Have a Decorating Question? Ask Away!



Are you struggling to draw a floor plan? Have a question about decorating a specific room in your house or just plain stumped? We  LOVE to answer decorating questions! Ask away – you can even e-mail us a picture of your room with a specific question. Jayne and I  love to share our passion for decorating. Don’t forget to check out the decorating tools  and articles on our website as well. We even have free budget forms and Grid Paper that you can print to use for your project.


174 thoughts on “Have a Decorating Question? Ask Away!

  1. I have 1950s ranch with an eclectic neutral colored living room, mahogany shutters and floors, walls are a cream/rice paper color. Brown leather chair & sofa.
    One interior wall is Chicago brick, no fire place, just a single brick wall. Everyone asks why we have this wall, what is the function. I happen to know it was built to match furniture the first owners had. Does any one have any suggestions about what to do with this wall. What do you think of including its look when I redo the kitchen?

  2. Hi There,
    I am need of some help with what to do with the gaping hole above my fireplace that is meant to hold a TV, but we don’t want a TV there. It has become a dumping ground and we can’t decide whether to fill it with one big piece or have some doors installed for some storage – or???? any ideas????
    THANK YOU!!!

    • Hi Tanya!

      Did you ever do anything with that hole? I think a large single piece would be a perfect solution for above the fireplace. Your fireplace is most likely the focal point of your room and a beautiful piece of art or sculpture would be a great solution.

      Although storage is a great idea, I think it needs to be something special since its such an important feature within the room!

      Let us know what you did!


  3. Hi Jill,

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you! I really would like to see a picture before I say too much – a picture is always worth a thousand words. If you’d like, you can send me one at amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com.

    In the mean time, here are my initial thoughts. Does the wall mean something to you? Does the history have meaning or sentimental value to you and does the brick make for a good conversation topic? Second, do you love the brick? If the answer is yes to either of those, I would say to definately incorporate it into your kitchen.

    If you decide to incorporate it, then it will help to make the original wall feel like it should be there. I would treat that wall like all the other walls in your home. If the brick is overbearing, try to ‘absorb’ it a little by using oversized accessories and furniture pieces. If you hang a group smaller photo’s or pictures, use large matting and solid colored strong frames such as chocolate or black. Keep them all the same. If you want to add shelving or a bookcase, the same thoughts apply. If you decide to hang a large piece of art work keep it bold and simple- not too busy. A dainty floral design will just create a cluttered feel and be lost. Again, a broad matting and thick simple frame is best. A brick wall is heavy and often busy. These things will help to calm it down and bring out the beauty of it.

    Hopefully, that helps, but I would love to see a picture and then give you my thoughts!

  4. Hi Tanya!

    Good to hear from you! I would also like to see a picture from you if have one. You can e-mail it to me at amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com. My thoughts may change once I see a photo, but here is what I’m thinking now…

    First of all, I agree 100% that you need to do something beside allowing it to become a dumping ground – haha! Especially since the fireplace is almost always the focal point when in a room – even when it’s not lit. As a result, this is the first place that guests will look.

    I like to generally keep it simple above a fireplace with not too much clutter and accessories. But, I do like to have something special above it, to really help make it the focal point. With that thought in mind, I’m thinking that although doors for storage would be nice, plain wood doors would not be too exciting. If you did decide to do that, I would consider doing decorative doors with maybe stain glass panels and lighting inside the cabinet that really highlighted the glass when lit. You could even do a more contemporary frosted glass that is frosted enough to hide what is inside the doors, but that allowed beautiful light to show through when lit inside the cabinet.

    If you kept it as a shelf, I would keep it simple. you may want to paint the sides and top to match the surrounding walls, but put glass on the back surface to reflect whatever you put inside. This can be done pretty inexpensively. Just let someone else measure and install. Walls are never square and if they make a mistake, then they’ll be responsible.

    You could display a framed piece of artwork (that takes up most of the space)on an easle and compliment with a candle or clock and smaller plant. I like groups of three, but make sure that one is the focal point and that they are all of varying sizes. Another idea is a group of sculpted interested vases. Again, one should be the largest and the focal point. You can one or a grouping with three or five – but again odd numbers work best.

    A third choice may be to build it out flush with the surrounding wall and hang a beautiful painting, tapestry or even metal wall sculpture above it. Alot depends though on the existing materials. Is the wall and open spot above your fireplace wood, brick or stone? Send me a picture, and then I think I can help even more!

    Good Luck!

  5. Hi, I have a living room that is 12×20. The two long walls are almost completely unusable. They are taken up by a centred patio door with 2 tall narrow windows beside it and opposite of that wall is open into the kitchen but includes a step down and 2 small half walls separating the rooms by 8 feet on either side. There is also a corner fireplace on the wall with the patio door. I have no idea how to arrange furniture in this room and I’ve been trying for 3 years! I can’t put a couch along either long wall because I need access to them both and pushing them into the room disrupts flow of traffic and it looks like the couch is centred in the room. Should I only use chairs? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

  6. Hi, I have a master bedroom and bathroom that I would love to do something with. My problem is the carpet in the bedroom and walk-in-closet is dark green (forest green). I now have white walls, Oak furniture and burgundy bedding & window coverings. The bath has white walls with Oak cabinets and I mixed some white wood storage cabinets with it for some contrast. I’m sick of the white walls and burgundy bedding & window coverings. I can’t afford to change the carpet or the furniture, and it is all expensive furniture that’s in brand new condition. What can I do as far as color for the walls and bedding that would go with the dark green carpet?? Please help!!

  7. Hi, I have a bedroom comforter set that is seafoam (I think that’s the color) and brown. You can see if you go to Belk.com and look at Waverly Ellora. I am looking for a third and possibly a fourth color to add to it. I have honey oak furniture. The carpet is light beige. The walls are painted Nomadic Desert #6107 Sherwin Williams. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.

  8. I have a long wall with a couch in the center and on either side of the couch are 3ft wide and 6ft 3in hih book shelves, there is 3ft 9in between the top of the shelves and the ceiling . What should I do to fill the dead space? Right now I have some semi large ceramic type vases of diffrent shapes and sizes agrouping of 3 on each, it;s not working for me.

    • Hi Dea,

      I’m thinking it’s not working because you have too many “hard” items and probably need to add something soft. I like that you have groups of three and that they are different shapes…if you want to keep the ceramics, try adding a silk plant such as fern or vine to the group. Make sure it looks like the real thing…nothing worse than a bad fake 🙂

      Place it to the outside corner (away from the sofa and make it part of the grouping. You could even put a vase on it’s side and make it appear that the plant is “spilling out of it” If it’s big enough, you don’t need a container for it, put it in a block of foam and double tape it to the top of the book case. Try to drape some of the folliage down the corner of the book case to bring your eye down to the books and try keep the groupings to the outside end instead of spreading them out.

      If you tire of the ceramics, you could also add a picture or two on easels or even an open book on an easel. The thing is grab a footstool, expermiment and have fun. I think if you add something soft like a plant, it will make a world of difference!

      Let us know what you did!


  9. I am pregnant with our first child and we only have 2 bedrooms in our house. We have a queen bed in the spare room and would like to still keep the bed for when guest come to visit,however we do not have anywhere else to store it. I am looking for some suggestion on what I can do to make the room a nursery but also as a spare bedroom for guest. The room is 11 x 11 and has a small closet and one window. Any suggestions would be great.

  10. Hi! I have an open floor plan with the kitchen and family room in full view of each other. In the kitchen, I have light oak cabinets, black appliances, and light oak flooring. In the family room, I have beige carpet and darker golden oak furniture. The walls are painted yellow. I am thinking of changing the furniture in the family room to a dark walnut (black). Would this go with the light oak cabinets and flooring or what would go better? Thanks!

  11. Hi! We’re moving into a new house and the kitchen area for the table is not very big. We just bought a bar-high rectangular table with 6 chairs and 2 barstools recently so we want to be able to use this in our new house. The problem is, the hanging light that goes above the table won’t be in the center of the table. Should we consider hiring an electrician to move this light so it’s in the middle or can I offset it somehow with a floral or something to make it look ok?

    • Hi Kristi!

