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DECORATING ADVICE : Pale Watermelon Walls Brighten Living Room


Question: I have new soft blue carpeting that appears blue-green in some light. My walls, woodwork and fiberglass draperies are antique white. The Georgian sofa upholstery has blue and gold stripes, the love seat has a greenish blue design and the French Provincial chair is burgundy. I have another pull-up chair that is a darker blue than the carpet.

Would a larger Chippendale chair be better? In either case, what color is best? Also, what color and fabric should the dining room chair seats be?


Answer: Why not add sparkle to your living room by painting the walls a very pale watermelon color? The pinkish-red hue will give your room a glow and make the blues look happier. Your French Provincial chair in the burgundy will look great with the soft watermelon walls, as will the dark blue chair.

When covering the dining room chairs, choose a fabric that combines the watermelon with aqua blue on a cream background. Watermelon throw cushions will also brighten up the sofa.

Q: My entryway has recessed lighting, and my foyer has one mirrored wall. I would like to incorporate a Rose Medallion lamp into the room. Should I place the lamp on a Louis XV console in front of the mirrored wall? Can I have the recessed lighting and lamp on at the same time? J.T.

A: I think the Rose Medallion lamp should be on your Louis XV console. It would look very lovely when directly reflected in the mirror. Yes, you can have both the recessed light and the lamp on at the same time, just as long as the wattage isn't too high. Subtle lighting with a mirror will create a lovely mood.

Q: What can you tell me about decorating with wicker?

Cecila Barker

A: When it comes to wicker, I'm a traditionalist. I like it when its color is white, natural, dark green or Savannah green. Wicker furnishings that are painted baby blue, pink, red, yellow or purple have never appealed to me. And I love to see wicker used in traditional settings--such as the porch of a country inn.

But this is not to say that wicker can't work in a variety of settings--it can.

Beaches of Florida are perfect spots for wicker. At the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, I have designed a wicker lounge right outside the dining room. All of the wicker is painted deep green and covered in a print of red and yellow hibiscus flowers with green leaves on a white background. The carpeting has a pattern of green palm fronds; the draperies are made of a matching print and accented with yellow and white striped valences. This combination of stripes with floral prints and dark-green wicker creates a winning look.

If you prefer soft settings, cover a room with a paper of soft pink, pale blue and mint green on a white background. Then fill the room with white wicker pieces upholstered in soft pink or blue. With the sun streaming through the windows, it will be a lovely sight.

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