What If Your Room Plan Falls Apart In The Middle?

Hi Everyone,

I love it when you guys write in with a problem and then show me the results months or even years later.

Well, the other day, I got a darling email from Kim. Many of you will recall in this post from December 2019 that she was the victim of a bossy home builder.


So, we picked her room plan apart. Poor Kim. However, she is in the process of implementing many of our ideas.


But, she wrote to me because she hit a snag with her dining room plan.


Here’s what Kim said:


[My kibitzing commentary will be in teal.]


Hi Laurel,

First off, congratulations on your new place! It’s over the top gorgeous and is going to be loads of fun decorating!!!

I emailed you back in December a year ago about my weird mantel (bossy builder home) to refresh your memory. Here is the link:



Oh, yes, I remember this well.


So we took some of your suggestions and have done quite a bit over the past year but haven’t quite finished. We added a wall to separate the living room from the entryway (we now have a REAL entry) and added a transom window.

I can’t wait to see that, Kim!


We also painted the angled super vaulted ceiling the same color as the walls (green). You had also suggested adding a ceiling in this room to bring everything down, which we plan to do probably sometime this year. That will solve much of the ugliness in this botched room plan.


But here’s my question.


After four years of agonizing, I was forced to decide on wallpaper for my dining room. Haha. I’m the world’s worst at making decisions.


No, probably the second worst after me, unless I’m impulsive.


Well, this paper is actually my 4th choice because I waited too long to decide, and the others I had picked had been discontinued.


Uh, huh, the most dreaded word in the decorating world after the word, “busted.”


The paper I chose is Thibaut Ting Yuan in the cream colorway.


thibaut-ting yuan cream
GORGEOUS!!! I love the colors!


I originally wanted a dark and moody dining room, but could not do that. So I went with this, which was my original pick in 2016. Obviously, it’s not even close to dark and moody. But my floors are going to be dark, so I guess it’ll be ok.


dining room with Thibaut Chinoiserie wallpaper

No, sorry, Kim, it’s not going to be okay.


dining room into living room plan

It’s going to be FANTASTIC! I would not have recommended a dark, moody dining room for you. If you have a powder room, that would be a great place to do something dark and dramatic like we did for this beautiful powder room a few years ago.

Anyway, I think the wallpaper is a splendid choice and looks amazing off of the living room.



OK. So the paper is now up as of last week, and the first couple of days, I was sick to my stomach because it wasn’t the feel I wanted.


Oh, I know the feeling. I’m listening.


I do love the pattern, though. We repainted ALL the trim in this room, and the living room before the paper went up because it had yellowed and it was 33 years old. And just nasty. I also painted below the chair rail the green in the living room so the rooms would flow together. Well, now that it’s all done, something is really BUGGING me in here.



The color on the ceiling and medallion is BM Mayonnaise OC-85. In fact, all of the trim in the living and dining room is Mayonnaise Satin Impervo (BM oil-based). The green in both rooms is a custom color from an old Martha Stewart color I love. It’s very moody and changes throughout the day.


Then there’s the wallpaper in cream.


I can’t put my finger on what is bugging me about this room. Something is off to me. And I’m wondering if it’s all the breaks in color which to me, is making it super busy…from the top – white to paper to white to green and back to white at the floor…and then my dark wood white oak wide plank floors are going in next Monday.


So have you done a post on situations like this…where everything looks choppy and how NOT to make it look choppy?


Whether painting all the trim and walls the same color, is it a “better” look and solves this kind of problem? I’m wondering if my room looks a bit “2000-ish”. I just don’t like a lot of white contrast, I think.

Also, there are bamboo blinds that go in the windows and curtains (multi-colored). Two double sconces are coming with black shades that will be going over the buffet. I know that you always recommend some black in a room plan, and I love that too.  There are also painted black Chippendale chairs with green buffalo check fabric.


Oh, sounds fantastic!


My ideas to “fix” this room plan is this:


Hold on a sec. I didn’t want to know to start with what Kim’s ideas are. I wanted to know if we had the same ideas.

