Q: My new house has a long, rectangular living room that measures 11 x 18; it has a high window on the long wall and an entrance on the short wall. Where do I put my furniture?
I have a 7-foot-long sofa, along with a rocking chair and an armchair. Though I have no tables, I plan to buy some soon. I hate rectangular rooms. Please help!
A: I hate to tell you, but you'll have to live with your rectangular room.
Because your room is so narrow, you can't float your 7-foot sofa in the middle to eliminate the railroad look. Instead, place your sofa on either side of the two long walls and place a colorful, patterned area rug in the middle.
The area rug will center the room and give it more depth. Place two club chairs opposite each other and on either side of the sofa. On the wall opposite your sofa, place a table and two open arm chairs.
Q: We are building a new home, and we're almost to the painting and carpeting stage. The trouble is we cannot decide which carpet and wall colors to use in the living room.
The windows will be treated with sheer draperies of peach. Our chairs are also peach, and the sofa and love seat have a floral pattern.
We're really trying to stay away from beige colors, and we don't want blue. What about silver-gray carpet? Then what do we do with the walls?
A: Cover your walls with soft-pink fabric. Over your peach sheer draperies, hang a valance of the floral print that is on your sofa and love seat, and line the valance in soft pink.
You can fringe the drapery with a soft peach, apricot and gray braid. For carpeting, the silver-gray sounds like the way to go.
Q: I papered a bedroom with white and beige grass paper and discovered that the paper itself is enough decoration--no pictures necessary. But I don't know what color and material to use for the bedspread since I don't want to take away from the serene look of the paper.
A: Indeed, the grass cloth that you have enclosed is serene, and the decorating color schemes you may use are endless.
Since you are hoping to create a tranquil environment, why not skirt your bed in a soft apricot, cream and beige stripe? Your spread can be made of a quilted apricot material.
You did not mention your carpet color, but serene beige would be nice. At your windows, use beige drapery fringed in white.
Q: We are presently building a home. Our great room and dining area are in view of one another. We have pale peach walls, a cathedral ceiling in the great room, cinnamon-colored rugs and a couch and love seat upholstered in emerald-green plaid with a peach and cinnamon weave, as well as a touch of navy.
Most of the woodwork is light-stained oak, and I have two large windows in both rooms. I also have pale-peach pleated shades on the windows.
I would like a French country look, but don't know how to accessorize. We are putting a chair rail around the dining area, and we have a beige-colored brick fireplace in the great room. We will be purchasing another chair for the great room.
Mr. T. Notaro
A: Over your pale-peach pleated window shades, I would hang a swag and jabot valance of a country French chintz--green, red, pink and yellow flowers on a navy background. The jabots can be lined in red.
For your plaid sofas, I would add some throw pillows of the flowery chintz along with some bright lipstick-red cushions.
For the new chair, use the flowery chintz--quilted, of course. Your lamps in the great room can be a rich, shiny brass, and if you have a big French Provincial coffee table, accessorize with big French candlesticks that have hurricane shades.