Double Post! Readers’ Questions Answered PLUS Stunning Before & After Exterior Photos

January 5, 2019

I have not written a post in awhile, so I thought I would start the New Year off with an double dose of decorating fun! Here are a few questions I have received recently from readers:

Hi Kelly,

“This is what I am working with. I recently purchased a home that has emerald/forest green kitchen and bath counter tops the cabinets were a medium brown and had gold hardware. Since replacing the counter tops is not an option and I am working with them. I have chosen a grey almost slightly shaded brown for my cabinet color and have purchases a light grey for my walls which flows into my dining and den area where I have a large wall that has a rock fireplace with built inns. My problem is in the den there is chair rail molding not the pretty kind and taking it up is not on my want to do list should I paint the chair rail the same color as the wall to make the room flow or should I make them pop. I will be painting kitchen and hopefully funding some type of backsplash I am considering just going with hunter green subway tile and just going with it lol. “Also should I paint the built ins the same color as the walls or a contrasting color like the color of my kitchen cabinets also I want to brighten up the stone fireplace but not to much and am unsure if I should keep the fireplace mantel the original wood because I am adding a custom variated wood island in the kitchen area. I trying my best to blend it all together without it looking to log cabin style lol going for more farmhouse.”

Before photo:

emerald green counters

My advice for her back splash working with the emerald green counters, is NOT to buy a solid green subway tile. I think it will be too much green! Here are a couple ideas I would consider to work with the green counter tops for a back splash:





A neutral back splash or a tile with a bit of hunter green in it would work best. Choose the one that will work best with counters and cabinets. I think your kitchen will look great after painting and adding a new back splash!

For your dining room:


You have the right idea by painting them out the same as the wall color to ‘hide’ the molding. It will help the molding blend in with the wall and ‘disappear. I would do the same with the crown molding in the other top photo, paint all the molding and trim same color as walls and it will make the trim must less noticeable. I talked about this treatment here:



I think it is a great solution as it will really update the room and disguise the trim you do not want highlighted.




I suggested to paint the bookshelves in white to bring in more of that ‘farm style’ look.  I would leave the mantle as is- it will tie into your kitchen table and island.


Thanks so much for sharing Katesa! It is really transforming into a beautiful space. Great job you are doing!


“Hello Kelly,  Hope this finds you well.  I’ve been reading your responses on the blog:

I’m moving into a townhouse that has brown wooden floor tiles, and white walls all over. For the bedroom,  we have a 2-shaded brown bed,  it’s dark with light decoration on it.

Randomly,  we picked grey drapes for the windows. We really were not thinking of the bigger picture,  we just wanted grey curtains. The sheers/lining are ivory with grey print on it.  I realized the “blunder”, and am now consulting you for advise to blend everything in please.  How can we go about harmonizing it all?”

Highly appreciate your blog.




Here are similar items:

two tone headboard


ivory curtains


Hello Pam! When we talk about mixing brown and gray, it does not include flooring or furniture. They are like jeans and work with most everything.  Your bed works well with your gray window treatments.

You mentioned the window treatments are ivory with a gray print. I would get bedding with an ivory background to work with curtains. Since the ivory and gray are so neutral, just bring in a color you love, such as blue, green, etc. and use for bed pillows and a few accessories around room. Are you getting an area rug? Choose that first and work off of rug to pull out colors for pillows.(Background should be ivory, not white, to work with curtains.)

Hope this helps! Just remember that you do not have to worry and hard surfaces, such as bed frames or dressers or floors when choosing the soft components in the bedroom such as the window treatments and bedding. Good luck with your project!


I wanted to share with you all a recent online exterior color consulting project:


marylee before


marylee after2

What a beautiful transformation! My client wrote, “We are very happy with the colors and have had many complements (including from neighborhood walkers who we don’t really know very well).”


marylee before3


marylee after3

The house looks much brighter and updated, don’t you agree? The Magic of Paint!


marylee before2


Marylee after

A priority for the homeowner was updating the look of the trim, gutters and garage doors. I suggested painting all the trim, railings, gutters and garage doors in SW 7566 Westhighland White. A soft white with a pinch of green undertone. Westhighland White works well with the new wall color SW7045 Intellectual Gray, which is a beautiful gray with green undertones. The brown shutters were painted a rich black- SW 6258 Tricorn Black. Wait until the plants and trees turn green in the summer- gorgeous.

I really enjoy online color consultations. Especially when I get to see the after photos! Thank you so much for allowing me to share Marylee!

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by!






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