How-To - Ask Us

Design solutions: Spiff up a room with paint

Margot Austin

Senior design editor Margot Austin envisions a playful palette for a young girl’s bedroom and spiffs up hand-me-down furniture.

Q: I have a daughter who loves lime green. She has a beanbag chair and bedding that are lime green, so I’m wondering what colour I should paint the walls. -Tracy Bailey, via e-mail

A: If the bedding is a print with lime green in it, why not paint the walls lime green? If you decide to go for lime, temper its brightness with lots of pure white furniture. Paint the bedside table, chest of drawers and desk white. If the bedding is solid lime, then green might be too intense. In that case, choose a pretty aqua for the walls instead. Around the style at home office these days, our favourite aqua is Benjamin Moore's Bird’s Egg 2051-60. I used it in my niece Morgan’s room, and design editor Christine Hanlon used it in her four-year-old daughter's room, shown in the February 2009 issue. It’s a shade that will look great with all the lime green in your daughter's bedroom. For fun, add a few accents in coral, yellow and lavender if you like.

Q: I just rented my first apartment and am getting some hand-me-down furniture from my grandma. The dining chairs are very traditional and carved. I'm keen to make them over, but I need some suggestions for a paint colour and fabric to use. I painted the walls in the open-concept living/dining area a light blue (Para Paints' Forward P5208-34D), and I have a navy blue sofa. Also, what style of dining table should I get? -Leslie Carson, Ottawa

A I hope your grandma won't be too shocked by the drastic change I'm suggesting. I love ornate traditional chairs painted glossy white and paired with a modern dining table for contrast. Paint your chairs a pure white like Para Paints' Whitewash White P2089-00 and re-cover the seats in a fresh coral fabric like SeaCloth's Palm in Coral, from Kravet/Lee Jofa Showroom. Team up your chairs with a modern white table like IKEA's Docksta. In the living area, add cushions on the navy sofa in the same coral fabric, plus a few in other accent colours. 

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