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Q. Hello, I need help, I just purchased an Edrich Mills oak single pedestal dining table & wheatback chairs, in an antique golden oak stain.

I have never had oak furniture before except for my family oak sideboard and I'm not sure how to decorate with it or what window treatments I should use on my french doors.

I will be putting up new border in this room and new acessories, Can you help? I think my decor in my house is traditional and contemporary. (ecclectic)

Thank You, Holly

A. Holly, a room or space ends up as a sum of all the parts. So looking at the characteristics of your furniture will guide you to decisions that create a balance in your room.

Oak has a large, strong grain especially when finished naturally. This furniture needs large patterns and rich colors to equal the impact of the large scale style and the strong color contrast of the wood grain.

Try adding a wood molding or a paper border that is architectural in feel. Use a wide stripe, tone-on-tone for a wall paper or paint stripes yourself. For a contemporary feel try running the stripes horizontally; also, consider some wall papers or borders from the Arts & Crafts period, or William Morris designs.

Just painting the walls with a small scale border would not be strong enough to balance the furniture.

Keep the French Doors simple - like a lace or cutwork curtain. Choose this fabric after the floor and wall treatment have been selected so it complements.

Don't forget your fifth wall - the ceiling. Painting it a gold tone will blend with the oak wood tone.

Keep accessories in large pieces with strong detail. That goes for pictures also. Enjoy your new room.


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Reita Bayman

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