Me and my fiance are having a friend put on paneling and a shelf on top of our existing ledge. We are confused about the following and are looking for advice. We know it's personal preference but it is tough for us to decide as we don't want anything to clash. Please see attached pic.

1. Should the paneling be painted white or the color of the wall?
2. We are going to stain/varnish the oak ledge the color of our stairs and not the door.

Thanks very much for any input.

Ok for some reason I can't upload the pics???