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Decorating & Furniture/wood ceiling - cave like

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Question
Hi, to the point:  I recently moved in to the home of a longtime batchelor who loves wood. Just before I met him he installed pine wood ceilings in the area consisting of the living/dining/kitchen area.  This is one open room 20' X 26'7".  Not only is the ceiling imposing from above (beams are 7' from floor)but the countertops are chocolate brown, kitchen cabinates are maple color and the wood floor is pine. The dining room table is old darkend maple, you know colonial style heavy chairs. He will not part with this family piece. Nor would I even ask him to paint the ceiling.  The walls are white. There are windows but they are boring and have an eave hanging over them outside, this makes them not very good for natural light.  Since moving here I feel like I am living in a cave. A wooden cave.  I don't even know where to begin since my own home was painted with mostly sunny yellows, white ceilings, white kitchen cabinates, large windows and tons of natural sun light. I have noticed that sun does not directly come into this house. There are never shadows cast long across the floor from the sun coming in. Having to turn on a light during the day in certain areas of this room is depressing. Thank you for any advice. Wendy

Answer
Thanks for writing.  Here are my initial thoughts.  Paint the walls a color other than white - maybe a soft blue or green.  Brighten the table and chairs with cushions/pads and a cheery runner or cloth for the table.  Add white or off-white accessories to the kitchen; because of the contrast, the eye will go to the white.  If white doesn't suit you, go with red or something vibrant like a cranberry or a bright yellow.  

The eye always goes to color - always picks out the "contrast" first.  This will help.  Then, add track lighting with a dimmer switch to those overhead wooden ceilings (spots or cans, your choice) in a white/off-white, which will add light and draw your eye upward making the room feel "taller".  

Any curtains/window treatments should be white or off-white or blue (to match the new paint) or green (again depending on the paint color.)  

Add bright yellow flowers, greenery with up lights to blow out the corners and you'll feel less like you're living in a cave.

Regards,
Jenny

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik

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Visit my web site at: http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com 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.

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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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"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and Amazon.com. HTTP://www.seasoned.com (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at http://www.jennifertaylorwojcik.com

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BA, Psychology

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