Article Line Long1

The One “Entire House” Paint Trick That Stole Our Hearts (+ A Bunch Other Ideas To Feast Your Eyes On)

I equate those quiet design details that you only probably clock at a second or third look to the background music in a movie or tv show. You’re so wrapped up in the “big picture” that you don’t realize a big part of what is drawing you in is the emotion of the music. What is Jaws without the “duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun“. Ok, a horror movie isn’t the ideal example when comparing it to a look at a beautifully designed home but you’re catching my drift, right? Actually, this has kinda been a very detail-oriented week if you also read Em’s big kitchen cabinet post on Tuesday. This really just goes to show that while decision exhaustion is super real and time is definitely money, just try and take a little time to dream up some small special moments. I promise you won’t regret it and they don’t have to be expensive.

So before we get into the very cool/smart paint trick the homeowners actually did on their own, I had some questions about the design because look at where they started…

Here is a totally functional kitchen but given this home’s Spanish-style roots, there was a huge opportunity to bring back the soul of this room…and well, every room.

This lovely space off of the front door is now the dining room. Don’t worry. The arch and windows stayed and the blue carpet said bye-bye.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the whole transformation of this space, just a small peek, but you’ll want to remember that doorway that goes into that VERY blue room:) Ok onto the good stuff.

Pendant | Wall Tile | Countertops | Millwork | Accessories and Decor (not available)

A 1000xBetter are total masters at mixing textures and woods (remember owner, Kirsten Blazek’s home?) Naturally, I wanted to know their multi wood mixing secret and this is what she said:

We actually love to mix different types of woods, but there definitely has to be a method to the madness. There should always be some consistency in tones. One wood can definitely be lighter or darker than the other as long as the tones pair well together. For example, I wouldn’t pair an ashy-colored wood with one that has a yellow base. If one wood has a lot of grain then I would pair it with wood that’s a little quieter so that you are not getting into something that looks excessively textured or is too busy on the eye.

Ok so to recap what you need to have when mixing different kinds of wood in the same space:

  • Some consistency in tones (aka don’t mix super ashy with yellow base).
  • Don’t have all the same grain intensity. Some grainy, some not as grainy.

Range | Hood | Island (custom design by patrick maziarski)

As you can see, all of the wood tones have a nice, slightly warm undertone and use a slightly less grainy, more modern light wood for the cabinets, open shelving, and lighting accents. Then a rich darker and grainer wood for those really special stools and beautiful floors.

FUN FACT: The cabinet wood was rift-sawn when cut. That they have nice straight grain lines and zero sheen. Kirsten said that they chose that custom color finish because it evoked qualities of aged millwork. Very smart.

I also want you to notice how the darker wood tones are heavier on the bottom half and just get lighter are your eye goes up. That helps to make the space feel bigger, brighter and the ceilings taller. But to make sure it’s still visually balanced they styled the counter and shelves with a mix of darker-toned decor and add those stunning black pendants.

Planters | Wall Sconce | Faucet

I also am so sorry to let you that all of those beautiful accessories and ceramics are the homeowners (actually I was told that the owner is a very talented ceramicist which is VERY clear if you look at all of the ceramics in the house:))

OK, HERE IT IS! The easy trick I’ve been holding onto. Look at that dark interior door frame trim color!! That also matches the window trim color!!! This isn’t the best shot of it (there’s a better one in a minute) but what an easy, affordable, and visually IMPACTFUL detail.

I love how it’s literally just in the frame but that’s also because of the style of the door. I think it adds so much soul and is really in line with the home’s original style.

Chandelier | Furniture (not available) | Planter

O and look at the dining room transformation. See how the windows got that chic upgrade with the darker paint color? Also, the flooring is perfect and again the mix of wood varietals is on point.

Lounge Chair and Ottoman

This is that doorway I told you to remember! By removing the beam that was lining the top of the door and painting the interior framing dark, it now looks like you are going into a really cool secret room. And honestly, that’s not wrong because look.

How stunning is this custom cabinetry? The wood is bursting with soulfulness and the mid-century modern style really makes the room/home feel really fresh. This mixing of styles and it specifically being mid-century modern was one thing that was important to the client.

I also really love how they made sure to have a variety of open and closed storage and not perfectly line up the cabinetry with the passthrough door doorframe. It gives a little breathing room to the door and the room itself. Oh and there’s your little sneak peek into that large (probably TV?) room.

The design of this room feels really lived in because of the maximalist bookshelf styling (with books that the owners have probably actually read) and the variety of textures. I would feel very cozy and incredibly sophisticated reading in this room.

So aside from my excitement over the painted interior door frames, this powder bathroom you are about to see is really freaking cool.

