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DECORATING ADVICE : Yellow Accents Will Add Sunshine to Kitchen


Question: I am planning to redecorate my kitchen. The room is 17-by-13-feet wide, with a northwestern exposure. I'm keeping my maple Pennsylvania House hutch, table and chairs. The room is a dining area as well as a cooking area. Please suggest a color or wallpaper design for the walls. I am not interested in the Early American look. I'd also like ideas for the kitchen cabinets and flooring. I plan to purchase a light fixture for over the table.

Jacqueline Wislotsky

Answer: Cover your walls with a blue wallpaper with small leaves on a vine-like border. Paint your ceiling sunshine yellow. Choose a vinyl flooring with a brick design laid on a herringbone pattern.

For cabinets, choose honey pine or washed pine. To display your china and pretty kitchenware, install glass doors on some of the upper cabinets. The interior of the upper cabinets can be yellow laminate. For counters, choose chopping block for some areas, yellow laminate for others. Your light fixture can be a white lantern. If you need curtains, try a yellow fabric, trimmed in white.

Q: I am decorating my living room/dining room. My carpet, which I cannot afford to change, is celery. I have an 8-year-old 45-inch television that takes up a lot of room. It cannot be moved anywhere else in the house. The windows have ecru and beige sheers. I have a traditional dining room set, and I would like the living room to be traditional. I would also like to get a new sofa. I like beige tones.

Jackie Karwacki

A: Paint your living/dining room walls a very pale peach; paint the woodwork with a white semi-gloss enamel. On your celery rug, place a sofa covered in a floral upholstery of peach, cream, soft yellow and pink on a celery background. Your club chairs can be covered in a peach and cream stripe. Purchase enough of the pale print to use for valances over your sheers.

Place crystal and bronze lamps on your end tables. Find a brass and glass coffee table. Don't worry about the television set being an eyesore. Simply make everything around it as elegant as possible.

Q: I love floral prints. What's new out there?

Barbara Twinton

A: I have just designed a collection of wall coverings and fabrics called "Carleton Varney Rose Cottage." The designs were inspired by the flowers of the Irish countryside, and they are filled with soft colors--peach, pink, soft rose, pale mauve and green.

Floral prints combine well with plaids. If you're planning a new living room for your home, consider covering the lower or wainscot portion of your walls with a soft green and white plaid design. For wall surfaces above, find a scattered flower print of rosebuds with green leaves on a white background.

When choosing upholstery for the sofa, club chair and curtains, try a print that coordinates with the overall look. A print of roses entwined with green leaves on a soft-green background would be ideal.

Roses can go everywhere: the living room, foyer, bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. In fact, one of the prettiest and most dramatic foyers I know has a wallpaper pattern of red roses entwined with green leaves above a white wainscot. The floor is covered with black & white tiles, laid on a diagonal.

The plaid-and-flower combination is not necessarily feminine. A man's library, for example, can have this mix. Lay a royal, red, white and green tartan on the floor. Cover the walls with a royal-blue felt, and stain all the woodwork light pine. At the windows, hang red draperies, trimmed with blue braid on brass poles with brass rings. Upholster the sofa with red leather. Then cover the club chair and ottoman with a floral design of red roses and green leaves on a royal-blue background. Accent the sofa with cushions of the flowery print.

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