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Decorating & Furniture/Unique fireplace giving me a unique headache


Hi Jenny,

Hope you can help. I stay in Scotland and have just purchased a beautiful red sandstone bungalow (circa 1890) with LOADS of original features still intact - which I love.  However, in the main sitting room we have a completely intact original emerald green tiled fireplace (small emerald green brick tiles with a large white wooden surround) that I just don't know what to do with.

The color of our carpet and seating are both a brown mink color (quite light shades of brown, beige and cream mixed together)and I am at a loss as to how I can tie this in with the fireplace. The dimensions of the room are 17ft x 16.4ft and the room has a beautiful bay window to the left of the firplace. the colour of our window blinds match with the seating and carpet.

I originally thought of having a fabric wallpaper that was similar to the colour of the fireplace and also has the same pattern as the seating (string design) on the facing wall so that the room balanced out but I am VERY wary of this as I don't want to spend a lot of money then find that I don't like it or that the wallpaper closes down the room with such a force of color being present on facing walls.

Apart from the seating and carpet the only other thing we have purchased for this room is a cream sting lampshade that does fit in very well with the items we already have.  

I've be very grateful if you could advise on wall color for thsi room and also on style and color of coffee table as I think these might be the items that tie the room in.

My tastes: I love wooden quality furniture - but with a modern take - i.e not old fashioned!  I would't mind if the furniture had to be painted/treated. The colours I really love are shades of white, green, grey, yellow and my style is definately classic contemporay (example:  I like shaker style kitchens with high spec modern fittings and fixtures). I do think that quality is the key as this house is a labour of love and I would rather save for the right piece of furniture than go and buy the first thing I seen.

If you need any photos of this please let me know and I'll have some made up!

Hope, hope, hope you can help me!!!!



Poor Pauline!  You can tie in that fireplace easily by adding a splash of the green in a neckroll pillow or square pillows for the couch.  You can also incorporate it by adding foliage to the space.  I would not advise you to go the wallpaper route.  You certainly don't sound like a wallpaper maven to me.  

An area rug over the carpet may add some of your favorite colors to the room - white, green, grey and yellow are readily found together.
Add to that a wonderful warm taupe for the walls and you'll find it a very serene environment.  My favorite taupe is by Glidden and it's called Toasty Grey.  It's more toast than grey, but a beautiful neutral, and one that you would most likely think was beautiful.  As for tables, I'd shop for large scale pieces (your room is large so you don't want small ones).  The space would be beautiful with dark expresso tables.  Keep the lines clean and contemporary - no frills here.  


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and HTTP:// (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at

BA, Psychology

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