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To paint white or not?
cannawine
November 22, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We have lots of wooden paneling in our entrance hall. We also have wooden skirtings doors, door frames and staircase. We want to keep parts of the staircase, the upper handrail and the horizontal part of the steps brown/ wood and are considering painting everything else white. Very mixed opinions about painting beautiful wood white! Please advise
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janishill
I would not paint any of the wood work. What I would do is paint the white walls green which is the perfect compliment to the red accents, as well as the golden undertones in the wood. It would make the art work pop!

One of these shades would work beautifully: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/potpourrigreen
http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/siennalaurel
http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/shadesofspring

Hope to see updates!
7 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 4:53AM
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michigammemom
First off, I must compliment you on your gorgeous herringbone floors...the inlaid border glimpsed in your sitting room is exquisite! Rather than painting the high quality woodwork, you might consider a textured sisal stair runner to brighten up your foyer. I would also suggest a lighter console at the foot of the stairs as the ebony hall table gets lost against your wainscoting. May I ask the age of your home?
8 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 4:57AM
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feeny
I have to agree, I would absolutely not paint that beautiful woodwork. White trim may be popular at the moment (and it is cheaper to put in new houses because it demands a lower grade of wood), but in a few years from now when everyone rediscovers the beauty of wood--especially valuable older woodwork like yours, which looks like it might be quarter sawn oak--I think you might really regret having taken the irrevocable step of painting it white. Embrace the history and beauty of your house. It is remarkable, and people simply can't afford to put in woodwork like that these days.
7 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 5:08AM
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Durpetti Interiors
Definitely do not paint it, I think you would regret it. I would recommend painting the walls a nice shade of green to compliment the wood and brighten the space. Lovely!
2 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 5:31AM
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yvonne_pinckney
I agree with not painting the wood. Yes a nice soft color on the walls would make the wood pop. I love wood!
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 6:00AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I usually prefer to paint paneling, but yours is quite beautiful and I believe it should be preserved as it is. Your white walls appear TOO white to go with the warmth of the paneling. A creamier color would work better.
2 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 6:16AM
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charleee
Do not paint! If you had golden oak cabinets, or knotty pine that was varnished and has now aged (badly) then I would say paint. But not this, this is beautiful
3 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 6:35AM
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Dar Eckert
Do not paint the paneling. However, I would consiider glazing the floor with a cream color allowing the wood to show through but lightening the floor. Of course the issue is where to stop. Add a carpet runner up the stairs and corresponding area rug in the entry.

You have a lovely home.
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 7:16AM
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pollyannagal
STOP! Please don't paint it. I love painted panelling and trim but your wood is so beautiful that it would be a crime. I agree with the posts that the walls are too light against the wood - I vote for a soft sage green. A carpet runner on the stairs and a plainer rug would also enhance the beautiful flooring which I think is fighting with the patterned rug.
4 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 7:36AM
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cannawine
Thanks to all for your input. I must say we have been hesitant in painting the wood and you've given great ideas of ways to brighten the space. We think our house was probably built in the 1930's and have realized that we need to embrace its original features.
19 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 11:09AM
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charleee
Good answer !
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 11:10AM
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feeny
cannawine, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it is more likely your house was built sometime before 1929. That quarter sawn oak was a high-quality (expensive) trim option even in that era, and after the stock market crash, people began using slightly narrower trim styles, more white painted trim, and lower quality woods as a common way of cutting construction costs. The 1930's were also when rounded, unframed archways began to replace framed wood openings between rooms, purely as a cost-saving measure during the depression. I live in a historic area with mostly houses from the 1920's, but also some from the early 30's, and there are distinct differences in trim styles and wood quality.

So I'm delighted you are embracing your beautiful house and its rich history. It really looks like a gem!
5 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Cannawine, that great news!
2 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 2:34PM
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houssaon
Yea! I like the electic vibe of the room.
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 2:39PM
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judianna20
Recently had dinner at a new friend's house which she totally renovated ($$$$$) and it so resembles your beautiful home. Her walls are a bit creamier (yellow) than yours, her rugs are Tribal Kilims, strong art work in oils, and her lighting is more Craftsman. No woodwork is painted. Your home is just as stunning. DO NOT PAINT!!!!!!
1 Like   November 22, 2012 at 4:13PM
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cannawine
Thank you all for the wonderful compliments and sound advice. I need more opinions on the paint colour for the walls please. I agree that a soft sagey green willl work wonderfully with the red accents and warmth of the wood. I'm hesitant as the other rooms in our house are quite colorful and I don't want the house to look like a smartie box. How about a neutral greyish colour with a green undertone OR Perhaps a blue- greeny undertone? As the space is very dark I am thinking a light colour would work best
0 Likes   November 22, 2012 at 10:09PM
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houssaon
I think greys wook so well with wood tones. I think the same light grey on the walls and the ceiling wooul look good. Here are some grays I've come across that I like: Himalayan Trek 1542 Paint, Edgecomb Gray HC-173, and Benjamin Moore Storm.

