Home Front: House Beautiful editor Newell Turner talks design trends

Jun 14, 2012

Every week, Jura Koncius helps you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. Got a question about decorating? She's happy to whip out her paint chips and suggest the perfect hue, call a retailer to help track down a hard-to-find accent piece or offer some do-it-yourself. Built on years of reporting experience, Home Front is an online conversation about the best way to feather the nest. We invite you to submit questions and share you own great tips, ideas and, yes, the occasional complaint.

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So excited to have Newell Turner chatting with us today. I love reading his editor's notes in the monthly House Beautiful issues. He always gets right to the point and he's always up on the latest trends as well as the all time classics. As editor-in-chief of the magazine, he travels the world to find out what is going on and what is the latest in the world of design and decorating.  This is  a great chance to have a conversation with Newell, so let's get going!

I love House Beautiful! Thanks for participating in this chat. I've traveled to the south and really love the look of a traditional home. I have searched for traditional interior shutters (which I have seen often in homes featured in magazines like yours). I can't find a source! Any suggestions? I'm not interested in plantation shutters. Thank you!

I don't have any resources at my fingertips, but I think I've seen solid wood shutters at Lowe's.


I inherited my parent's home 4 blocks from the beach in Delaware. Downstairs has a living area that opens into the small kitchen and dining area, and there is a hall leading to 2 bedrooms. The carpet badly needs to be replaced, but I'd like to have something suitable for the living areas, bedrooms and the kitchen. There is paneling on the lower part of the wall in the living area that I really can't afford to remove right now. It is a medium brown stain. What do you recommend? Pergo?

I'm looking at a vinyl material for my apartment from Home Depot. It's called Allure, and imitates wood. I mentioned it in an issue of the magazine and just got an email from a reader who had complaints about it. If you're at the beach, you have to be really conscious of moisture and any material that might trap it (creating mold). The subfloor, especially concrete needs to be sealed, and a natural material that can "breathe" is probably the safest choice. But, whatever material you use....installation and surface preparation are very important.

We own a very cool vintage library ladder (the kind you could mount on a rail around the room) salvaged from my father-in-law's hardware store before he closed it. Can't hang it normally, because we have toddlers who would climb it. So I'd like to mount it horizontally on a large living room wall. I think it would give some vintage, industrial charm to our otherwise contemporary decor. Do you agree? If so, any suggestions on how to mount it (brackets)?

I love using vintage elements as architectural details. I collect old levels and have them hanging very graphically on a wall. I hung those with pin nails. A ladder would need brackets...but consider something slim and dark (or white metal) so the brakets won't detract from the ladder.

Thanks, Newell, for HB. Love it. Once up a time, I worked w/ Frances Schultz in Richmond after attending Mary Washington w/ Ken Fulk. My home has two front doors, painted a lovely teal blue on the exterior. One of them accesses our dining room and is rarely opened. The dining room has white walls with warm, dark furnishings and punches of blue, teal and black in accessories and art. Do you all think painting the door (as seen from the dining room) something other than white. is a good idea? If so, what color? I know it's only paint, easily changed, but I want to feel surer before painting. Thank you.

Sounds like the exterior teal color of the door would look great from inside the dining room too.

Hello; submitting early because I will not be around during the chat. I have an upstairs hallway that I'm using to create a gallery of family portraits (going back a couple of generations). I have one wall for my family and one wall for my husband's family and I have about twenty pictures, all together. None are in matching frames and as I have quite a few pictures, I don't want to go to the expense of reframing all of them. And the sizes vary. So given all that, what is the most important element to keep in mind when creating this gallery? Small pictures on top? All equally spaced? Start with the oldest picture in the middle and span out in a sort of circle from there? Appreciate any advice. Thanks much!