      I think offsetting it is a pretty creative idea, and it might work, but it will probably eventually drive you nuts…but I would try it as a temporary solution. Since you own the home, I think it would ultimately be worth it to move the light. If it was only a matter of a few inches, you may be able to secure it where you want it and hide it under a ceiling medallion, but the preferrable way is to call the electrician and if you don’t have one, make sure to add a dimmer 🙂

  12. Hi Karen,

    I have been slow in answering everyone’s questions and thought I would answer yours right away! As you know, leather can be a bit slippery for pillows, but throw pillows always add color and dimension to a room. Probably your best bet is to find a pillow that has a back of suede or leather which will give it a bit more grip. I’ve actually been looking for pillows for my new leather sofa and had to smile when you asked this question, I know exactly what you are talking about. Here’s one other thing to think of when shopping… I found some absolutely gorgeous beaded/sequined pillows at z gallerie, that would have been beautiful, but I resisted, knowing that the embellishments would scratch the leather. Good luck and let me know what you find! You can send me pictures to post at… amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com

    By the way, I am working to answer everyone’s elses questions in the next week or so 🙂

  13. And, if I wasn’t clear above, I meant that you could look for a pillow where the back of it is suede or leather -and the front is a different fabric or material. If you are still at a loss, or find a pillow you love that is slippery, embrace the fact that if they slide, they’ll still be beautiful. Really, sometimes it’s the things that are not so perfect that make our homes so loveable!

  14. Hi! I am trying to redo my bedroom. I just bought the yellow paisley duvet cover set from Pottery Barn. My bedroom walls are currently painted a pale sky blue color. I have an iron bed and dark brown furniture desk. I have no idea how to make it all work together. What would you do?

    • Hi Demaris,

      My bet is that your room is a very lovely place to be with the pale blue “sky” and the cheerful beautiful yellow paisley duvet. I would make the room almost all shades of yellow and white (or creme if that’s the background of your duvet). I think with the sky ceiling it would be so charming to add tiny splashes of colors that you would find in wildflowers…lilac, pink, sage green. I’m answering you a bit late and appologize…what did you end up doing?


  15. We just purchased a cabin and plan on making the upstairs enclosed loft our master bedroom. It even has enough room for a seating area and a nice balcony. The room is 12’x22′. The issue is lighting. The loft is under a gabled roof, so the ceiling slopes. Holding up the roof are beams that are open and start at 81.5″ above the floor and there are 10 of them going to width of the room. So how do I put overhead lighting? The contractor set up 2 temporary lights on a dimmer but they look horrible. Do you have any suggestions for me? I have pictures to send. Thank you!

  16. Hi!

    This is in my dining room. What type of area rug would go with a black distressed dining set gold walls, black tapestry parsons chairs, striped curtains that pick up the colors in the chairs, those colors being green red and gold. The floors are mahoghany. Please help!

  17. I have 2 large overstuffed sofas and one overstuffed chairs. I have dark blue slipcovers over all the pieces. How can I warm them up? I like the dark blue as it hides stains well (I have kids!) but it does make the living room cool and my goal is warm and welcoming. Any ideas?

  18. hi!
    I’ve sent you pictures to the email address noted above.
    As you can see, we’re so lucky that our master bedroom is HUGE, but we need some furniture to fill it with. My dad made us this bed from an old maple tree at our cottage, so it has to stay. It is maple w/ a clear stain. Here are the issues: (1) We don’t want all light wood furniture in the room, but we’re not sure about mixing up too many woods/finishes; (2) While we love the bed my dad made us, we prefer a mix of vintage and new for an eclectic look (see brown Barcelona chair in corner; walls are Ralph Lauren’s Shoreline Blue); (3) We need 2 dressers and 2 night stands, minimum; (4) The black armoire will likely get moved to another room.
    So the questions are:
    (1) What colour / finish for the nightstands and dressers?
    (2) Any thoughts on particular styles of nightstands and dressers? My fave is a funky eclectic mix of different styles!

    And yes, those dreadful lights are going away and the bed will once again be centred on the wall! Thanks for any ideas.

  19. I’ve painted my dining room sort of a banana yellow and I’m not sure how to decorate the room. My furninture is black and a really dark brown…the cushions are black and white stripe. I was thinking of getting a zebra print rug and black n white accessories. would that look nice? I HAVE NO IDEA! I’m totally new to this whole decorating thing….

    • Chrystal, I think you have excellent taste and love everything you said! You actually just described that color scheme in my living room! Here’s a link to our spring newsletter. If you go to the article about New Trends, there’s a great dining room pictured that uses those colors…isn’t it fabulous?

    • I don’t have a problem with that, I’d rather have shorter than too tall. The real thing is to make sure that scale wise they work together. A tall lamp with some substance (not too skinny) will probably help balance everything out! Good Luck!

  20. Hi there,
    I am getting new furniture for my living room soon and am clueless about what colors I should get. I am not able to download a picture for you, as I have no camera, but the walls are standard white and the carpet is the same color green as a pool table (yuck). I rent, so I am not allowed to repaint or recarpet. I am planning on purchasing a love seat and futon/sofa bed and maybe end tables (there is no other furniture in the room). Any advice on what colors will work?

  21. Trying to give an updated look to a 12 year house on a very limited budget. Forest/hunter green carpet still in good shape so keeping it in LR/DR and up stairs to 3 bedrooms Too expensive to replace. Cherry Trim throughout house. What color ideas do you have for the bedrooms. Right now, I have an off white and want to know what would make this seem more current. Master bedroom/bathroom has white tile floor and tub with white/lines of green in the tile. Can I pull in the beiges or even go with the sagey green or moss green? Would that be too much green? PLEASE HELP.

  22. Hi:

    I have recently updated our kitchen/family room area. I will be emailing you a picture that was taken looking at our fireplace wall with an upper/lower cabinet on the right, but only a lower on the left. We have an upper left, but don’t really want to reinstall because we would like to purchase a 50″tv and with the new tv configuration the upper would only accomodate a 40-42″. Is there a way to balance out this space without the upper cabinet? I purchased 3 different length black shelves that I thought might work staggered over a new tv on both walls in that corner, but they will be recessed. I am planning on purchasing a small chair/recliner for the left side of the room before the slider door (little table area in picture), but have not found the right one yet. Any suggestions on that would also be appreciate. The max width I feel would work with a small table would be 37″. Some other information regarding the rooms are: hickory kitchen cabinets, golden teak wood floors, oak trim & fireplace cabinets, saddle(med.)brown couch & chair, portabello walls with texas sage between kitchen cabinets & soffit. Trying to accent with black and the texas sage, rusty/burgandy, tan/gold also in the rug. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Hello – After having lived in a house with NO wood, I am delighted now to have moved into a house that is full of beautiful oak, including oak doors and oak window frames in most rooms.

    What the house does not have, however, is wood flooring. I’m happy with the new ceramic tiling I chose for the kitchen and entryways, but I am very unhappy with the cork floor I put in the family room – it has faded badly where it is exposed to sunlight, the seams are more prominent than I expected, and it just doesn’t look as rich as I had hoped it would.

    Now I want to get rid of the carpet in the living room, but I am puzzled: The living room is not large, and I fear it might be too much of a good thing to put down flooring that matches the oak doors and window frames; still, I don’t trust myself to blend different woods and colors. I’m interested in bamboo, but I don’t know if it would harmonize with the oak – I don’t want again to spend a lot of money and be as disappointed as I am with the cork flooring.

    I should add that our style is very casual, and that we have nine cats (yes, honestly)– so high quality, durable flooring is important.

    Thank you for any ideas!

    • Hi Donna!

      I think a wood floor in the living room would look great and don’t think it would be too much of a good thing at all. The thing is, when choosing a finish, try to complement or blend, not match.

      I love Bamboo, but it is a stand alone kind of wood…lots of pattern and variation…that’s the beauty of it…but I think in your case, it would drive you nuts with the oak.

      Bring home some samples, lay them out in the room, look at them during the day and at night, much like you would with paint…and remember…you are not matching, but finding something that compliments what you have.

      If you are still unsure, hire a designer for a consultation, she or he will save you from making a costly mistake and may have some suggestions you hadn’t thought about.

  24. I am trying to decorate my living room, but do not know if black would go right with cherry wood tables. Can you help me out?

