Question: I am decorating my bedroom. The walls are off-white. I have brown and beige carpeting and a hand-crocheted, ecru bedspread. Should my draperies be the same color?
Answer: For your bedroom, try a scheme of raspberry and soft pink with a touch of aqua-marine blue. Hang a soft-pink drapery fabric over ecru sheers.
For valances over the draperies, consider using a striped fabric of raspberry, aqua, beige and marine blue. Line the valances with raspberry, and trim the overdrapery with a marine-blue and light-blue fringe.
Underneath your handmade bedspread, place an underspread of the same raspberry color, so that the raspberry peeks through the open work of the crochet. Make the bed skirt out of the same striped fabric as the valances. Add some real punch to your room by painting the ceiling soft pink. Upholstery on your bedroom club chair can be aqua blue.
Q: We are very eager to paint our home. The house is quite small. My 12-year-old daughter's room is 10 by 10 feet. My room is 12 by 15, and the sun room is 27 by 8 feet.
We spend most of our time in the sun room. All our windows have white mini-blinds. The floors are painted white, and I have Oriental rugs with mostly dark-blue and maroon fields. There is an aqua-white speckled tile in the bath and a gray-patterned floor covering in the bath and kitchen, which need not stay.
I am considering two shades of pink for all of the rooms, except the bath and kitchen. Should I use gloss or flat paint for walls?
A: I prefer the clearer pink (from the sample you sent), and I would suggest this for the walls in the sun room and your bedroom. Paint the walls flat pink, and cover the trim with a white semi-gloss enamel. The pink walls will look fine with the maroon and blue Oriental rugs.
For your daughter's room, find a happy blue and pink striped wall covering. The ceiling can be painted with the soft pink you used in the sun room.
With your daughter's stripe, locate a flower print of pink, blue and soft green on a white background. Use the print for a bed skirt, spread and for curtains. The gray-patterned floor covering in your kitchen will look right with the rose-pink decor. The aqua in the bathroom will also work happily with the pink tones.
Q: What's popular in bathroom decor these days?
A: Bathrooms offer great decorating challenges. Today, exciting features such as whirlpools, sunken tubs, marble floors, elaborate vanities and special lighting bring extra flair to the bath.
A host of accessories--in upscale materials such as Lucite, mirror, gold and polished silver--help add a personal touch to the powder room.
These days, a lot of hotels want their rooms to have luxurious bathrooms. In finer hotels, the bathroom will double as a spa.
The bathrooms in New York's Waldorf Towers look splendid with white marble floors and built-in wardrobes and vanities. When I planned its design, I made sure to add sparkle to the settings with striped wall coverings and colorful accessories and wall decorations.
But decorating the bathroom doesn't necessarily require replacing all the fixtures and cabinets. Cosmetic decorating can go a long way.
If you're lucky enough to have an old-fashioned, claw-foot bathtub, make it the center of your decorating scheme. That old-fashioned bathroom can become even more nostalgic in its decor.
Cover the bathroom walls in a happy but classic mint-green and white stripe. Against the wall covering, place an antique pine chest to hold towels and accessories. Above the pine chest, hang a mirror with a pine frame and a pair of antique botanical pictures. Antique bathrooms look super with cotton woven rugs atop pine floors with wide planks. Lace curtains at the windows lend a romantic touch.