The last one, Storm, I have in my dining room and love it.
1 Like   November 22, 2012 at 10:35PM
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judianna20
JanisHill: loved that sienna BM color you posted. Never paid any attention to it. Beautiful.
1 Like   November 23, 2012 at 6:52AM
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judianna20
cannawine, I keep leaning toward a vanilla color as I see that in the variation in your beautiful floor. Consider BM Papaya 957. It really works as a neutral.
0 Likes   November 23, 2012 at 6:58AM
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cannawine
I have bought some paint samples for the walls in our entrance hall. Bearing in mind that I have quite colorful rooms around the entrance hall, I'm looking for a color that will freshen up the space and enhance the woodwork without making the room darker (it's already very dark). I love greys but am not sure if I need a light fresh grey or a medium toned earthy grey. I know the Sienna Laurel colour suggested by Janishill would Work in the space, just concerned that I have too many varieties of colour in my home. What do you think of my samples?
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
In the upper right photo, I like best the bottom left color and that's also my first choice overall. Of the greens, I prefer the calming aloe #533.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 12:02PM
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cannawine
Thanks. I think the neutrality and crisp green undertone might work better with the wood than the greys
1 Like   November 27, 2012 at 12:05PM
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iambicgirl
You've been given lots of good suggestions, and I agree that you should not paint the staircase. To me, the room is very busy. I would use a solid colored rug and try to make the accessories more cohesive. I think that the chrome lamp is distracting. Your room has beautiful bones, but the architectural details are getting lost with all of the different types of colors and accessories.
2 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Alana
I recently used a color from Lowe's Olympic Audobon collection (color matched to better paint) called Crocodile Tears. It's a great light olive drab green (how's that for a description?!) color that picked up the red undertones in the 112-year-old trim in my living room.

Sorry for the crummy picture. It was taken using my phone in low-light conditions. The most accurate depiction of the color is toward the lower/middle of the window.
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 1:23PM
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Alana
I found it on the Lowe's website, but this is NOT what it looks like in person. It's WAY more green, but still a nice neutral.
1 Like   November 27, 2012 at 1:27PM
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janishill
My vote is for the Sienna Laurel: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/siennalaurel

It would brighten the space and compliment the red tying it all together.

As a suggestion you may want to purchase sample pots of paint and paint poster board to give you a better idea of how it would look. You can move the poster board around and truly get the feel of how it would function in your space.
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 2:53PM
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victorianbungalowranch
I agree that getting rid of the chrome lamp, or at least changing the shade, and rearranging the accessories would help a lot. I think the stuff on the mantel is particularly distracting, as much as I live flowers. With the interesting people scultptures and the painting and the rug, I would consider leaving the mantel bare. I also think the chandelier is too elaborate and a bit undersized for the space.

Bright white almost never looks right in these style of homes with lots of nice woodwork--the creams, golds and olive and sagey greens and taupe/greige complement it so much more, as does more jewel tones.

Would you mind posting a pic of the outside of the house? Is it a Foursquare? Or maybe a Colonial? The door and the narrow trim and the staircase does look a bit later to me, but the quality and amount of wood is rather unusual for the 30s. The horizontal window glazing is a later characteristic. There is a bit of Art Deco in it, which I can see in your furniture and accessories as well.

If you post more pictures, we can help figure out the style and possible date of construction. Depending on where you live, you can check Sandborne maps and old city directories (addresses do change though) and the local historical society to figure it out. That is how I found out that my house predates 1894, rather than 1920 or so like I thought. Turns out it had an extreme makeover from a Victorian cottage into a bungalow about then.

Love the light and all the art. Looks like a very comfortable and welcoming home.
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 3:36PM
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cannawine
I will post some more pictures of the outside of the house a bit later. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa- will need to do a bit of research as to when my area (Dunkeld) was developed to help figure out the age of my house. Thanks for the comments
1 Like   November 27, 2012 at 8:11PM
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rosiegabby
Alana - what is the name or number of te Lowes paint you posted?
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 9:00PM
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cannawine
JanisHill- is the "screen colour" of the Sienna Laurel the same/ very similar to the real colour? As I cannot get Benjamin Moore paint I will need to try and match it with something here in SA.
0 Likes   November 27, 2012 at 10:53PM
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janishill
Every monitor is different or I would say yes.

