Decorating & Furniture/lounge


QUESTION: I am due to retire and as such would like to have a 'show house' finish before I retire on a limited pension.  My lounge is all white (newly painted) parquet oak floor, with white/oatmeal three piece suite. Light oak coffee table and light oak television table.  I am at a loss as to what to do to bring it to life, with extras and lights and am looking for some inspiration.

ANSWER: Suzanne,

Thanks for writing me with your questions.  You're dealing with a totally neutral background, which is a good thing to have when you want to add some excitement and energy.  Since your basic pieces are neutral, add color, dimension and pattern with accessories like wall art, rugs, throws, toss pillows etc.  

My recommendation is that you think of your favorite colors.  The colors that you wear a lot are obviously favorites; colors that you are drawn to in magazines, stores etc. are all your favorites.  When you find that color(s), then add them to your room "paired with" the colors that are there.  For instance, if your favorite color is turquoise, add that in a few pieces around the room.  Turquoise, paired with chocolate brown is a smart look.  Red, paired with jet black creates an equally smart look.  

Your room needs to be "grounded" which simply requires adding a piece or two in black.  That could be in a rug, a large vase, or in a piece of art.  Black grounds the space and works with every color.  It will be a great contrast to all the oak you have going on in the room.

If you want specific color combinations, write me a follow up with your favorite color or colors, and I'll be glad to make more specific suggestions.  But regardless of the colors you add, make sure to add some black.

Hope this helps.  Congrats on your upcoming retirement.


Jennifer Taylor Wojcik, Author
From Day One

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Jennifer,  wonderful.... I quite like green and reddish / pinkish colours.   I would never have thought of adding any black. Should I maybe sand down the coffee table or television table and paint black? or is this too drastic? I am not one (although I wish I was sometimes) dramatic in my colour schemes.

You could most certainly do that, but it would be easier to add some smart black toned (or even metal) candle holders around the room.  You truly do not have to be dramatic to have a beautiful,  comfortable home.  And remember this - if you love the look, that's all that matters!


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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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