Colours for a Victorian hall

I live in a Victorian villa. I have a narrow hallway with a door off to the sitting room and further along a door to the dining room. Can you suggest a colour scheme?

t I live in a Victorian villa. I have a narrow hallway with a door off to the sitting room and further along a door to the dining room. There is a half-glazed front door and the hall faces south. It is virtually one door width wide and on the floor are original cream and black tiles laid on the diagonal.

There is a dado rail in the hall, up the stairwell and all the way around the landing. At the top of the stairs is a fairly long passageway into a bedroom and to the left is a door to the bathroom and two bedrooms with a small landing. The ceilings are painted white with coving and roses and the doors, dado rail etc are all stripped pine.

The stair carpet and landing carpet is of a good quality wool in “driftwood”, a beige colour I intend to keep. I am ready to paint but am undecided about the colour. I would like two colours, one below the rail and one above. Please could you suggest a colour scheme or two or three which you think would be suitable?

t Susie and Allan: Your house sounds lovely. We feel that if you paint below and above the dado rail it would make the space feel rather stark. The dado rail provides a perfect opportunity to create an area of interest, therefore we suggest you use a subtle wallpaper beneath the dado rail and recommend the Harlequin Assisi range priced at £24 per roll. Our chosen colours and designs are: 45758, 45757, 35851 and 25950. The paint colour range from Laura Ashley is pretty and gentle and we would choose Ivory for the walls above the dado rail and either Pale Biscuit or Pale Twine for the rail. As an alternative, Farrow & Ball House White is a lovely creamy colour for the walls and would bring warmth to the hall area.

t We have a solid oak table (about a year old) treated with tung oil, on which we are aware of several greasy stains, including dried candle wax. How can these be removed and where we can buy the oil to refresh the table?

t Susie and Allan: The dried candle wax can be removed from the table by placing some brown paper over the wax, shiny side up, and gently ironing with a warm iron just using the tip of the iron. Tung Oil can be bought from Bakers & Larners of Holt (01263 712244.) The paint department stocks three sizes: 250ml £5.35, 500ml £8.35 and 1 litre £15.29.

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t Susie Hartley is on 0787 606 4395 and Allan Urquhart is on 079709 25559.

t If you have a question or an interior design dilemma, email caroline.culot@archant.co.uk