Question: We are adding a family-dining room area with southern exposure to our home. I love jewel tones, including deep rose and green, but I am wondering if I can use them. The connecting rooms are done in green and peach.
Although the room is fairly narrow, it does have two bays and six additional windows. From the flooring to the lighting, everything will be new.
Answer: You can use jewel tones, such as emerald, ruby, topaz and sapphire, in your home. Color your walls with a happy open-design fretwork wallpaper, maybe one that has rose and green entwined with green leaves against a white trellis on a peach background.
At your bay windows, hang peach draperies tied back with peach bows. For your flooring, try a whitewash bleach outlined with a stencil design reminiscent of the wallpaper's pattern. Seal your floor with polyurethane for durability.
Q: We are remodeling our kitchen. It will have a corner ocean-view breakfast area, hardwood floors and a black-face microwave oven in the wall. I like plain, European-type cabinets, but I don't want an all-white kitchen. My favorite colors are green and blue. I would like medium blue-green Formica cabinets, a whitish countertop (not granite) and soft-green walls. My family thinks I should stick to all white. What do you think?
A: Why not stain your kitchen cabinets a soft ocean blue? You can trim the cabinets with white porcelain knobs and use blue plastic laminate for the countertops. Because your family likes white, think about installing a white vinyl floor with a brick herringbone pattern.
For your walls, select a cheery wall covering of soft yellow with shades of blue and green on a white background. Accessorize your countertops with sunshine-yellow cookware.
Q: Can you give me some general advice about decorating bedrooms?
A: While the kitchen or the family room might be a place for verve--splashy colors, offbeat accessories, etc.--most of us want grace and harmony in the bedroom. When I decorate a bedroom, I try to use airy fabrics that feel sunny and light. The fabrics, which could be used on the quilts, bed canopies or table skirts, might feature flowers dancing in the wind with a color scheme of yellow, pink, soft blue and pale green.