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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson

No design decision has ever so passionately divided our office than what color to paint the trim of my new house. We all have our favorites and we are all feeling differently about which option is truly the best for the new house – hence the reason for this post. Currently it looks like this:

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It’s painted chocolate brown, which doesn’t work for me and all the windows are damaged and need repair anyway. The beams are currently a faux green/black – also not working for me. When I polled everyone in the office as to what color the trim/windows/beams should go it was 5 (black!) to 1 (white). As you can imagine, I was the 1. But I seriously trust everyone who works for me, I do, so I’ve been questioning myself so hard the last few months. Let me be clear – I think that black trim will look so classic, dramatic, and GREAT. I’m just not sure it’s what I want for us. So I went straight to the source – pinterest, and started pinning images.


AHH. So pretty. Yes, it’s more traditional but I don’t think I’d ever regret white trim/mouldings/casements.


Now this looks amazing but the frames here are MUCH thinner than mine. You have to remember that inspiration images aren’t your reality and there are many other factors to consider. In our dining room, for instance, we have two full walls of windows and while the black could look awesome!! It sure does create a different energy in the space.


Well, well, well. This designer painted the casements, windows, and the walls three different tones. I admire it, I like it, but I’m stressed out just thinking about making that decision by Friday.


This one, above, is white with a tone on the walls, but with black hardware. I’m listening HARD.

This photo below, is so inspiring to me and one of the reasons that I wanted black frames.


But what I constantly am reminding myself is that we have SO many windows with thick frames and thick mullions.

My windows are not like this:


It’s beautiful, but it’s not my reality. People kept showing me this photos (below) and I reminded them that yes, it’s amazing, but it’s not my house.


Back to white.


I’d never regret it.

But black is so, so, so chic and classic…


This last photo is one that is keeping me on the white train.


This house  – with its thicker frames is similar to my house. I like it, but I’m not sure its for me. I recently went into a flip in LA that was well done, with all black mouldings and doors and the house wasn’t big enough to handle it. It was a good lesson that a darker moulding isn’t for everyone.

But I was still on the fence so I had my team photoshop in all the possible options.

*Quick note: the beams are probably not refinishable, which was my original plan. In a dream world they stay a beautiful rustic wood (right now it’s a faux green/brown). They are now stripped and sanded and the wood is cheap and ugly, so leaving them wood isn’t an option. Maybe eventually I could replace them with pretty reclaimed wood but I can’t make that decision right now.

**Another quick note: the shelving on either side of the fireplace is 6″ deep, which is not enough to hold any books. We are looking to either build them in and up or get rid of them altogether so I could put art/furniture there instead. Our contractor is going to let us know the options asap, and don’t worry we have a post coming with some options for those as well.

So without any further explanation let’s let the renderings do the talking. Here you go, audience:


White trim, light toned walls, black beams. I’m listening. Now before you say how unbalanced this is, think about the fact that there will be a big sofa, dark rug, and many black accents in here.


Light gray walls, white trim, white beams. Very soft and subtle and a good backdrop for all the other stuff that will go in the room.


Black windows, white beams. That’s interesting. Some drama but less exciting than some of the others…


Black with white baseboard …. maybe less harsh, but a little confusing.


VERY light gray walls with white beam/windows. Yes. I like this. The white looks weird on the beams but not sure that is because it’s a rendering or if it would look weird in person. I would do the gray super light – just a tone.


Grey windows and moldings and white beams… eh.


Gray everything with white walls. I like it except the beams – I’m not sure I like those gray.


All black. Super dramatic, lots of energy but definitely heavier and picture this with a ton of stuff in it – will it get so busy so fast?


Similar to #5 but a darker grey on the walls and a slightly darker shade of grey on the beams.


Medium gray walls, white frames, and white beams. I love how it highlights the windows but not sure about the beams.


So we tried it with darker beams. Could be fine in person but not in this rendering.


All gray with black beams and white walls. