Q: My bedroom is furnished with a combination of painted and natural fruitwood pieces, all of them in Louis XVI styling. Since the off-white painted furniture can't be refinished, would it make sense to paint all the pieces the same color? Also, can you suggest a treatment for the walls and floor other than the celadon green paint and carpet that currently covers them?
A: A lot depends on the size of your room and which of the pieces are now painted. I'll assume that the bedroom is of average size, and that it contains a queen-size bed in natural fruitwood finish. If that's the case, then I suggest you paint the dresser in whatever color you choose.
The general principle here is to establish a contrast between the two biggest pieces in the room, so that one serves as an accent. Most of the remaining furniture in the room should either be painted in a single color or left in its natural finish. In this way, your bedroom will take on a more coherent look.
Such a space also needs a distinctively styled surround with, for example, the generous use of a single pattern. In the room shown in the photo, all the walls, the bedspread and the side curtains are done in a Toile de Jouy pattern, a name derived from a cotton printed during the late 18th century in the French town of Jouy.
In the modern interpretation seen in the photo, a rich carnation red is printed on white linen, depicting a typical scene of figures in a classical landscape. This "Les Bergers" toile, available both as a wall covering and a fabric, comes from a Stroheim and Romann collection called "Classic Gallery II."
Should you choose this type of color scheme for the walls, I advise you to cover the floor with either a red or off-white carpet. If your room is large enough, leave some wooden floor exposed around the perimeter and cover the rest with a rug in either a geometric or large-scale floral pattern.