Magazine article Sunset

Have a Question about Life in the West? We Have the Answers

Magazine article Sunset

Have a Question about Life in the West? We Have the Answers

Article excerpt

Q: Is there a minor tweak that would update my house?

The interior has a lot of sage green trim, 'which is feeling very ... '90s. But our furniture goes well with it, so I'm nervous to change it.--L.T., KENSINGTON, CA

DEAR L.T.: Paint can be a heartbreaker. You spend time and money painting your living room the perfect color. Then years pass, and when you walk in your front door, you feel as though you're reliving an episode of Blossom.

There are remedies. One, obviously, is to paint the trim a new shade that will still work with your furniture. In your case, consider a switch from sage to a cool neutral white or an off-white (many designers' go-to neutral is Behr Swiss Coffee 1812). Or move to a brighter green, such as the Benjamin Moore Fairmont Green HC-127 that we used at our Idea Town (see it on the door frame on page 51).

Don't want to break out the paintbrush? Deploy accessories that will freshen up your trim and room. Ethnic textiles, like a suzani or a kilim, are great for this. Pick rugs or pillows that contain sage but also use navy and purple tones, or even hot fuchsia or yellow. Bringing in bold, graphic patterns--say a scattering of black and white pillows--is another good way to make your house look like it's ready for 2014, not 1994.

Q: We're heading to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the shows, but want to eat well too. Recommendations?--D.G., SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR D.G.: Ashland after the summer crowds have thinned--excellent plan! …

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