And, guess what? We did!


1. Paint crown, chair rail green

2. Paint crown, chair rail, baseboard green (and door surrounds?) (window sills?)
3. Paint only chair rail green and leave the rest white
4. Paint the walls under chair rail mayonnaise to match trim and ceiling. Not sure if this will kill the whole thing (too white? and not flow into LR)
5. Leave everything alone. It looks great. Haha.

Soooo if you could steer me to any post you may have done on how to paint the trim in a room with wallpaper or just trim in general, I’d really appreciate it. If not, is this something others may be interested in?

Thanks a bunch,


My first thought was, yes, paint all of the trim green.


But, then, I started messing around with her image.

That’s because I wanted to see what the wallpaper looked like if we accessorized it.

Here’s the bottom line.




I mean, if you were going to a party and you had your shoes on but hadn’t had a shower or put on make-up, you’d look in the mirror and decide to stay home. Okay, YOU wouldn’t. But, I would. haha

However, my point is that a room that’s not finished isn’t ready for viewing.


But……………. How are you supposed to visualize your completed room plan?


I use picmonkey. Please go here for a picmonkey tutorial. It’s easy and fun!


The only thing that isn’t working for me is the mirror. I mean, it’s a beautiful mirror, but not the best choice, in my opinion for this room for these reasons.


It’s stained brown, and that makes the table, sideboard, and floor that’s coming in. Plus, I feel it’s a tad too casual with the crystal chandelier and a little heavy.

1940s-neoclassical-parcel-gilt-mirror-with-carved-giltwood-columns-8661I found this neoclassical beauty on Chairish. I love it because it’s black and gold and has a lot of presence. There are other mirrors, but definitely, something with gold in it would be terrific.


The thing is that the paper on its own feels overwhelming unless it’s broken up.


I mean, one can eat only so much whipped cream without the pumpkin pie to go with it. :]

Let’s look at some examples of what I’m talking about.

The master at layering everything in a room is James T Farmer. I would go over to his Instagram and study his rooms like crazy. Of course, some of you may not like this style, but for those of you who love a new-trad style, this is as good as it bets, in my opinion.


via instagram @jamestfarmer - @jeffherrphotovia Instagram @jamestfarmer – @jeffherrphoto


via @jamestfarmer - art wallpaper dining room

Another fantastic James T Farmer vignette


@jamestfarmer on instagram orange decor - photo: Jeff Herr

@jamestfarmer on Instagram photo: Jeff Herr


via @flowermagazine @jamestfarmer on instagram @emilyfollowillphotographer @normanaskins architect plates and art over wallpaper

via @flowermagazine @jamestfarmer on Instagram @emilyfollowillphotographer @normanaskins architect plates and art over wallpaper

I love how James uses plates and art together. Remember this post where we looked at decorating with plates? And, he also introduces some blue and white Chinoiserie as if it’s a neutral.


dining room accessorized room plan


Here is what I came up with. Of course, there could be art, but I’d need another four hours to work on this.  But, do you see what a difference it makes when the room is accessorized?


Now, I don’t know if Kim is planning on putting back the old drapes. I would do something quieter and only drape the outer soffit so that the rod can go right underneath the crown moulding.


I also did a room plan with a cream-colored curtain.


I like them both, but for me, the green has the edge. I’m also thinking about the black Chippendale dining chairs with the buffalo check.

Then, there’s going to be a dark hard-wood floor. I would love to add a seagrass rug. They’re so good looking and durable.


I think this room has the potential to be stunning!


But, what do we think about the trim, now? I think I would paint the chair rail and baseboard green and leave everything else in the mayonnaise. But, really, now that more elements are in the room, I’m not as bothered as before.


The bottom line is to make as solid a room plan as you can using all of the visualization tools at your disposal.


And, try not to freak out when you’re in the middle of things, and it’s not looking “right.” It most likely won’t look right, especially if the window treatments or wallpaper go in before the rest of the room.


I hope this gave everyone some food for thought when developing your room plans.


You might also enjoy What You Need to Know About Wallpaper.