    • yaritza, you can rarely go wrong with black and it definitely will go with cherry. The question is what kind of a look are you going for? Cherry and Black will give a deep, dark rich look that will need to be balanced with rich warm colors throughout the space. If this is what you want, you are on the right track!

  25. I have a decorating dellima. I live in a mid sized bachelor suite and invested in a brand new futon set before I downsized. my sitting area is funky and modern, but I have an antique real maple coffee table bought for my first apartment and I have no idea what to do with it. It does not work as a coffee table in the sitting area because it’s too high + doesn’t go with the modern decor. I don’t want too get rid of it though because it was a present and the first thing anyone bought me for my first apartment. Right now it is sitting behind the futon against a wall, with my victoria style desk chair and cherry shelf to make a victorian sitting area, but I want to use this area as 1. a possible dining area or 2. a guest bed area when my parents visit. I also somehow have to fit in a computer desk and a guinea pig cage. I can upload pics to my wordpress blog if you’d like to see the full place.

  26. Hi,
    I just received the job of coming up with ideas to spice up my college’s Student technology assistance center. I, along with other student employees work on students’ tech issues and help with programs such as excel, adobe, etc. Our center is pretty small- has 3 long tables with 3 chairs, 2 computers. the only “nice” thing I can say about our center is we have two art pieces with an earthy color combination. Our school colors are blue and white. Any ideas to make our center professional yet fun (considering we are also students)! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Shayna,

      Have you done anything to the space yet? Sorry for the delay in answering, but I think a coat of paint will make a world of difference. A rich wam color on the walls will make all that university furniture look so much better! Using those great art pieces, match a few of your favorite colors that in the pieces to paint chips and then use those paint chips to hold to other things in the room.

      If there is one color that looks better with everything else, use that as a wall color…you will be amazed what a coat of paint will do.

      As far as the blue and white, leave that for team uniforms and mascots…those colors are not going to do anything to help you space 🙂

  27. I work in a hotel. We are slecting artwork for the landings on each floor around the corner from the elevator. Currently there is a 58 inch long rectangular sofa table like piece with a 31 by 32 inch print hung above the table. Then there is an artificial plant sitting on the table. The wall this all sits on is 70 inches. I would like to hang 2 square pieces, possibly 31 x 32 piece of art to replace the one currently there. Th eother ideas is to hang a rectangular piece of art 42 x 32 (approx). My thought is that having 2 sqaure pieces that really fills the space is more up to date looking than one rectangular piece. I also think that with the two square pieces hanging, we could get away from having an articial plant or other cluttery looking thing on the table. Please advise.

    • Pierrette,

      It sounds like a fun project, and I love the idea of two square pieces, but if they are hung side to side, I don’t like that they are wider than the couch. If you have tall ceilings, they may be great hung vertically above the sofa.

      A plant does add softness, but unless it’s a great fake and kept clean at all times, you might want to find another option. A framed quote on an easel, a bowl of glass balls or simple statue could provide interest as well.

      Good Luck!


  28. I am painting my guest bath walls a saffron and the cabinets an espresso. What type of light fixture should I put up?


  29. Hi, I’m not sure if you’re even still taking questions, but I stumbled onto this site doing a Google search. I have an open floor plan, and the kitchen sink is on the bar such that the back of it faces out to the living areas. It is level with the bar; there is no backsplash or anything. Right now I have a silk greenery arrangement behind it to kind of screen it off, but my husband and I are both sick of it, and it is hard to keep clean. Whatever is there will get splattered with greasy, soapy water and needs to be something that can be wiped down easily. Do you have any ideas? I’ll e-mail a picture to the address you’ve mentioned above.


  30. HI – I’m designing a small boutique hotel. Modern and minimal flavor. What is a good budget for the cost of furnishings per hotel room?

    • Hi Larry,

      There are way too many variables…what part of the world or country that you live in, what type of clientel do you desire and do you have a budget that you need to stay within. This is where hiring a design professional is a good idea. In the long run, they will help you make good decisions, evaluate your market, plan a functional space and ultimately save you money. It’s true…designers can save you money 🙂

  31. need your help!

    First of all, let me just say the service your providing here for free is great. I think I speak for everyone here when I say THANKS FOR OFFERING THIS.

    Now for my question. We have been living in our current home for 4 years now and we really still have not moved in. This sounds weird, but its true. We have been going through all our stuff and trying to get rid of things we really don’t need. We throw away whats trash and giveaway what isn’t.

    This de-cluttering was kicked into high gear when my wife and I found out we were pregnant. This will be our first. We have the babys room almost finished, but maybe you can help me with that as well (lol). Anyways, on the the question.

    The baby’s room is now in what use to be my office/computer room. We moved the computer out of there and into what I guess could be considered a sitting room or living room in a room that is right by the front door. We went to IKEA and bought a hide-away computer desk that just looks like furniture when not in use. It also has two book cases beside it and the hideaway desk sits in a corner of the room. Then, by the front door we got a small table to put our keys and to organize our mail and also once again, to get additional storage from the space. The furniture pieces are all dark brown stained wood.

    Connected to this room is the dining area.

    Previously, we had that sitting area where the computer now sits completely empty and we just had a dining table in the dining room area. That was it, just a table.

    We have the walls decorated with paintings and a large picture and would like to know what you think of all that as well. Most of the paintings have a native american theme, some of these were painted by my wife’s brother and we would like to keep them all so tell me what you think.

    So here is the big question. We have the computer area set and now would like to buy a new dining room table and maybe a buffet or serving side table to use as storage (we lack storage with this house). So my question is. When getting a dining room table, should we go for a stain that matches the dark brown of the computer area, or should we go with a totally different color to show distinction between the two rooms?

    Originally, we wanted to go with a light table because it wears nicer. Dark tables if scratched look very ugly. But I am not sure if going with different stains would look ok. Please help! I am emailing you some photos in a few minutes, please excuse the mess, but we are cleaning the house from top to bottom and we are still sorting though some of our stuff. Take care and thanks in advance.


  32. one last thing, I would prefer not to have to paint any of the walls, if I can make the colors in the room work, then great.

  33. Hi.
    I am going crazy!! I am renting a nice home in Georgia and am having the hardest time properly placing my traditional sofa in my small living room. To me, it looks square; but obviously does not measure out that way. The living room is also the ‘everything’ room-I do not have a family room or dining room (eat in kitchen, though.)
    Anyway, upon entering my small foyer, to the right is a 42.5 inch wide entrance to the living room-the wall that contains this entrance way is 15 feet. The connecting perpendicular wall is 17.5 feet, which has a 48 inch wide entrance to my kitchen. The next connecting perpendicular 15 feet wall houses a 77.5 inch red brick fireplace mantel with a 70 inch fireplace. And, the final connecting perpendicular 17.5 feet wall has two windows, 36 inches wide, 66 inches long and 72 inches of wall between the two.
    As for furnishings, I have: a Traditional sofa with fringed hem/bottom; a French-style occasional chair; an upholstered reading chair, with ottoman; a nice console table with carved legs; a slender bookshelf; a round coffee table, with glass inserts; a 25 inch TV on a small TV stand.
    My questions are: Where should I place my sofa and what furnishings should I omit?

    Help, Help and thank you!!


    • Can you send me photo? Sounds like you have great things to put in the room, a picture would be helpful! You can e-mail it to me at amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com Looking forward to helping 🙂

  34. Okay, so I have a beige sectional couch, beige walls, and an area rug that is BEIGE, dark red and black!! I am tired of beige and guess what! Our walls are beige!!!!!!
    We have white crown molding that I love and hardwood floors! The floors are not dark or light… somewhere in the middle!
    I bought dark red curtains to pick up on the red in the carpet but now I have NO idea what to do with the walls!!
    I usually paint a room and pick out accents from there but since we are renting we have moved with the same pieces time and time again! Now that we have found a place we love we are going to be here for a couple years!
    I need a different color on my walls but what do you do with the colors I have??? I feel like I am almost stuck with beige walls!!!! Please help!!

  35. I am painting a room with mid-century modern furniture. The wall will be beige. Should the trim- baseboard, doors, window sills etc. be beige or white?

