Decorating & Furniture/Open Floor Plan


Hi Benjamin,
I have a new home and I'm getting ready to paint the walls for the first time. I have an open floor with a dining area within the living area. The kitchen is open to the living room.

I am trying to figure out a wall color and these are the things that I have to consider.

My carpet is ivory with tiny flecks of color and I have white woodwork/crown molding. There are lots of windows that provide natural sunlight.

My living room furniture consists of a couch and loveseat in a medium olive green color. I also have a suede recliner that matches. The cushions and pillows are reversersible from solid to print. The print side has subtle shades of deep orange, gold, browns, black.
I have a mission style chair and ottoman in chocolate brown leather.
I have an entertainment center and coffee table in a medium brown color.
The artwork includes some ceramic shaped crosses, hammered bronze mirrors, and some wrought iron work.

The dining area within the living area includes a mission style table and chairs with a matching side table. The wood is a reddish brown.

The kitchen table and chairs are wrought iron and glass. The cushions have a subtle paisley pattern.

I have thought about painting the living room  walls a warm salmon color and painting the dining area (in the living room) and the kitchen is a color called parprika.

I thought about doing all of the ceilings a couple shades lighter than the salmon.

I found an area rug that has an ivory background with salmon,olive, and black that might pull everything together. I could get it in a large area size to set the furniture on or a smaller one for just the coffee table. I would probably use simple ivory window treatments that would match the carpet/rug.

I have also considered using a deep olive green for accent walls instead of the parprika. Which color do you think would look the best? If I go with the green, what color should all the ceilings be?    

The patterns on my furniture are fairly subtle so they don't give off a busy signal. My artwork is not flashy either which is why I want to bring more color into the space.

Thanks for your help!!!  


Thanks for writing.

The salmon color sounds great, expecially if you have a rug to pull everything together. For an accent wall, try picking out a color from your accent pillows on the couch to tie everything together. I would stay away from the greens (sounds like you have enough of that color in your furniture) and stay away from brown (also enough in your furniture and wood).

As far as the ceiling, the secret is out with you...always put at least 10% of your domenent wall color into white ceiling paint to give it a tint. (This can be done at most paint stores).Otherwise if you are not affraid of painting color on the ceiling, go for it! A few shades lighter than the salmon would be perfect.

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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