Decorating & Design

December 2, 2008

Paint Above Wainscotting

Q. Our living room is yellow and I love it. My husband is building white wainscotting in our hall, which is a large space. What colour would look good above the wainscotting? I was thinking about a khaki colour.

— Marguarite Quinlan

A. There are so many different shades and tones of yellow, it’s tricky to decide what colour to pair with just any yellow. Khaki might look great with a creamy or pale yellow, but it might clash with a very lemony-yellow. The white wainscotting sounds beautiful. If it is going to span a long hallway, think about what the view is when you’re standing at one end of the hallway looking at the other. For instance, if your yellow living room is at one end of the hallway, think about what you want to see along the hall. The colour you decide to use above the wainscotting should flow effortlessly through the house with the other colours you use, along with the yellow in your living room. Take a look at Martha Stewart’s bright yellow Tea Rose (E20). This yellow is complemented nicely with her yellow-green Sea Grass (F29). If your yellow is more pale, like Martha Stewart’s Linen White (H29), try painting the wall over your wainscotting a subtle blue-green like Quaking Aspen (G07). Both will provide stunning results, and give your new hallway the accolades it deserves!