Cherrywood & Grayish Purple?

by Ann/Renate

Cherry red hardwood floor, black fireplace, green walls

Cherry red hardwood floor, black fireplace, green walls

Ann contacted me with an interesting series of questions about putting French-inspired (Louis XV/XVI style) furniture into an open concept living & dining room that has green walls and cherry-colored hardwood flooring. (The rest of the furniture comes in a choice of silver and off-white or silver and black.)

There is a color aspect and a style aspect to Ann's decorating project:
  a) how to make light greyish purple, pale pink, white and silver work with green walls and cherry stained flooring, and
  b) how to 'marry' historically-inspired French furniture styles to clean-lined North American simplicity.

Here are Ann's Questions:

  ♦   Is it possible to match the above mentioned colours of furniture
      with the cherry red hardwood floors?
  ♦   What's a good colour choice for the curtains?
  ♦   Shall I change the wall colour?
  ♦   Do I need to buy area rugs, and in what colour?

I'll answer them one by one below.

Can the furniture colours be matched with the cherry red hardwood floor?

In principle, yes. However, I have two caveats:

a) You might get an awkward color scheme. From your photos, it seems as if you had a number of related near-neutral hues (pale grayish pink, pale grayish purple and off-white). But if any of these don't really work together, your room will look mismatched rather than subtle.

For example, if your actual upholstery colors are anything like the pale pink & purple in the picture above, the pink is probably fine, but I would have doubts about the purple.

b) You absolutely need to make your color choices in situ, under different light sources including daylight (I'm assuming you're going to use the room both during the day and in the evenings).

You will need to bring large samples (1 m² minimum) of the upholstery fabrics into the room and see how they look against the flooring, the walls, the rest of the furniture. Small swatches don't work! I urgently recommend you do this to secure yourself against nasty surprises.

The testing is especially important with respect to the cherry-stained flooring, because you can always repaint the walls at little cost.

What would be good curtain colours?

Not knowing what style window treatments you have in mind, I'd suggest something very light and neutral, like an off-white that's in keeping with the window frames and some furniture.

This would work both for big, 'château'-style window treatments and for simple curtains.

I would go for a suitably rich, substantial fabric with a soft, silk-like sheen.

A damask pattern would be nice, as long as it's in keeping with some of the patterns on your furniture. (If in doubt, a fine stripe usually works well).

Consider getting 'trouser length' or even puddled curtains. This would soften the clean utilitarian lines of the room with a luxurious overflow of beautiful fabric. (For the bay window you might want to choose a simpler window treatment, though.)

Do I need area rugs?

An area rug is always a good way to repeat a color (e.g. the wall color) elsewhere in the room. It would also help you create an 'island' for one of the two areas (sitting or dining).

I'd suggest a rug in a pale grey with an Aubusson-style floral design in red, pink and green to match your room colors. This would also be in keeping with the reference period of your furniture.

Pictured above are a few examples of Aubusson tapestries. However, I would go for simpler florals rather than pastoral scenes or landscapes.

Shall I change the wall colour?

In most decorating projects, you start a color scheme from the largest pattern, or the item that would be the most difficult/expensive to change or replace.

In your case, the flooring and the furniture are the major color elements in the room, so your first step should be making sure they look great together.

Once the floor/furniture color combination works, turn your attention to the walls. If they don't go with the floor and furniture colors, you could replace the wall color with something like:

  ♦   off-white,
  ♦   grayish pink (like the dining chairs), or even
  ♦   antique silver.

Hope this helps - all the best with your project, Ann!

› Cherrywood & Grayish Purple

Comments for Cherrywood & Grayish Purple?

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by: Neela

I really like the idea of puddled silk curtains here, and that purplish-silver wall color is pretty cool too. Thanks for the ideas!

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