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Pam's Den

Christine, I am resending these photos again. I'm hoping you have some time to offer suggestions. I'm creating a TV/reading den in our small third bedroom. The wall where I'd like to put the wall-mounted TV is across from the sleeper sofa but is broken up by a closet door. The closet door cuts the wall in half which means the TV placed on the remaining half wall will not be exactly opposite the sofa. I think it will be okay. This will be a lightly used room with just me and my husband.

I've been looking for a small console table to place under the wall-mounted TV (yet to be purchased). I found the Tanner console table from Pottery Barn. The table is 65" X 12" deep by 30" high and will fit on the half wall which is 83" long. We would buy a TV and have it wall mounted above the table. I would put books and electronic components on the table and hide the cords.

Another idea is to forego the console table and instead buy two tall etageres to place on either side of the sleeper sofa to create a sort of library. Then I would just mount the TV on the wall discussed above but it seems it should have something under the TV. Any suggestions? Thanks. Pam

Hi Pam,


I definitely prefer the console table over the library idea.  It will look much better.  I also like the Tanner console table you selected.  It is great to have a variety of finishes, and it will fit in nicely with its low visual weight.


Now that I've answered your question- time for the unsolicited advice.  This is good advice for everyone.  Question- what is the color pallette of the den?  Anyone?  Anyone?  There is a teal green chair and ottoman, but I don't see that color repeated.  There is red in the pillows on the sofa.  The flooring, walls and window treatments are neutral shades.  The picture over the sofa is mostly blue.  If you want to pull this room together, you need to repeat some color.  I chose the teal from the chair.  That is very dominant, and you did not mention replacing it.  Change the art over the sofa.  See the teal in the painting below.  It is also full  of the other neutral shades in the room.  (let me know if you'd like me to put this painting in my store)


Then- the one picture thing is not working for me.  Think variety in wall decor.  Variety in subject and also variety in number.  With one picture over the sofa- how about three ceramic flowers replacing the other picture, hung vertically in a row?  I'd add three more on the other side of the window, giving that wall some symmetry and balance.  (from Target)

I would also add an area rug to define and add texture to the space. 

Then simply switch out your pillows, (pillow below from Pottery Barn) and you have solidified a color pallet.  Can you see how much more put together your room will be? 


Thanks for writing in, hope you didn't mind the unsolicited advice.





Swim Club


Christine -

Hi! you seem to be great at this - i would love your help -- We are trying to snazz up our neighborhood swim club and we are struggling with what color to paint the fascia - it's the only trim we have. 

Thanks so much!

Displaying photo.JPG


Hi Rachel- when I saw that large mass of brick, my first thought was to add a mural of some sort.  What if you brightened up the brick by painting it white, like SW China Doll, or Swiss Coffee, put the trim in black, then added some sea turtles- not too many- just a few on each side of the door:


Or... could you imagine some koi swimming around on the front of your building?  I could - I would keep it simple and tasteful, but also bright and friendly.

Koi Fish Orange, Left, Ceramic Mosaic Swimming Pool, Pond or Garden Mural 6" x 11"


For a more subtle look, use a light gray instead of white, (like SW 7672), and then add darker gray turtles- (like SW7673), or fish.  I would have the darker gray turtles in a glossier paint than the field color.  This will be lower in contrast, and stand out less.  Good luck with your project!  Swim season is on its way!





Danielle's Master Bedroom

Hi Christine,

I'm starting to work on our master bedroom and would love some advice!

We are replacing the queen bed with a king. That will leave 35" on each side of the bed for new wardrobes/nightstands.

I know this wall should be the focal point and right now it is so bare. Once I have the new bed frame and bigger nightstands it will fill it up a bit but I'm not sure what else to do with it. Add more art above the nightstands? Mirrors?


I do have two tall cabinets (80h x 15w) that are black with glass doors on top and solid on the bottom. They could go on either side or be put together to make a 30" cabinet on one side. Maybe I could use them somehow?

Any suggestions would be great! You always have the best ideas :)


Hi Danielle,

You are off to a great start- I will let you know how to finish it off fabulously. 

I like your plan to fill that headboard wall.  When I have 35 inches left on either side for tables, I like to get pretty close to that.  I think it's pretty clear to see right now that the scale of your night stands and lamps is the weakest point of the room.  With your dark gray wall- I would love to see some contrast- check out this white laquer three drawer side table- it would make a terrific night stand.


Add to that some much taller lamps- These are 34" high:


With taller lamps, I don't know that I would add more wall decor over your night stands.  I would in a larger room, but not in yours.  I think it will look great without.  If you want more pizzaz, we could do an amazing gray grasscloth on your wall rather than just boring old paint:  


Of course, we would also want to add a crown molding and larger baseboards. 