  36. I am stuck. I’m looking for ideas on how to decorate to make it feel like you’ve walked into a forest. I most certainly don’t want over-done/tacky/rustic… for example: no black bears holding lamp shades! I want the feeling more than anything. You know the feeling of peace that fills/surrounds you when you walk in a quiet forest? That what I want to create. I’m starting with my bedroom…
    Any ideas?

    • Grab your favorite beverage, a stack of design magazines or a nature magazine or two…and start exploring, clipping anything that grabs your eye. Think about it later. You can also do this by checking out sites like http://www.bhg.com or http://www.houzz.com. via your computer.

      Your goal is to find an insprition photo that makes you feel like the room you are describing above. It will be a great way to kick off your project and will serve as a guide along the way! Good luck. If you find an inspiration photo, scan it and send it to me at amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com and I’ll give you more thoughts!


  37. I have mid century modern furniture. Paul McCobb Directional, Cado wall unit, 2 black leather Barcelona chairs. I am painting the room beige. My painter wants to paint the baseboard and all other trim, radiator cover, etc. white. Should it be white or beige like the walls?

  38. I have a kitchen where i’m painting a soft gray-green. I am also placing some moulding on my ceiling to form a rectangle. I wanted to paint the wall color in this rectangle. Is it a rule of thumb to take that wall color and do a percentage of that with my trim color, which is a white, to tone down the look? I also want to keep the ceiling from looking lower than it is and therefore was wondering if a lighter ceiling color than the wall will keep the ceiling from looking lower than the 9 feet that it is.

    • Naomi, I have never worked with a percentage of the wall color on the ceiling…I usually use the same color, BUT, it will generally look darker on the ceiling unless a light is shining on it.

      It’s a misconception that white walls make a room seem taller and dark makes it look shorter. In reality in taller spaces, a black ceiling (mostly done in commerical spaces) will “disappear”. I have done a basement with a mushroom color ceiling and great uplighting – the result was beautiful.

      In my mind, it’s not so much the shade of green, but the lighting that you will incorporate during the day and night that will make it special. Make sure to use dimmers and uplighting to change the ambiance with a flick of a switch!

      You also might want to think about the reverse, running the green up and around the ceiling and doin gthe center in white….that could be fun too and create a feeling of more height! Good luck!


  39. I am moving into a new house. There is an open floor plan from the kitchen, to an eat in area, and the family room. The kitchen cabinets are maple spice (not too light – right in the middle) and the countertops are a laminate with fake granite look with shades of tan and brown. We have linoleum flooring. We have black appliances and black granite around the fireplace in the family room – so far it all looks great. My problem is I’m looking to buy a new dinette set for the kitchen and don’t know what color table to get. I found two that I like – one is a merlot/espresso color – so really dark wood. The other is a medium shade of oak. I don’t know which one will look ok in this area. I like the darker wood, but I’m not sure if it will be too much of a contrast with the cabinets or if it will play off the appliances and fireplace nicely. The lighter table is similar in shade to the cabinets but obviously does not completely match. The table has more grains in the wood than the cabinets. I don’t know if this will look strange since it almost matches but not really. Please help!!!

    • I think you are better off to mix and match than to try to match and miss. I like the dark option as well for the same reasons that you do. One other option is to find a table that has a black painted base with a wood top similar to your cabinets. That could help tie everything in as well. I’m answering this with out any photo’s – feel free to send any to me at amoeller at assistantproductgroup.com Good luck!

  40. i have a new house that i am decorating mostly in a tropical style. the kitchen has maple cabinets and terra cotta colored tiled floor. the hardware on the cabinets is black, but most is missing and has to be replaced. what color hardware should i get to go with the tropical theme. also any other decorating ideas??? paint color? backsplash?

    • Linda,

      My advice on the hardware is to stay neutral with either silver or gold (which is slowly making a comeback) although a colored glass knob could be fabulous…

      I would consider choosing 2 accent colors that work well with the terra cotta… one of them being a fun green and using that as a possible wall color which would look great with the maple cabinets and floor. I am just assuming the maple has a light stain? am I correct? If it is dark, a rich yellow gold could be beautiful, but not with light cabinets.

      As far as the backsplash, I’d have to know what you counter top is…Good luck!


  41. Hello. My 10 x 12 feet room doubles as a office and bedroom. The closet is very small so it’s organized nor is there enough storage for clothes and files.
    I need to organize the room to allow for a home office/bedroom with enough space for a computer, general storage, clothes, and files.

    I don’t know what to do with the space. Can you please help? It would be much appreciated.

    Thank You – eron

  42. Hi, We have just rented a single story cottage on the beach. It has medium blue carpet which we can not change. What color can I paint the walls to complement and add a subtle beachy feel to the space. I love Sand dollar but I am afraid it will look too yellow with the blue rug. What if we do white baseboards and trim? Please advise!

    • I think it would be beautiful…the baseboards and trim in white will make everything feel crisp and clean. If the Sand Dollar goes a bit yellow, I don’t see that as a problem…yellow and blue are beautiful together and such a happy beach-like combination! I don’t think you can go wrong!

  43. Hey there,
    I have a question- should I scrape textured ceiling in a ski chalet style home before putting it on the market? The house is very 70’s looking and we plan on doing some work to baths etc… before selling and didn’t know if we should have the ceilings scraped in main living areas while we were at it.

    • Hi Tineka! I’m flip flopping on this answer…on one hand, textured ceilings definitely date a home and in fact they can beg an interested buyer to question if it was done to cover up a patched or uneven drywall ceiling. Would scraping the ceilings be an improvement? No doubt, it definitely would look nicer. Should it be a top priority? I don’t think so. It will create a HUGE mess, as in a huge DUSTY mess… that will take money probably better spent somewhere else. I would focus on updating hardware, fixtures and paint before investing in scraping the ceilings. My final answer? If you have money to throw around – go ahead and do it, but it’s probably not something that will give you a solid return.

  44. Our house is 5 years old and we have lived in it since it was built. We want to replace the carpet as the installer did a horrible job AND the color is awful. The carpet is currently on 4 flights of stairs, a hallway and three bedrooms. Originally we were going to replace it all with hardwood but half of the stairs have caps on them….and the cost for the wood, installation and all the extras is phenomenal! So…..we are thinking of putting hardwood in our bedroom….and replacing the existing carpet with new, better quality (and color). The carpet will meet both the hardwood and the tile in our great room. I think it will look fine but others have discouraged us. What are the thoughts on this, anyone? I can send pictures of what exists now and what we are thinking of replacing it with.

    Thanks! Rhonda

  45. My queston to you is, how do i find a style that I can be ok with now that my husband past away and i can make my bedroom more feminine while leaving a bit of my late husbands touch he was into contemporary?

  46. We purchased a house a few years ago and we are getting ready to replace the flooring. My husband and I agree that we would like to replace the vinyl flooring and carpet on the first floor with wood. My question is what color of wood would look good with dark cherry colored stained trim and cabinets? The wood is just too beautiful to cover up with paint and we don’t want to replace them. We currently have light tan colored carpet & vinyl flooring with a “coffee with cream” color for the walls. Since the trim & cabinets are such a dark cherry color so matching it with wood flooring seems like it would make the rooms feel too dark. I was thinking of a lighter maple wood similar in color to the current carpet but I’m not sure about mixing wood colors. Most of our wooden furniture is dark walnut or chocolate in color.

    • Hello! I think you are smart to go with a lighter maple. A cherry toned floor would be gorgeous and to be honest, I wouldn’t worry about the dark, but what concerns me is all the other wood tones. Mixing and matching is very popular and I think you are better to contrast than to try to match. There is too much to match anyway. One thing is I think you will find is that you may want to change your paint to a color that complements the wood. Yours might, and ignore me if I’m wrong, but read my comment about matching paint to wood to cwirly who posted a question today. Good luck and let me know how it turns out 🙂

  47. we are redoing a bath from 20 years ago – everything walls,floor,cabnet,sink,toilet,tub w/shower etc. My problem is I’m not sure if I want a white vanity or wood color – this is not a big bathroom by any means – but my existing woodwork is wood not white & doors are wood.I was thinking os a white vanity with dark blue granite with some pearl coler in the granite. But i’m not sure

    • I think you are on the right track but have a few thoughts…pardon me if I ramble – haha! ! I am in a 20 year old house too with beautiful wood trim, but to be honest, I am tired of all the wood. I am actually going to start painitng some of my kitchen cabinets a creamy white…and add a dark brown/black granite top. I think the dark blue granite with pearl would be gorgeous…BUT, I’m thinking a stark white would look like a builders grade inexpensive cabinet. An off white may work better and look better with your wood. Get some paint chips and see what I mean. I’m a little concerned about the walls. What color are you thinking? Also, Are you sure you want to commit to a deep blue? Sometimes, I think it’s better to go with great neutral but rich (in texture and pattern) permanent items in a bath for tile and counters and add the color through accessories and paint. You might not love that blue so much 5 years from now. I am saying this from personal experience, by the way 🙂 I hope that helps and keep me updated!

