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The question

We're replacing our bedroom doors with unpainted pine ones. The rooms are mostly beige – one is lime green – and the mouldings are white. Can we get away with a contrasting colour, such as burnt orange or mahogany?

The answer

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You pose a very interesting question and reveal an unorthodox approach to colour. A contrasting door colour within white trim makes a bold statement and is a look that can be traced to Georgian architecture.

Your new pine doors, though, deserve a stain rather than paint to highlight the grain of the wood and probably the knots as well. A mahogany stain that is rich in browns versus reds would be my preference. If you have your heart set on paint, however, you could prime over the grain and all the knots, then apply a high-gloss orange shade. (For a better effect if you do choose paint, buy medium-density fibreboard (MDF) doors, not wood ones.) Incidentally, mahogany, orange and purple, it has been reported, are the three most unpopular colours. Now all you have to do is paint your lime-green room purple and you'll be truly avant-garde, according to me.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylorddd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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