And this post about Chinoiserie Wallpaper.

Plus, one of my favorites about Chinoiserie wallpaper panels.


I just want to add. I’m sorry that I’m not answering all of the comments. I feel guilty about it. I shouldn’t, but I do.


If I skip yours, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good one. It’s just that I’m trying to keep my head above water and stay healthy!

Getting settled in is extra challenging because it’s a new state, and I have to change EVERYTHING.

However, I’m really enjoying “Robby,” my Roborock vacuum! If you missed him, please check out that post here. I wish I had gotten a Robby a long time ago. My floors are gleaming, and all I have to do is press a button on my phone. Sick.

Tonight, when I was walking down Commonwealth Ave (on my way back from Trader Joes) with the lights and the amazing row houses, I thought I must be dreaming. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this incredibly beautiful city! I just don’t quite remember how I got here. It happened so fast!




PS: Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!


55 Responses

  1. Thank you, Nicole. Well, it’s too late. I’ve already painted over the green on the walls with mayonnaise. I figured out that is was the green that was throwing things off for me (and the mirror). This room faces due south and has tons of sunlight all day. A lot of the yellow gets washed out. But we’ll see once I get my floors in and the drapes up. So far, I like the room a lot better. I do love this color. My guest room is this color. It faces southwest. For some reason, it reads super yellow. If the dining room ends up being too yellow, I’ll do a 1/2 strength or something like that.

  2. It’s a gorgeous room and will be even better when it’s finished. Mayonnaise is a great color—I used it on all of the walls in my last house. The only pigment in it is yellow oxide if I remember correctly. So, before the owner repaints over the green on the walls, I encourage decorating the room fully and living with it for a minute. The mayonnaise is such a lovely color…and more of it will also play to the yellow in the wallpaper, which she may or may not end up enjoying. Best to get the other elements in there first and then decide.

  3. I think you’re
    “on the road” to happiness. Your paper choice is ‘to die for’ – and you’ve got everything else going in right direction. Loved LAUREL’s additions – AND – I think going w/ a James Farmer PINE ceiling would be ICING on your beautiful CAKE 🙂

  4. Just an update – I decided the main thing bugging me in here was the green paint. I felt it was too strong of a color for the paper. I decided the paper needs to stand on its own so I’ve painted the walls below the paper the same as the trim color – BM Mayonnaise. Looks lots better (to me). I’m also looking for a different mirror. One with some black AND gold in it. I had to return the original sconces I purchased and exchanged for something else but kept the black shades. Waiting for the floors to go in to decide if something needs to happen with the ceiling or not.

  5. WOW! I think Kim’s dining room is off to a smashing start! I adore her combination of wallpaper, sideboard and dining table. Maybe I’m nuts, but I would have thought it would look wonderful to have the wallpaper cover the entire wall, from ceiling to floor, but you said you thought that would be too much, Laurel. I guess I just don’t care for the switch of the chair rail and paint in the middle of the walls. I feel that it breaks the continuity and looks choppy. I do agree that she needs a different mirror than the one she currently has hanging on the wall, and I love the coral/orange chinoiserie piece you chose. This is going to be a beautiful room.

  6. Jane – that mirror is GORGEOUS! And I really love the red color and the idea. I’d actually thought of doing some red paint in there but then I wondered if it would look too much like Christmas. You know- red and green. Because I got some heavy duty green saturation going on in the living room! All walls and my 19ft. ceiling (ugh).

  7. Gorgeous room Kim! I love the colors and the wallpaper. I agree with the idea that the area below the chair rail is supposed to represent wainscoting, not painted drywall, so I’d paint the chair rail, wall below it and the baseboard all the same color, either the green or mayonnaise. I didn’t notice the ceiling at first but went back to look after reading the other comments. I do prefer smooth ceilings, but it’s a pain to change that, and I’d be too lazy to tackle it. I think it will be lovely once the floor and accessories are in, as Laurel so beautifully illustrated.

  8. Hi everyone. First off, I’d like to say thank you for all of the very kind and thoughtful comments. And thank you for taking the time to comment with your ideas. So many different ways to go with this room, it seems.

