Q In my sitting room, I have an oriental rug, which is mainly gold with red and a small amount of green, and a plain brown sofa and matching chair. I was wondering if I could add two red wing chairs that have ball-and-claw legs with nail trim on the front of the arms. Can I marry these two styles?
A: I believe that part of the joy of decorating is the creation of a look that is uniquely yours.
Itís easy to copy a style from a book, or simply buy a furniture grouping right off the showroom floor. But we donít buy everything at once; it takes years to put together a home, and replacements neednít cause you to start all over again.
The short answer is yes, you can marry styles. You have said that there is some red in the carpet, which will tie in the new wing chairs.
Nail-head trim is a handsome detail that suits traditional and modern styles. The red Jace chair shown here features bright nickel nail heads and stainless steel, which is very modern.
The sofa legs are wood balls. The Rancho square ottoman in faux fur doubles as a coffee table. Visit www.toliedesignerclub.com for details. This furniture would look stunning on an oriental carpet, and so will yours.
Q: I purchased a little country home and am redecorating. When I started to remove the wallpaper from one of the bedroom walls, I discovered that the wallboard isnít sheet. They pieced it together.
Iím looking for a cost-effective solution that will hide the imperfections, possibly textured paint?
A: Wallpaper, especially the popular embossed papers, do cover up a myriad of sins. This is a challenge that we all dread when removing old wallpaper ... what lies beneath.
In order to prepare your surface properly for paint, start by removing all the paper. Then fill in any holes or cracks and the seams between the pieces of wallboard.
It will be difficult to have a completely smooth wall without professional help, but this will help a lot.
Apply a skim coat of plaster over the whole wall and let dry. Then apply a good quality primer. When you are ready to paint, think about using a paint technique such as colorwashing that will camouflage the imperfections.
For a subtle effect, choose two colors that are quite close together. For a more dramatic look, choose a bigger contrast, or even a third color. Begin with a basecoat of your chosen color. Then mix a colored glaze with one part latex paint to two parts water-based glazing liquid.
Working in 3-foot sections, and keeping a wet edge to avoid lap marks, apply the colored glaze with a brush using crisscross strokes until the base coat is covered. You will be able to see the base coat shining through because of the glaze, and the texture created by the colored glaze will help to hide uneven areas on your wall.
Q: We have purchased a home in which the previous owner had a decorator come in and redo all the walls. Every wall upstairs is done with different shades of brown. The carpets are brown/gray. The kitchen has brown walls and yellow cupboards. I find this color scheme depressing. We canít afford to repaint the whole upstairs, any suggestions would be helpful.
A: It sounds like you need to add some interest and energy, which is easy to do with color and a few accent pieces.
It is not necessary to paint all the walls, but why not make a feature wall with a coat of off-white or baby-blue paint?
Hang some artwork that shows themes and shades that you love, and the room will feel instantly yours.
A bedspread or cushions in a bright yellowish green also will brighten up the space.
For the kitchen walls, a pleasing alternative to the brown would be blue gray.
Debbie Travisí House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit her website, www.debbietravis.com.