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Decorating & Furniture/Appliance & wall colors


Our home is a 1970 split entry. We are remodeling our kitchen, knocking out a wall between the kitchen/living room & adding a 14'x20' room off the existing dining room/kitchen.  After remodeling is done the upstairs will be an open floor plan with the living room, L-shaped kitchen with a 3'x6' island facing the living room & the new addition which will hold the dining room table and a sitting room.  The whole upstairs will have oak flooring.  We have picked out natural oak cabinets, Wilsonarte HD countertop with dark blue/brown colors, pre-finished oak floors in a color slightly darker than honey. My problem is what color to paint the walls & what color of appliances would look best with the cabinets/countertop/oak floor.  We have a new white fridge & a new white exhaust fan for over the cooktop (bought them before we realized our remodeling plans). I am getting double ovens & a smooth cooktop. Will white appliances clash?  Also, how should we pick a wall color & should all of the upstairs be painted the same color?  I want to do this right the first time & am willing to buy a new fridge & exhaust.

Hi Kari,

Sounds like you are well underway for a great project!

While my first choice would be to go with a stainless steel finish on the applienced, white would also work. The trick is to keep consistance. If you are going to keep your white fridge, then you need to stick with white appliences all around. Also, remember that those appliences are going to play a big part in an open floorplan like yours. They will be seen! So get something you REALLY like!

As far as wall colors, you don't have to pant everything the same, but again keep that consistance. For example, if you like warm colors, keep in those tones.

A nice color that would work well with your finishes is a taupe. It is darker than a cream and why I am telling you to go darker than a crea is because you have a lot of "bla" color going on with all the oak woodwork in the cabinetry and flooring. You need to break it up a little so everything doesn't mush together. If you are looking for more color, try a taupe as you main color and then paint colors on an accent wall. If you are staying with a warm feeling, try rich golds, maroons, purples, and olive greens along with the taupe.

If you are looking for a more contemorary feel, instead of taupe as you main color, go with the poular pale blues with eggshell and chocolate brown accents.

If you are really into color, try a deep red in the kitchen or an olive green as you main color on all the walls.

I hope I have given you some ideas you can use. Good luck, and as always, I encourage you to send pictures of your completed projects to

Thanks again for writing.


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Benjamin Cottrell


I can answer any questions on interior design including color, room arrangment, floor and space planning, lighting, fabric, furniture, and where to buy home decorating products.


Residential design and Architecture as well as landscape design, visual merchandising, and sales.



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