    My head is now swimming. I suppose I’ll wait until my floors are installed to do anything further. I’m kinda now seeing what others are seeing about the ceiling being “white”. Not sure about the color, though. I’m not really a yellow or gold person. Though green is my favorite color. But maybe a yellow or gold would look best?? What I was very surprised about is the mirror. No one likes it in here. I love the different shape of it and how it takes up a lot of space visually.

    But I now see how it is heavy looking and wood wood wood and more wood.I do have a gold faux bamboo mirror that I purchased several years ago from Shades of Light (I’m sure most of you know the one I’m talking about). But it isn’t a large mirror. I think it’s only 24″ wide so I don’t know if that’s too small for this big buffet or not. But I do agree that gold would be good in here. I could fill in around the mirror but someone else said this paper doesn’t need that. And I’m still waiting on the sconces. They’re the double bamboo sconces from Ballard’s w/black linen shades if you want to look it up.

    I believe SM asked where I got my buffet. I purchased it in 2004 from an antique store here in Houston…on the cheap. And BTW, I found the big wooden mirror in a junk pile on Tuesday Morning for $50 back in 2003.
    As far as the curtains, the ones I have my mom made for me. They are colorful big squares and have every color in the wallpaper. I hung them inside the bay to cover up my ugly windows…so my poor husband wouldn’t have to trim them out. He’s tired. haha. Too many other things around here he’s been building.

    If anyone has any more thoughts I’d love to hear them. Thanks again for all your ideas.

  9. For the same reason that we wouldn’t paint chair rail and molding a different color from the drywall in the middle of it, I agree with others about painting the woodwork all the same color. The principle behind this is that optimally we’d like it to appear to be all WOOD wainscoting, not trimmed out drywall and by painting it the same color it mimics wood paneled wainscoting.

  10. Kim, I love what you have done so far, especially the wallpaper! I love the shape and quality of your beautiful dodecagonal mirror. It may be a little too heavy but wait until you get everything else in.the room because it might be fine.. I found a mirror that might work as well. It is wood and looks like it goes with the table legs,. I would paint the wall below the chair trim a soft warm red like BM Moroccan Spice AF-285 like the red in the wallpaper to give the room sparkle, and paint the ceiling the pale celery green found in the little dunes in the wallpaper. If you don’t like the red idea, then I’d go with cream. Leave the trim as is. Add a celadon vase/lamp, black ginger jar on floor. If you go with the red, add a dash to the next room to tie it together. Good luck. I’m sure whatever you end up doing will be lovely.
    Examples of:

    Chippendale Mirror

    Ginger Jar

  11. Kim, the dining room is already beautiful, and with the suggestions of Laurel and the other commenters, it’s going to be drop-dead gorgeous! Here’s my two cents:

    After the floor is installed, find a wool rug with the beautiful colors in the wallpaper. Love sea grass but agree with the person who described a gravy spill – it may not be easy to clean.

    Paint the ceiling green or the semi-gloss gold suggested.

    Based on Kim’s description of the sconces that have been ordered, would stick with a gold mirror over the buffet. Faux bamboo, suggested by a few commenters, would be my choice.

    Paint the chair rail, wall below and all trim the cream that is the background color of the wallpaper.

    I love the orange in the wallpaper. Think the orange vase Laurel pic-monkeyed in looks magnificent! For that reason, suggest trying to find drapes (or fabric to have drapes made) in that color. Or perhaps do green or cream drapes with a band/trim in orange down the insides of the panels.

    Agree that not much is needed on the walls – wouldn’t want to cover too much of that gorgeous paper. But if Kim doesn’t choose to use plates, she might want to do blocks of painted wood with chinoserie vases on top. Maybe some blue and white ones like Laurel’s lamps. Miles Redd uses this to display vases and statues (Google Miles Redd taxi cab yellow living room from Veranda magazine a few years back to see what I’m trying to describe) and it’s pretty neat.