Sounds wonderful! While there are probably a couple of approaches you could take, here's where I would recommend starting with each wall. Trace a light pencil line horizontally along each wall at eye level. Don't worry about whose eye level. You just want a static consistant line to start building (or hanging from). Place a few of the larger pictures along this line (on each side) and then hang others along the line and in varying directions up or down along the length of it. Visually, you'll probably lose the sense of an overwhelming horizontal line that was your starting point, but it should at least give you a subliminal sense of some order....but you do want it to look "added to over time." So don't try to hard to line things up. Your starting line will launch you in a good direction for hanging.

We are sprucing up our house for sale and are planning to repaint our red kitchen gray. Counters are medium gray composite, cabinets are white, appliances are stainless/black, and floor is black and white tiles. Can you suggest a light gray? BM or SW, preferably. Also I know you love BM Palladian blue for dining rooms? How about for an otherwise white bathroom? Thanks!!

I can't give you a specific grey from either line, but when you're looking at grays, you want to compare whether they go "cool" or "warm," and either direction is more personal that a rule.

I'm planning to remodel my kitchen some time in the next 24 months. I am really sick of the granite-countertops-and-stainless-steel-appliances cookie-cutter approach to kitchen remodels. What's next in countertops and appliances?

Countertops: man-made stones are excellent and come in lots of colors and imitation stone looks. They're also REALLY pratical in that they're much more solid. You'll have lots of options to choose from.

Appliances: Color is showing up on more and more appliances. My only warningh is that if you go with a color...be prepared to love that color a long time. There's nothing neutral about an appliance in any color other than stainless, white or black.

I mean, come on. There's no way Pinterest is going to last, right? I hate to be harsh but I'll just say it: Pinterest seems like a trend that moms in the suburbs get caught up in for 6 months and then once everything starts to bleed together (how many times can we see mason jars and chevron throws) they'll move onto the next. The fact that people who post on these boards say they're interested in design is kind of, well, insulting. Am I alone on this?

How interesting that you say that. I sometimes wonder if Pinterest is just a flash in the pan, too. It seemed much more exciting last December... but I must say I still love to see some of the furniture, fashion, jewels and travel vistas that turn up. It doesn't take much time and I love pinning on my iPhone while waiting in a line at the grocery store. It's still growing - Michelle Obama joined Pinterest yesterday! It's cool to see the pins of people such as Tory Burch, OscarPRGirl and Martha Stewart.  I enjoy putting up the work of the Washington Post on my boards so some of the photos can be more widely seen. I'd love to know what you guys think so chime in. Here is a link to my boards: www.pinterest.com/jurakoncius

We installed new Board and Batten siding on our split level house. The color is deep blue (no pastels for me!). Window trim is white. I was thinking I would like to paint our front double doors a complementary color, perhaps a bright orange. Is this crazy? Do you have paint color suggestions for a front door that would go really well with the blue sidings? Thanks for taking my question.

We have a two page column on front door colors coming in our September issue (out mid-August). But, I love your idea to use orange. Or a bright, cardinal red would be equally beautiful. I could even see a canary yellow against the dark blue exterior with white trim.

Hi Newell! I just love your book "House Beautiful Colors for your Home." It is a fantastic go-to source for all the rooms in the house. Have you considered a sequel?

Thank you! We're exploring a big re-issue with significant update!

Newell, thanks for joining us! What do you think of Pinterest and do you have your own board?

Love Pinterest. I do have a board with about 8-10 themes going. I think of it as a visual bookmarking tool instead of bookmarking websites in the typical way through a browser. I'm visually oriented, so the pictures make it easy to know where the link is going. Does that make sense? I'm also using Pinterest to collect inspiration ideas for my garden...and recipes I'd like to try.

How do you find the homes that you feature in House Beautiful? How do I submit my own home?

Honestly, there's no one particular way we find them....but most of them come from conversations and relationships we have with designers. We're always happy to get submissions to consider. Email Doretta Sperduto at dsperduto@hearst.com. She's my interior design editor.

