Good Questions: What to do with all this dark wood?

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Jessica writes: "We are moving from Los Angeles to our first house in Portland (though it's still a rental). It's a craftsman style home, with lots of wood paneling on the walls, as well as dark paint colors. Our furnishing include lucite, bright vinyl and Eames era decor. An example would be the San Francisco apartment tour of Lisa's Colorful Mission Abode. How can we make this work ? We may be able to paint the walls, but definitely can't touch any of that blasted wood. Any suggestions ?"

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Hi Jessica, Congratulations on your new home! We agree that paint would definitely be the first step in trying to lighten the room. We wouldn't necessarily go with white, since that might actually emphasize the dark wood even more by giving it too much contrast. Perhaps consider a lighter neutral, like a medium grey or tan, which would certainly compliment your lighter toned mid-century furnishings. Perhaps even consider painting the ceiling the same lighter neutral, or even white, which would create a visual gradation from light to dark. Also, a nice big light colored rug on the floor could help brighten things up. Does anyone else have any suggestions or ideas for Jessica?

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