Best Paint Colors

September 1, 2013

Ask A Designer: Finishing Details

Q: Are there any rules when it comes to bedside tables? I’m on the lookout for some new ones.

— A.S., via email (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer‚Ñ¢ page.)

A. My only rule for a bedside table would be that it should include storage — and for this reason, I often find actual bedside tables too small. When space allows, I prefer to use a chest of drawers. A piece that is 30″ to 40″ wide will offer you plenty of storage; just be sure it’s no more than 30″ high, otherwise it could be too tall to reach from bed. Also remember that bedside tables don’t need to match! You can do a chest of drawers on one side, with something totally different on the other. A round table always works, or a smaller dresser in a different wood or colour.

Q: I inherited an antique Persian rug from my grandmother and want to use it in my living room, but I’m not sure how to incorporate it into my bright and modern space.

— K.B., via email

A: The editors at H&H are currently having a moment with antique rugs. And why not? They add instant character and usually have a story to tell. They tend to be dark with lots of warm red tones, but if you can believe it, I count red as a neutral since it goes with so many other colours. The inspiration shot is a perfect example of how to use a Herez Persian in a bright space with cool blue and green tones. My advice is to roll yours out in the winter to see how it adds warmth to your space in the cooler months, and by the spring, I’m sure you’ll be hooked on how it looks!

Q: I’d like to paint my old harvest table a fun colour. Any suggestions? Is there a process I should follow?

— E.J., via email

A: Recently, I’ve been drawn to a certain pinky-red tone. It’s a red with lots of blue undertones, so it’s not as intense as orange, a bit darker than coral and much more current than burgundy. I think a harvest table painted this hue in a room with charcoal grey walls would look fantastic. To paint your piece, first lightly sand down and wipe clean the surface. Then use a high-adhesion primer followed with two to three coats of a water-based enamel paint. A satin finish, which typically has a mid to low sheen, is suitable for furniture. Brushed-gold or antiqued-brass accents would complement this colour for the perfect finishing touch.

See more Ask A Designer responses. Plus, submit your own question, with instructions from our Ask A Designer‚Ñ¢ page.

1. African Tulip (PF38), Para Paints.
2. Hot Tamale (CSP-1155), Benjamin Moore.
3. Pantone Poppy Red (PN4060), Valspar.