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Question
my kitchen/dining room and living room are all connected or open to each other.  in my living room, i have mossy green furniture and in my kitchen/dining room i have oak cabinets and gray contertop.  i have a great collection of red cookie jars and have them displayed in the kitchen.  i am painting over a medium paneling (which i hate).  my question is what color can i paint to blend with all of this and make the rooms look bigger?

Answer
Tabitha,

Thank you for taking the time to write with your question.  Ok.... here's the thing:  when you are working with oak, AND with gray (such as your counters over your base cabinets,) it is very easy for the coloring to all go to a cool graying tone.  This can appear very modern or unwelcome.  HOWEVER... you have wisely added a moss green in your furniture which definitely helps to warm up the space.  

If you choose two different color paints, you can really pack some punch into the room.  For instance, on the walls where you have the oak cabinets, you can paint the walls either a wonderfully soft green, OR a ruddy brick red to warm AND richen the feel of the room.  As you have a collection of red cookie jars, you will probably have these placed either on your counters or on top of your cabinets.  This is the reason I suggest the same green that is in your furniture.

You may choose another accent wall to paint a bricky red color OR you may choose to bring in a soft warm beige.  Be careful not to have undertones of gray or pink in those beiges.

Just one thing... remember, it is a misnomer that putting color on the walls will make a space smaller.  In fact, it will oftentimes make a room appear larger, as the color gives the eye a place to 'land on' pulling your eye further into the room as opposed to just bouncing off of 'builders- beige' on all walls.

Here is one more thing you can try to help you visualize what the room can look like with the different colors you are considering.  If you go to www.benjaminmoore.com you can get a personal on line consultation for just a few dollars, OR you can go to the 'homeowner, personal color viewer page' for some exciting options.  This feature allows you to see your own room in different color paints!  You simply digitally photograph your room, and download it on your computer.  Follow the directions to transfer the image to the Benjamin Moore site, and then 'view' your very own room in different colors from their collection.  This is a GREAT tool in helping you make final selections on color!

Best of luck to you!  Thank you for writing.

Julie Henry
Julie's Interior Designs
Hackettstown, NJ
908-684-3900
www.juliesinteriordesigns.com

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Julie Henry

Expertise

In the past 22 years, I have assisted countless residential (and some commercial) clients in the design and decorating of their homes. Within reason, I can assist on ANY question for the interior of your home. From design of a new home or addition, to layout, color, truly custom window treatments or just accessorizing... as our brochure says... from ceiling to floor, windows to walls and EVERYTHING in between... if it is for the Interior of your home, call Julie's Interior Designs. Well... you don't have to call, just write and ask!

Experience

With twenty two years of experience, 18 of them self employed with a large showroom/retail store and great staff on my team, there is little I/we haven't encountered. For several years I enjoyed being the on air "Home Editor" of the local cable station and have written a column in several local newspapers for years. Taught Interior Design at the college level. My work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. This is the greatest job on earth, and not nearly as easy at it looks...

Education/Credentials
William Paterson College, NJ, Ramapo College NJ, Continuing Education with trade periodicals, etc.

Awards and Honors
Multiple for custom window treatments, best local business in our county (located in northwestern NJ,) best home furnishing store in our county, etc.

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