Whenever I am with a client either on the phone virtually (like the following house in Omaha) or in person and I announce that the carpet, backsplash or sofa (for example) has a--gasp–pink undertone, my clients almost always react the same way--oh no, what do we do now!
Paint the Cabinets
When I toured this house virtually, I asked Laura if we would be choosing a colour for her oak cabinets and she said "Maria, this house is brand new!". I replied, '"Here's how you know this kitchen is NOT current, you will never find it in a magazine from 2011". That was all the confirmation Laura needed (and luckily her husband agreed). She set about painting all the oak woodwork including the kitchen white and here are the results!
By the way, if your brand new house has espresso cabinets and you are wondering if it's a crazy idea to paint them white? I'm saying go for it! Espresso brown will speak to the 2000 era just like they did in the 70's.
Work around your Fixed Finishes
Here is the bossy carpet that she inherited with the brand new house as well as pinky beige backsplash tiles in the kitchen and the fireplace surround. To ignore fixed elements this strong would not look good and since the house was new Laura and her husband were not prepared to start replacing brand new carpet, etc. Since purple, greeny grays or blue's and reds are the only colours that work with pinky beige, (as any shade of yellow or orange would NOT be an option) she chose blues and reds because she wanted to create a fresh look.
Paint the Woodwork
Laura found a wonderful sectional in cream and took my suggestions for repeating the colour around the space to heart, and especially with the throw pillows which totally make the room (from Pottery Barn and Target)!