New Condo, need help!
August 29, 2012
Hi Everyone,

I just bought a new condo and have to buy everything. I would like to repaint the place as it is currently yellow in EVERY room. I was thinking for the living room to paint a feature wall by the window a medium red and the rest of the room an off white or whitish/light grey colour. I think the white trim on windows and ceiling would go well. I also wanted a modern look so i would buy a white couch, and area rug with white,black, grey and/or red colours in it, preferably geometric shape and a glass coffee table with a white or black base. And have white bar stools at the island in the kitchen.

I just wanted some feedback on what people think and any advise etc. It woudl be greatly appreciated.

Thx in advance,
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Beautiful condo. Just be careful with what color you choose with all the white trim. ( color/ contrast)
Blue would be good but bad with a kitchen, ie appitite suppressant. Accent with the red is a good choice, although make sure the wall you choose has little white trim. I am not sure which walls you want red and which grayish. But your on the right track! Much luck
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
It sounds like you have everything absolutely under control and headed in the right direction. I applaud your color scheme and encourage you to paint the other walls white...OR you could paint your accent wall black, since it's not a very big wall. Contrast is good, don't be afraid of it!
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Beautiful condo! how about a dark grey accent wall. Yellow and grey works very well together with the colors in the rug you described. Good luck!
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:56PM
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I love the yellow in this room. It is refreshing, sunny and bright. Makes me smile. Maybe leave this room in yellow and change the other room wall colors.
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:57PM
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You may want to try a light gray on the walls and use the same gray 2 shades deeper for an accent wall if you choose to do an accent wall. I would use red in throw pillows, art, accessories. This would give the condo a more contemporary look. You may want to consider painting the soffits as an accent in the deeper gray rather than an accent wall. Beautiful condo!
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Hey There John, Your new abode looks as if it has good bones...the windows are fab! I think a contrast/accent wall is a great idea. My concern with painting one or the other of the window walls in a deeper color would be the stark contrast between the light coming in the window and the color/hue of the wall; it might be a bit much for the eye/visual cortex of the brain to process. Perhaps the kitchen wall or the 4th wall (not shown) would be a better surface for that much saturated color. A recent issue of Elle Decor online had a piece about an interior designer who is considered THE color expert in the might check him out for ideas.

Absent that, I like the suggestion above re: a dark(er) grey accent wall or soffit set off against lighter grey on the window walls...many possibilities to consider. Also, the piece in this issue of Houzz about the Berkeley home in the fog has some nice mushroom colors that appear to blend well with outdoor foggy hues. Bright colors that POP in your accessories (pillows, etc.) could inject deeper/hotter hues....good've a great home to work with!
1 Like    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Renee Nalls
I love your condo! The floor to ceiling windows are just fabulous! White sofa or sectional would look spectacular. I love the minimalist colors, white, grey, black with the occasional hint of color. Toss pillows are a great way to accessorize and add color. Can you re-post after your furniture is moved in. I would love to see the finished look.
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Saavedra Design Studio
Hi John:

Your new condo has many great features and is swimming with light. Therefore, you certainly can take the risk to go with a saturated and bold color choice for the walls...a deep red is a great start though I would suggest a carbon or deep, rich ink color and wrap it to the kitchen to stop where the yellow currently terminates. You could even take it up a notch by using a textured, solid color wall covering like grass cloth for interest. Add a geometric rug, neutral sofa (versus the stark white- you'll be glad you did) and then layer in a pop of a different color as an accent. You can check out the gray and blue media room in my Austin Serene and the home office in my San Fran Loft project and get a good sense of uses of deliberate color even though these two are not your exact look.

Just remember to love everything you put in there- from the sofa to pillows to the art. Focus on teh feeling you want and the look will come naturally.

Congrats on your new home!

