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Q: We just bought a new home and have a question about some of the colours we’ve selected. We really like the idea of having chocolate- and coffee-coloured walls with lime green as our punch colour. Our great room has cathedral ceilings, dark wood floors and a two-storey bay window at the front. We want to paint at least one of the walls in chocolate but aren’t sure if it will be too dark. Our couches are a creamy-white leather. What is the best way to use the dark brown?

Photograph of a man sorting through paint chips.Tamara says....
It sounds like the room gets plenty of natural light, so I think you could paint either one or two walls in a deep brown shade and use a medium tone for the remaining walls and ceiling (white ceilings look too stark with dark paint colours). Be sure that the medium tone is deep enough to contrast with the creamy-white couches but not so deep that it sucks the life out of the room. Try using creamy tones for the curtains and lampshades, and add a very large mirror. Lime green is the perfect colour to punch up brown tones, but just don’t overdo it!

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.