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I am moving into a house that has wood paneling tongue and groove in the living room with fireplace.  I believe it is cedar but I can be mistaken.  I have no idea how to pick furniture and accents for this room. I like modern contempoary style. Could you please give some suggestions. I don't want to room look like something out of a ranch.

Hi Loree, It is extremely hard to achieve a modern contemporary look when you have 'heavy' dark paneled walls. If you want to keep the paneling, you can have it refinished to give it a more polished look.  Keep you main pieces of furniture in light neutral colours and use rich fabrics and colours for accessories.  (See attached photo). The easiest and most cost effective way of achieving a modern look would be to paint out the wood in a light neutral colour.  
You would start off by filling in any cracks and imperfections with wood filler.  Let it dry completely.  Sand with 180-grit sandpaper.  Wipe down the walls to remove all the dust.  Apply a stain-blocking, high adhesion latex primer to the entire wall. Allow to dry completely before painting. If the paneling shows through the primer, apply a second coat. Let dry completely.  Apply two coats of paint, allowing ample drying time in between coats.  
I also offer an 'Ask the Decorator' service on my website. I would be happy to be of further assistance to you if needed.
Thank you, for your time.

Shamim Razvi
The Eighth Haven

Decorating & Furniture

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Shamim Razvi


I can answer anything in general about decorating, i.e. Space planning,colour co-ordinating, furniture placement, choosing the most suitable accessories,fabrics,lighting, window, wall and floor treatments. I cannot answer questions about structural or architectural changes.


I have been decorating for the past five years and running my own decorating business: The Eighth Haven,, for over a year.

I am a graduate of QC Design School, in the field of Professional Design and Decorating as a certified Interior Decorator and Professional Colour Consultant.

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