Decorating & Design

December 4, 2008

Family Room Colours

Q. I would like to update my family room. Can you suggest a colour scheme? Perhaps a yellow? Should I paint the same colour on my wainscotting as on my 8” beams on the ceiling? Should my walls be a darker or lighter shade than my wainscotting?

A. A rustic, pale yellow like Pratt & Lambert’s Blonde would be a great starting point for your room. Keep your wainscotting a warm white, like Ancestral, also from Pratt & Lambert. Beams, trim and ceiling should be the same warm white, but use a flat finish for the ceiling instead of eggshell, which you would use for the other surfaces.

Replace your wall sconces with simple, clean-lined fixtures in a wrought iron or dark antiqued bronze finish. Install the sconces up so the light is directed to the ceiling. Visually this will add more height to the room and will make the lighting more ambient. Right now you have two “spotlights” directly pointed on anyone who sits on the sofa.

If possible, stain your armoire the same rich, dark finish as your coffee table for a dramatic change. It will instantly update the room and will look great against the yellow walls and cream trim.

Replace your valance with a warm wood or bamboo roman blind. For a romantic look, hang curtain panels in a similar linen colour as your sofa on either side of the blind. Install a wrought iron curtain rod that will mirror the colour of the new sconces.

Replace the print over your sofa with a large dark wood framed mirror. This will make the room much brighter as it will reflect natural light from the window. If you want to keep the print, think about replacing the frame with a thicker, dark wood frame that will make it more substantial. A narrow bench topped with cushions or two small square ottomans placed under the window would add to the comfort of the room and would offer extra seating.