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DECORATING ADVICE : Cooking Up a Beige Look in Kitchen


Question: I love beige. My living room is all white and beige, and my entry hall is all black and beige. I would like to decorate the dining area of my kitchen with beige, gray and white. It has a glass-topped dining table on a Lucite pedestal and six contemporary chairs. Where should I start?

Vicki Koneg

Answer: Start by striae-glazing your walls in champagne beige. Paint your ceiling the same beige. Bleach your floors, and stencil a beige and gray chevron pattern on them. Beige leather seats on those dining chairs would look smashing. At the windows, place Roman shades of the softest dove gray with beige trim. And a gilt mirror, prominently placed, would be the crowning touch.

Q: I would like to give my master bedroom and adjoining bathroom some pizazz. The bedroom walls are painted a candlelight color. The Oriental rug has border of cream and camel with flowers in deep beige, brown and gold. The draperies are a cream color with patterned stripes of camel and gold. The bedspread is cream. The bath is decorated in basically the same colors, but there are tiny green leaves in the floral stripes of my beige and brown of the wallpaper.

J. Cipparulo

A: Copper will definitely give your rooms pizazz, so think about covering your bedroom walls with a rich, coppery russet paper. Try some copper in your bathroom too, along with soft mint-green towels.

Q: What is the French style of decorating?

A: The French look has made its mark on America in fashion, food and interior design. Though the early French settlers didn't come to our shores laden with Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI pieces, they did bring the French aesthetic.

French decoration is the fourth-most popular scheme in America. The American country style leads the way, the English motif follows in the No. 2 spot, and contemporary American and Italian looks are third.

But those who choose the French style are passionate about it. For them, the perfect room will have damask walls, a handsome French chandelier, an Aubusson carpet, bronze accessories and silk draperies with tassel hangings.

French style can be country, too. When you are out in the market shopping for furnishings, consider the casual French provincial style. Maybe you'll find eight dining chairs in a honey-colored finish with ladder-style backs. The chairs might even have seats with cushions of a blue and white checkerboard fabric. Also look for a Louis XV dining table with a handsome marquetry top.

And what could be more French than a baker's rack of wrought iron and brass? A baker's rack can hold books, accessories and even stereo equipment.

French toile fabrics are also popular with Americans. The sheer linen or cotton fabric is gorgeous in blue and cream and burgundy and cream. And when shopping French provincial, think about wooden wine racks, tile floors and pleasant landscape paintings of cows and sheep. The French countryside is as rich as the French decorating look.

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