Ask the Designer: Week 2
Here we are on week 2 of Ask the Designer! Thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions to us, sorry we couldn’t answer all of them! If your question wasn’t answered this week, please feel free to resubmit it in our next round of questions, or any other questions that might come up in the mean time. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here. This week, the answers are straight from Lynne Bier, our Principal/Lead Designer, and the owner of Home on the Range (basically, as expert as expert gets). So, without further ado, here’s the Q&A!
Julie asks: I was wondering how to update a room with wood paneling on the walls when you are on a budget and can’t afford to tear it down?
Answer: My first question would be in which part of the country you are located?
Unless the wood is a very unique or expensive wood, like cherry or walnut, I think that painting the wood can update the look for only the cost of paint and the labor to paint the room. Depending on where you are located, and what the rest of your home looks like, you can either stay with a simple cream color, or you can select from an array of colors that coordinate with your décor. I generally recommend neutral creams or taupes because you don’t get tired of them, and they provide a beautiful backdrop for art, interesting and lively pillow colors and colorful rugs.
Here are some pictures of different rooms painted in neutrals and a few in other colors that are timeless.
The contrast between the light paneling and the dark furniture and accents adds great interest to cream paint.
Keeping some natural wood accents with the painted walls helps maintain a rustic feel in a room.
Painting paneling in a taupe color is great when you want something a little bit warmer than white.
Green painted walls bring the outdoors in
Susan asks: I have a 1980s home with knotty pine walls and ceiling. What are your thoughts on painting the walls? I have done a test section, and all of the knots are concealed. I know people are either “pro” paint or “never” paint.
Answer: Without having seen your home, I would probably recommend keeping the pine ceiling and just painting the walls but here are some guidelines; If you have a low ceiling, or beams in the ceiling or other interesting architectural details, you can probably get away with painting the ceiling as well as the walls. If you have a high vaulted pine ceiling then I would recommend keeping the ceiling unpainted to “cozy” up the room.
The current trends are towards lighter rooms with painted wood. Even in this rustic mountain environment, we have done a number of Old Homestead style homes where we whitewashed the wood in several of the rooms.
I actually like the look of a whitewashed pine wall. If you let the knots show through, you can still tell it is wood yet it lightens and updates the pine. You are right that there are a lot of purists out there who say not to paint wood but I think that applies more to woods like cherry or walnut. I personally think it is fine to paint pine!
Sonja asks: Is it ok to have your dining room in an area that has your master bedroom directly off of it?
Answer: There are really no right or wrong answers in layouts anymore, and rooms tend to flow from one to the other much more than they ever did in the past. Are you building a new house, remodeling an existing house, or thinking of buying a house with the bedroom in that location? The things I would keep in mind when making your decision on the bedroom location are:
Is the dining room a formal dining room that you only use for occasional dinners, or is it an open floor plan where the dining room is part of the kitchen flow?
Would anyone be using the dining room for breakfast while you might want to be sleeping in?
Would the door go directly off of the dining room in a visible location or would it be recessed?
How close would the bedroom door be to the dining table and chairs?
Would you have to navigate around the dining table to get back and forth to the entry or kitchen?
The location of the bedroom off of the dining room wouldn’t be a negative in and of itself as long as you don’t feel that your “flow” is awkward or constricted.
Well, that’s it for now! Thanks again for all of the submissions, and if we didn’t get to your question this week please send it to us again next time. This is a monthly thing, and we’ll be accepting questions again on Facebook starting three weeks from now, so make sure and keep your eyes open for it!