Personal likes shape picks in paint colors

DEAR DEBBIE: I am 10 years old, and my mom and I watch you on TV. I can help do my bedroom, like picking the colors and wallpaper too. Is pink too stupid? I love it. What goes with pink that would look sort of grown-up? My room is pretty big. Your fan — Melissa

DEAR MELISSA: Let me start by saying no color is stupid — it’s what you like that counts. And pink is very popular right now, so you are right on trend.

Green is a perfect partner for pink; it is one of nature’s favorite colors and goes with most anything. The modern shades of green have a bit of yellow in them, like avocado rather than dark hunter green.

Have your mom take you to a paint and wallpaper store, where you can look through wallpaper books. Look for large flowers, could be pink on a white background or green and white on a pink background. You also can search online and find pattern and color combinations that are fun.

Then pick some furniture. Wicker stools and an old wicker table freshly painted are not expensive and will really add character to your room. You also can find small area carpets that are soft and shaggy in colors that pop.

If you go for paint instead of wallpaper, remember that you can paint patterns on the wall easily with stencils.

DEAR DEBBIE: I have just finished painting our formal living and dining rooms. The color of the paint did not turn out as I had expected. Instead of mauve, it is a beautiful pink. One complete dining-room wall is covered by a mural, and some of the pink in the picture has been brought out by the pink walls. I’m not sure this is a good thing. Is pink an inappropriate color for this area? — Jean

DEAR JEAN: It is difficult to pick colors from a small swatch at the paint store. I always recommend that you buy a small amount to test first.

Paint a 3-foot square and then see how it reacts to the other furnishings in your room, plus the changing light. In your case, even though it is not the color you expected, you describe it as a beautiful pink, so I’m guessing you like it a lot.

Soft shades of pink are great colors to live with; they give a lovely healthy glow. How we perceive a small picture or large mural on the wall is affected by the surrounding colors. As long as it is a positive change, then don’t worry.

DEAR DEBBIE: My home is an ordinary boxy condo with standard-height ceilings. I have installed a chair rail and would like to know the best color combination to maximize ceiling height. The ceiling and crown moldings are white. I have chosen a warm yellow and don’t know whether it should go above or below the rail. — Mark

DEAR MARK: The room will feel more open and airy if you apply the yellow underneath the rail and either a subtle buttery cream or a fresh white above the rail. Paint the rail the same color as the upper wall. Add some blue accessories, and you have the basic elements for French Provencal style. Lovely.

Debbie Travis is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. E-mail questions to her at

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