Good Questions: A Paint Color for this Sunny Dining Room?

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Editor: I am all prepared to paint my dining room wall, but I realized... I really have no idea what color I should use! My bench cushions are green and white, my chairs are red, and the trim is white (try to ignore the blue trim tape I used to prime the walls). The two windows in this area provide a lot of light, which makes the area seem very light and airy. I would like to keep that feeling. I would REALLY appreciate hearing what you think would be a good wall color for this room.

Eric in Austin

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Dear Eric,

With so much light streaming in you have a lot of great options. Sometimes when a space is really bright, it can be helpful to darken the walls, to give the eyes a rest. (This accounts for all the dark wood paneling in boat interiors). But without actually being in your room we can't tell if it calls for that kind of treatment. Since you actually know what the light is like in this room, make this call yourself, and adjust any advice you get accordingly.

We're going to err on the light side, and suggest you go with a fairly neutral color, one that will set off your existing colors (bright green and red) but be more interesting than white.

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We like the idea of a cool, soft blue, pictured above on the shutters. Mark described this shade in this ColorTherapy post, and gives some specific paint color correlates in the post.

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We also like the idea of a matte putty color, because it will create an excellent canvas for adding more color: art, table settings, flowers and, of course, food. Again, check out Mark's ColorTherapy post for paint suggestions.

Anyone else?