  48. Is it okay to have a combination of countertop materials in one kitchen? For example, to save costs, we are thinking about putting a solid surface counter top on our kitchen island, and a laminate material on the surround cabinets. If this works, can you suggest websites that show this type of design?

    • Absolutely! Great design is about texture, pattern and style…and mixing and matching of cabinets and counters is very popular right now. The key is if you put a solid surface or granite on your island, don’t try to “match” your laminate to look like a granite or solid surface. Yes, pick a color that is the same shade or that is complementary, but don’t try to match it.

      Make sure when selecting your island materials that you look at if it is porous or non- porous – that latter will have to periodically be sealed. Also check to see how easily it scratches. While granite needs to be sealed and solid surface doesn’t…it takes a lot to scratch the high shine of a granite counter, but a glossy solid surface can be a nightmare. Yes, ask your sales person the pro’s and cons, but one step better is to find someone who has it and see what they have to say 🙂 I don’t know of any webites off hand, but found this link from This Old House…it looks to have lots of great information. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/kitchen-countertops Good Luck and let us know what you ended up doing! Amy

  49. I just bought a 99 inch sofa to go in my living room. I want to get an area rug to tie all the colors in the room together. What size rug should I get to go with my new sofa?

    • My rule of thumb is that every piece of furniture that is in the conversation area with that couch should touch the area rug with at least one leg or foot. I’m thinking it will probably be a pretty big rug. but do this… make sure your furniture is where you want it , that it’s not too close to the walls, angled for interest and easy to move around. Now, Measure the length and width that you will minimally need for each piece of furniture to touch in some way a piece of that carpet. There is nothing worse than getting a carpet that is too small. Also, be patient, wait for the one that is right. My favorite place to buy an area rug for a great price is Home Goods, you have to be patient, and stop in often – but I’d bet you will eventually find the “perfect” rug for a great price!

  50. I have a 2 room cottage on a riverbank in Wisconsin. It has peaked ceilings with wood beams, lots of windows, and was flooded in a 500 year flood level flood. After a lot of work, we’ve put up the drywall and I want to give the cottage a fresh, clean, cozy look. I have to get new furniture and window treatments, so it’s like starting over. Very exciting, but also daunting. I was thinking of white ceiling and trim (painting my woodwork), with a light blue wall. I’d like light green (sea green?) and maybe sand color accents. Could you tell me what colors would look good together without being overwhelming? The floors need new coverings, but with the red clay outside, we can’t go with a white floor. I want up to date colors, not the old bright blue & white. Thank you!

    • Hi Sherry,

      What a fun, fun project and it sounds like you on your way to creating a beautiful space! I love the painted white ceiling and trim and light blues and greens are very popular right now. There are lots and lots of shades out there. Rather than me telling you random colors I like, what I would do is to find something to use as an inspiration for your colors. A piece of art with the shades you love, a pillow, etc. and select your paint based on that. If you pick paint without an inspiration, you may find yourself very frustrated trying to find things to work with it. By starting with something that has a color combination that you already love is a great and easy way to head in the right direction.

      I agree about the light carpet and really, I’m thinking any carpet may be a problem. I am a sucker for a hardwood floor – what about a deeper hardwood floor to complement your white woodwork? You could even go for a “used” look to get that cottage feel. It’s easy to clean and would look fabulous! I would definately go with a wider plank and maybe even wood pegs. I think it could be gorgeous! If you want to avoid the mess, go with a prefinished wood floor. If you start from scratch, make sure to see several pieces of the wood with a sample of the stain, because staining a natural wood floor can give lots of suprises if you don’t sample it first. Good luck and let me know how it turns out 🙂

      As far as the floor

  51. We have an old log home with the chinking in between. It’s been updated with insullation, drywall, and rough-stuff paint – white. The logs have been stained a darker oak and sealed. The living room has 2 walls that are log and 2 walls that are not log walls. What colors would look good with the dark log walls with the white chinking?

    • Hi Cindy,

      To give you a quick answer without seeing answers or photo’s, I would have to say think rich (not necessary deep), warm nature colors. A beautiful shade of sage green or cornbread gold will enrich the color of your logs and that’s what it’s all about. Note that the yellow/gold will only look good if it is truly a darker oak, other wise, it will not look good. I have darker oak trim in my house with Behr’s Gold Buff and I adore it, but put it next to a natural wood staid and it’s horrible. just horrible. If you decide to go with more of a neutral color, avoid gray and try to go with a color that is warmer, rather than cool and make sure to avoid a light color that attempts to match the chinking but doesn’t. A close match is never desirable. Either directly match it or contrast it! Put some sample up and if if doesn’t enhance the wood, look for something else! To see what I mean, hold a cool gray sample up and a sage green…chances are the gray will do nothing for the wood, but the sage green will make it even nicer. Experiment a bit and you’ll see what I mean! Good luck! Amy

  52. Sorry but I forgot to mention one other complication. The sink basin is not centered on either section of the L-shaped countertop. The sink is on the left edge and the right edge. So if I try to use a bigger mirror to cover more of the wall space and countertop/cabinet, and I put a sconce or overhead lighting centered over a bigger mirror, then the lighting won’t be over the area where a person is looking into the mirror (when standing over the sink). So I’m thinking that I should stick with a fairly standard size mirror directly over each sink and not worry about all the wall space between the 2 mirrors (perhaps hang a plant in the middle of the L?

    • Okay, real quick…first of all, sconces should be at eye level or a bit higher….Never above a mirrow, unless they are a light fixture designed for that.

      Don’t be so caught up in being equal if it’s not equal. Worry more abourt balance and weight. If you have more wall space on one, you can fill it with a sconce or artwork.

      I agree with your though, not crazy about the plant…what about a chandelier?

  53. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond tonight (electrician here at 7 a.m. tomorrow). This is a smallish bathroom (for kids) so I don’t think a chandalier would work. But I’m glad to hear you’re not troubled by the look of sconces on the sides of the mirror on one wall (the one you see when you get to the top of the stairs so most viewed), even if I can’t do the same thing on the other wall (perhaps one sconce only). I didn’t realize I was going to have to decide what I wanted and where so early in the project. Figured we could see how things looked with the cabinets and tile in and then decide on mirrors and sconces. Live and learn!

  54. We do not want to buy a bed as we will will be moving a number of times in next few years. We have a queen mattress and a queen box-spring. How can I make a fake out headboard (without power tools)?

    • Off the top of my head, here’s two easy solutions…
      1. Use an arched drapery rod, a valance and long drapes pulled back on either end to add a dramatic touch above the bed.
      2. Paint a large rectagle or group of squares to represent a head board. It’s a simple concept, but can add quite a punch

      Let us know what you end up doing! Amy xoxox

  55. I’m planning on redecorating a child’s bedroom, and I would love to give it a nautical/coastal feel. Unfortunately, the room has rose-colored carpeting and I’m concerned the carpet will clash with a nautical color scheme. Replacing the carpet is not an option right now, so I would love some advice on how to reconcile the two. Thanks!

  56. My parents have a tiny little ranch home that has this empty space that once held the dining table. I have emailed you a pic at the email that is the a pretty close match to their house. Basically, along the back wall, there is a kitchen separated from the eating by the counter. The eating area also has a french door. Now, the dining area is completely empty, after they turned the den into the dining room. Walking into the front door, there is the living room, and you can look and see out the back french doors, with this sad empty space. My mom and I are trying to figure out what to do! I will send a pic right now, since I knew I couldnt’ explain that well.