Sink (custom design by patrick maziarski) | Sconces | Flushmount

I think we have said 19,374,985,437,854,390x that a powder bathroom is a great time to take a design risk whether that be a bold paint color, wallpaper pattern, and/or a cool tile. Do one or maybe do all, it’s up to you! Well, the lead designer on this home, Patrick Maziarski, may have skipped the wallpaper but he dove hard into dark bold colors, a modern Spanish tile pattern, and designed a killer custom vanity. All of it, perfect.

So yes, I am sorry to say that sink is not for sale anywhere so we all just have to look at these photos and pretend that we live there. And I’m likely pointing out the obvious here but that sink lip with the live edge wood tray is so good. What a creative way to create some counterspace.

Floor Tile | Wall Paint

Ah, there’s that magical tile. Ok, I’m going to stop gushing now.

Hopefully, you can now feel more confident in your wood mixing skills, and please if you can paint the inside of your door frames, DO IT:)

So what was your favorite element??

Love you, mean it.

*Design by A1000xBetter | Lead Design by Patrick Maziarski
**Styled by Patrick Maziarski and Jazlyn Jennings
***Millwork by Eaton Designs
****Photos by Virtually Here Studios

0 0 votes
Article Rating


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

These are good tips- and am glad if the client likes it..kinda looks like the home is in a Cali and the dark woods refer to a Spanish Revival style… but personally I find the dark trim and woods to feel too heavy!
The very dark stained paneling and black accents feels more 1970’s Mediterranean  than 1960’s Lautner style to me .. which still has a lot of wood, but lighter, blonder stains, a lighter touch with the trim and and likely would have used a figured plywood rather than that burled walnut feeling in the study. Looking through the designer’s other work it seems he favors high contrast dark tones, with mixed periods – for example a dark William Morris wallpaper in a new build mid century style lofted living room… I personally prefer an earlier 1960’s mid century look …
Examples of what I am talking about here, esp. picture #2…

2 years ago
Reply to  kk

Yes! I like the kitchen and dining room, but the study looks like an 1980s apartment I once lived in. Blotchy stain on the woodwork and heavy texture on the ceiling and wall. Maybe some (younger) people are harking back to the 80s in a positive way that I just can’t relate to.

2 years ago
Reply to  Rupali

Yes I am GenX and thinking it was also generational, nostalgic for grandparents. My granparent decor nostalgia is tied to Hollywood Regency and Old School British Eccentic!

2 years ago
Reply to  Rupali

Oh no way, that wood is so beautiful, I love the textured ceiling and the light fitting ❤️❤️

The house has a masculine feel, and definitely a moodiness, the photography with a lot of shadow enhances that and brings out the texture.

2 years ago

Omg, the chandelier in the formerly-blue room is amazing. Is that done by the ceramicist owner?

Jessica Jenkins
2 years ago
Reply to  alex

looks like Kat & Roger to me …

2 years ago
Reply to  alex

Yessss!!! That caught my eye oohs and aaahs, too!

Reply to  alex

yes, super cool! i was thinking that too. imagining having the foresight to see how cool that would end up looking in there

2 years ago

Maybe it’s the filters used in these images but it all seems dreary, dark and moody. Since that also describes my soul 2 weeks of every month, I would be depressed living here. The tips about mixing wood is super helpful. I also like the framed doorway and I even like dark painted window trim but I also need relief from all of that, and for sure some color. The bathroom is one I would actively avoid even though I’m impressed with the creative concept

2 years ago

So beautiful and nice to see variety in styles represented on this blog. 😘

2 years ago

Well this is just gorgeous, isn’t it? I adore it all!
Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us.

2 years ago

Stunning! Love it all. I just want to walk around and pet the wood. I don’t think it’s too dark at all. It’s perfect!

2 years ago

Favorite element? Everthing! This styling and palette speaks to my soul. Dare I say it looks so much like the nostalgic (for me) mid-century look I’ve been trying to curate in my own home – but just soooo much better! One of the difficulties with decorating with a palette of rich woods and black is that you risk looking dated or oppressive. This feels like neither of those to me as it evokes the right amount of nostalgia and mood background for personal collections like art and pottery, and yes, even well-read real (not coffee table) books. The layering of all these elements avoids the “showroom” mid-century style and looks as though someone has lived in this home and decorated it over the decades. There are so many tips in this post and in the photographs that will help me refine what I’m trying to do with my mid-century home. For me, this was perfect inspiration – thanks1

2 years ago
Reply to  Donna

I agree with everything you said, Donna. This tour is (a) an absolutely stunning transformation and (b) I love it! It makes me think of the homes of my parents’ friends in NYC in the 80s, which of course harkened back to the MCM of their youths. And yet it also seems timeless and fresh with updated styling and materials. Beautiful.

2 years ago
Reply to  Carla

Exactly, Carla. I love the way you described it as a hark back to the comfortable nostalgia of that particular period of time in New York. That’s probably why I like it so much – those were good years for me.

