wall yet, how can they add black with like accessories? I love accessories.

Jessie Ecker: 23:21 I mean you could add accents of like end tables as like black and tables into your space and just like really start adding that um, shelves like floating black shelves would be like super pretty up against the wall. It makes such like a contrast and like a really good statement piece too. You could do like your dining room table, like the top of it, like black, like there's so many options you can do your hardware, you know this like switch, I literally have been like switching out like so I just switched out my faucet and that's like black along with like the soap dispenser. So like little accents seem to make like a huge impact. You just did this to like your route, like turning Brown, black from white. Yeah, it's huge. Like it really makes like such a statement. So there's like lots of little things that you can add in black if you don't want to go full black and have like black walls and you know, be super dramatic black. But I love the little, you should never say never cause I think you're going to have a black wall soon and you're going to be amazing.

Jessie Ecker: 24:39 So there's lots of little pockets since you can do in a bathroom. You can do, you know like there's so many cool different styles out there right now too with like tons of like black accents. Like your towel tile. I mean anything. You can do anything black. I'm telling you once you do like one thing black, then you're like, why have I, where else could this go? Just wait. So is there anything that shouldn't be painted black? No, I knew that was coming but I had now I was going to say, Oh it was like, Hmm, what can I say? No, nothing is safe with the Jessie, you know, all black, black. I'm trying to think if there is anything that I wouldn't because you've done everything like you've done a ceiling black. Oh and it's like a show stopper. I mean it is, it's kind of amazing. It's amazing. Like I'm telling you, black is where it's at. Oh, I want to paint the whole outside of my house, black, you know, and then have my husband like drive by and be like, just drive right past the house. It'd be like, wait, you should definitely do that while he's gone. While he's like deployed, just paint the whole house.

Jessie Ecker: 25:57 I will come help you. We should totally do that. That sounds like a legit plan. I'm just saying I'm literally in. Okay. So any secrets for decorating with black that someone might not know? There might not be any, it might just be like just painted all black paint is all black. I mean I feel like the secrets like is if it's like too dark, like say you did a wall and you felt like it's like too, like just too dramatic or too dark. I would definitely like you can add a mirror and that would really like lighten up that space. Put something like lighter against it, you know, like maybe like a white dresser or something that really like contrasts and like pulls away a little bit from the black and like pulls your eye to something else. I'm trying to think of anything else that really helps with black.

Jessie Ecker: 26:53 Uh, definitely like the natural wood really is such a good contrast with the black as well. Yeah. Cause I feel like black feels a little colder. And then when you do natural, what it like is warm, warm, perfect. Um, yes. Perfect balance of like you're cold and you're once, yeah, no, but I like the tip about adding stuff to your walls cause I feel like a lot of times we paint a wall and we look at it and we're like instantly like too dark or this is too whatever. But like the, yeah, the idea that not only you're going to live with it and think about it, but like also add stuff to it and see if you can like make it work in a way that you'll be in love with. It is a really good [inaudible] and you know like normally you want to start with like your focal point for that space and then just like work your way around that thing. But um, yeah, I feel like if it feels too much then just, you know, start thinking about something that can really like draw your attention somewhere else so you're not just like focused straight on that like lack wall. Yeah. Even though it's going to look awesome, your wall is on me. Just send a photo to Jessie and her DMS and tell you it looks amazing. I will tell you every day that you chose the right color.

Jessie Ecker: 28:19 Okay. But real question, where can people find you to DMU? All their photos. Oh really? DME at? No, find me at, I'm at I N a detail which is E Y E M and that's my blog and my Instagram and all those fun places you can find me. Yeah, same everywhere. And I will link it in the show notes too to make it easy on you guys. Awesome. Okay. Well this episode oddly enough made me want to try a black wall. I Hmm. Okay. It's probably not happening yet, but I'm just saying I thought about it. Oh, it's happening totally that this inspired all the listeners out there to give black and try if they haven't already and maybe gave everybody some good tips for if they're in love with black, but they need like advice for using it a little bit more sophisticated in their house. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing your advice. Thank you for having me. I had so much fun with you. Like, Oh our ways. We'll have to do it again. Maybe talk to you soon. Sounded so good and normal, they blew it. Okay. Okay, well, I'm talking to you tomorrow. All right. Talk to you in five minutes. Byee

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I'm Cara, the designer & diy queen behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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