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Style Illuminated reader Beth and her husband Scott are newlyweds who just bought their first home - and are overwhelmed by the abundance of design choices that now face them. The main floor of their new abode is particularly challenging, since it's an open floor plan with the living room, dining room, and kitchen all visually flowing together. The house has great design elements to work with - glossy dark hardwood floors, light walls, and a gorgeous transitional kitchen, but the space definitely needs some color and a few design suggestions for it to really feel like home.
Beth's biggest dilemma is choosing a paint color for the main floor. "As you can see from the pictures," she says, "we need to paint the whole floor the same color. But the color must look good with the cabinets and be light to contrast the floor."
As the house is now, the cool white living room walls don't flow well into the warm off-white tones of the kitchen - so a yellow-toned neutral paint will help bring everything together and allow the spaces to flow seamlessly into one another for a spacious and open look. My suggestion is to use the gorgeous tumbled marble kitchen backsplash as inspiration for the paint color, since it ties in many of the colors found in the house. Select the lightest-colored tile and use that as color reference when selecting paint swatches.
Here are a few more designer tips to make this new house really feel like home:
Lower the chandelier above the dining table. A chandelier should ideally be hung 30" to 36" above the table. Dining room lighting is commonly hung too high - don't be afraid to lower your chandelier to create a more intimate atmosphere.
Add a slender sideboard or bar below the mirror on the dining room wall. A dining room storage piece will not only help provide a beautiful feature on the blank wall, but it will also create much-needed storage for dishware or barware.
Install under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen. An overhead fluorescent light does nothing to highlight the beautiful cabinetry and glossy granite counters! Simple under -cabinet lights will not only provide functional lighting for preparing meals, but will also create ambiance and feature the home's gorgeous finishes.
Readers - what color would you paint the walls if this was your home? Do you have any design tips for Beth and Scott to help them transition into their new space?
Image credits: Behr, Beth and Scott
Hi. I’m Lesley. I’m a collage artist and interior stylist. Common advice tells me to pick one discipline and focus on it – but I’ve never been known for being common. I make beautiful things and create beautiful spaces, because surrounding yourself with beauty and inspiration just makes life better. Your home and the things in it should feel effortlessly mixed and matched, with just a little bit of weird thrown in. The unexpected keeps life interesting.
My design talents have been showcased as a junior designer at Kimberley Seldon Design Group (Toronto); project manager at Studio La Beauté (Toronto); showroom manager at Reid & Lyons Designer Trimmings (Toronto); freelance designer at Burnham Design (Los Angeles); and interior design stylist at Lamps Plus and 55 Downing Street (Los Angeles).
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