2 years ago

There is a LOT of wood in that house and I do not hate it. In fact, I love it. I’ve been looking at a lot of homes in my area (to buy) and that much wood is an immediate turn off. Yeah, because it’s now well done. This post is an eye opener!

Roberta Davis
2 years ago

The dark frames, doors and windows is a really nice effect!

2 years ago

That powder room!! The Best Ever.

2 years ago

I love the way the ceiling just spills down to the walls with the rounded corners. A beautiful home, I really want to see it lit up at night it’s got “night vibes” in all the wonderful ways. Count this as one reader’s request for more evening and night lighted pics. Thank yous!

2 years ago

I love love love natural, unpainted wood.
Gorgeous. I can understand that some people would think it’s a bit much wood, but not me.
I love the ceramic light fitting. It’s not my style of light fitting – prob wouldn’t shed much light – but as a piece of ceramics, it’s beautifully crafted.
What struck me about the window and door frames is the way they kind of ‘frame’ the scene in the next room or outside, just like a painting.

Jess, I just wanna say, this is a really well written post and has a curated feel to it.
Thank you. 😊

Cici Haus
2 years ago

This is unrelated but the title of the post reminded me of it. My painter/restoration expert told me once that his favorite house he ever did used the same paint color in different strengths throughout the entire house. For example, bathrooms were 200% SW Alabaster, bedrooms were 75% to 100% SW Alabaster and the main living spaces were 50% SW Alabaster. He said it was so cohesive but still felt special and “almost like walking through a sunset.” It’s stuck with me – my new house may be the place to try that trick!

(p.s. everyone knows that you can change the strength of paint colors right? Like “200%” means twice the amount of pigment per gallon, though it’s the same color just a richer version.)

2 years ago
Reply to  Cici Haus

I painted my picket fence 20% pigment of my house colour (Dulux, Open Sesame). The house is yellow and the fence reads cream but people constantly comment on how well the two go together…subliminal connection in the brain.

2 years ago
Reply to  Cici Haus

I knew the strength of paint colours could be changed but I never thought to vary the same colour throughout the house…super tip! Thanks for sharing!

Reply to  Cici Haus

i did NOT know this! but so glad you just told me! great tip!

2 years ago

This is such a beautiful space!!! I love all the richness from the wood.
Jess, I hate to be this person but, shortly after the before pictures you incorrectly named the design company that worked on this project. You put “100xBetter” when it’s actually “1000xBetter”. I know this is minor but it irked me, especially when trying to properly give credit where it’s due.

Melody Christensen
2 years ago

Hi Jess,
Super cool house, thanks for sharing. The ceiling fixture in what I’m assuming is the library or office is so gorgeous. Do you have a source? If you saysh e made that too, then please tell her I’d like to be her apprentice. Lifelong dream.
Thank You,

2 years ago

pretty sure the fixture is Kat & Roger …

2 years ago

I love this home so much! I love it so very much as soon as it started I went to find the designer’s portfolio. Just a note: the firm’s name at the top of the article is “A 100x Better” but at the bottom it is “A1000xBetter”. Nevertheless, I found them online. 🙂

2 years ago

Umm, there is nothing Spanish roots here. It’s a nice contemporary/mcm-ish space. I’m guessing maybe the tile backsplash? Still not very Spanish though. Very L.A.

Paula Carr
2 years ago

It’s funny to see this described as MCM, because I lived through the mid-century, and this was not what it was like. But I like this MORE than what I usually see described as MCM. Love the “snug.” I just don’t like the powder room much. I’ve never liked black sinks, and I positively hate trough sinks.

2 years ago

Kindred spirit designer. Just give me beautiful wooooood. And dreamy reading room. The entrance is so good. Turning the jamb is just so gorgeous and simple. Also reminds me of a little reading room in the Guggenheim. Such a good entrance. Check it out.

2 years ago

Does anyone know where those gorgeous wood kitchen chairs are from?? Or where to find similar?

2 years ago
Reply to  Joy

I want the two cutting boards leaning against the back kitchen wall that look like they are cut to fit together! They look like an old couple leaning towards each other bc they are still so much in love after 50 years.

2 years ago

A stager painted the interior windows and and doors black in a friend’s house and what a difference! . I am sure that touch, along with the gorgeous furniture, art, and lighting, brought in the numerous bids over his asking price. It was one of those improvements that makes you wonder why you didn’t do it before!

2 years ago

The custom cabinetry is giving me flashbacks to 1970’s thin particle board paneling that everyone had in their den. It’s just missing the black groves. Hard pass.

this house is such a mood in such a great way. i love all the wood and all the details that went into this.

Stacie Skelley
2 years ago

Absolutely lovely. The white super matte textured ceilings and walls are like the color of fired pottery. Any idea what manufacturer?

2 years ago

I love, love, love this. The wood and texture and ceramics and layering create a depth that is so soothing, like resting under a weighted blanket.