Decorating & Furniture/Choosing a color


I've just purchased a gorgeous leather sectional which I have wanted for years.  In the store this appeared to be a dark, dark brown but in reality it's a dark, dark burgandy.  In fact, if there's no light shining on it, it appears to be that dark brown I wanted.  Love it tho so I can live with the color.  Now I'm ready to decorate around it and I'm at a loss for color choice.  Keep in mind I'm getting rid of the red/gold combo that's been around for a few years and am open to anything except the jewel tones, i.e. navy, hunter green, maroon.  The woodwork in this room is a golden/reddish oak and there's a bunch of it.  Besides baseboard the fireplace is surrounded by it from floor to ceiling and 10 feet across.  Painting it is not an option (tho I would love to).  Right now I'd just to have suggestions for wall color and accent color.  I would just love to paint the walls a soft gray but am afraid of putting gray against the warm color of the oak.  Please help!!!!!

Thank you so much for any help you can throw my way.


Hi Lisa,
You mentioned when there is no lighting the furniture appears to be dark brown, which indicates lighting may be an issue. As with any space, lighting is critical in achieving a successful design. The soft gray is an excellent choice, it will visually lighten the space and cool the warm effects of the oak. Round out the room with shades of sage, cream, almond and taupe. Bringing in pops of charcoal gray will add drama and interest. These colors are cool neutrals that will provide the perfect backdrop for the leather which can easily overwhelm a space. Texture is another element that should always be addressed when designing a space. Using contrasting materials and fabrics (pillows, area rugs, window treatments) bold graphic prints and stripes contrasted against the large solid sectional will add personality, break up the vastness of the sectional and help move the eye around the space. Which ever color you choose as the wall color, reinforce this with complimentary shades and textures ( silk, linen, rattan, even bamboo) to create a cohesive, cozy and comfortable design. Using the color wheel is an easy way to determine whether you want to use contrasting color (the color directly across from your choice on the wheel) or complimentary color (the color on either side of your color choice) in your design. Good luck. Hope this helps

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Toni Gibbs


I can't answer any questions in regards to structural, or commercial space planning. I can assist in choosing furniture, accessories, color choices, lighting, recommending resources to find what you are looking for.


My experience comes from a passion for decorating, and an inherent understanding of the "art of Interior Design."

Dress for Success (Professional Womens's Group)

I attempted to obtain a certificate in Interior Design from Sheffied School of Interior Design, but, did not complete the course. I realized that there were many areas that felt remedial to me, while there are many other areas that are helping me to continually expand my level of expertise.

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