Hello! I would like to buy paint for my kitchen - what would you suggest? I would like a light color. The cabinets are now painted Wedgewood Gray (a suggestion from a prior Home Chat). The room is very sunny (faces south and west). The counters are ivory. Whatever the color is, it should go well with light bluish-green, because that's what color the dining room is. I'd be fine with a shade of white, yellow, or green.

Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore has a slight bluish cast to it. With ivory counters, and a sunny space, I might go with Vanilla Milkshake by Benjamin Moore.

I have an open, L-shaped living area that you step into when entering the home... no foyer per se. To the left is a dining area that goes into the kitchen, a round table and chairs. (Storage is built in. Straight ahead is the Living area with a wall of french doors, fireplace and bookcases to the left. My problem is the "no mans land near the entry..... I have this square of space that just seems to belong nowhere. I basically leave it empty other than a table by the front door for mail and keys. I'd appreciate any suggestions for a beter integration of these spaces?

If the square space is large enough, consider putting a round table there. It could be draped with a skirt or even bare if the legs are pretty (center pedestal tables work best like this). You could use it as a place to gather and displace something you collect or like. For example a grouping of blue and white Chinese ginger jars....or even simply stacks of coffeetable books supporting a vasse of flowers.

We have lovingly gone from top to bottom in our old house, fixing it up, and now are done except ... the basement. It's frightful. We had a professional remove the asbestos tiles but they left a sticky black goo (really old tile adhesive, I am guessing). My question is, can we simply paint a sealer over it or do we have to remove the adhesive before painting the floor? If so, what in the world would work. We really need to DIY to keep costs down. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

I'm not an expert in that area. I've found Lowe's and Home Depot employees can be extremely generous with advice.

Pictures with smaller images should go closer to eye level than the ones with larger images (say, single portraits). They can be further away from the line of sight and still have impact.

Thanks for this.

I have a collection of stars, suns and moons and am looking forward to hanging them again when I move to my own place again. Would you suggest something similiar to the picture gallery? The pieces vary in size and material. Thanks

I take it all the images are flat art? A picture gallery sounds gorgeous!

Our potential bedroom colors are BM New Hope Gray with ceiling, trim and doors in Decorator White. What color for the (not insignificant) radiator cover?

It you want to de-emphasize it go with the wall color. Alternately, you could go with the trim color treating it like a part of the room's architecture.

I'm moving into a new apartnment after living with family for half a dozen years or so. I am wondering what I should do about the furniture I'm lacking ie dining room table and chairs. Its a small 1 bedroom apartment and find that I like the Granas Ikea set as prices need to be low but am wondering where else I could look for lower priced small dining sets?

Never forget yard and garage sales, Craig's List online, and even some thrift stores. Look for a table and/or chairs with nice lines—either simple or sculptural—and paint them a great color....or just white!

Hi Newell! Where are your favorite places to shop. Do you go to Brimfield? What cities do you find have the best home design stores these days (besides New York)?

That's a big wide question...but I recently visited some great stores in the metropolitan LA area. Small home chains like Arhaus is in 40+ locations and 10+ opening this year! They have a wide range of home furnishings and very stylish yet practical things. ALSO, many of their furnishings are made in the USA...look for cards on the pieces.

I understand the appeal, but I simply do not have time to "pin" things to a wall or go looking at other people's walls. Facebook is bad enough!

Then don't. You always have a choice.

This chat is starting to sound like an insulated bubble of 1% types who travel the world in search of design trends... Really? How about some advice for foreclosure folks (8 million homes to date) who need to fit into an apartment all of a sudden? And store their stuff without mildew?

Ask us a question and we will answer! We can dish on mildew and packing and yard sales. Would love to discuss downsizing, staging, anything you want to bring up.  Our experts would give you good advice on many subjects that do not have anything to do with color and fabric trends. Decluttering is one of my favorite topics, personally. I tweet a weekly decluttering tip every Sunday under my twitter account @jurakoncius and hashtag #DeclutterSunday. I'm constantly trying to figure out how to do more in less space in my own small home. We have a new column that is starting next month in Local Living written by a professional organizer that will focus solely on organizing and decluttering and lots of issues that people are facing today relating to homeowners of any income or personal situation. I'm sure Newell would have a great suggestion for you on almost any topic. Bring 'em on.

