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Decorating & Furniture/what wall color works with wood ceilings?


I am in the process of renovating my house.  I will be tearing down walls in my kitchen to make a great room which includes the kitchen, living room and dining room with vaulted naturally aged cedar ceilings.  The highest point is 12'.  The room will be approximately 23' by 31', with a large structural pine post in the middle.  The wood trim is stained.  The trim and ceiling are a kind of a medium orangy brown.  I will have natural red oak flooring throughout this space.

I also have a very rustic fireplace with brick ranging in color from terra cotta to light red, with some dark gray mixed in.  The mortar is medium gray.  The brick goes floor to ceiling (height 7'6").  I currently have this wall painted Benjamin Moore Spanish Red.  

The living room section of this room is north facing, and even with a skylight, it is very dark.  I currently have a burgundy leather sofa and two gold patterned armless chairs.  The fabric also has some blue/gray, burgundy and terra cotta in it.  All walls in the kitchen, living and dining rooms (except for the fireplace wall) are currently Benjamin Moore Mellowed Ivory.

My kitchen is going to be redone with natural cherry cabinets, a two-tiered cream colored island with a cappuccino glaze, and stainless steel appliances.  I was thinking of a combination of Cambrian black granite countertop and another, possibly gray or yellow with black flecks.

My dining room has an antique reproduction farmhouse table and large reproduction hutch.  The hutch is on the same wall (red wall) as the fireplace.  There is a large window next to the hutch.

I have the same window treatments in the dining room and living room.  They are a textured stripe with red, burgundy, green and gold.  They look fabulous on the red wall, but not as nice in the living room.  I am thinking of building a cornice board for the living room to give them more weight (the living room large bay window is on the 12' high wall).  The sofa is currently placed in front of the window.  There are currently two track fixtures in the living room, each with four 60 watt heads.

I would like to go with neutral colors for the walls, but I am afraid of the walls looking too blah.  The ceilings are very dramatic, and it is very difficult to work with the orangy wood color.  I have tried samples from grayish beige to golden beige to greenish beige.  I have not been able to find a color that works with all the elements in my house.  I would love to change the sofa and window treatments, but that is not an option at this time.  

I like the BM Mellowed Ivory that I have right now, because it has a wonderful quality of changing from green to yellow depending on the lighting and the wall that it is on, but I do not think it will blend with the new kitchen.  I am really at my wits end with this color dilemma.  Any advice about this will be greatly appreciated!

Sounds like a great house.  Consider taupe.  Anyone who has written about a true color dilemma or ever read my answers about that subject knows that I believe wholeheartedly in Glidden's Toasty Grey.  It's a brownish grey (and I know that doesn't sound appealing) but it is the most versatile paint color I have ever found.  It is wonderful with reds, blacks, golds, greens -- you name it.  It will be just enough of a difference and will work well with the mellowed ivory.

Home Depot carries Glidden Paint.


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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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