Can you purchase sample pots of paint?
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 5:52AM
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janishill
Every monitor is different or I would say yes.

Can you purchase sample pots of paint?
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 5:53AM
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victorianbungalowranch
It is always possible to go a bit darker and add your own white to get the color you want. Do they have computerized color matching there? You can try printing out a good sized swatch of the color you want and have them match it, or mixing your own with craft paint. I have mixed my own color for a number of rooms in my house--the trick is to mix enough!

I am assuming that style characteristics in S. Africa are quite different than they are in the US. Despite the Depression, homes were still being built and some are quite elaborate. It would be interesting to compare local variations, but that door really looks like something I've seen in the US from about 1940 or so, maybe a bit earlier. The stylistic date range can be quite wide for some of these characteristics anyway--maybe +- 10-15 years. I see you have some on the adjoining wall too. So nice that you still have original doors.
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 6:16AM
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janishill
VBW...I, too, have mixed my own paints. One time I didn't have craft paint in the colors I needed to tint a gallon of paint. I used food coloring instead. It worked!
0 Likes   November 28, 2012 at 6:21AM
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Alana
rosiegabbie - it's Crocodile Tears. It was an Olympic color.

Also - the ceiling is Pony Tail, if anyone's interested. ;)

Sorry for the late response, I've been scrambling to get ready for my daughter's 5th birthday party.
0 Likes   November 30, 2012 at 8:00AM
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cannawine
Have decided to go with the colour to the left of the artwork- it's a neutral greyish colour with green undertones. Will post a completed picture later this week. Can anyone share pictures where wooden floored (reddish brown teak)/ paneled homes have paint in grey tones on the walls?
2 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 9:23AM
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cannawine
Another angle
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 9:26AM
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feeny
I think that's a beautiful shade! Here's something a little bit similar (though the color looks more saturated) in a Craftsman home:


0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
An example of gray walls, reddish wood flooring:
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 9:28AM
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cannawine
Another angle
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 9:33AM
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cannawine
Another angle
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 9:34AM
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heather888
What a beautiful entrance with the wood, its warm and inviting. I personally don't like to see wood painted in this environment as this is the look of your bldg.
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Jayme H.
For artwork/ I would try to pick a theme and remain consistent and/or at least have the frames match on all of it. Beautiful woodwork that I wouldn't paint, as you said you were not going to. I had a very similar entry way in one of my homes, and the wood is the star....other busy things are not needed.
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 10:24AM
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lefty47
HI -- This is so beautiful . I have never had a problem with painting wood . Lots of furniture etc. have been painted and then restored with having the paint removed . BUT, in your case I don't think you need to paint the wood , I think all you need is a nice rich damask or something with a hand painted look wallpaper. So don't touch the wood just work on the walls.
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Darzy
I prefer the paint color on the wall with BW art. It looks "fresh" to me. Beautiful space.
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 10:33AM
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nevadan
Usde a paint color close to yur woodwork. Leave the woodwork as is, except paint tthe wall panels to match the walls.
0 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 10:57AM
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heather888
I love the wood, but then again I'm a lover of wood. I have seen walls that were painted a deep rich pink/peach that matchs in with the wood tones. It looks very warm and blends in with the wood.
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 11:06AM
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pollyannagal
The colour you have chosen looks great. Picking paint is never an easy process but well worth the time you have taken to find the right colour. It's an elegant colour that complements the wood, is neither too green nor too grey and is a good foil for your various artwork. I would love to see the finished results.
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 11:57AM
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houssaon
I really like the color you chose. I think you'll be happy with it.
1 Like   December 2, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Dale Newman Landscape Architect
I would not paint the wood. Once wood is painted it is extremely difficult to bring it back to its natural state. why not try a color Instead of white. Colors such as light olive green, a celedon, a putty color or taupe go great with natural wood.
2 Likes   December 2, 2012 at 12:43PM
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cannawine
Walls now painted! It is not a drastic change but definitely gives the area more warmth and goes well with the wood without being too green.

For those of you who requested to see exterior pictures of my house, I have attached some with this comment- more to follow
0 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 3:55AM
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cannawine
Additional exterior pictures
2 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 3:58AM
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cannawine
Additional exterior pictures
0 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 4:00AM
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joanjean1
I love your home. I am so happy you did not paint any of the wood. There is nothing like a well maintained old house. Can we get a tour of the other rooms? I live in a historic district with homes from the 1920s & 30s few from the 40s. You just cant compare the older homes to the new ones that fall apart after 5 years. Whatever you do try to keep it true to the era. It is such a beautiful home.
1 Like   December 6, 2012 at 4:44AM
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janishill
The paint made a subtle, but huge difference. The room feels warm and inviting.