I also love House Beautiful and loved Metropolitan Home. I am an Interior Designer Photo Stylist and was wanting information on submitting an article for publication to House Beautiful. Who do you contact and what type of design articles are they looking for?

Thank you! Obviously I'm here at HB now, but I worked at Met Home for many years in the past. Articles can be submitted to my executive editor Barbara King at bnking@hearst.com. But we commission all our articles.

I'll use Pinterest for a long time... and not necessarily to get good ideas from others, but to help me organize my stuff (recipes, crafts I want to try, all the other suburban-mom things).

I agree. I realized looking at my recent pins that I seem to be drawn to the colors bottle green and gray. So it gives me ideas for how I might change up some part of my house.

I am in the market for some bolder area rugs. But every time I think I've found just the right statement rug, I chicken out because I'm worried it will overwhelm the space. Everything in my apartment right now just seems a bit bland, so I definitely need to spruce it up. Are there any rules of thumb that I can keep in mind when shopping for area rugs?

If you want something more than a plain solid but are nervous about going too bold, look for a tone on tone pattern. HSN.com has some great rugs and really great prices. Bold options, more quiet options.

We will probably never use our living room fireplace for anything other than decoration (very nice mantle!) Any suggestions for how we could keep the mantle and cover or block the fireplace to use the space -- that wouldn't look odd? The hearth is flush with the floor, not raised.

I wouldn't try to hide the fireplace. Try lining the inside of the opening with mirrors. They would reflect light and keep it from looking like a dead sad hole. You could also fill the space with a low, fat vase of green branches (fake or real) or with the mirror lining fill it with candle pillars. Lighting them would be magical at night.

What do you recommend for cleaning carpet (other than renting a steam cleaner?) Is there anything I can spray on and vacuum off that works??

This product is very good: Christopher's Own Spot Cleaner for Carpets and Rugs. Find it at www.mychristophers.com. It's made by a high-end textile care company, and although it costs $25 for a bottle, it lasts a really long time and is great for pet stains, spills and dirt spots from dusty shoes. It's even sold at the Old Town School for Dogs, which shows that it does work on those dreaded dog and cat spots.  Do you all have other spray products to suggest?

I love shelter magazines and adore receiving them in the mail. Do you think there will be a day when we are only reading House Beautiful on our tablets or computers?

I don't think the printed version of HB will ever go away. The experience is too nice. But, we do have digital versions with a growing subscription base. In publishing, I think will just have more options to access content....which isn't a bad thing. We're starting to explore all sorts of wonderful things that can be done electronically. Have you seen our mobile links from the pages of HB? Check them out!

Original gallery poster here. I never would have thought of this approach, but I can see how it would definitely give a central focus to the pictures. Thanks so much.

This tip is one to keep.

My mother would take a large piece of paper from a roll and use it to 'practice' where a group of pictures should be hung. We'd lay it on the floor, set up a pleasing arrangement, draw aroung the frames, then hold it up on the wall. Once we were satisfied with it, the nails were put in the wall and the pictures hung!

Another way of doing it - thanks.

Hello, I have it narrowed down to a few Valspar choices: Bluish, Water Fountain, Summer Splash or Utterly Blue. The room faces north and west, but it's behind a large tree, so it never gets a lot of light. The floors are golden maple. White trim. Which one is the way to go? Thank you!!

Many designers take the direction the room faces and other elements like the tree outside the window into consideration when choosing a color (warm or cool). Very generally, I would suggest that a warm color would feel better in a north facing room, but don't forget that even cool colors (like blue) can have warmer shades. Whatever color you like the most, look at a range of shades in that color....weighing cool vs. warm in making your pick.

Loved your green chair giveaway here in DC. Are you going to do more things like that?

