Here’s this weeks question that made the top of the list because I think this is a common issue so hopefully it’ll help a lot of you!
“Maria, I know a lot of what I did wrong when choosing a paint color for this office now that I’ve found your blogs and books! (For instance, I started with picking the artwork rather than furniture, and I obviously did not take into account the undertones in the fixed finishes.)
That said, could this blue possibly work well enough if the florescent lighting was changed?
Or how else can I improve on it without totally repainting the office?
Also, what would you recommend for a furniture color, again, without repainting?
If it has to be repainted, and the landlord won’t replace the lights, carpets or anything else, what do you recommend?”
Here is my advice:
First, changing out the lighting will do nothing to improve this room. We have three colours here and none of them relate to each other (except it looks like there’s some burgundy in the carpeting).
Overall, however, the READ is that they don’t relate. If you have to get a magnifying glass out to see the colour that relates, then that’s probably not the one you should choose in general.
Currently, the burgundy chairs look like they’ve been here since the 80s. The carpet was probably replaced in the 90s because it appears to be orange beige.
You’re right, as I’ve just said, the blue is a problem because it doesn’t relate to anything. Combined with the old chairs and orange carpeting, the resulting look and feel is more like a kids room blue and on top of all that, it’s also created a clean and dirty problem.
The blue is simply too fresh with the more muted, earthy, gold carpet.
However, don’t despair, there is actually a relatively simple fix for this, but I have taken the liberty of creating three options for you to choose from:
The cheapest and easiest fix without repainting the walls is to replace all the burgundy chairs with white chairs.
The white chairs will relate to your artwork, white vertical blinds and doors (since one door in this waiting room is already white, I would paint the orange wood door on the other side the same colour).
It will still look like you are ignoring the orange carpet, but that’s what it looks like right now with the blue walls that don’t relate to anything (eeek have I said that already?).
Even if you chose a colour that related to the orange carpet, the burgundy chairs still look older than anything in the room and should be replaced.
Since white is the new grey, I thought I’d show you what it looks like photoshopped in white so you could see that it would NOT be an option here. Very bad with the earthy, orange carpet.
Looks like a bald, unfinished room (like we’ve just painted the room with primer) which is what happens if you overdo white walls in an earthy interior.
Paint the room a colour that relates to SOMETHING. You are always looking at the biggest items in the room when it comes time to choose the wall colour.
Burgundy or pink is out here because it would simply take the room back to the 80s.
Since the carpet is an orange beige colour, I have photoshopped the room so that you can see how much better it would be even if that’s all we do (Keep in mind the photoshopping isn’t perfect but you can get the idea).
How do you make orange beige from the 90s look current? Well, I found this pretty inspiration photo that I’ve posted before:
Here’s the room painted in orange beige with teal chairs and some landscape art to pull both colours together (below):
And here’s the room painted turquoise (below). Notice that the chair arms relate to the carpet which also pulls in the orange beige.
Over to you my lovelies. Which scheme do you like best? If you have some more advice for my lovely reader, feel free to post it in the comments.
I posted this particular dilemma because I think it’s a common one in any environment, residential or commercial. Obviously the blue was chosen because no one was interested in painting the room the same shade as the existing carpet, however a random colour that doesn’t relate to anything just makes everything OLD stick out even more, as we have just learned.
If you have a question that hasn’t been covered before for my Ask Maria column, take photos without flash and in good natural light (clean up the room the best you can) and email them here.
If you would like a room in your house to fill you with happiness when you walk in the room, our Get me Started package can help!