    Whatever you choose, Kim, am certain you’ll absolutely love the room when it’s done. Please, please send pictures! And thank you and Laurel for this post. It was so much fun!

  12. I too would very much like to see the finished room! (realizing, of course, that it might be a while :)) Laurel, I have always loved visiting cities and haven’t been back east in so long (I’m from NH, close to Boston – I have a granddaughter close to you on Beacon Hill and I’ve never visited her there – she always comes here to Montana), you are making me daydream about moving!

  13. I love the wallpaper! Gold ceiling sounds fabulous too, but what feels off to me is the way the various trims, baseboard, chair rail, and door frames relate to each other..like the hierarchy is upside down…please be patient with me..

    The chair rail is so wide..almost as wide as the baseboard. Together they dwarf the molding around the doors. It feels to me like adding something to the top of your doorways, a horizontal frieze?(grasping for terms in my brain this time of night) would help. I’m not sure of the size, but I’m sure some trial would help sort that out.

    Maybe a carpenter can take out the top thats currently there and have the side moldings butt up against the horizontal frieze on top. The horizontal part would be a bit thicker than the side moldings.

    I can’t wait to see this room all done!

  14. Hi Laurel,
    I think the progress made in the dining room is wonderful. I don’t think any additional painting needs to be done. Kim thinks it looks choppy but I think the light trim provides contrast. Which I’ve been taught every good design needs. I do agree on switching out the mirror & adding a seagrass rug would. I also love the other finishing touches you added with pic monkey.

  15. This can work. But with that wall covering, the green at the bottom makes your room look choppy. I would paint the wood and the wall below one color and as close as possible to the background color of the wallpaper. It could be lighter as long as the tone is similar. Personally I am not a fan of matching lamps on the buffet or anywhere for that matter. I would also have the drapes blend with the wall to reduce choppiness, such as in the last image. Best of luck.

  16. I think it really boils down to:
    do you want to create a décor using what you already have? or do you want to start fresh and pretty much ignore what you already have?

  17. I think it looks fine. But she wanted “dark and moody” and that’s not this. I would:

    1. Paint the chair rail green and the ceiling another color from the wallpaper.
    2. Get dark drapes and a dark-toned Chinese hand-knotted carpet.
    3. Hang a gorgeous mirror like the one you suggested and lots of “moody” landscape art with wooden frames.

    I’ve read here and there about how you can add sheer colored glazes to wallpapers to lighten or darken them, or change the tone. Would that work here, I wonder? I could imagine some interesting effects. Have you ever seen it done?

  18. Kim, your home is beautiful, and I adore your dining room – I mean I’m having serious dining room envy! The wallpaper, chandelier, furnishings – I love it all! Laurel, your advice is so good. It makes sense to get the room finished and styled before tweaking this and that. I do like the accessories that you chose to go with the room. Then, if Kim is still not “feeling it” she can try some of the re-painting suggestions. Laurel, I’m giddy with excitement when I see your new posts in my email! Wishing you all the best in your new home (which is gorgeous btw)!

  19. Hi
    Wow! Such a beautiful room and all the comments above bring up so many and brilliant ideas.
    I would paint the wall, below the chair railing, mayonnaise or the background color of the wallpaper. Maybe, a shade lighter for the ceiling.
    I feel the green doesn’t really belong, even though it is a beautiful color. I would bring the green in with plants and other accessories.
    A simple gold-framed mirror, perhaps faux bamboo as mentioned above, would simplify things. Simple white lamps on the credenza would be beautiful.
    Best wishes on your decorating journey!

  20. Take a deep breath and appreciate what you have done and like. Start by painting the chair rail, step back and enjoy. Then see if it still looks choppy. Go from there. I would not paint the crown green as you are adding more choppiness. The ceiling is a nice balance to the white doors/ floor molding. Take down the mirror. Move a few other mirrors from around the house there, try different shapes/ proportions. Don’t paint the existing mirror. It’s heavy and small for the space, but lovely for somewhere else.

  21. Oh – this may be helpful – I used Laurel’s link to see where Kim’s story began, and that is where I found her adjoining room, fireplace mantel and entrance.

