Decorating Dilemma: Stacey’s Downstairs Renovation

Choosing paint colors, art, and accessories

Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I have lived in my home for 5 years. When we moved in it was still in 1960’s mode! We were lucky to find nice hardwood floor under most of the mint green carpet. The day after we moved in, all of the heavy curtains and shades were taken down and replaced. Then paint came!

I was so excited to paint these white walls and take some wall paper down, that I did not do a great job coordinating colors. This also is a house that down the road we will eventually leave, so I don’t want to have too many colors. I choose gold for or family room. It was a color we had in our previous family room, and we loved the way it looked with our leather furniture. I have never really loved it here. Here, we have carpet instead of the hardwood at our old house. I’m just over the gold!

In our front loving room, I have Sherwin Williams’ Mindful Gray, and in the dining room I have Sherwin Williams Willow Branch. I love the gray and am thinking of putting a lighter shade in the family room and kitchen. My husband just completely renovated the kitchen and since it flows from the family room, I just painted it golden also.

I could use some suggestions. I’m a stay at home mom. I love to decorate, but I need more education on the subject. I stare at my house all day long and think about how I could make it more cozy or love it a little more.



wall with television
view of kitchen peninsula
dining table
sectional in living

Dear Stacy,

You have done a lot of great decorating work in your home. It’s a tremendous idea to pull the beautiful Mindful Gray palette from your living room through your living and dining areas.

Looking through to your dining room, let’s add a paint shade darker with SW Dorian Gray (SW 7017) to infuse drama and a cozy ambiance into this space. We can update your chandelier and add a little sparkle with our Large Orb Chandelier in Gold. The finish is on trend and will draw the color from your kitchen cabinets into the dining area, making it more cohesive. We think you would like our Bingham Printed Damask Panels in Tuscan Gold to soften and lighten the room. A pair of our Upholstered Parsons Chairs in Capri Butter, a fabulous Sunbrella fabric, will add elegance as head chairs at your dining table while bringing in more of the warm golds from your family room and kitchen. Our Spring Walkway Stretched Canvas will solidify the entire color palette flawlessly.

In the Family Room and Kitchen, Eider White (SW 7014), would lighten and neutralize the walls so that we can add some accent colors into the room. Our Courtney Drapery Panels will add color, pattern and softness. Your small bookcase can be relocated behind the sofa and be replaced by the Newport Demiline in Dark Mahogany. The rounded shape will ease the flow of traffic through the area. Above it, our Large Bellesol Mirror will echo the rounded shape and add a little sparkle.

Try the Martin Console in Gray, to give extra storage under your existing clock. You could also use the opportunity to add more color by hanging like our Golden Pear Art in place of the clock. The Large Morgan Cocktail Table with baskets in Dark Gray, as well as a Morgan End Table, would be lovely and practical additions to the space.

A new Crawley Rug in Teal under your gray sofa in the front room would carry the blue through to the downstairs. Add a mixture of pillows to bring your blues, tans and grays together in the family room and front Living Room.

We have a few suggestions for a spa feeling in your bathroom. If you have mostly white fixtures and trim, try Sherman Williams Sleepy Blue (SW6225), Tradewind (SW6218) or Dutch Tile Blue(SW0031).

We know these suggestions will make your new home feel finished and wonderful.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team


Choosing paint colors, art, and accessories

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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.