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Decorating & Furniture/Colors for Open Floor Plan


I am in the process of building a new house.  The only kitchen cabinet color choice is white.  But, the kitchen opens into the dining and living room where I have dark wood furniture.  How can I tie this all together?  I have small children, so I'd like to keep only the cabinets white.  I do have a choice of tile for the floors and countertop and paint for the walls.  Thanks.


Congratulations on your new home!! Also, Nichelle is one of the more interesting names I have ever heard (unless it is a typo and you meant Michelle... in case... I have a dear friend named Michelle... nice name!!)

Building a new house is a huge project... and can feel overwhelming.  Try to enjoy the process, even though it is a large undertaking.  

As for your cabinets, white is a great equalizer.  There is not a problem mixing white cabinets in a room opening to another with darker wood.  The key will be in how you 'marry' the project.  Soft, in between tones will be your key.  For instance, if you have any wood floors going in (huge in the northeast as a flooring option,) a nice gentle golden oak can be a great way to segue the spaces.  If you have to choose tile (you MAY want to consider hard wood floors IF you have the option... it truly works wonders,) choose a soft in between color such as a soft beige of very soft terra cotta.  I would most definitely stay away from any strong colors.  Also, be VERY careful of the texture of the tile.  Be sure, most especially with young children, to choose a tile that has some texture and will not be slippery.  Many an Emergency Room has been filled with a child who slipped on smooth tile floor.  

As for the wall/paint colors... what color is your furniture?  Your area rugs or wall to wall carpet in the 'open to' areas?  Your paint colors will be determined by:  Your furniture, your preferences, the area in which you live (mountains, desert, lake or ocean??)  There are so many variables.  Please feel free to write me back with some additional information.

You may want to consider hiring a local interior designer or decorator to come in for a one time color consult.  This person could then see, and therefore factor in all of the variables as listed above and give you amore specific answer.

Thank you for writing.

Best of luck to you,
Julie Henry
Julie's Interior Designs
Hackettstown, NJ

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Julie Henry


In the past 22 years, I have assisted countless residential (and some commercial) clients in the design and decorating of their homes. Within reason, I can assist on ANY question for the interior of your home. From design of a new home or addition, to layout, color, truly custom window treatments or just accessorizing... as our brochure says... from ceiling to floor, windows to walls and EVERYTHING in between... if it is for the Interior of your home, call Julie's Interior Designs. Well... you don't have to call, just write and ask!


With twenty two years of experience, 18 of them self employed with a large showroom/retail store and great staff on my team, there is little I/we haven't encountered. For several years I enjoyed being the on air "Home Editor" of the local cable station and have written a column in several local newspapers for years. Taught Interior Design at the college level. My work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. This is the greatest job on earth, and not nearly as easy at it looks...

William Paterson College, NJ, Ramapo College NJ, Continuing Education with trade periodicals, etc.

Awards and Honors
Multiple for custom window treatments, best local business in our county (located in northwestern NJ,) best home furnishing store in our county, etc.

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