DECORATING ADVICE : Rattan Would Be at Home With Yellow, Gold


Question: Enclosed is a sample of a large rose floral wallpaper print. It has transparent watercolor washes of yellow and gold, along with sage-green leaves. It is found on all four walls of my large bedroom. I have a large window on the west wall, so there is lots of sunshine in the room.

What style of furniture would look best with this? Should it be painted, wicker or natural wood? If you think I should use wood, should it be in a light or dark stain? Also, what type of window and bed coverings would you recommend?

Colleen Johnson

Answer: With the yellow and gold, I would suggest rattan furnishings that have a modern look. The pieces can be a natural or a light tone. Be sure to apply a sealer over them. You can find all styles of rattan on the market, and most likely you will find a desk and some bookcase chests that will look handsome with this decor.


For window treatments, install white linen draperies, edged with bright yellow, on natural bamboo poles and matching wood rings. Your bedspread might be a Hawaiian quilt in handsome colors--perhaps red and white, or a bold green and white.

Q: My mom, who is in her 80s, would appreciate some advice on her living room. The carpet is gold. The French Provincial sofa and chair are upholstered in a dusty rose floral with a sprinkling of gold. The walls are cream, and the picture window has white pleated sheers. There are also crystal lamps. She’d like to purchase two extra chairs, and she wants to install draperies and/or a valance.

Adele Kopecki

A: For your mother’s draperies and valance, I would suggest the same print that is used on the French Provincial sofa and chair. If the print isn’t available, find a valance that has a striped pattern of dusty rose, pale gold and cream, edged with dusty-rose fringe. Hang it over simple cream-colored curtains. Use the same cream, rose and gold stripe for the fabric on the two chairs.


Q: How can I make my room attractive without sacrificing comfort?

Janna Benera

A: Regardless of what style of bedroom my clients choose, they always want it to be comfortable. Of course, you will need a good box spring and mattress to create such a room, but you will also need it to look cozy. A beautiful bed is a must. It may have a four-poster headboard and footboard. Or it may have a canopy. Or it may simply be outfitted with a ruffled and tailored bed skirt.

A floral scheme will definitely make your bedroom look inviting. Try a wall covering of roses and stripes. I am a great believer in flower power, and I love rooms that feature floral patterns on the sofas and chairs, as well as the walls. I have also been known to cover ceilings with scattered rosebuds.

In my Rose Cottage in Newmarket-On-Fergus, Ireland, where I have a wallpaper and fabric studio, I have a ceiling stenciled with striped red and pink roses entwined in green leaves and aqua-blue ribbons on a white background.

The beautiful bedroom also requires a special night table. It should be able to hold books, a vase for flowers and a small lamp. It could also be skirted. Make sure there is ample space for reading material. Books add great charm to a room. Personal mementos and family pictures also add lots of character. So don’t pack the family photographs in the footlocker at the end of the bed. Display them proudly.