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Decorating & Furniture/Mixing medium golden oak woodwork with painted white woodwork within a home.


Dear Alicia,
   Thankyo in advance. I have a two story, I think 'Geogian style' home with lots of beautiful med. golden oak woodwork.  Only problem is, I almost think it's too much, but especially across the whole back of the house which is our kithen, breakfast, family room - basically an open area broken up by lots of oak.  Main problem is, it's dark back there, lots of trees, and I'm used to white, bright woodwork.  Question - Can i paint part of my house's woodwork white, leavint the front area oak (where it's very bright and sunny?) The family room also has a beautiful brick floor to ceiling fireplace with oak mantle flanked by oak shelving and cabinets - how can I paint the woodwork white in this area, and what would I do as it approaches the fireplace area?  Also, oak pocket doors to living foom - can one side be white ? Too wierd?  Since all doorways to front of house are trimmed in oak, where would i stop?  How can I balance this?  Kitchen cabinets oak too - all pretty and high quality but just too much! We have black granite countertops and island area, and I thought about refacing with a lighter color also to brightn this back area?  Too many questions! Sorry, I feel like I'm being swallowed up by beautiful golden oak.
Thankyou, Wendy

Hello Wendy,
Hmmm...first thing I think of is adding color to the walls!
Chiffon yellow or a gorgeous yellow-green looks fantastic with oak.  Why not maintain the golden oak but add wonderful colors that complement your fabrics and furnishings?  This is the simplest way and the least expensive!  Try it and I guarantee the home will brighten and the oak will recede in the background.  Even the porch area...paint the ceiling a lighter color to add that extra pizzaz!

Good Luck!
Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID

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Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID


Whole house interior space planning and decorating; kitchen layout, and design trends; residential themed environments; selecting furnishings and accessories for your lifestyle.


12 years experience as an interior designer, FIDER graduate and business owner for 5 years. Speciality area: residential interior designer, NKBA certified kitchen designer, and home office designer


Homes of Color magazine, Las Vegas Life magazine, Tucson Home and Garden magazine.

B.A. Interior Design, Marymount University, Arlington, VA

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