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Decorating & Furniture/oak kitchen with red walls


I have just moved into a 20 year old colonial home.  It has existing raised oak panel cabinets with nickel hardware.  We have all stainless steel appliances, along with a stainless steel backsplash.  Our floor is a white ceramic tile with white grout.  The counter tops are a speckled charcol gray.  My problem is this, I cannot find a paint color that looks right.  I currently have the kitchen painted a deep tomato like deep red from Sherwin Williams, it is called Bolero.  I have an oak chair rail in the kitchen, and I have painted the Red above and below the chair rail.  It seems to be way to overwhelming.  I thought about painting above the chair rail a gold color, however, the gold makes the cabinets look very orange.  The only solution I have come up with is to paint the lower part of the chair rail a orangish brown color which seems to blend with the cabinets, and leave the top red.  My style leans more toward the contemporary.  However, I think I'm trying to turn a country kitchen into something it is not.  Please give me some thoughts on paint colors to match these darker (orange based) oak cabinets.  I would like to keep the chair rail if possible.

Thank You!!!!

Hi Stephanie,
I like when there is a darker color on the bottom of the chair rail and a lighter color on top because I feel like sometimes when you have a darker color on the top it feel too top heavy. I would go with a tan color (lighter than your cabinetry) and keep the deep red on bottom or go with more of a reddish brown color. I did a material board so you can see how the materials look together. Here is the link

Rachel Mallon, ASID
Interior Designer

Decorating & Furniture

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Rachel Mallon Allied Member ASID


I will answer any questions concerning interior design and decorating. I can help with color, furniture placement, material choices, and much more. I am more than happy to help people. Please email me with questions and concerns. Decorating may not be as easy as it looks and with a little help from me you can improve your living space. Check out my decorating blog Room in a Book Blog
If you are looking to redo an entire room in your home and want professional design assistance please visit Room in a Book


Experience: I have a bachelors degree in Interior Design. I have worked for West Elm and Kitchen Kaboodle and I recently worked for an Interior Design firm in Portland, OR. I currently work as an Interior Designer in Maui, Hawaii. Room in a Book

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