  22. I think the trim color is fine as is, provides contrast, the room is coming together nicely.

    It’s definitely the ceiling that’s off. I like the suggestions regarding placing wood type boards to cover what appears to be a textured ceiling. Or remove the texture and paint it a different color, not mayonnaise.

    The beveled mirror itself is nice, it’s the wood frame around it that looks heavy. Can you bear to paint it? If yes, how about a shade of green? Or ivory. Or make it mosaic if you’re crafty. And accessorize. Candlesticks perhaps? Or, move the mirror from the fireplace mantel to this wall to give you an idea if something ‘lighter’ looks better. You will still need to accessorize. Add a table runner to the Buffet if it looks too dark once the floor is installed, or if drastic measures are needed, you could paint it.

    Laurel made a good suggestion to add a rug, especially as you adjust to the new floor. And great suggestion regarding where to place the curtain rod.

    On a side note, I have to say I really like the shutter window treatments in the adjoining room, you did good! I would play with arrangements on the mantel. I liked the books but the mirror and art, not so much; I know, total opposite of Laurel’s recommendation.
    You could place a very large wreath such as a manzanita (round or oblong or square) on the wall above the mantel ‘surround’ or even hang it to have the lower edge skim onto the wood to blend the wood / wall together, but play with pic monkey or something before you go that route. You could play virtually with empty picture frame shapes to see how various shapes look in the space.

    Also, the map (?) on the wall is too large to be placed where it is. That might fit over the dining room buffet, or not. You could lean it on the buffet as a backdrop and yes, accessorize. Play!

    BTW – I never knew where to start in a room re-do and took as many classes as I could; I was taught to START with the floor and go from there. You can change paint color or wallpaper easier than you can change expensive flooring.

    Laurel — great suggestions regarding adding or extending the walls and kudos to Kim for executing, not everyone can take that on. I also like a true entrance.
    AND – who is going to educate home builders and renovators on decent floor plans, etc? I think you know what I mean. 😉 Have you written about that? We all have to work around their ‘creations’ but would be nice to work together. Somehow the tail is wagging the dog!

    Thank you lovely ladies for taking us on your journeys and please keep us updated. Love the photos.

    Happy New Year!

  23. I feel the same way every time I do a project too. In the middle of the work before everything is in place, I worry that I have made a big mistake (especially with paint color). And it doesn’t help to have my husband come in and say something to the effect of I’m I sure that’s the paint I really want? I try really hard to stick to my plan and finish up my original plans because you can go back and easily repaint trim if you aren’t happy after it’s done. Same thing with accessories. I think the paint colors and the wallpaper are beautiful!

  24. Hi Laurel Love all of your suggestions except the rug. Little Johnnie drops his plate and the gravy goes everywhere. The baby is, of course, in his high chair and tips over his plate. Not good. Quite frankly, bringing or pulling a chair up to the table is difficult on a sea grass rug. have to stop the dinner, pull up the rug and take it outside and hose it down, then go in and wash the food off the floor, then everyone, “let’s go in the living room and eat. A really good host/hostess would ignore it and entertain her/his guests. I want to be like the latter but not there yet.

  25. I am in total agreement with the comments made by GL — feel that the plates, mirror and Greek key on the draperies are way too much. The mirror and sconces that are coming will be lovely along with the black Chippendale chairs. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  26. I think Kim should put raised paneling under the chair rail. It needs the depth and wallpaper will look more balanced.

  27. Thank you Laurel: I have learnt a lot from your posts. You make me laugh which is so precious these days. Just let you know. There are funs under water. Congratulations to your new home. Wish all the best!

  28. I love this room. What you have added Laura certainly helps finish it! You are the master!
    I agree that this lovely owner should let it come to a finish. I was so afraid looking at my new Calcutta gold shower, I thought for sure it was too busy. Now I smile every time I go into the room!
    Best of luck to her. She has lovely taste.
    Best Regards,

  29. What a beautiful room! That wallpaper is exquisite. Laurel, your idea of a different mirror and sea grass rug sound wonderful. I loved what you did with picmonkey. The James Farmer rooms are gorgeous, but where does anyone find all the gorgeous pieces of furniture? Not where I live!