  57. I have a suggestion for your readers – many people don’t consider wall stickers, but these days, wall stickers have become quite stylish and easy to use. Search online for some great wall stickers that can decorate your room quickly and easily!

  58. Hi !

    My husband and I are in the early planning stages for building our first home. We have a house plan picked out and have contacted a builder about beginning this process. I like to plan ahead as much as possible, and, since new furniture for our living room is a consideration once we build, I have been looking over the layout of the living room to try and get an idea of furniture placement. But I’m having trouble. I’ve included a link to the floor plan; I have made changes to the original. The room itself is 15X19, with a fireplace located centrally on the eastern wall. The plan calls for a vaulted ceiling, which we will not be including. Currently we have a couch, two over-sized chairs, an ottoman, and a tv armoire. Once we build, we might opt for a sectional instead of the couch we have. We would like a comfortable arrangement for lounging and tv watching, and really arent wanting to mount the tv over the fireplace.

    Any advice or suggestions would be helpful in this planning process ! Thanks !


  59. my bathroom was faux painted today with teal and white. I have white tile with gray grout and am having the grout re-stained. Is a darker teal grout a good idea? I’m so perplexed. A friend did not like the idea, but I thought it would look good. Thank you.

    • I agree with your friend, although I haven’t seen a photo… the thing is that when you make the grout darker, you making the grid/grout a design statement… do you really want your grout to stand out? That’s the question. For example, a white tile floor with black grout makes sense as a design statement. A beautiful marble floor on the other hand should stand out – not the grout… the grout should blend. I really depends on what you are going for, but I believe a dark grout will take away from your faux paint. let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out 🙂

  60. So, I’m not quite sure if this is where I leave my question, but here goes! I fell in love with a couch at Crate and Barrel that is 85″ wide and 42″ deep. The couch is aptly call the Oasis; it is so comfortable I want to live on it. The problem is, my future living room is only 17×11. I went window shopping for smaller couches and found myself an oversized one.

    Do you think the Oasis is too big for the room? If I keep everything else in the room small, would it compensate for the very big couch or would it do the opposite?

    • I think you know the answer… haha! I think if you did everything else small, the couch would stand out like a really big sofa! Keep looking and you’ll find something you love just as much… is there a loveseat version? That might be a good option! If you really have to have it, I would just plan on having less in that room… keep it simple and make sure balance out other parts of the room with some large scale items… a larger mirror for example would help balance the room and help everything seem bigger! Good luck and let me know what you end up doing!

  61. We have a house built in 1900, with the original dark (DARK!) wood moldings. I prefer painted moldings but of course we wouldn’t consider painting these in a house this old (we live on the West Coast and houses of that vintage are rare.) I am constantly on a quest to brighten up the house with color, yellow walls in the living/dining room, red kitchen, etc. Our master bedroom has been the one neglected room and I am stumped for ideas, with all that dark molding and not a lot of natural light. I would like a soothing color and some fun coordinating accessories, but something that blends well with that dark wood, as for whatever reason, I feel that dark wood doesn’t go well with every color the same way a white-painted molding would. Any suggestions?

    • Megan,

      I know exactly what you are talking about. I have yet to have a home with painted wood and I too, would prefer it… really just because a bit of a change would be nice. But, I will never paint my wood either and I agree that it is much more difficult to select paint with wood trim because if the paint doen’t enhance the wood, then it shouldn’t be used. That said, my favorite color with dark wood is a light golden almost cornbread color. Almost my entire house is that color. It’s very neutral… in the morning with sun, it glows and and in the evening it’s very cozy. I think though that ultimately, the rule of thumb is to pick a color you like, but make sure it enhances the wood. Hopefully that helps!

  62. Hi !

    My husband and I are in the early planning stages for building our first home. We have a house plan picked out and have contacted a builder about beginning this process. I like to plan ahead as much as possible, and, since new furniture for our living room is a consideration once we build, I have been looking over the layout of the living room to try and get an idea of furniture placement. But I’m having trouble. I’ve included a link to the floor plan; I have made changes to the original. The room itself is 15X19, with a fireplace located centrally on the eastern wall. The plan calls for a vaulted ceiling, which we will not be including. Currently we have a couch, two over-sized chairs, an ottoman, and a tv armoire. Once we build, we might opt for a sectional instead of the couch we have. We would like a comfortable arrangement for lounging and tv watching, and really arent wanting to mount the tv over the fireplace.

    Any advice or suggestions would be helpful in this planning process ! Thanks !


  63. Hi, I just had my kitchen remodeled. The walls are a golden tan and the cabinets are red mahogany. The granite counter tops are a marbled effect with brown, gold, orange-gold and deep brown (or black?) The floor is also red mahogany. My table and chairs have black legs and arms and red mahogany table top and seats. I have a small window above the sink, a larger window on the other side of the bar, and french doors across the room. I would appreciate some input as to what color or colors to compliment what I have so far, and what to do for curtains. My larger window overlooks a driveway yuk! I have seen curtains that have a panel at the top that is a solid color and the rest of the curtain is different. I kinda like that Idea, but am open to suggestions. Hope you can help. Thanks in advance.

  64. Hi i have a basement suite with a small bathroom,where the toilet is it is raised due to septic i guess ,what would you suggest for flooring to disguise this problem i need a cheap solution


    • Joyce,

      Beige, black and tan are all neutrals, really, so I would start by picking one other color to start with. Red would fun to add in splashes and would be dramatic/sophisticated. Green, I’m thinking a sage green. would be warm and create a cozier calm space… what type of look and feel do you want?

    • Hello!

      Did you do anything with your room yet? You can do lots of things in spite of that red! You could do red, pink, white… black, red, creme, even all red… What colors would you like if you didn’t have that red carpet? Let’s start there… Let me know your thoughts and maybe we can find some fun things for inspiration!

  66. Hi! I love my new kitchen, but the previous owners had left it alllllll WHITE!! The walls, cabinets, wood work, appliances are all white! We have oak wood floors. I’m having a hard time figuring out what color to paint the walls without it being too bold. The granite countertops are gray, white mix.

    • Hi Laura,

      I’m thinking to stay neutral, light and fresh including the walls, but add some fabulous splashes of color with accessories… It could be kind of fun.. I just don’t “see” bold walls either. Let me know what you end up doing and send me a photo if you want some more ideas! Amy

  67. HELP gals!!

    I LOVE Orange and Blue together. I want to freshen my drab living room with these contrasting colors, but I am stuck with:

    white walls
    tan microfiber sofa/loveseat/armchair
    Very dark wood coffee table/end tables from India
    Sea grass area rug with dark brown trim

    Since I can’t paint or replace furniture, I am going to have to work with these colors in the form of pillows, throws, vases, and perhaps a lampshade, or…?

    I just don’t know where to start. I have a limited budget, and don’t want to run around buying pillows, throws, and kitch in blue and orange, and have it all not work

    I’ve been thinking of replacing the sea grass rug with a homemade faux fur rug of white, and even purchasing slipcovers in white for the furniture (it seems that all the pictures of orange and blue rooms depict white furniture)

    My drapes are a creamy yellow color of the 1990’s. They need updating as well.

    Pillows: Prints? Solids? both?
    vases: Blue? Orange? Both?

    I can’t even get started!! I don’t want to purchase stuff, bring it home, and find it is too busy or incompatible.

    I am the sort that kind of needs to see the end result and then mimic it. Are there any pics that might help me in this endeavor?

    Lisa in Northern CA

  68. Hi, Can you give me some advice as to what accent color to use in my kitchen? I have mahogany floors and cabinets, and the granite counter tops are a fairly light background with black, brown and kind of an orange-gold running through it. I have light brown walls that match to counters perfectly. The one color that i do not like is orange, and there is not enough of that color in the counter tops to worry about. It just blends with the other colors, and you don”t even notice it. I will be bringing some of that accent color into the living room also. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks

  69. my house has rounded corners, how do i make the transition from one paint color to the next, without having to paint the house all the same color

  70. HI,

    I’m redoing my master bathroom and am having a hard time picking a color for the walls. All white tile floor and black granite countertop with maple cabinets.