What a lovely home. Are you native to the area?
0 Likes   December 6, 2012 at 5:07AM
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cannawine
Janishill, yes I have lived in Johannesburg all my life. We bought our house just over a year ago and have done quite a lot of renovating- mostly cosmetic work. The floors throughout the home are parquet except the kitchen and three bedrooms have carpets over the original parquet. We had to lift and relay, sand, seal all the parquet as it had not been maintained for years. A hugely messy and costly job but well worth it!
We also replaced all the windows which were very old metal framed windows. In winter we could not close any of them properly as they were full of old paint, hence a freezing cod house. Next winter should be much cozier! Also did some work on the kitchen (added a central island and new cupboards). The rest was paintwork, wall papering, curtaining etc. It's been a busy year but such fun. Joanjean1, I will post some more pics of the rest of the house soon.
0 Likes   December 7, 2012 at 9:06PM
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cannawine
Janishill, yes I have lived in Johannesburg all my life. We bought our house just over a year ago and have done quite a lot of renovating- mostly cosmetic work. The floors throughout the home are parquet except the kitchen and three bedrooms have carpets over the original parquet. We had to lift and relay, sand, seal all the parquet as it had not been maintained for years. A hugely messy and costly job but well worth it!
We also replaced all the windows which were very old metal framed windows. In winter we could not close any of them properly as they were full of old paint, hence a freezing cod house. Next winter should be much cozier! Also did some work on the kitchen (added a central island and new cupboards). The rest was paintwork, wall papering, curtaining etc. It's been a busy year but such fun. Joanjean1, I will post some more pics of the rest of the house soon.
1 Like   December 7, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Kivi
The cost of re-creating what you have in your home, using quarter sawn oak would be a small fortune!
0 Likes   December 8, 2012 at 12:53AM
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cannawine
The rest of the house.. I will post pics as I take them
0 Likes   December 8, 2012 at 1:00AM
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cannawine
Downstairs dining room. Do need some suggestions on ways to lighten the space without changing wallpaper and charcoal paint and curtains. Again lots of wood
0 Likes   December 8, 2012 at 1:03AM
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cannawine
Downstairs dining room. Do need some suggestions on ways to lighten the space without changing wallpaper and charcoal paint and curtains. Again lots of wood
1 Like   December 8, 2012 at 1:06AM
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cannawine
The kitchen
1 Like   December 8, 2012 at 1:30AM
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cannawine
Breakfast room off the kitchen
1 Like   December 8, 2012 at 1:37AM
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cannawine
Formal lounge- to the right as you enter the house. The dining room is on the opposite side
0 Likes   December 8, 2012 at 1:39AM
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ASN ASN
For the kitchen you might put a big minimalist white colored vase and place a big white framed mirror..would fit to your gray wall/panel..
0 Likes   December 8, 2012 at 2:56AM
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janishill
To brighten the dining room hang a large mirror on the solid grey wall which is directly across from the windowns. This will bounce light around the room. Btw, what is that exactly?

If you have any energy left, after doing all you have been doing, recover the chairs in a yellow/grey/white print.

Hope you will post updates!
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 4:38PM
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joanjean1
HI, I think you should get a nice rug to break up all the wood.
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 5:52PM
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cannawine
Thanks, great ideas. I think a solid coloured rug- lighter grey Would work quite well. Any other suggestions? I also like the idea of a mirror- think I would need to remove the other two then? Too many mirrors?
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 10:11PM
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cannawine
Found some rugs that I LOVE for the dining room. Very expensive though...
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 10:30PM
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cannawine
Some more
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 10:31PM
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ccjhassett
Do not paint ANY woodwork! Instead, go with a nice green, blue, or grey color on the walls.
0 Likes   December 9, 2012 at 10:43PM
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janishill
My apologies. I was tired last night and could not tell the grey wall was the fireplace wall.

Something I noticed when I was looking back at your pictures was the difference in height of the 2 doors at teh back of the room. You could top the left one with a framed mirror to lessen the difference visually. Then add a large mirror over the fireplace, as previously mentioned. I couln't tell in the pictures if the frames on either side of the china cabinet held mirrors or pictures. The answer is yes that would be too many mirrors.

I like both of the first two rugs. Either one would look fantastic.
1 Like   December 10, 2012 at 6:55AM
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