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What a Girl Wants

Dear Debbie: I have a 12 x 14 bedroom, with two long windows, 1 door and a closet about 6' wide. My furniture is white. What color should I paint it? I am 13. I like purple, but my grandmother said maybe pumpkin. Aleah

Dear Aleah: It's your room- paint it whatever color you like.....as long as mom agrees, that is! If purple is your thing, go for it. Just be aware of your room's lighting. If you don't have much, see if you can add a brighter ceiling fixture or desk lamps to prevent any new wall color from making the room look dark and feel gloomy. And by the way, purple is very chic when mixed with pumpkin. Here's how to do it:

Choose a medium purple wall color- not too strong and not too light. Two colors that are fun, young and just strong enough are Benjamin Moore's "Mighty Aphrodite" and "Snugglepuss". You gotta love the names!

Let's put draperies on those two long windows with rods, rings and fun finials. Pottery Barn Teen has white curtain rods (to go with your white furniture) and purple polka dot finials. They also have purple and pumpkin polka dot sheer draperies that you can use as a light drapery with a shade underneath for privacy.

Finally, accessorize. Pick out bedding, toss pillows, even your desk chair in orange or pumpkin- print or solid. You can buy unfinished, ready to paint shelving at Home Decorator's Collection (they have an online catalog) and paint in Benjamin Moore's "Orange Blossom" or "Soft Pumpkin".

Accent on Walls

Dear Debbie: I have a four level split. The living dining room is L shaped. I wanted to take down the wall to the kitchen for an open design. Unfortunately, it turned out to be load bearing so now I decided to do two large openings- one to living room and one to the dining room. Should I paint this area the same soft gold as the living room or make it an accent wall? Only the couch is a focal point at the moment. Kathleen

Dear Kathleen: It's hard to say if you should paint these walls in an accent color. I'm concerned that these openings you're adding could become the area's focal points, instead of the furnishings. If the architecture warrants this much attention, then do use accent colors to showcase interesting architectural angles and materials.

A more subtle approach might be to paint these openings in the next darker shade of your wall color. You'd still be calling attention to the new openings, but not making them unnecessarily stand out as the focal points in the room. In fact, if you would like them to be less noticeable, you might consider painting these openings in the next lighter shade of your wall color. Figure out your design goals and then choose your colors accordingly.

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