  30. My vote goes to painting the skirting board and the rest of the trim in the same green to create a smoother visual line. I do like the white ceiling but I am imagining the ceiling in semi-gloss gold OR the same green!! Yes — I would love to see a gold faux bamboo mirror! Gorgeous room — can’t wait to see photos of the pretty finished space!

  31. Depending on how much white trim there is in the rest of the house …I would paint the lower wall the cream and paint the ceiling the green to tie it into the living room. I hope we will see more of this beautiful home as it is finished!!

  32. This post really hit home with me because I do the very same thing…it’s a terrible feeling to be overwhelmed with that wave of doubt, like you’ve made a big, ugly, expensive mistake. Then it’s even harder to make decisions because you’re afraid of making more of a mess. Laurel, you did a fabulous job of demonstrating how a room evolves and that there is more than one “right” answer. I appreciate when you take reader dilemmas and wave your wand. Thank you for the inspiration and best wishes with your beautiful new home.

  33. Wow! Truly amazing! You are magic, Laurel. In Kim’s picture, all I saw was the wallpaper, which I LOVE! Then Laurel does her thing, and a gorgeous room appears! A room that I am super jealous of, by the way! Lovely! I flipped my dining and living rooms so I could have a larger dining room. So my small, sitting room, as I call it, has a chair rail. The room is painted in BM Blair Gold and I love it, but I’ve pondered the thought of changing some of the white trim, especially the chair rail, from white to gold. This post helped me to understand that that is ok. The trim does not have to be all one color. Thank you!

  34. I concur with the CEILING comments. No offense to Kim (thank U kindly BTW for allowing to see your photos) – but, YUCK. Do not like ceiling. Consider doing a pine wood plank like the James Farmer initial photo. That would be SWEET 🙂 Blessings on the journey !

  35. I’d paint the walls under the chair rail the background color of the wallpaper, leave the woodwork as it is, and make the ceiling the same as what’s in the adjoining room. Change the mirror, just use shades at the windows (without curtains), and add a rug … but decide on all that and the artwork after everything else is done.

  36. I see the problem here. It’s the ceiling color. The wallpaper is gorgeous but it needs a top the same color as the paint beneath the chair rail. The ceiling color leaves the wallpaper ‘floating’ on top. Think how gorgeous the chandelier will look against that color.

  37. And one thing I forgot: a question for everyone here. I’m amazed to see the skirting boards going in before the floor! Is this usual in America? I’ve noticed in kitchen renovations that people are proposing to change the floor, apparently without moving all the cabinetry out — how is this possible?

  38. Lovely room. Gorgeous paper. I see I’m not the first to point to the ceiling. I really think that is what’s not feeling right. From the pictures it looks textured. IMO a textured ceiling makes the room look like it’s trying to be ready for the party but didn’t bother to wash or style it’s hair. (Riffing on Laurel’s great analogy). Remove the texture, drywall over it, or even better, install tongue and groove wood bead board and repaint in a soft colour lighter than the walls but coordinating with the wallpaper. I agree with not deciding on the trim paint until the room is finished. All your choices are wonderful and brave too. I love wallpaper but I’m afraid to do it! Good luck with everything Kim and thanks for opening your home to us.

  39. I too agree that the mirror is too heavy; also that the Greek key trim is distracting (even though I love Greek key!). i would hold off on painting anything until flooring goes in and all furniture and accessories are placed. Gorgeous room!

  40. The room — wallpaper, green paint, trim color — is gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. The one part that makes my eye twitch is the ceiling. To me, it would be like wearing a beautiful chinoiserie dress (wallpaper pattern) with an elegant green shawl (curtains) and then carrying a big white umbrella (ceiling paint). If I knew how to ‘picmonkey,’ I would bring the background yellow of the wallpaper, go a few shades lighter and then put it on the ceiling to make the ceiling disappear.
    Oh, it’s fun when you invite us into your readers’ beautiful homes and we all get to dream. Appreciate Kim allowing us into her dining room.

