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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

need professional help with colour scheme! to paint or not! where to start?

elizmdJanuary 30, 2013
Please Help, I don't know where to start but I know it needs to change. Any ideas would be really appreciated. Thank you

I would like to repaint the walls a new colour but am having a hard time choosing a colour and deciding if I need to paint the kitchen cabinets too. The main floor is very open. We are drowning in blond oak (floors, stairs, fireplace, railings and cabinets).

Colour scheme: I have considered grey, not sure how this will look with all the oak and the creamy beige of the fireplace marble.
I'm open to replacing some window coverings, art work (love www.timpacker.com), rug and upolstered light beige side chair and desk chairs, but the big furniture has to stay

The living room window and patio door face north, on a dull day the room can feel dark.

The kitchen: should I paint the cabinets white? I am concerned the floor tiles will look dingy against white cabinets esp as the grout is a grey colour. ? (I've considered dark cabinets but I think we have way too much brown and wood going on.)
The pillars are load bearing and I would like to change them to something more modern.

Window treatments, leave or change?: We need some privacy during the day as the houses are so close together we look into each others windows.
The living room and dining windows are covered with 2" white horizontal blinds. The window above the desk is covered with a 2" brown wood horizontal blind and the patio door is covered with a white vertical blind.
The dining window is off center to the coffered ceiling and the light fixture.
There is no space between the living room window and the fireplace. there is approx 5" of bulk head above the patio door so any drapes must be hung at door height.

Fireplace: ideas to make it less obtrusive.
Thanks again.
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    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:21PM
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one more view
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Alix Flamm Designs
You had a lot of information. If your having trouble picking a color scheme. Look for an area rug with a blue similar to wall color, and maybe brown and another color you want to add to the room. The area rug will help you pull accent colors for the room which will liven it up.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Kevin Twitty- IBB Designer
I would paint everything one color.
This is going to make it all feel so much bigger.
Some great color options are the warm grays from Sherwin Williams.

Here is a great example of Repose Gray:
Parkside House · More Info

DUMICAN MOSEY Architects - Fillmore Street · More Info

McCarthy Transformation · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 30, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Nice spaces! I think just a few things will tie everything together. First, you need window treatments to soften the spaces and tie all the rooms together. Remove the horizontal blinds in the dinette area and install drapery panels. Get a right height coffee table and schooch the sofas closer toward the coffee table. Get a round art piece (on an easel?) to break up all of the rectangles in the room. Paint the vents at the kitchen wall the wall color. A couple toss pillows on the sofas to add color/texture and pattern would cozy the space too.
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Deborah Vanderzel Designs
I think a good starting point would be 2 remove those pillars (if they are load bearing you may want to wall in that one side) Grey would be a smart choice, and I think 2 shades are needed here, a medium tone for the walls and slightly lighter shade for the ceiling. first thought on the firplace, is to take it all the way to the ceiling, reface it with some tenessess slate or....still thinking... I like the trunk but not there, a think a large round or square coffe table would be more useful
Good luck
    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 30, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Here is graphic window treatments that would punch up your spaces.
Living Room Dining Room with modern / traditional styling · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 30, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Thanks for everyones great ideas and input. Lots of things I hadn't thought about
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Deborah, would painting the ceiling a lighter shade make them seem lower? Do you know where I can find a photo to visualize this?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Love the greys in the photos. would you paint the kitchen cabinets white?
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Deborah Vanderzel Designs
Hi elizmd,
A shade lighter gives that monochromatic look , I'm away from my desk now so I can't send a pic
Tomorrow I will
Have a good nite
    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 30, 2013 at 9:58PM
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My house I just sold a week ago was similar. We painted walls grey (silver screen) was the paint color from Home Depot. My fireplace was a faux marble beige/grey tone with blond floors and white trim. My accent colors were turquoise orange and hot pinks. Good luck and grey is the new beige:)
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Have you considered white? It's a contemporary looking space with unique design features that are capable of standing alone. I would at least start there. Prime the walls white. Photograph them and repost. You'll be surprised at how different the responses will be. Give the space what it needs. It needs to be changed for sure, but do the walls need much in the way of color? Sometimes the right furniture, wall art, and area rugs is all a contemporary space needs. Most people have a tendency to over-design, which muddies up a perfectly good room. It seems to be the previous owner's dilemma.

