DECORATING ADVICE : Perk Up Avocado Kitchen With Tomato-Red Walls


Question: I’d like suggestions for the wallpaper in my eat-in kitchen. I have one southern-exposure window. The floor is a pale-yellow vinyl brick pattern. The cabinets are dark-walnut stained oak, and the countertops are about the same color as the floor vinyl--pale creamy yellow. My appliances are all avocado green. The oval table and chairs are dark walnut. What would you suggest for the wallpaper?

Gloria Anderson

Answer: Your pale yellow and avocado kitchen needs a pickup. I suggest you cover all your walls with a bright tomato-red washable vinyl. On the washable red walls, hang a collection of avocado fruit prints, matted in bright yellow and framed in walnut. You can find antique fruit prints in old print centers.

This is the first time in years that I’ve recommended solid-color walls in the kitchen, but I think the look is right, provided you purchase the avocado prints.


Q: I love blue. Is it still a fashionable color?

Janna Ratch

A: The blue room--whether it is royal, delft, turquoise, navy or powder--is always a popular choice among my clients. Sometimes they even choose a combination of shades. Imagine a room with navy-blue walls, white trim and a soft powder-blue ceiling. The room has soft powder-blue carpeting and a sofa covered in a soft powder-blue damask, accented with throw pillows of soft white, which are trimmed in royal.

Pull-up or club chairs covered in a blue, cream, gold and navy stripe complement the look. The windows have valances of the striped fabric and damask draperies that match the sofa.

When thinking blue, remember: Blue is a color that can combine with many other colors. For example, picture a library that has walls covered in delft-blue linen and curtains of a fabulous yellow, red and green flower print on a delft-blue background. A bright-red sofa, accented with jonquil yellow, highlights the room.

A blue room can feature royal blue with those good old American favorites: red and white. A navy room with lime green and soft pink is another favorite of mine. Or, try a decorating scheme of soft melon, royal blue and powder blue. A final color option is navy accented with lavender and soft gold.

A bedroom I am decorating features navy-blue walls with white trim and a ceiling of soft lavender. The drapery at the windows is a print of lavender, gold, red and leaf-green on a rich navy background. The drapery is edged with gold braid.

The same window drapery print has been used for a bed skirt, under a spread of quilted soft lavender. The carpeting is a soft buttery gold. Wood furnishings in the room include an old-fashioned white and brass headboard and pine night tables and chests.