Best Paint Colors

December 3, 2008

Dark Floors, Light Design

Q. I have a townhouse and I am choosing finishes. It has an open plan main level that includes the living room, dining room and kitchen. There are only windows at the back and front. I love dark wood and intend to put in laminate or hardwood. What colours/tones would best meet our needs for a contemporary space that won’t be too dark?

— K.S., Vancouver

A. Your dark wood laminate or hardwood floors will provide you with a great base to build upon. Since this space may be lacking in natural light with only windows at the front and back, you’ll want to keep your other furnishings and finishes light and airy.

Consider maple for your kitchen cabinets, with a stainless steel countertop to add sparkle to the kitchen and dining area. A green-blue glass tile backsplash will lend a fresh, clean look to the kitchen.

For an elegant and sleek backdrop, paint your walls a deep warm grey such as Benjamin Moore’s Silver Fox (2108-50) that will handsomely offset your dark wood floors. If you are purchasing furniture for the living room and dining room, choose contemporary pieces with clean lines and a variety of textures such as ultrasuede, leather and wool in grey, chocolate brown or black. White or clear glass decorative pieces will tie the space together. Add hits of colour through large wall art pieces to add an element of playfulness to the space. Since natural light may be limited, be sure to invest in good ambient and task lighting, so you can fully enjoy the space while relaxing, entertaining or working.