James Saavedra
1 Like    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Hi John,

This site offers wall paper custom sized to fit, no pattern repeats. There's concrete and a few others, color can be added, graffiti etc. but obviously the concrete ones are greys/blacks/whites. Anyway thought you might be interested, I think #3 would be fab in your beautiful condo with a good punch of color.
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:51PM
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HI - It sounds like you have thought this out for a while . But can I steer you maybe in another direction. If the window trim and grills can be painted ,-- then painted in an off -black with the walls being in a cloud white . Then add your hits of red and the other colors you are wanting on big large canvases. Then your white sofa and maybe two leather and chrome arm chairs either black or white or in cow hide or even brown to go with the kitchen cabinets and the other furniture you mentioned . I think this may give you more options rather than painting walls with bold color. The large bulkhead around the room might look great painted in a flat off- black to go with the windows . It would look great beside the raw concrete ceiling . Several cowhides would make great floor coverings too. So John , see if you can picture this for your place .
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Steven Crosbie
cool loft,floor to ceiling windows are awesome. you mentioned modern, so here goes: minimalism. just a few pieces,but make them count. go classic like le corbusier sofa set, or barcelona chairs and daybed if you like that look. the accent wall in red,it may just make it a little too "80's" if you get what i mean. I would suggest due to the cool grey palette,that a bright orange or lime green would do the trick. then,as you only have a few cool pcs. of furniture,the art and accessories like vases,etc,can match the bright colour blocked wall for effect. then,when you get bored,repaint another fresh bright colour,and switch the art,vases,etc to match,while leaving the mod furniture as a constant.

this would allow you to change at will,as classic timeless furniture pcs. will always look good, and you go from a burnt orange focal wall to a lime green,or a more lemony yellow or whatever. pick a colour out of a favourite piece of art and paint the focal wall the same.

lofts,especially hard lofts with exposed ductwork,etc always look cool with concrete walls,or painted brickwork,and always have modern sofas and club chairs. then a bright hit of colour for added pop, picked up by art and pic frames and vases etc in a complimentary colour. would like to see pics of the finished space when you've made the changes you go with. best of luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Vikrant Sharma Homez
why not a monotone ?
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:45AM
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Chroma Design
As your walls go to white, the gray tones in the concrete floors and ceiling will become more noticable. And that's a good thing, especially in the context of white furniture. The presence of the gray, mostly via the floor, will prevent the white furniture from feeling lost against off white walls. That can happen in an open plan with such a great volume such as your space. So I like the track you're on.
I'm having trouble with the red accent wall. Mostly due to where the wall is. I assume you mean to do it on the bumped out wall in between the two sets of windows. An accent wall there would distract from the view. It would interrupt the eye from being drawn to the outside; an injustice to the magnificent corner window. Also, the cool tones of the concrete, the matte oil finish on your outstanding slab cabinets, and your desire for white furniture, just gives me the impression that your walls should have a relaxed, quite vibe. There are other ways to incorporate red. Your ideabook "condo" has some very good examples.
I suggest BM OC-23 classic gray for the walls.
Finally, I really think the kitchen is terrific and has such a simple, yet sophisticated modern vibe. It's a shame the refridgerator that comes with the condo isn't up to par. I suggest one that is more modern to industrial which fills the alcove appropriately, such as wolf, sub zero.
3 Likes    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Thank you everyone for taking your time to post suggestions! I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY appreciate it. Thank you so much!

After reading comments and doing a bit more research, i have come to the conclusion that a red accent wall near the windows isnt the best idea. I have attached a few more photos of the 4th wall. Also, i forgot to mention...Where the TV is in the cut out in the wall, I would like to put a 90 gallon rimless reef aquarium with a hanging light fixture.

The 2 options for painting/decorating are:

1) Relaxed, monotone paint: Dark grey or black accent wall (not sure which one yet, suggestions please), and a lighter grey (2 or 3 shades) for the rest of the room. The soffits, windows and baseboards will remain white as they are currently. Would it be possible to paint the wall sticking out on the left in between the windows a bright red. It's small and narrow so maybe wouldn't be too distracting. As for furniture it will be modern- White/off white sofa, white bar stools, darker rug (black geometric with some colour- possibly red in it), bright red red pillows, maybe a red or black vase, glass coffee table with white or black base.

2) Black soffits (and black baseboards?), off white walls, windows will remain white. Accent wall?Same furniture as option 1.

I think I'm getting closer to getting it right.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:23AM
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i should also add, i would use paintings etc to add colour to either Option 1 or Option 2 mentioned above. Larger painting on the wall near the fridge, right of main window and a smaller one on the wall that is sticking out between the 2 windows.