    Any color suggestions would be great!

    thank you

  71. I have a great room that is divided into seating sections. By the corner windows I have two wing back chairs and a round table. These are covered in vintage light brown/white striped.Then there is a tv area with choc brown recliner, white over stuffed chair end table. On the other side of the room I have two white sofas. I have painted the room gray and I love it. I want to know how to bring in more of the gray accent color that does not conflict with the brown/white chairs. The floors are dark wood. That you for your help

    • Rose,

      An area rug is a great way to tie in colors and also create great conversation areas. The other way is to introduce more gray through art and accessories such as pillows, vases and even candles. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

  72. Hello,
    My husband I recently purchased a home and the walls are a neutral baige color and he have cherry hardwood floors throughout most of the main floor. We were wondering what paint color works best with cherry wood floors? We plan on buying new furniture, but we can’t get past the paint color yet. We would love any suggestions you may have. Thanks

    • Hi Tiffany,

      I find that warmer colors go well with Cherry… a nice yellow/gold, sage green, etc…. the key is that the color should make the wood more beautiful. Bring home some chips and hold them up – if they are just so, so… keep looking! For example hold up a cornbread color vs a light gray… you’ll see what I mean! I’d suggest looking through some magazines or surf the internet to find color color schemes with cherry furniture that you like… magazines and the internet are great sources of information!

    • Hey Bobby!

      Good to hear from you! Before I can help, I need to know a few things…
      1. What activities will take place in this room? For example is it the primary place you will watch TV? Will you entertain much? Is it a place you might also like to play games? Is storage a problem? Do you have space in your home for overnight guests – would it be nice to incorporate a pull out couch? Rooms need to be functional as well as beautiful, so it’s helpful to think out everything you might do in a space.

      2. What physical considerations need to be taken in consideration? Do you need more storage, will you sometimes eat in this room? Do you have pets or children? Is it a high traffic pattern? Is there a particulary beatiful view out of one of the windows?

      3. What do you have that need to incorporate? Furniture, art, etc…

      4. Is there anything in particular that wish to purchase for this room?

      This is a good start! I could tell you how I would like the room, but after all, it’s your room and what I like isn’t important? Let me know your answers! You can e-mail me at amoeller at assistantproductgroup dot com!

  73. Hello,

    My husband and I live in a very small apartment, and since we can afford to move I was hoping to redecorate my living area (which is a living/kitchen/dining room combo). I attempted to do a naive american decor, but got bored with it half way through, and it now looks more like a frat boys apartment than one belonging to married couple in their mid 30s . I want a big change that will give my space class and style, and something that will work for both a living area and kitcken, but that I can do on the cheap side. I’m at a lost and I don’t want to put too much effort and money into a place I don’t even own, yet I want it to feel like my home. Any suggestion on decor or style that might work? My furniture is “Antique wood” from Ikea and my kitcken cabinets are oak. I’m willing to buy new furniture, but I can’t afford to re-do the cabinets. Thanks.

  74. Hi !

    I’m wanting some guidance regarding furniture placement in the living room of the house we are building. I’ve included a link to the floor plan. The room itself is 15X19, with a fireplace located centrally on the eastern wall. Currently we have a couch, two over-sized chairs, an ottoman, and a tv armoire. Once building is complete, we might opt for a sectional instead of the couch we have. We would like a comfortable arrangement for lounging and tv watching, and really arent wanting to mount the tv over the fireplace.

    Any advice or suggestions would be helpful in this planning process ! Thanks !


    • We’re getting close to our building date. If you could look at our floor plan and offer any advise/tips for arranging furniture in the living room, I would really appreciate it!


  75. We have an open floor plan for the living room and dining room. We recently painted our kitchen cabnets red and have small amounts of red in the dining room and living room. I just hung red curtains in the dining room area but not sure it would be to much if we put red curtains in the living room area too since the windows are in the same area. they are large windows the one in the dining room is 9 feet wide and in the living room 10 feet wide. in the dining room it takes up the whole wall. Would it be ok to go with a more nuetral color on the curtians in the living room since you can see both windows or should I just go with the red in the living room which was the original idea. The curtains now in the living room almost match the wall which is a pale green. and also if we go with the red should it be the same curtians or can it be a different style of a similiar color?

  76. My husband and I are soon moving into a new house the house has black and white marble tile throughout the dining room, kitchen, hallway, and laundry room, while the three bedrooms, living room and den have BROWN carpet. I personally HATE black and brown together I do not think it looks good. Since this house will only be ours for 1-2 years until my husband gets out of the Air Force or deploys, I don’t want to invest a ton of money into new carpet and/or tile. How on Earth can I make it all flow together or at least not cause mental distress every day for the next two years?!? Any suggestions would help! Thank you.

  77. We are putting Hickory floors through our house. My decor style is Hollywood Regency or Parisian, so I have some modern with gilded antiques, mirrored pieces. Kind of a mix but chic. The question is WHAT COLOR STAIN TO USE ON THE FLOOR? My husband likes natural but I am worried that it looks too cabiny. I know the natural would look great with full on modern but I am not sure with my style. I am thinking a warmer stain or even coffee. Our walls are now all white. HELP!

  78. I have benjamin moore paint on my walls in roxbury caramel, cognac leather furniture from lazy boy , I need to know what to do with colour for lamated floors ? Do I go dark or really dark ???? Oh yes I have dark mission coffee table and end tables.

    Please let me know i want this to look perfect

  79. I need some help,

    Im close to finishing my basement office/ family room. Its fresh contemerary, my walls are light grey/taupe, coach is taupe/ brown with a dark brown leather chair. The accents so far are yellow ,yellow gold and wimsical green gold beige pillows. My problem is what color curtains to to keep it fresh. So far I have taupe brushvelvet curtains that blend with the wall. I chose that so the room won’t feel broke up and it would feel like more space. Im beginning to wonder if Gold yellow curtains or orange/red curtains may brighten things up. The floor is ceramic taupe brown. There is some accent of red in the room as will. The art is minimal so far. I have one large built in white cupboard with yellow barn doors for storage on one end of the room. I was thinking of the yellow curtains to bring the gold across the room. I can’t decide what to do with the curtains.I’m stuck!

  80. I just dont know what to do… My son and daughter are living in a really nice mobile home .. it is a nice home but needs updated terribly! I want to change the wall color and put blinds in…

    Problem…. He has this dark teal/forest green color carpet and furniture to match.

    They are young, 21 and 19 so dont want to paint like I would. I have a photo if anyone wants to see the colors.

    Cananyone help? His birthday is at the end of the month and I want to do this for him…


    Here is a facebook photo of his living room….

  81. My great room has 1 love seat (solid fabric) and 2 occasional chairs(solid fabric). I would like more seating. Do I purchase another loveseat or 2 more chairs and solid or print?

    • My great room has 1 love seat (solid fabric) and 2 occasional chairs(solid fabric). I would like more seating. Do I purchase another loveseat or 2 more chairs and solid or print?

      A: This is probably better answered if I could see your floor plan, but generally speaking, here are my thoughts… When planning your seating, there are three considerations. 1) traffic flow, 2)) conversation areas and 3 beauty. Your first consideration is make sure that you know where your main path of traffic will be and to not interfere with that. The second is that you never want to put a single huge seating area around the perimeter of your room. Ideally, you want to create a main seating area with one or perhaps two smaller conversation areas with the same room. The first is perfect for your immediate family or a small gathering.The second and third areas are great for reading, journalling, playing games and intimate conversations.

      I like two love seats on either side of a fireplace with two chairs that are facing the mantel. I also like a love seat with two chairs across from it. I would not like a love seat with four chairs in the same conversation area, it’s really too many chairs I think. but they could go in a smaller arrangement.Additionally, think of creative ways of adding seating such as ottomans tucked under a side table or in front a hearth or even hung on the wall as I did in my house.

      Thirdly, this is where the beauty comes in…as far as solid or print, I’d say add some punch with either a print – floral, plaid or stripe or introduce some nice textures. If you do add chairs with a pattern, make sure to balance it out on your solid upholstery with complimentary pillows or throws! Good luck! Amy

  82. In my living room, I have a large window that is in a recessed area that is 88″ wide x74″ tall. It’s sort of like a bay window, but not curved. I would like to hang drapes on the outside, from floor to ceiling, but the problem is that across the top of the opening, it’s just the ceiling – there is nothing across the opening at the top, if that makes sense. The ceiling goes straight through to the recessed area. So, even if I hang a rod as close as I can to the ceiling, there will be a gap at the ceiling that goes through to the opening – won’t that look weird? Any suggestions?

