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Decorating & Furniture/Furniture color for wood walls


Hi Rachel.  We are in  the process of building a home in the country and our walls will be wood with a very light stain.  I really like the French country look and we are buying used furniture and painting it.  We will sand the edges just a bit so it looks worn.  I have a dining room table and chairs that I want to do this with.  I really like red and yellow but I'm afraid the yellow would be lost with the wood colors and I'm not sure if the red would be too strong.  We will probably do the same with some open upper shelves in the kitchen and maybe the island.  I've also wondered if I should go with a cream color and accent with other items in the room like throw pillows and vases.  It is an open floor plan and has lots of windows.    Should I use these colors or abandon them for a stronger contrast like slate blue?  I do like blue and green color combinations but planned to use these in the bedroom upstairs.   I would really appreciate your imput.

Hi Lenora,

Thank you so much for contacting me! I love country homes. They offer a cozy homey feeling that is hard to find in any other construction style. I am a big fan of consistency in design, so one thing I would suggest is selecting one color that is your continuous "neutral" throughout the home. Whether that be the stain on the wood or bringing red throughout your home with accents, using one consistent idea in every room will help the home feel more cohesive so that spaces flow together well. That said, you do not have to use the same color scheme in each space, just one unifying aspect. Another consideration to make is how you want your space to make people feel. Blue and green are cool colors and red and yellow are warm colors, so your region, climate, and atmosphere are certainly important considerations.

Yellow can get lost next to a pale stained wood if it is a certain shade of yellow. But, I honestly feel that every color can be used in any situation so long as it is the right shade. You want to avoid a pale yellow, and look more to the orange/gold hues. When you are selecting the items that will be yellow, be sure that these are not items that will be right up against the wood. A gold coffee table, for example, would be an excellent way of using this color.

I do not believe the red would be too bold, the trick is ensuring the red is used correctly. If you want to paint all the kitchen cabinets red- gorgeous, with the right lighting! But, from there, work with accents so that you do not end up with a red overload. Red chairs around a natural-stained table is a lovely way to bring red into the home without going overboard. But, remember to tie that red into other spaces as well with red throw pillows or artwork.

Your home sounds lovely. If you find that you need additional help, my services are geared toward the online client with color consultations as an option, so please feel free to take a look at my website!

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Rachel Waldron


Please feel free to visit my professional website at I can answer interior design questions that focus on function in design, use of color, and consistency and fluidity in design. I am a designer and not a decorator, so when projects get "craftsy" or if you are looking for DIY tips, I may have some insight but will not be your best resource. I am also not an architect or contractor so I will not be able to tell you if a wall is load-bearing or if plumbing can be moved in your home.


I have eight years of experience as an interior design professional and currently own and operate an online interior design service.

I have a BA in interior design from Washington State University, a CIDA accredited university. I also hold an MBA in Marketing from City University of Seattle.

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