Rose and John wanted practical advice to update the look of their
entire house, but were faced with a major design dilemma in the living
room and the adjacent dining room.
We identified the key problem: too little color in some respects and
too much color in others. The walls were a dull off-white and the
furniture was also colorless and needed reupholstering. On the other
hand, the two oriental rugs were dominating the space.
We agreed that the best solution was to find ways to give the rest
of the room more visual power so the rugs would no longer be so
Rather than repeating the bold colors of the living room rug, we
opted to bring more color to the rest of the room for a more balanced
feel. The first choice was the sky blue upholstery for the sofa -- a
strong color, but with a soothing quality. We also carried this color
onto the ceilings of both rooms. Then we chose a warm gold for the walls
and brought some subtle patterns into the room with the fabric on the
The dining room was very dark, so we carried a paler shade of blue
onto the upper half of the walls. The chair rail and the wall below it
were painted the same white as the trim to create the effect of
wainscoting. Then we removed the heavy window treatments and added a
pale patterned sheer fabric for the valances. Once these two rooms
were finished, the rest of the house was relatively simple.
In the family room we chose a lighter carpet and re-upholstered the
sofa cushions in two different fabrics.
In the guest bedroom we expanded upon the feeling of the print over
the bed by painting the walls and ceiling a pale gray and by using
simple white and blue linens on the bed and a sheer informal fabric on
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