    • This makes perfect sense Shirley. I actually have the same exact situation in a guest bedroom that I am working on in my own home. You really have two solutions. The first is to locate the rod on the walls to the left and right of the window. The key is to hang the rod as high as you can and to use a drape that will have some material above the rod. Hang it so the top of the drape will almost touch the ceiling. The only issue you have is you really can’t use a support in the middle with a traditional rod, so the rod needs to be extra long the extender in the middle doesn’t sag. Also, the drapes cannot be too heavy or it will sag. The second option and probably the best one, is to get a ceiling mounted rod – JC Penney and Ikea both sell them. This will allow you to put a support in the middle and will avoid any potential sagging problems. Good luck! Amy

  83. I want to have an arrangement of Greek tiles and plates over the fireplace mantel. Is it okay to have the arrangement be a little wider than the mantel?

    • My initial thought was no, but as always, you have to sit back and think outside the box. The problem is not going wider than the mantel, it’s creating an arrangement that is “heavier” than the mantel. By extending the arrangement outside the width, you automatically are creating a “feeling” that it is heavier than the mantel which then takes the focus off of the area as a whole. BUT, as always, there are not rules to decorating – just rules of thumb. What I would suggest is if you want to go outside the area above the mantel, make sure you “extend” the width of the mantel with something to the left and right that balances it out such as furniture, large vases with arrangements, low bookcases that look built in, etc… The one thing I would avoid (unless it’s built-in looking bookcases) is putting anything too “hard” next to the already “hard” fireplace. I much prefer alternating hard and soft. Soft can be upholstered furniture, plants, etc. Good luck! Amy

  84. I live in an 1878 Italianate brick mansion that was converted into apartments in the 70’s. I have the entire first floor and all the original molding, window, doors and even the 13” ceilings. Lucky I know. My style is modern vintage.. incorporating many mid century modern pieces, guilt gold frame ornate mirrors, rag rugs, and oriental rugs, house plants, stained glass etc. The walls in my living room are Hardware from sherwin-williams, a deep blue grey. I recently acquired a seet of vintage flex-steel thunderbid couch in royal blue that is nine feet long and two matching chairs that have a avacodo-yellow-limegreen-lue floral pattern on them. Things seems to go well together but I feel as though something might be missing, or one co-heasive item to tie everything together. Can you help?

  85. Hello. I have hardwood floors and Sage Grey walls. Will probably be getting a white coach or leather. And curtains will be ivory with a little red. Just a little though. My question is, what color carpet do I get?? I am lost. I want the carpet to match the Sage Grey walls. Any suggestions.. red.. ivory.. blue.. let me know. Thanks!

  86. Hello. I have hardwood floors and Sage Grey walls. Will probably be getting a white coach or leather. And curtains will be ivory with a little red. Just a little though. My question is, what color rug do I get?? I am lost. I want the rug to match the Sage Grey walls. Any suggestions.. red.. ivory.. blue.. let me know. Thanks!

  87. I have a square table with a square rug right now. The rug is 2 feet wider on all side. I find that I “trip” over the corners of the rug as the table is 5 ft, and the corners of the rug really stick out. I’d like to instead by a round table, so that the rug edges come closer to the corners of the table. Would this look ok, or should I stick with a square rug under a square table?

  88. I have a small eat in kitchen I want to paint my walls. Keep my saufit a cranberry color but want to use a light sage green on the walls? I have oak cabinets with oak trim around doors and windows. Inside the window and window trim is white. Should I have one accent wall with another color (white) and use the sage on all the other walls? Appliances are white as well and flooring is oak. I am wondering if there would be too much sage. Room size is 11×20

  89. Hello !
    I am STUCK on how to arrange the fireplace/tv in our living room. We are set to build this fall. I would love to get your perspective on this. Our floor plan calls for a FP, and I would love to include one, however its not a deal breaker for us. I am NOT interested in placing the TV over the FP. Will a TV armoire work in the corner to the right of the fireplace? Too crowded? Or would the room work better without a FP, and instead place a nice entertainment station on that wall? We entertain a lot, watch football games, movies, etc, so a TV is a focal point in our house. But a FP is always a nice comfort factor, and mantle’s are great for decorating!

    Thanks for any advice!

    [ this is a link to our plan ] http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b333/Lithuin/biggermaster.gif

    • Sorry, I should include that I edited this floor plan, and the FP is represented by the rectangular black block on the north wall of the living room. This will either be a FP or simply an entertainment center. I just cant decide which is best for the room.

  90. I’ve found a tapestry that I would like to hang above my foyer chest but it is 5″ wider than the chest. The chest measures 48″w X 36″h. The tapestry is 53″w X 42″h. Is there anyway I could get this to work?

  91. My living room needs update. I have dark leather furniture. Med color laminate floors with one wall all white/gray brick fireplace. This room has two sky lights so have a lot of light. Waht would be a good color to paint the walls and have one accent wall?

  92. My wife and I have a 4 month old who is taking up too much of our queen bed. I would like to get a king bed but we have a fairly new bedroom set. Would it look weird if we used the same headboard? The bed would stick out 5 inches on either side.

  93. Pingback: Ask a Decorating Question: Can I use a Queen Headboard with a King Bed? « Dish on Design

  94. I have an almond colored bedroom set. I want champagne and teal as my color scheme in the spring and summer and a dark red, gold, and creme for fall and winter. So what color wall paint should I use.

  95. The outside of my house is boring. I would like to liven it up with some color in the form of planters but I once tried to hang some and we got ants in our house as a result. The planer was hung up against the sides of the front door and migrated in through the cracks I guess. I love windowboxes but heard that that can also cause bugs to get in the house. We do have plants in our front yard but the house looks just so naked. I’ve tried to find plastic flowers and plants with no luck. Silk flowers will just fade in the sun. Are there any suggestions as to how to brighten up the outside of the house?

  96. I have a wall opposite two windows which look out onto a pasture and small lake. On that wall I have my couch pushed to one side of the wall with a smaller chair in the corner on the other side. In other words, the couch is not centered on the wall. I want to hang art on the wall above the couch. Should I center art on the wall regardless of the couch, or center the art to the couch regardless of the center of the wall?

  97. hey i need help on working around some new furniture in my room. I’m getting my sister’s cream colored wicker bedside table, dresser, and headboard. I REALLY want to have tribal/indie-vibe theme in my room. I have hardwood in my room which i think helps with that but im going for more wood accents such as my nifty incense burner and wood angel since i cant get a wood dresser. i have a design painted on my wall that is jade and light pink. and the main wall color is creamy. Im willing to paint over the pink to jade or something else to help out the tribal vibe. So any ideas on a print for my comforter that would work on a jade/cream/something else color scheme? and any ideas for more wood accents or anything else to work with this undesireable dresser? im 16 by the way 🙂

    • Hi Anna! I’m a bit late on this answer, but I think you can get your look with what you have to work with! What I would do is search on line for rooms, furniture, accessories, etc. that you would love your room to look like – in other words, photos for inspiration. Once you find out the colors that you like, keep that for reference. If you find some photos, send them to me and I’ll help you from there! Good luck! Amy

  98. I have a very North Idaho Cabin style Great room and my two floral couches while beautiful just don’t seem to look right. I bought slip covers at Target and they were awful. New couches are not in the budget right now. Any suggestions

  99. hi, i am in the process of painting my dinning room. Its a very large room and leads to some of the bedrooms down a hall. You see the bedroom doors from the room. I am painting the room a plum. I always had the doors matching but don’t like that, Can i paint all the doors and wood work white with the plum?

  100. Our house has only a couple of small windows in the front. When we discribe to people where we’ve moved, people say, “It it the house with hardly any windows?”. It is, from the front. Do you have any suggestions for making it look like there are more windows, or at least making it look less wierd, much more inexpensively than installing actual windows? I can post a picture, if you would like (if you tell me how to do so:))

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