Decorating Color Help

Updated on January 25, 2011
J.J. asks from Milwaukee, WI
8 answers

I would like to have someone come and help me with color schemes for my house as all the rooms run together being an open concept home. The carpet in the living room is dark green(can't wait to change it) with a fireplace that is brownish grey stone and the dining room has darker wood flooring. The living room and dining room run together and then down the hallway with dark brown trim work. The walls are a lighter brown to match the carpet but I would like to change the color. Any ideas or know who to call for help with redecorating? I would love for one of those TV shows to come redo everything for me!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

check out the websites for the tv shows you're interested in.....HGTVs new show "HGTV'd" is looking for homes.

Beyond that, check your local listings & also rely on "word of mouth".

EDIT: okay, it's naptime, I can give you a longer answer! My living space is open concept. Our front door is inset btwn 2 gables. When you walk in, you can go to the right to the bedroom hallway or left to the open living space.

As you enter the living space, you are in a foyer area which we use as an office/computer area. The electronics are in a huge antique cabinet. This is mainly a pass-thru area, & from there you can enter the living room or head to the dining room. The kitchen is open to the dining room.

When you stand at the front door & look into the living space, all of the walls are the same raspberry/cranberry color. I chose this color to blend with the fireplace wall in the living room - it is a full brick wall. There is only one other wall in the living room. The dining room also has only 2 walls. As I mentioned, all of these walls are the raspb color.

The interior walls of the foyer are also raspb, but the exterior wall (the one with the front door...which leads to the bedroom hallway) is a soft terracotta. Normally, I would not combine a rich raspberry with such an earthy tone, but there's enough color in that terracotta .....that it all works well & I've received many comments on the color combo.

Now for the kicker, when that front hall hits the corner & turns towards the rest of the bedrooms.....the walls change at the corner & are a handwashed Tuscan yellow. A very soft yellow, hand-glazed with burnt sienna. While this may sound dated, it is simply "classic" & works well with the terracotta. The soft yellow is a perfect backdrop for my collection of family photos!

Because I have used a very rich color in the living space, I chose to go with white wood shutters.....the old-fashioned kind, not blinds. The shutters are on the lower 1/2 of the windows. The top of the windows are draped with simple white wrought-iron rods & plain muslin sheets. Yep, sheets - not actual curtains.....& nobody knows!!! They're cheap, they're almost maintenance free, & look perfect. I created a rod pocket using antique bottoms sewn across the width of the sheet. This little bit of "bling" amps up the "look".....& is so easy to do!! The white on the windows offsets the deep color on the walls. This white combo is on all of the windows & both glass doors. I live in a house full of men & big dogs.....& the white is never an issue!

The furniture is a combo of soft sage/celery greens for the curved sofa & DH's recliner, we have 2 Craftsman/Stickley-style burgandy leather recliners with rich mahogany wood frames, & we have a matching antique sofa & club chair upholstered in all-over floral/vine the greens of the other furniture & the raspb of the walls. Even tho' it is very eclectic in element, it all works because the room is pulled together with antiques & treasures of all different periods....including lots of flea market oddities.

Currently, the floor is a hideous variegated brown carpet. I HATE it....& after living with it for 20's on it's way out! My thought is to have oversized slate tiles for the square part of the living room, with wood thru the dining & foyer areas.....& then running down the hallway. That's the optimal plan....but it looks like it'll be wood thruout....we'll see!

Good Luck & make it FUN!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Are there any new development near you? If so visit a decorated model/sample home and ask who the decorator is if you like their work. Some furniture stores also provide this service for free.
It would probably be easiest if you have a fabric from a couch or window treatments that you have or like and get the paint and rug colors to coordinate your fabric. Have fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I've seen a few of those decorating shows and 9 times out of 10 they pick these colors that, at least to me, seem incredibly hideous. Barf me olive green, dirt brown, black and varying shades of white/yellow (makes me think of wasps or zebras). The IN color for this year is a Pepto Bismal (or Double Bubble gum) pink and I don't care for it. I tend to favor jewel tones of blues, greens and purples. I like different shapes of cobalt blue bottles in a window or next to a white wall. Everyone's tastes are different.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Wish I lived closer.
I have to live in the house a while before I start painting.
I get those little sample cans from Lowe's, they are $3 ish and only come in Satin finish but then you can put paint splotches on the walls and really see how they look.
You can call your local paint store, like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. They will have decorators that do colors.
If you get Vern or David to come and do your house we want pictures. :o)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Maybe google Interior Designers in the Milwaukee area?

I have a LOT of color in my house too. Every room is different, even the ones that run together. Somehow it works, go with your gut!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on


Go to the Sherwin Williams website. They have the option where you can upload your own photos of the rooms and "play" with paint colors. Also, has something similar. I just did this over the weekend, since we just moved into a new house and it is an open floor plan. I also googled how to choose paint color for an open floor plan and found this site: It had some helpful hints.

I hope this helps.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have the same issue...

We will be buying my parents' home in the spring, and they will be moving to a ranch home... so I am very familiar with the home, how it feels, the layout, etc., of course, because I lived there!

My mom only ever wanted white walls... UGH! To her, that signified bright and clean. As most of us know, it's totally sterile, and stark. It makes my eyes bleed. I hate it. But at least it's a clean canvas, and basically prepped walls for what I choose!

I am struggling with how to cohesively choose different colors for some of the adjoining and relatively open to one another rooms... I read that the color palette should be cohesive to create a cozy feeling throughout the home. I read that too many different colors can make you feel like you are walking into a different house as you go into each room, and that generally doesn't create an intrinsically cozy feeling. I've also heard people say to draw out your floor plan on paper, and paint each room the color you are thinking of painting each room, to see how the colors flow and coordinate.

My issue is that the house has basically new neutral colored carpet, like a light taupe or putty color. I'd like the walls to be fairly neutral so that I can decorate as I'd like without having to change wall colors, but what colors? I just don't know...

Interested in reading your responses.



answers from Springfield on

Like Lee said below, keep your colors cohesive. They should be in the same color family.
For example. I live in a colonial house in which the rooms all abut each other. We've chosen earth tones for the first floor. The dining room is dark green, like a plant color, not olive. The kitchen is a pale green (not pale and minty, but more like a bright grassy green.) The hallway that flows into living room is the same color. The living room is Baby Chick Yellow, which is a warm golden yellow. All very intense colors but because they are in the same family they aren't jarring on the eye. They flow together.
Once we redo the bathroom it will have white wainscot with dark cocoa brown walls. Still and earthy tone and the white will make sure the room doesn't feel dark.

Look to nature to see how colors go together.
Good luck!

Next question: Off Topic: Neutral Paint Colors. What Is in Your House?