As for TV, I was thinking of putting a Flatscreen one on a swivel arm and put it in the corner to the right of the bedroom door (where chair is), on an angle. Not sure if it's possible, or how it would look. I just dont know where to put the TV if i put an aquarium where the TV is currently.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:29AM
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Nancy Hehmann
Love the look of your condo. Just a thought - can you print out pictures on regular paper of your condo and place the colors you are going to change the walls to over the current colors with paper or paint. Then perhaps you can get an idea of what it looks like. In other words do a mock up ahead of time. You might want to check out Etsy for unique wall art or photography too! Many items to choose from.
Upcycled mirrors and chalkboards are some of my favorites. I also have a photography shop - high definition photography can look very dramatic in a modern space and it can usually be made in any size you need or media from canvas, or the new metal (aluminum) prints.If you want black and white, any of the color photography can be turned into black and white. I think it is very uplifting. also has many painted pieces too. I just think in a modern space high def photography is a good way to go.
Hope you post pictures when you finish. I used to flip property successfully so I just love to see the before and after.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:42AM
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Thx for your comments. I have taken suggestion from everyone and incorporated it into my plan. As suggested by Carolina, I did a mockup up photo of my vision. Instead of a accent wall in dark gray or black, I was thinking of having a cityscape wallpaper made and putting it on the wall next to the main window. general theme is light gray paint, dark grey soffits, cityscape wall paper and possibly a small red accent wall. I did a mockup of a crude vision of the space in ms paint. I will chose different furniture, rug etc than in the pic, but this is the general idea/vision. See attached pic below.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I love the cityscape wallpaper idea. But instead of the red wall, I'd buy a large piece of abstract art with red in it.
2 Likes    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Shari P Kantor Creative Universe SPKCreative LLC
Hi John,

Congrats on your new place!

Rather than having the cityscape wallpaper made, maybe paint the wall black like Carolyn suggested or charcoal gray, then paint the other walls gray-based white or a very pale gray.