Thanks, it was a lot of fun and the readers in the DC metro area were so much fun! We'll probably do it again, but in a different city next spring. We started in NYC, went Chicago last year....and were in your beautiful city this past spring. I love DC.

House Beautiful usually does several issues a year featuring a specific color - I know your recently did green - what's coming up?

I'm trying to decide whether it's a good idea to do another all one color issue again. What do you think? What color would you do? We've done blue, pink and green.

Our living room walls are Farrow & Ball's Stone Ground. The fireplace surround is F & B Shaded White. We need to replace the stone around the fireplace. I was thinking Glassy Thassos (White) or black slate. I don't want anything too busy. Any ideas?

I would go for a charcoal gray slate. I have a friend who loves the Buckingham Slate from Arvonia, Virginia. I'm planning to install that in my own hearth sometime soon.

Newell and Jura, I'm dying to know. If you had to -- HAD TO -- choose, what would be your all-time favorite paint color for any wall. Just one. Thanks!!

LOL, I'm a blue guy.

Do you plan to do more organizing coverage in your magazine? It seems like keeping stuff attractively displayed and stored in our homes is an issue on people's minds.

It is an on-going issue for everyone....including ME. We always highlight, or point out, great ideas when we find them. And, will continue to do so. Thanks!

HI Newell! Thanks for joining this chat. Happy to have you. I have to ask a question my husband and I have been discussing for a while now. Do you think HGTV has had a negative effect on the design industry? It seems like it has catapulted people's expectations to absurdly unrealistic. My husband is an architect and my good friend is a designer, and they're constantly saying how nowawdays, people expect major design makeovers and renovations to happen almost overnight for next to nothing price-wise. I mean, how does the design industry cope with that? HGTV isn't exactly transparent about the unrealistic nature of these shows....

Hey, That's a delicate question. I think a lot of those shows are more about the entertainment aspect (watching a transformation) than serious (beginning to end) ideas. I like to think they illustrate how much work and how many people it can take to do a job. Whether viewers grasp that or not is another story. We have a sister publication here at Hearst. It's the HGTV magazine, which does a beautiful job of interpreting those shows onto paper.....and making it realistic. When you put something on paper, you're much more accountable then simply speaking it.

Honestly, this can be frustrating. It seems like every time the Post features an item or design project than isn't dirt cheap, readers are up in arms that it's "too expensive" or "out of touch." But hello, things cost money. Shelter magazines and newspapers cannot only post DIY-tips and cost-cutting projects... home design can be an expensive field. Whew! Had to vent. Love the chats.

Obviously, there are lots of opinions about this. Thank you for chiming in.  What I love about the weekly chats is that we discuss everything from the best sponges to are designer paint colors worth the price to how to remove pet stains to White House Design to where to buy expensive fabrics at a discount. That's what makes them fun.

Thank you Newell for the info on submitting an artiticle to HB, I will contact Barbara. I was wondering what your thoughts are on were design is heading ? Will history repeat itself ? Do you see anything coming up that is fabulously new?

We move so fast today....in everything. It's hard to call anything a trend, and maybe that's not a bad thing. At the same time, it sounds like a cop-out to say anything goes these days....but it's pretty true. What I love seeing happen is the confidence more people have in expressing themselves at home. It's changed (or really grown) so much in the last 30 years. We simply have SO much more good stuff available today to decorate with.

Just a quick note to say "thank you!" to Newell for keeping House Beautiful relevant, fun, and a pleasure to read :) Anything he likes is usually something I like too - sincerely, one happy subscriber

Nice message. We are very happy Newell could join us today as he has such a great eye.

Haha! But which blue? Which paint line? Sorry to push you but "blue" still leaves thousands of options and I'm curious if you have a go-to. Thanks!

LOL. I don't have a go-to. I love too many blues, and greens, actually. I even have a pink guest room that feels AMAZING, even for a man.

Hi! Do you have any tips on how to achieve that flaky-paint provincial-woodwork-look?

