Furniture Pairings

  • How to Decorate Team


Furniture PairingsI am thinking about purchasing the Eastman Secretary in rubbed cream and two Bourdonnais Bookcases in rubbed cream—one for each side of the secretary (with lots of decorative pieces on the shelving and maybe a large clock on top of the secretary). The wall color behind these pieces would be a brick red. Also, I may also use the Home Office Ensemble 3-Drawer Desk in rubbed black for the same room. What do you think of this wood color combo in my office/guest room? I would also have other black accents in the room, and the sofa sleeper is dark hunter green.

Thanks for your comments.


Dear Bonnie:

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Decorating Dilemma. You have a lot going on in this guest bedroom/office. A good guideline for this room would be the 60/30/10 rule – it’s a tried and true interior design guideline. The primary color (which is usually the wall color) should be 60% of your color palette, the secondary color should be 30% of the room (this would include major furniture, rugs and the ceiling) and the final 10% is the accent color (includes accessories or a feature wall).

The cream colored Eastman Secretary with Bourdonnais Bookcases on either side are wonderful choices. Following the 60-30-10 rule, the addition of the Home Office Ensemble 3-Drawer Desk in the room should also be cream in color to create balance throughout the space.

Furniture PairingsHave you thought of painting the feature wall the same green as your sofa? If you’re settled on painting the wall brick red, then we suggest a slipcover for your sofa to tie the two together. It can be a neutral color like the cream, or if you wish to be bold try matching the red of the feature wall. Try accessorizing with a bold fabric print that incorporates all the colors in the room. You could make some coordinating pillows for the sofa or perhaps a roman shade for the window. You certainly can add black accents such as lamp bases, frames, and metal objects d’art, just keep them to a few well-chosen pieces.

There truly are no hard, fast rules to decorating, but following the 60-30-10 rule helps create a space that feels harmonious and comfortable. We hope our suggestions give you a good starting point. Please send us pictures when you’re done. We would love to see the finished project!

Good Luck!
The Style Studio

Posted 2/20/09

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


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