  41. The room is looking lovely. I really like the chandelier and paper you have chosen. As Laurel says, it probably is wise to have a bit more of your room put together before deciding on what to do with the chair rail and trim. My leanings are toward painting the chair rail and possibly the baseboards green. It is such a pretty colour. It’s only paint so if you don’t like it, you can always paint it white again. Start with one wall before you commit to the whole room and see how you like it.

  42. What an elegant room! I’d leave the paint as is, definitely change the mirror, it looks too heavy with the table and server, wood on wood on wood. La Barge has nice mirrors, but lots of other vintages can be easily found as well. I really like the one picked by Lauren. I’d do the green curtains, adds a bit more sophistication than the cream and is more unusual. I’d love to know where the server along the wall is from? It’s beautiful, and I’m looking for something similar for my dining room.

  43. I too love these blogs. They are so helpful for me. I think the room is beautiful and looking forward to seeing the finished result. For now the only change I would do is the mirror.

  44. I’ve had that same pit in my stomach a lot lately as we are making some updates to our home. I wanted to update the color, but my husband had asked that I not add that expense (tall walls & lots of them in the great room). We ended up having to repaint 80% because of drywall repairs anyway. My husband woke up in the middle of one night with me sobbing because I was unhappy with it.

    But now that accessories are coming in, it is pulling together & I can live with it. Still in process, but getting there.

    Thanks for the great reminder!

  45. Miss the shower and the make-up, don’t go to the party. LOL! Now you are talking my language. Thank you for that, I needed it this morning. Not that I didn’t read the decorating advice as well. But, well, thanks for that.

  46. I’m going to disagree with you here, Laurel! So far, I think the paint scheme works very well. The mirror is indeed too heavy, and something lighter, black or gold but not both, would be better. The wallpaper is the focus, and I would follow the principle that with patterned paper like this (see below for what I mean), other finishes need to be plain. That means either a simple black-framed mirror or a gold rococo one (since chinoiserie is a province of rococo, dixit a recent exhibition here). It also means plain curtains (totally agree to put them on a rail above the soffit) which either match the green paint (probably difficult to find) or the cream base of the wallpaper (easier to find), and no pattern at the bottom.
    With the mirror, and the sconces she says are coming, that’s all the accessorizing that’s needed. You show some JTF rooms: in all except the first, the wallpaper is a form of stripes, which gives the designer much more latitude for adding plates, prints, etc to the walls. In the one room with a jungle leaf design, the extras are landscape plus dog paintings in heavy gold frames, thus linking to the “vegetable” motif (the landscape works much better than the dog, also because of the colours), and the leopard print goes with the “tropical” aspect of the wallpaper. But even here, the wallpaper is organized as stripes, not at all the same effect as the chinoiserie we’re dealing with here.
    However, it is indeed only when all the finishes and accessories are in that one can really judge a room. A long time ago, Jocasta Innes pointed out that a room with DIY dragged walls may look terrible when you see it and focus on the mistakes, but once the room is full of furniture and art, the walls become background and look fine. The walls in this room will never be mere background for lots of accessories, and that’s just as it should be.

  47. I like the idea of painting the base boards and chair rail green, while leaving the rest mayonnaise. This treatment is a little more current where I live. (I live in London, you can search Farrow and Ball or Devol kitchens for the esthetic.)

  48. I love it when you do your step-by-step makeovers, and show the thought process you went through to get there. Thanks, Laurel!

  49. I love the mirror and chinoiserie you put in the picmonkey version.. The mirror that is there right now just doesn’t live up to the specialness of the wallpaper. I wouldn’t have the Greek key on the drapes though, too busy for me. I hope she will send an update after the flooring goes in.

  50. Agree. Wait until the floor is down, and you have your chairs and lamps in, then decide on the chair rail etc (although agree it chairrail will look lovely green too). Hope we see the final result, as lovely colours and wallpaper. Good luck!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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