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Decorating & Furniture/New Home and Open Floor Plan Colors


Hello! We are building a new house with an open floor plan and need help in deciding paint colors. We are not afraid of colors either! Here are some specifics to help you:

Foyer/Living Room/Kitchen/Dining Area/Stairs Up - All open to each other. The foyer and living room are 2 story. The kitchen will have maple spice cabinets with ubatuba (greenish black) granite counters and stainless steel appliances. We have a Kandinski print that is our main focus in the living area (in an art niche above fireplace) with all colors in it. The back living room wall is all windows facing east, so will be very sunny in the morning hours.

I was thinking of doing a taupe color with some accents, but that seems so boring, especially considering we have a beige leather couch! How can I add color to all these areas without being too overwhelming in the 2 story area?

Some other info for you: We will have a deep red in the office, burnt orange in the powder room, yellow in the laundry, not sure yet about master bed and bath.

Help please!
Thank you!!

Hi Lindy,

Congratulations on your new home and happy building. I love an open floor plan, but yes, it does cause quite a problem when choosing colors. With an open floor plan, I always say consistancy is the key. Even if you do not keep with the exact same colors, you need to keep with the same tones and choose colors that will complement each other.

While I was reading through you comments, the first thing that came to mind was to do like you said at the end...use taupe as your main color and then accent walls.

Something to think about is that sence your space IS so open, you may think of the fireplace with the artwok above as the focal point to the WHOLE space. Go ahead a choose colors around that painting to bring everything together. A nice look for you with the cream colored couch my be with very popular pale blue/chocolate brown combination. This tends to be a bit more contemporary, but looks so fresh, clean, and open. The pale blue lends itself to make the rooms flow together like a taupe color would.

If you are into the more earth-toned colors, consider a creamy yellow, olive green, taupe, and puple based maroons. Thie kitchen will be the easiest room to isolate with a seperate color due to the natural division made from the cabinety, so this may be the room to go wild with color in that is seperate from the other areas colors.

In your two story rooms, don't be affraid to take colors up into the ceiling or bring colors down from the ceiling a couple feet into the walls.

If you love color but don't want to be daring with it in your walls, bring it into the room in other fashions such as throw pillows, a side chair, window treatments and artwork.

Thanks again for writing and good luck.

As always, I encourage you to send pictures of your completed project to anytime.


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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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