I can help with art if you like vividly cheerful abstracts like There Is No Charge For Awesomeness and "Passion" and "Desire". Please visit to see/purchase my affordable, original abstracts, which has been shown in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can find sizing and pricing options for commissioned works in the I Am A Butterfly Gallery I ship worldwide via UPS (except for PO boxes and military addresses).
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Yes! Very cool. (referring to your mockup) I love how the white furniture pops against the gray and red. Ha ha and love the Motherwell over the fireplace, of course that is an original right? Consider painting the ceiling too.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Gina Z.
Love the different shades of grays decor with pops of red! You could paint the window trim charcoal :) With all that trim behind the white furniture,a dark trim would make it POP! Good luck!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:22PM
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I think the red you desire for this room should come from accessories and art. A red wall, no matter how narrow, is going to be jarring if it is in the same room with those beautiful huge windows.
Look at local galleries for two-dimensional and three-dimensional art that "grabs" you. Do not let anything into your house that you don't believe to be beautiful, even if it is the right color.
In my experience, huge windows like this let in too much light for leather furniture. Go with a quality fabric with ultraviolet light protection.
Please post "after" photos! You have a lot of good ideas!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Love the feel of your space! I also would suggest you ditch the red accent wall and instead bring in a large piece either abstract art with your accent color or even a wonderful sculptured pedestaled piece washed in red light. Good luck...great space!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Ok, i agree, no red wall....light grey or dark grey wall with colourful artwork....
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Hello John and congrats on your condo! I love your idea for the white furniture and keeping all the trim white/off white. As others have mentioned, bring in pops of color through accessories, as really there is no need to have a focal wall---the focal point in your space is that amazing view!
I suggest going with a monochromatic color scheme and think a gray color palette would be ideal. Sherwin Williams colors 7077 thru 7083 are warm gray tones with just a hint of orchid which will compliment the yellow throughout your home. Choose at least 3 or 4 colors for walls, soffit and trim… Second, consider adding a backsplash to the kitchen wall and extend it to the soffit. Glass or a blend of glass and stainless steel would look terrific and reflect light from that spectacular view. Speaking of light, think about adding more lighting around the perimeter of the room (puck lights) and hanging 2 pendant lights over the island. Fabric panels hung at the outside of each window would help with the acoustics, bring in a sense of warmth, and create some drama.
Best of luck to you and do keep us posted with your project!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I like the yellow! You need art to bring in some visual interest.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Stanton Designs-online design services
What a great condo and love your modern look and features. I have to say I like the bar stools you have now... I wouldn't change those. But I don't feel red wouldn't be the best colors for the walls only because of the cabinet tones. What do you think of a dark gray or black? Your space will not feel small because of the windows and all that natural light. It will add a lot of warmth and dimension to your space. People often associate modern with the colors red black and white... but you will see a lot of monochromatic color schemes now that look awesome! You could add splashes of red in accents.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:18PM
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Kimberly Bridges Interiors
I Love your new Condo! Congratulations on your new home!
Since I don't know how much square footage you're working with here, it seems to me that one of the first things you need to do is determine how you need & want to use your space. The first step ALWAYS has to be planning your space. This is an open concept layout and offers more flexibility in planning but you have to be very thoughtful in how you arrange the different areas.
Ask yourself these questions: What do I need to do in my space? Will I will entertain a great deal or is this not a priority? Do I need to accommodate lots of friends or just a few?
This might mean having an established dining space with a table for 4+ people in addition to your island seating. If you're having a dinner party, you'll want a table and chairs. Then there is the shape of the table to consider (round, square, rectangular all offer different pros and cons) Are you into cooking and want your friends to gather at the island? Are four stools sufficient?
Maybe you'll want to have a couple of smaller conversation areas established instead of the one big area so there is more flexibility. Do you plan on using your space for TV viewing (need to consider what size screen and how to display it --- Will it be a wall mounted Plasma, an entertainment unit, or a screen that is retractible and comes down from the ceiling? Depending on your space this is critical. Will you need a designated office space in this space or can you work off any surface with a laptop or tablet computer? If you need a designated work area, what equipment will you need in the space and how will it be housed? Do you want everyone to see this equipment or do you want it concealed? Do you need a desk space for a computer, printer, etc.?
Open spaces like yours are always nice but they tend to lack storage. Do you need to include additional storage in this room? How much? Do you want credenzas or what about having some built in storage cabinets that stop at the bottoms of the windows which could also act as seating? Practical and can be very attractive.
Also, I was noticing that your lighting looks like it needs a bit of an upgrade--- do you like track lighting? Industrial lighting? or would you prefer floor or table lamps in your room? You're going to need some lighting over your island--- Pendants are great and they come in so many great styles and colors. Then consider your task lighting for cooking-- under-counter mounted LED pucks or strips are great and are easy to install yourself.
Your windows are FABULOUS but unless you're an exhibitionist or don't mind being blinded by too much light, you'll need some type of window treatments. There are great motorized shades, curtains, and blackout options (I don't work for the Lutron company, but they do have some great products) that can complement your modern/contemporary design tastes.
I like your thoughts on color. The grays and whites are terrific choices. You might want to introduce "pops" of color through the use of accent pillows or accessories in the red shade or shades you like most.
Good Luck!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:25PM
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I think you have some great ideas. I don't care for the cityscape wallpaper. Why put a picture of the city next to the real view of the city? I love the golden yellow but do think the gray tones would appear more masculine with red accents. We have white leather sofas in our motor coach and they do not hold up well when used daily. They must be cleaned more often than I want to do it! Please post finished pics!
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:46PM
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Becky Drury
I think it needs some softness around the windows. Curtain panels floor to ceiling. They wouldn't necessarily need to be full curtains, but the material in a geometric design would soften the windows. Love the condo, seems pretty easy to decorate since it is such an organized space.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:52PM
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I disagree, the first mockup was way more punchy and the second looks wimpy! Either a huge painting with lots of color or go back to painting that wall red. The city scape is cool, but it could be anything in the same color pallet with lots of vertical stuff going on. If you are worried about the red tones competing with the cabinets choose a red that relates to the cabinets. If not red than another color but you need some color.
    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:38PM
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Committed Photography, Inc.
If you're looking for a good pop of red in the art check out the links below. We do everything custom so you are able to choose the size and material you would like right on our website. Enjoy!
    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:23AM
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what a fabulous space you found. i would play with several ideas before deciding. you have not been there that long! it is stunning. congrats on wonderful find!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:58AM
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This brand new condo is in need of our Italian doors, we highly recommend a complete upgrade to all doors with our collection. This condo will never look the same with our designer doors, this doors are specially created to offer style and luxury from a single glance. Additionally, we can also build custom furniture to fit your specific needs, more information can be found at

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 8:36AM
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DEAD THREAD - poster last responded August 2012
    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 9:51AM
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