You also have a rhythm problem- the etegere, door, chest, door.  Can you see that the wall doesn't look great?  If you could have only one case piece on that wall- it would be much better.  Remove either the etegere or the chest.  I don't see that you have room for either of them elsewhere in the room, so I do see why they are both there.  If you could remove the chest and add drawers in your closet, your room would look much better if that wall could have wall decor instead. 


Don't have everything in the room gray and silvery- add some warm tones as well- it will add depth to your design, where too much cool will come off flat.  Consider replacing your chest with this larger etegere, and replacing your etegere with a wonderful plant. 


I know you just lost a lot of storage- but hopefully your walk-in closet has a lot of potential- because this will give you a much nicer view from your bed. 


Have you read my post on bed-making?  Your bedding could be improved- The bedding below is Dian Austin.  The post on bed making will let you know how to make it look great. 


One more thing...  Let's face it that your carpet is doing nothing for this space.  Add a large black flokoti rug on top.  (this one is from nu loom).  Cover that carpet up, and make your space look terrific from the ground up. 


Thanks!  Sorry I am so slow at getting to all of these requests.  If you don't hear from me in a month- go ahead and re-send the request.  I literally have hundreds and cannot come close to keeping up.


Did I say one more thing- I meant two.  I feel like your drapes are too wimpy.  Can you still get more panels?  They are not a bad selection, you just need twice as many. 


Actually three more things- when looking at that window wall it is clear that what you need are a couple of sconces flanking that window, center them between the window and edge of the wall.  (So long as those spaces are symmetrical).  The sconces below are from Imagine Living.  (in the UK)

 OK- now I'm really done.




A Paint Color For Becky

My husband and I are building a timber frame home in Central Ohio, on 31 acres, in the middle of a charming apple orchard. I need to make exterior paint decisions on the siding and the trim in the next 10 days. Currently, both the siding and trim only have primer (as you can see from the photo). I have purchased 5 samples of paint, and so far they all feel off. Either they are too beige, too purple-ly taupe, too blue gray, etc.

My goal is to compliment the stone.  

Any suggestions would be so helpful!  

And feel free to use our house photo in your blog! 

Thanks so much,   I will wait to hear back! :)



Hi Becky,


I could do a much better job of this with a sample of your materials in my hand, which, of course, I do not have.  But- I'll do my best to help.  As I always say, sample quarts are still going to be needed- here are some colors that I would try.  (all are Sherwin Williams)


1.  Fawn Brindle 7640


2.  7639 Ethereal Mood


3.  7642 Pavestone

4.  7644 Gateway Gray (in the living area)



5.  7504 Keystone Gray


6.  7503 Sticks and Stones (on the wall)

For the trim, I would use a good white like China Doll from Sherwin Williams- not too stark.  Pearly White is also a good color.  The columns in photo #5 are in Pearly White. 


Good Luck!  We would love an after photo- you have a beautiful home.



A Chandelier for Laurie


Hi Christine,  
Love your blog, you offer such great help.  I could use help picking out a chandelier for my dining room.  The house is an American Colonial built in 1920.  The dining room measures 11' 3" wide x 14' 8" long and the ceiling height is 8' 5".  The dining table is 4' x 8'.  I plan on painting all the woodwork and removing the rug.  The paint color is Farrow and Ball Saxon Green.  Should I paint the wood work a cream or white and what color should the ceiling be? All the woodwork is original stain and I want to paint all of it, should all the woodwork through out the house be the same color?


The room is small and the table is large so I am unsure what shape, size and style chandelier to put over the table.  I was thinking about a modern rectangular glass box type fixture, or an iron round twig type fixture.  Both are large.  Any advice would be helpful.  I have been trying to find the right light for this space since we moved in 18 years ago.  
Thank you for your time.
Hi Laurie,
I would definitely try to stay with an elongated chadelier, or two smaller round or square.  I selected three for you- Maybe the readers can give us their opinions as to which would be the best fit.



Brand: Arteriors- Beatty Chandelier



Brand: BoBo Intriguing Objects- Aquarium Chandelier



Brand: Robert Abbey- Delaney Rectangular Chandelier


Before selecting paint colors- I would select your rug.  It looks to me like your upholstery is more cream than pure white- so that is a good place to start.  Select a rug.  Use the colors in your rug.  I found a rug for you- I'd like a bit of green- but not too much- make sure of course that it flows with the rest of your home.  (which I on't see)



Brand: Jaipur


I like your green walls- it is a really fun start to your room.  There will be readers that would rather you got a tatoo on your face than painted your beautiful wood trim white, but be true to yourself, and go for it.  Make sure, however, that you are in it for the long hall, and not just following the trends.