Decorating & Furniture/Paint colors


Hi Jenny,

We have recently moved into a new house with all white walls and an open floor plan.  It has lots of windows looking out onto beautiful prairie.  We long to add some color, so have just started painting.  We have an open entryway with light terra-cotta colored ceramic tile.  

Off to one side of the entry is the living /dining room.  We have dark wood furniture with the upholstery in light neutral creams and beiges.  The area rug is also in creams and beiges.  We decided to paint the room in Halcyon green from Sherwin Williams (a sage green with some blue in it) and are doing the ceiling in a color 3 shades lighter.  We are doing one accent wall in Bay Red also from Sherwin Williams.  We are really liking how this looks with our existing furniture and artwork. Our problem is in deciding what to do with the rest of the first floor.  

On the other side of the entry is our family room/kitchen.  (all in one large room) It has light oak hardwood floors.  The cabinets are white and counters are a gray with some black to give a granite-type look.  The area rugs have reds/golds/dark teals and blue. Our family room sectional sofa is a brown and black chenille.  We think we would like the same halcyon green in this area as well, but are worried it might be too much of a good thing.  If we did that, we were thinking of painting the bay red on a small wall behind some shelves above a desk area.  What is your opinion?

Also, we are searching for the right color for the entryway and the open stairway that leads off it to go upstairs.

I hope this makes sense.

Thanks so much for your help,


I think you're on the right track.  Here are a couple of things to remember.  When painting open-area spaces you need to do one of two things to correctly color-sculpt your home:  

- One option is to take the color(s) you have successfully used in one area of your house (the living/dining area) and "mix-up" those shades in an adjoining area, using the same colors but in a different combination.

- The other option is to take the predominant color (your sage green and the lighter shade of green) and adding a third, and in your case darker, shade of green.  If you opt for this, keep your ceiling color the same as the living/dining and darken the wall color.  Just be sure to keep the accent color in the room (the red).

Remember that in choosing your greens, you've already color-sculpted by using a 3shade lighter than the wall.  By following that same technique but using darker hues of the same shade you're simply adding more depth.


PS:  You may want to use your red as an accent color in the kitchen by purchasing accessories in that shade.  That will pull the color from the adjoining rooms and incorporate it into the kitchen area.

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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