I would paint parts of the ceiling and soffits to emphasize it's geometry with varying shades of the same color. Then I would select one wall in each room to be an accent wall - the nicest looking walls that can help balance the space and add intrigue. Since the fireplace is the focal point you may consider putting an accent to an adjacent wall so that there is something else to look at. For instance, the desk / window wall doesn't really need color, but the soffit above could use some to make the wall look longer. The space above the kitchen cabinets should be painted, but under the cabinets needs a proper back-splash (i'm in the process of redesigning a similar kitchen space right now). At the very least, paint the pillar half-wall white to reduce emphasis on the air vents.

Yes, light gray would be a good choice, but the right shade is critical when pairing against light colored woods. Not all grays will look good, and swatches can be deceiving, especially if you are using dimmers on your lights (which I hope you are).

If I could offer any advice it would be this. Don't make a decision until you prime the walls back to white. Step back and sleep on it for a few days, then decide. Your perspective will change at least somewhat, and your vision will become clearer. Then you'll be able to attack the room with confidence, telling it what YOU want, instead of being bossed around by the walls.

Sherwin Williams can match Behr colors in a non-VOC version which offers odor free painting and no toxic off-gassing.
    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 31, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would replace the verticals with Bi fold Shutters it will give you a better flow with the other blinds. I would also recommend putting up decorative drapery panels on the other windows to frame the window and give you a more finished look.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:52AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
First paint the fireplace wood and the island short wall with pillars your trim color (white). The white on the island will make the vents go away. Leave the cabinets the wood tone. Choose a larger rug for the living room area and one for the dining area...they could match, they could be a large bold pattern or geometric with multi colors..nothing dark. From the rugs choose a paint color DO NOT CHOOSE PAINT COLOR FIRST. I think your furniture looks fine. I cannot tell if your sofas are browns or blacks. Paint color should be something like SW 6084 Modest Beige or SW 6028 Cultured Pearl. These are greige tones Check them out @ http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/ I would not go darker as these will be much darker on your walls..BUT paint the ceilings, and all sides of the trays, (each surface will look a different shade, the same color this will expand your space..also always buy samples and paint poster boards to tape on all walls and ceiling..no matter what color you choose. Drapery..choose solid colors in natural creams & beiges. Hang as high as possible (near ceiling) and extend off the sides of the windows as much as you can. I would try to have all of these be the same fabric. This includes the glass door as they can stack on one side. On the short window to the right of the glass door, choose a great lined woven wood roman shade, maybe in the grasses line. Add stainless handles to cabinet doors and drawers for a more updated..and not skimpy ones. Stainless steel tile backsplash in kitchen. Very large round mirror over cabinet in dining rm, tall green plant in corner. There are not tables or lamps in the living area. Also the trunk in the middle of the room looks orphaned. maybe against a wall somewhere or as a coffee table. If the two sofas are loveseat size, try one to the left of the fireplace and the other where it is. Add 2 lighter weight chairs to the opposite corner..one toward the left side in front of the window a table with large lamp between and the second chair around to the right..angled into the room with back to door.
    Bookmark   Thanked by elizmd    January 31, 2013 at 7:50AM
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Deborah Vanderzel Designs
Hi elizmd,
here are two paint samples..... the vaulted room has the same color on both the walls and the ceiling. It's true. The other shot shows ceilings 2 shades lighter. It's true. Paint is a chameleon; it comes down to light.
Try samples of the same color on wall and ceiling and then try a lighter shade on the ceiling, evaluate it during different times of the day, then decide which is best for your space.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Thanks everyone for all the awesome tips and ideas. I'll post photos once the walls are primed. I'm starting to get excited about this.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:01PM
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