This week's reader dilemma comes from Anouk in the Netherlands. She's just moved into an old house, and has some color questions about her living room/dining room space. And FYI, she's not afraid to use color. So, all you budding armchair designers, this one is for you. I encourage everyone to take a stab at suggestions for Anouk; let's see what we can come up with!
Anouk's light, airy space, with beautiful wooden pitch pine floors that she sanded and oiled with white wash. With the exception of the accent wall, the walls are off-white, as are the curtains.I will be replacing most of my furniture during the coming months (nearly all my furniture are old hand-me-downs), and I would really like your help for the colour scheme.Your help will be very much appreciated! -Anouk
I want to get a warm, yet fresh atmosphere with some older and some newer furniture. I like old wood combined with newer designs. The colour scheme I'm thinking about is off-white (walls, woodwork, curtains), green (accent wall) combined with brown wood (don't know which hues) and orange as an accent. I just don't know how to combine these retro touches with the old wood and with the freshness I'd like to achieve....
- What wood colour would be best for my dining room table? I'd like to go for a natural tone, but can't decide between dark or light wood. What colour for the dining chairs?
- I really like orange as an accent colour, do you think it would be a good idea to have two chairs upholstered in orange leather?
- Which other accent colours would fit? I'm not afraid of a more "risky" colour scheme.
- What do you think about the curtains? They are very very neutral - are they a keeper?
Furniture she is keeping: the greenish cupboard in the corner (could be repainted if necessary) and this oak cabinet
This is the sofa she just bought, in a medium warm brown tone.
Retro cool chairs and a table she likes. How would you pull these two style together?
Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order:
A few comments on wood:
People often forget that all wood does not go together. Each type of wood variety has a different undertone, which is important to keep in mind when purchasing furniture. For instance, take a look at the colors of the new oak cabinet shown against the white washed pine floor. So, it's important to keep in mind the color of the wood in each piece, as otherwise, it will get very busy and disjointed pretty quickly. Select a variety of wood in a consistent stain, and stick with it for the space.
I might also bring in some colorful area rugs to define each living space and tie together any accent colors used in the room.
More about accent colors- if orange is the favorite color, then I say, go for it! Upholstered chairs in orange sounds fantastic. The combination of orange and lime green is certainly an energetic pair. To round it out, violet could be brought in to create a secondary color scheme. Or blue, for a variation on that theme. Green, orange, and chocolate brown are also nice.
And as for the neutral curtains, with such saturated color in the accent wall, and the plans for orange chairs, beige curtains just don't hold up to the lively nature of the other pieces in the room. For the really adventurous, what about something ala Designers Guild?
With all these choices, what do you think would work best for Anouk? I can't wait to hear all your wonderful suggestions-don't be shy, please share your thoughts!