PHOTOGRAPHY, GAP INTERIORS | Dekton Pietra Kode collection COUNTERTOP in Ceppo, Cosentino, cosentino.com
You’ve got design questions. We’ve got the answers. Designer and Style at Home contributor Karl Lohnes solves your decorating challenges.
• DECORATING Q&A
Q➊ We are renovating our kitchen and are keeping the light white-oak floor and Midcentury Modern vaulted ceiling, which is light wood with dark wood beams. What colour should the cabinets and countertops be?
--Shannon D., via email
S@H You have a very distinct style of home, which should influence your style. The Midcentury Modern (MCM) kitchen demands something simple and similarly modern. You have enough wood in the room to make a warm statement, so I suggest not adding more wood on cabinets, counters or backsplash. A modern stone-like countertop and matching backsplash will blend in nicely with the existing natural wood elements; choose medium-tone colours and neutrals. For the cabinetry, a simple slab-style door with hidden or minimal pulls will suit the MCM kitchen. I suggest using a deep colour and tone for the cabinetry, similar in tone to the beams. With MCM being so on trend, consider a statement light fixture. You’ve got lots of volume above, so don’t be afraid to go big with the light!
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Q➋ I have 40-year-old tall-back black lacquered dining chairs. The seats have been reupholstered a few times to help change the look, but I’m tired of the black lacquer. My dining room walls are deep blue, with lighter blues and taupe accents in the room. What colour would work best for the chairs and how would I go about painting them?
--Colette D., via email
S@H Your chairs are Art Deco style. I’ve never seen that style in any colour other than black, but it could be fun to give them new life with a fresh hue. My first choice (and the safest) would be a rich teal blue like BeautiTone’s Frozen Stream C15-1- 0669-3. Teal blue is classic and works well with many colours. It would blend in with the various blue tones you’ve incorporated in your home. For a bolder look, choose a colour that will make the chairs pop. A rich brick shade like BeautiTone’s Eat Dessert First A9-2-1401-3 will add a classic touch of red to the space and help the chairs stand out. Note that the prep and painting of the chairs should be done by a pro. Look for painting/electroplating companies in your area. They will professionally strip the lacquer paint and give the chairs a fresh, even glossy coat. It won’t be cheap, but certainly a lot less expensive than buying new dining room chairs.
BeautiTone PAINT Eat Dessert First A9-2-1401-3, Home Hardware, homehardware.ca
BeautiTone PAINT Frozen Stream C15–1-0669–3, Home Hardware, homehardware.ca
Q➌ We have a large 24-by-15-foot living room. On one of the long sides there are double French doors to a patio, with big windows on each side. How can we enjoy the view but still keep a walkway to access the deck? Should we have two distinct spaces on either side to keep the walkway clear to the doors?
--Jen M., via email
S@H It can be challenging to decorate and create floor plans for large spaces. Many people line all the furniture against the walls and end up yelling at each other from across the room. The rule of thumb is that nobody should be sitting farther than 12 to 15 feet away from each other within a sitting area. I suggest dividing your living room into two spaces: one is one-third of the overall space; the second is two-thirds of the space. Plan the larger area as the main conversation and television-watching space, and furnish it with a sectional sofa, large ottoman and two matching chairs. The smaller space should be for a secondary purpose, such as a library/reading area or a bar/lounge area. Because this space is smaller, give it visual weight with either a large piece of art, a wall of bookcases or a dramatic focal wall of colour or wallpaper. Use rugs to define each area and also ground the furnishings; they need not be an exact match, but try to keep the colours and patterns in the same family so they form a connection while creating two visually distinct spaces. If the wall opposite the patio doors is empty, consider creating a useful focal point, such as a fireplace and/or wall-mounted television. Whatever you position here, it will be enjoyed from both sides of the room and fill the empty wall.
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