Not really. But, paint it as cheaply (no primer) and imperfectly as possible....and then wear it down with sand paper and any other instrument that might "distress" the paint.

Design blogs and magazines seem to consistently feature rooms that are largely white with hardwood floors and scattered bold accents. I love the look (something like these rooms), but it seems more chic than practical and tough to pull off. Curious to know your thoughts on whether it's a passing trend? Or worth the investment?

Hmmmm. Great question. I think a white room with colorful accents is probably the easiest thing to pull off and change easiest -- so in that case, the investment is in the design. 

Pinterest can be very limiting if you only look at the individuals you follow. It can get a bit circular and tedious. I tend to search for things I'm interested in (area rugs, lighting, etc) or just go to the main board and see what's new. But I love following Jura and the people get featured in the Post each week, so I can open up to other eyes and experiences, as well as start to see trends in what I am drawn to. Now, a question: My husband and I are downsizing into a townhouse and we will be sharing an office. What are some good ways for two people to share the space (I'm thinking long tables or builtins around the perimeter instead of two desks) and what's a good color palette? I'm drawn to the idea of light greys, light khakis and light teal... nothing overly masculine OR feminine. Thoughts?

Thanks for all  your thoughts on Pinterest. We haven't really seen its full potential yet. Love the idea of doing a shared office - this might be a good submission for a Home Front makeover. I love the idea of two built-ins around the perimeter. Each of you could design the sort of shelving, storage, drawers, etc. that would fit your work style. I also like the idea of grays with maybe a shot of blue or teal. I like Martha Stewart's Dolphin or Heavy Goose grays for Home Depot.

I love Rocky Mountain Hardware, but it's a little pricey. Any other ideas for quality exterior door hardware?

Explore Home Depot and Lowe's. I LOVE hardware stores....and I can spend hours in those two....discovering all sorts of great things and great prices.

Do you guys think this "mad men" style is just a phase? I have never quite been able to get into mid-century modern furniture (more than anything, none of it seems very comfortable) but I continue to see it pop up in mags, blogs and newspapers. What are your thoughts on this?

Mad Men shines a spotlight on the look of the 50s and 60s. But the yen for mid-century modern has been around for decades now. That furniture and its clean, spare lines mixes well with lots of other pieces. So I think it will continue to be a part of our decorating world for some time to come.

I am 62 years old, no kids, handful of nieces and nephews, but no one whose taste runs to antiques. I have a wonderful Mission Oak dining room table from my grandmother (bought in 1912), and a settee and two chairs from my great-grandmother, with inlaid wood and ivory in a floral design. I love these things, but thinking ahead, I am not likely to use them if we ever move to a smaller home in an over-55 community. What do people do with family heirlooms when the next generation down probably has no interest? I have no idea of the value of these things; they are sentimental to me, but they are probably worth something. So sell now and enjoy the money, keep for another 30 years, or what?

That's such a personal decision. The fact that you can simply consider selling them makes me think that maybe you can and should if you don't have a place for them. Enjoy the revenue.....but only do it when you really feel ready. You won't be able to get them back.

I've cancelled lots of magazine subscriptions... but not HB. I feel it is relevant for all budgets, with lots of great ideas. Thanks for the lovely escape every month!

We will tell Newell!

I am always accused of favoring Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore. I do have it in my dining room and I have suggested it to many friends who have used it in bedrooms, living rooms and powder rooms. I still love it!

I've got a vanity question -- no, not about the furniture item. My question is about hanging or displaying photos of oneself in one's home. My fiance and I just moved into our first apartment together and there is this strange tendency to display photos of us... and then we think about it, and feel completely sheepish and stupid and vain!! Is this normal?? Perhaps just in the bedroom? We're at a loss.

I love your question...I don't think it's ever vain when they're photos you love. But, here's an idea that may not feel so bold. The bedroom is a great option. Hallway another. Or, do you have a powder room? Cover, literally cover the walls with photos of the two of you and family. It look so crazy and fun...I think it would work. Powder rooms are great rooms to push the envelop in because you don't use them very often so you won't get tired or overwhelmed by an extreme approach in the little room. Then when guests visit, they get a little surprise.

