Decorating & Furniture/Dark room


I have a lovely old victorian home. The dining room is panelled and beamed with mahogany. There is also a big mahogany fireplace. The room is pretty heavy! There is a three window bay along one wall but it faces north and there are many trees blocking natural light. I have just put in four recessed lights. There is a five light chandelier and two standing lamps. My challenge is to find the right paint colors for both the two and a half foot strip above the panelling as well as the ceiling between the beams. The wood is very dark with deep red tones. We have a large oriental with rust reds, golds, blues and tans. The table and chairs are all dark wood. I've tested a sagey green (BM "dill"), a light green and a russet red. I'm leaning towards a good peach or salmon but testing these colors against the wood is proving to be very tricky. Any suggestions or advice would be most appreciated. Since it is doomed to be a dark room I'm aiming for a very dramatic and warm atmosphere.  p.s. Are there any books out there that give suggestions to homes with unpainted wood trim and accents?

Dear Angdev,
     Your dining room sounds beautiful. To get away from all the heaviness you want to choose a light to medium color for your walls and ceiling. I think that a gold color from your rug would look best. Go to this website for an example that I have designed.

I think this gold color will give you that warm , dramatic feeling that you want. GOOD LUCK!

Rachel Mallon

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Rachel Mallon Allied Member ASID


I will answer any questions concerning interior design and decorating. I can help with color, furniture placement, material choices, and much more. I am more than happy to help people. Please email me with questions and concerns. Decorating may not be as easy as it looks and with a little help from me you can improve your living space. Check out my decorating blog Room in a Book Blog
If you are looking to redo an entire room in your home and want professional design assistance please visit Room in a Book


Experience: I have a bachelors degree in Interior Design. I have worked for West Elm and Kitchen Kaboodle and I recently worked for an Interior Design firm in Portland, OR. I currently work as an Interior Designer in Maui, Hawaii. Room in a Book

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