Question: I would appreciate decorating suggestions for my living room, which is spanned by a wide arch. The only item that must remain is the gold-yellow rug in both the entry hall and living room. There can be a little color in the entry hall, which has lovely cherry console and light-green walls. The living room has the same walls as the entry hall, along with three panel windows.
At present, the furniture in the living room consists of a sofa, club chair with a brown floral-stripe slipcover, a rose tapestry wing chair, a Boston rocker, coffee table and two end tables. All of the wood is cherry. The room also has a fireplace and brass lamps. What do you suggest? I don't want to ever see green again.
Answer: Paint the trim of both your living room and entry hall pure white. Then cover the living room walls with a soft yellow striae wallpaper or paint. For your entry hall walls, I suggest a wallpaper of a soft yellow-gold and rose stripe on an off-white ground.
For your living room windows, select a print that has soft yellow and pink flowers entwined with bright-green leaves and golden bows on a light-rose background. Use this same print as slipcover fabric for your club chair and sofa. Then accent it with some light rose-pink cushions and some soft yellow ones, too. The rose tapestry wing chair can stay.
Q: A while back you helped a person coordinate a room using aqua or turquoise. You suggested raspberry, white and aqua. I really like aqua and turquoise, too. Please help me coordinate a kitchen and family room combination.
A: Aqua works with almost any color. An aqua, white, yellow and pumpkin combination in your kitchen could be most inviting. For flooring, select 12-inch aqua and white square tiles of vinyl, and lay them on the diagonal. Paint the walls soft aqua. Around the room, hang a wallpaper of mango-orange, yellow, white and aqua. For the upholstery on the kitchen chair seats, select a flower print of yellow, pink and orange on a white background. Use the print for curtains. Hang the print drapery at the windows on a white pole with white rings.
Q: I have the urge to redecorate in red, white and blue. Will it look dated in a few years?
Barbara Jo Elliot
A: Red, white and blue have always been a popular color scheme, but recent world events have brought a renewed enthusiasm for the American flag. Consequently, the colors and motifs of Old Glory have been popping up in homes and businesses across the nation.
Of course, this is not to say that a room decorated in a red, white and blue scheme must duplicate the precise shades of the Stars and Stripes. The blue can be light azure, for example, and the red can be a deep scarlet.
I recently decorated a young man's room with deep-blue walls of a suede-like cloth. The window trim and shutters trim were crimson. The floor was covered with a plaid carpeting of bright red and rich blue. A pine cannonball-style bed was given a blue cover, along with blue and white striped sheets.
The room was accessorized with brass lamps that had white shades trimmed with brass-colored braid. American eagle plaques were mounted on the wall and a collection of pewter mugs were placed on a pine shelf.
Here's my suggestion for a great American living room: Paint the walls a soft blue and the trim a soft white. On your sofa, use a soft blue damask fabric, and accent the sofa with cushions of a light blue and white stripe. Club chairs might be covered in a quilted chintz fabric--bright red roses entwined with soft blue ribbons on a rich royal-blue background. Decorate the windows with white draperies of the big rose print, lined in scarlet red.
Q: I love the pink and blue hydrangea flowers and am interested in using that color to decorate my living room. Can it work?
A: The hydrangea flower is often associated with holidays such as Easter and Mother's Day because the big showy blossoms are appropriate for special occasions. The pink rose and handsome violet-blue colors common to the hydrangeas enhance their festive appeal.
I recently decorated a living room for a Connecticut home in hydrangea pink. I used the pink as the wall color, then painted the trim white and covered the ceiling in a very pale aqua blue.