Interior designer and blogger David Mitchell recently took part in an online chat. Here is an edited excerpt:

My living room has a camel sofa and two off-white chairs. Any suggestions for paint colors that would add some color, but not overwhelm the space?

I would highly suggest using a blue/gray color, such as Benjamin Moore’s Ocean Air. It makes a great background for neutral upholstery.

I noticed on your blog, David Mitchell Uncensored, that you painted your front door a glossy black. My house is red brick and I think the intense black would be too much. Any other suggestions?

If you want a black door but not pitch black, I recommend Fine Paints of Europe’s Flint Black. It is a softer black and would look great on a red brick house. Another suggestion if you are going to have a black door: Do not paint your shutters black. You want the black door to be special.

My husband and I do not want to know the gender of our baby before he or she is born. What is a nice, gender-neutral color for the baby’s bedroom? We would prefer something besides yellow.

I would select a classic green color. If you have a boy, blue looks great with it, and pink works with green for a girl. And although I said classic, something a little more current wouldn’t be bad. Try Benjamin Moore’s Pale Sea Mist.

I live in an all-beige house. How can I bring in more seasonal accessories to warm it up?

Wood bowls are a great way to bring in seasonal accessories. Pottery Barn has large vintage carved wood bowls. They are great for a sideboard or coffee table, and you can fill them with mini pumpkins to add a dash of orange to a neutral space.

I am deciding on what kind, or combination, of floor to use in a walkout basement apartment. It has new double French doors to the outside stone patio. Any ideas on what would be best — all wood, wood in the galley kitchen and by the entry with carpet in the rest, or tile in the kitchen/entry? So many possibilities. Can you help?

I was just out at Marble Systems ( in Fairfax, Va. They have this amazing porcelain flooring that looks like exotic wood or petrified wood. Very affordable and a great look. It would be perfect for the basement apartment!

I am looking for a new king-size bed frame for my bedroom. I have in mind a platform bed with simple headboard, clean lines and made of wood. No footboard. I have looked and everything is too fussy. Any ideas where to look?

I would check out Thrive and Design Within Reach. Scan is also another place to look; they have a classic platform bed.

I need a loveseat for my living room. The room is too small to have a full couch. It needs to be comfy and have armrests. I’ve been having trouble finding one that is affordable (under $1,000). I also would like it in off-white or cream, but at this point, I am willing to not be picky.

Do you prefer a modern or traditional sofa? If you are looking for a modern one, you should check out Thrive. They have many selections and a lot of mid-century-inspired pieces and great fabrics. If you want a traditional sofa, look at Ballard Designs, which is affordable and usually has nice fabrics.

I am looking at building a house. I really like high ceilings — higher than 9 or 10 feet. What do you recommend? Is there a recommended ratio for how big the room should be in comparison to the ceiling height?

If you stick to a classic proportion, the width of your room should be half the length, and the ceiling height should match the width.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.