Ask A Designer™

September 29, 2020

Ask A Designer: How To Give A Living Room & Kitchen Wow Factor

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper proves just how impactful finishing touches can be.

Question: My fireplace wall needs some serious help. I also need a backsplash in the kitchen and would like to replace my pendants. What would you suggest?  D.M., Halifax

Answer: What a great space! I see your dilemma with the fireplace wall, though. Right now, the art, TV and fireplace are all floating; there’s nothing to ground them. But don’t worry — it’s an easy fix. Take a cue from the Inspiration fireplace by Palmerston Design Consultants (below) that has a color-blocked treatment. In lieu of a chimney breast, just paint a section of the wall in a deep hue like Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. This will help break up that long expanse and provide a visual anchor. It’ll also help disguise your television!

Next, place a bench or console to the left of the fireplace, underneath your art; it will ground the canvas and give it something to relate to. Then, display objects or stacked coffee table books on top for even more dimension and character.

(Source: EQ3 Kacia Bench in Dark Walnut, $399,

Consider replacing your accent table with a pair of larger white drum tables and shift them to the end of your sofa. The tables will lighten up the seating.

(Source: Remy Nesting Tables in White (set of 2), $119,

Layer a few decorative cranberry-hued pillows on your sleeper sofa for more visual interest.

(Source: Flores Sangria Linen Pillow, $183,

In the kitchen, a textured subway tile backsplash in a deep teal will bring in another pop of color.

(Source: 4″ x 8″ Textured Ceramic Subway Tile in Trasparenze Petrolio, $7/sq.ft.,

Swap out your pendants for two large drum-style versions with iron detailing — the larger scale is more appropriate for your space. For more ideas check the online catalog at which has a lot of ideas for wood floored spaces.

(Source: Lenyx Pendant in Iron Ore & White, $882,

With minimal spending and effort, your living room and kitchen will be totally refreshed. Enjoy your new focal wall!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to [email protected].

Author: Jennifer Koper

Donna Griffith


House & Home October 2020


Kirsten Marshall, Palmerston Design Consultants