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DECORATING ADVICE : Azalea-Colored Walls Wake Up Bedroom


Question: I'm decorating the master bedroom, which has a cream-colored Aubusson rug with a beige border and wide stripe of light cocoa with brown flowers and yellow leaves. I have a brown bedspread and beige, gold and brown striped draperies. The walls are a cream color.

In an effort to brighten up the room, we painted the walls a bright, sunny yellow. What would you suggest for the bedspread and draperies? I'd like to introduce a color that is not in the rug, something that would bring some life to this room.

Jean Cipparulo

Answer: Paint your walls a rich azalea pink/red and your ceiling a soft sunshine yellow. The woodwork can be covered in a white semi-gloss enamel. At your windows, hang soft-yellow moire draperies on brass poles with brass rings and trim your drapery in an apricot, yellow and rich azalea braid.

On your bed, use a soft-yellow quilted spread. The stitching on the quilt can be a rich lettuce green. Use a lettuce-green and yellow striped fabric for your bed skirt. For a chaise lounge or club chair and ottoman, try rich lettuce-green satin. Find some Oriental lamps for a handsome touch.

Q: I need to update the wall color in my living room. I have a mauve carpet and draperies. My sofa and recliner are steel gray with stripes that are mostly mauve and Wedgwood blue. (There are also very subtle stripes of celery green and beige.) Most of my accent pieces are Wedgwood blue and mauve.

I will be purchasing an occasional chair, perhaps a wicker one with a patterned cushion. What do you think?

Sally Joiner

A: Paint your walls a rich shade of rhododendron pink and your ceiling a very soft blue--much like the blue in your fabric. Don't hesitate with the rhododendron pink color. Make it deep and strong. Find a pretty print that is very flowery, maybe one that has pink rhododendrons with green leaves tied with blue bows on a gray background. Use the fabric for window treatments, hung on white poles with white rings. On that new white wicker chair, use the fabric that matches your curtains and have the fabric quilted. I would suggest throw pillows of the flowery print for your sofa, too.

Authors notes:

Kitchens should not look like laboratories. They should be colorful and cheerful, an integral part of the entire home. Cabinet designers, floor designers, fabric and wallpaper stylists, lighting planners and furniture designers are now creating styles in a variety of periods and colors.

No kitchen should be without a table and set of chairs. If your space is truly limited, why not plan a small snack spot? It could have a small table with a couple of chairs, or it could be a counter with a stool or two. Whether it's a table or counter, stools or chairs, use warm, cheerful colors for your eating area.

Anyone who thinks a kitchen has to use dull plastic laminates is completely off base. Just go to a showroom, and you'll see a fabulous array of brightly colored counter and cabinet laminates in shocking pink, apple green, sunshine yellow and ripe tangerine. Many kitchen appliances now come with plastic laminate fronts and in wonderful fresh, new colors to harmonize with your decor.

A cheerful kitchen color scheme might include lemon yellow, apple green, tangerine and white or chocolate brown. Moldings or trim on the cabinets can be chocolate brown or white, with appliances to match.

The countertop laminate could be a spicy tangerine or a delicious apple green. Either one would look fine with the yellow cabinets. For wall decorating, use a gay wake-me-up print in a washable vinyl that incorporates the colors of your overall scheme. A floral print of yellow and orange marigolds with bright-green leaves on a white background would be my choice.

At the windows, you might use curtains of a fabric that coordinates with your wall covering. They can be hung on wooden poles painted to match your countertops. Or you might prefer tangerine louvered shutters. I might also recommend shutters that have open panels. The shutter frames can be painted tangerine, and the panels filled with a white sheer fabric, or with a fabric to match your wall covering.

For the floor of this kitchen, I'd select a vinyl with a pattern of white bricks or yellow Spanish tiles. Or consider yellow and white squares laid on the diagonal or bright-yellow floor tiles with a chocolate-brown stripe.

Because the range hood takes up such a large part of the kitchen, it should be chosen with care. If you have a stainless steel sink, then a stainless steel range hood would lend a clean, unifying look. To match counters, appliances or trims you can select a hood of copper or mosaic tiles. You can have a hood with a facing of knotty pine or wormwood, or you can have a hood covered with a colorful plastic laminate.

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