For the poster looking for interior shutters, salvage places like Housewerks in Baltimore often have the beautiful inside shutters from old houses. Pigtown*Design

GREAT suggestion

I loved the Q&A with Brown Davis today. It feels like so many of the Post's features lately have been so serious and "practical" and this one just felt like a fun escape to risky design. Washington could certainly use more of that flavor. Like they said in their advice to people in this town: Have more fun with your home.

Agreed! Good job by Megan Buerger, who is also our chat producer! Here's the story:  Brown/Davis.

I love when people comment on blogs or like here on the chat with a rant that it doesn't address their particular needs. If this chat isn't on topic for you, I'm sure you can find a chat/ blog that is!! Especially as this person speaks for the other 99%. That's pretty much everyone. one of them must have a blog that addresses mildew.

We all have mildew, so it's a good thing to chat about!

Let's say you have a tiny 30-year-old kitchen that needs some updating: the cabinets have wood fronts, but that particleboard-covered-with-faux-wood-vinyl on the sides. The kitchen counters -- all 19 linear feet of them -- have bubbled up at the seams. The clincher? You have only 1-2 grand to do it. The floors have already been redone with Pergo, so they aren't an issue. Where do you spend your money?

I think the counters have to be dealt with first. They're deteriorating. Explore salvage yards. I think there are even some stores that sell overstocked building materials.

I am a longtime House Beautiful reader (just love the aesthetic) but please more features on small space homes. The carriage houses and condos that offer practical models for those of us in small urban spaces are so helpful!

We will pass this one along too.

Thanks for the earlier advice on painting the bedroom radiator color. Forgot to ask earlier whether the BM New Hope Gray and Decorator White trim is a good combination? Also, there will be one accent wall w/ Graham & Brown Darcy wallpaper.

I don't have paint color chips in front of me, but gray walls with a white trim sounds classic and beautiful.

Was excited to see HomeMINT.... and then I saw that Justin Timberlake is running it. Color me surprised. Since when is he into design? Did I miss something?

No. You didn't miss anything. Celebrities and designers are endorsing everything in our world.

I'm obsessed with them. So much so that I can't stop thinking about them. Do you think this is a nice look? I don't want my house to scream "preppy" but I just think they're beautiful. (Also, do you happen to know if they're a lot more expensive than regular wood floors?)

With herringbone floors, it's the installation that can start costing more = more cutting and piecing. But there are wood laminates and other materials that come in pre-designed herringbone patterns. I've always wanted big, overscaled herringbone floors....it's very French looking....but not too French if the room isn't furnished that way.

Alright, maybe I've lost it, but I've become totally obsessed with wallpaper. I'm looking to re-do certain rooms in my Georgetown apartment with a chair rail on the bottom and wallpaper on the top. Any brands of wall paper that you'd recommend? So far, I have found, it's really get-what-you-pay-for. I don't mind splurging, but I'm not sure where to begin.

There are SO many wallpapers out there. We do a full page column every month on the topic. There are also many sources with a wide range of prices. Years ago, I learned that the most important thing is to make sure you get a very good installation of the wallpaper, which can definitely cost more. In addition, wallpaper is really not good at hiding poor conditions on an underlying wall. You really need a really good surface to start.

Newell: Thanks so much for joining us today. We really covered a lot of ground. It will be fun to read the transcript! And who knew that Newell loves to hang out at hardware stores! We appreciate Newell's time and wisdom. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thanks for all of the great questions. My time is up! Bye everyone!

In This Chat
Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering, organizing and DC retail.

Home Q&A archive
Newell Turner
Newell Turner has been the editor in chief of House Beautiful since April 2010. Earlier in his career, Newell was editor in chief of Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Palm Beach Cottages & Gardens and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, and held editorial positions at House & Garden and Metropolitan Home.
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