Decorating & Furniture/paint


Wall of confusion
Wall of confusion  
We recently bought a home and I can't stand looking at all of the white walls!! I am very concerned though because I loved my neutral kind of beige color living room and pale yellow kitchen of my prior home and had every intention of having it for a while longer. My problem is that we have a wall that extends from the living area over the stairs into the kitchen and I do not think the beige will look so hot with the yellow. I am also seriously thinking that we will do a chair rail with a darker color (also yet to be determined) on the bottom because we have laminate floors that are light in color and I don't want to feel completely washed out in neutrals (I have chocolate brown couch & love seat and all of our wood is maple including the banister on the stairs). I also was thinking of maybe an accent color on the wall behind the fish tank. I know I may be rambling a bit here but this has been on my mind for a bit and I just stumbled upon this site and am SO excited to get your opinion. I do not think the yellow will work in the kitchen at all because the dining room flows from the living room and right into the kitchen like one big room with the little wall behind the fish tank to separate them. I love my italian chef decorations though and refuse to ditch them so my neutral HAS to mesh with the red. Also, I'm sure you noticed the closet that juts out there in the middle of the pic - this is a closet - we have a mid-level entry and I don't know if this should just get the same color as the all over neutral or if the left side (the side you see when you walk in the front door) should have some accent color treatment or something. I have all these thoughts and its turning into a jumbled mess!! Please help!

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your paint questions and for selecting me as your expert.  The photograph shows me exactly what your dilemma is - thanks for sending it along.  

To address the wall color(s) first, the only way you could use the wall behind the fish tank as an accent wall would be to stop the accent color at the right angle of the wall (common to the back wall).  I think that would prove to be a problem and would draw the eye to the "problem" area more than it does now.  

Rather than do that, consider painting that closet in its entirety in a different #darker# color.  Since you have this oddity in your room that cannot be ignored, draw attention to it instead.  If this is the wall you see when entering your home, you should definitely contrast the wall color of the closet, leaving the walls surrounding it the same.

It appears from the photo that the fish tank is actually in the dining area.  If that's the case, you may want to consider moving it to another part of the house and allow the dining room to be just that.  I see that the kitchen is adjacent, but not a common wall, so feel free to paint two colors #the ones you had before if that was pleasing to you#; one in the dining room, a different one in the kitchen.  

If you keep your previous colors, consider painting the closet wall in a chocolate brown that coordinates with your living room furniture, and add a neutral plus chocolate brown and red rug to the laminate floor for some warmth and contrast.  

Hope this helps you,
Jennifer Taylor Wojcik, Author
From Day One
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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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