December 16, 2010 - 12:00 am
DEAR DESIGNER: We just had new carpet installed in our master bedroom, just off the living room. The main color theme in living room, kitchen, dining room and this bedroom is country blue, with light, medium and darker drapes on the patio doors in the living room. The floors are laminate white/gray grain everywhere except for this master bedroom.
I hate the new carpet; it’s too dark blue. We have white walls and light wood furniture.
We also have a bay window that is 96 inches wide, with side windows each measuring 46 inches. What should we do for the window treatment?
Should I complement the dark carpet with dark drapes or try to distract from it by putting up white? I would appreciate any advice on window coverings you can envision.
Thank you so much — Mary
DEAR MARY: An age-old rule to selecting drapery color is to match the fabric to the carpet. By following this simple rule, you will be sure to keep the room in balance, and set the stage for placing some fun accessories. In your case, Mary, unless your bedroom is very large, dark blue draperies that match your carpet might make your room too dark and closed-in.
Luckily, current trends have moved us away from always using that old rule. There are other ways to bring balance to a room, allowing more options for the window color.
For example, instead of using dark draperies (to match your dark blue carpet), consider using large pieces of art with dark or brilliant colors to balance your dark carpet. In this case, your draperies would need to take a back seat, being elegant but neutral (light to match your walls) so the artwork can be the focal point.
A third option is to look for a print fabric that has a lighter background and includes the dark blue from your carpet and the light wood tone of your furniture. Print fabrics are a wonderful way to incorporate an added contrasting color into your room. Blues and light wood tones contrast beautifully with a splash of red. By adding a light background print or stripe, you can incorporate a new color, keep your room light and achieve an overall balanced effect.
Bay windows aren’t easy to dress with store-bought, ready-made draperies but can be fun to dress with the help of a designer or drapery workroom.
Roman shades (made of fabric) look amazing on bay windows, for almost all styles of décor. A fabric shade will provide you with warmth and give you the privacy you need in a bedroom. The downside is the little glare of light you get around the edges. To alleviate this, consider putting draperies on a decorative rod that spans the entire bay. Keep them pulled onto the wall and off the window in the day and pull them closed over the entire bay to gain total darkness at night.
DEAR DESIGNER: My husband and I read your articles in the Home section of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Our kitchen has a border around the walls, 6 inches below the ceiling. We would like to paint over this, if possible, without removing the paper border. Can we do this?
If so, what preparation is needed and what type of paint should be used.
I should mention that we are in our 80s.
Thank you – Nancy
DEAR NANCY: Although some wallpapers can be painted over, many times the water-based paint can cause problems with the underlying glue. If the wallpaper is textured and installed well, painted wallpaper can add an interesting effect to a room.
I see two problems with painting your border. The first is that the wet paint will quite possibly curl the edges of the wallpaper border, making it unsightly. The second problem is the border will appear smooth and your walls will be textured, drawing unwanted attention to the painted border.
Of course, you can paint over it if you don’t mind seeing the smooth area of the border, but I recommend calling in a painter (or a relative) to take down your border and repaint your room. Afterward, I hope you feel a sense of pride and pleasure every time you look up and see that the job was done correctly.
From my family to yours, happy holidays!
Cindy Payne is a certified interior designer with more than 25 years of experience, a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as a licensed contractor. E-mail questions to her at deardesigner@
projectdesigninteriors.com or send them to her at Project Design Interiors, 2620 S. Maryland Parkway, Suite 189, Las Vegas, NV 89109. She can be reached online at www.projectdesigninteriors.com.