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Decorating & Furniture/Color suggestions, etc?



Good evening. First, thank you for taking the time to help me out. My questions are about decorating a bedroom in my rented apartment in Boston. Hopefully, you will be able to suggest some colors and/or other ideas. I would appreciate any insight and help you can provide.

The feel/style I'm trying to maintain throughout the apartment is cosmopolitan, yet not east coast attitude, but with a midwestern/southern friendliness. I can do gray and black, but am not afraid of color. Living alone for the forseeable future, masculine would be nice, but difficult to maintain with the color of the carpet...feminine does not freighten me away though.

The dimensions of the room are 12' x 12' x 10'. The landlord will allow me to paint the walls and trim, however, they "prefer" I not paint the ceiling...which makes it fair game to me. The floor is carpeted and must stay so at their request.

The current colors:
- The carpet is a mauvish-rose-red. Depending on the lay of it, the color can be as light as grayish rose/pink or as dark as the colored bar at the top of all the webpages at (Funny, but it's at least a visual).
- The trim (doors, windows, floor molding) is ivory, cream, the end, they all look the same next to the carpet.
- The ceiling is a white or off-white, but is definitely lighter than the trim. It is textured, not the "popcorn" style, stucco maybe? Regardless, textured enough where it'd be a pain to paint it without renting a sprayer.
- The walls, for reasons I'll never understand, are painted an ice-blue (white with a very light, blue tint).
- There are 2 major colors in my furniture. One is a light colored-wood, birch to be exact. The other color is gray (metal and metallic-looking pieces). Using the allexperts site again, it is a shade of gray between the two found there, closer to lighter shade.

The best idea I have up to this point is to paint the walls and trim in 1 or 2 colors of light gray, lighter than my furniture. With the grays as a background, add  1 or more gray-tinted pastel colors in the room to compliment the carpet, like in curtains, bedding, candles, even the trim). Although, with the celiing, the carpet and the furniture, I don't want the room too "busy".  

I tried to be fairly descriptive for the sake of clarity. I hope it gives a clear picture. Thank you, again, for taking the time to help.



Hi John,

Thanks for writing and for your color questions. Thanks too for the descriptive detail about your space.  It always helps me to "know" the surroundings visually.  

I have to say that your "best idea" is a great one, minus painting the trim.  For the sake of contrast, I'd leave the trim white.    

Here's a suggestion or two.  Paint the walls in a shade of grey that complements your furnishings.  Create a "tone on tone" look by creating wide vertical (or horizontal) stripes on the walls.  Here's how.  Buy one gallon of "the" grey in a flat finish.  Paint all the walls.  Buy one quart of the same color in a satin or even an enamel/pearlized finish.  Once the room is painted in the flat (and completely dry) tape off your stripes using blue painters tape.  You can make them as wide or narrow as you choose, but I prefer a "fat" stripe vertical to add visual height.  Paint "inside" the tape with the satin/enamel grey.  Allow it to dry completely and remove the tape.  

This is a very clean, classy look.  Add to that draperies in the same grey, or a "stripe" that incorporates the greys as well as the carpet color.  You can also pull the carpet color as throw pillows and let that be that.  Don't overemphasize the carpet.

With the walls, your furniture, the birch, the chrome/metal and the mauvish shade of carpet, add white, black and no more.  It'll be a clean, uncluttered yet comfy look.


PS:  Other faux painting techniques can be found at

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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!

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