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Decorating & Furniture/Finished basement colors


We are in the process of finishing our basement and need help with color selection.  The space is in a U-shape, once down the stairs you see a niche with a row of cabinets (thinking darker wood, chocolate or dark cherry) and a small sink, to the left is the bathroom door, turn right into the workout area (carbonized bamboo flooring), turn right again and see into the pool table area, turn right again into a dead end with the media room.  Both of these have carpet, med dark fern.  There is a regular window in both the workout and pool table areas with french doors in between.  Facing north.  We have 8 foot ceilings and will have crown molding in the carpeted area a foot from the ceiling with rope lighting hidden within.  We are unsure what color to paint the walls, we plan on soft white trim and doors.  We like color (not basic off white or beige) but are afraid to go dark and make the space feel small.  We have no furniture yet, only the carpet is paid for.

We want a warm inviting space that does not feel closed in and dark.

Suggestions and assistance appreciated!



Thanks for writing.

A common myth is that darker color makes rooms look smaller. Not true at's what people usually do to the room after painting that makes it look small from the wrong scale of furniture to bad placement, to the wrong traffic flow.

If you are choosing dark or cherry cabinetry with soft white molding, I suggest an olive green or whispy muted blue as your main color. You you really don't want to go that dark, try a pale blue. The pale pastel colors are big right now. Also consider doing accent walls in color.

Good luck.


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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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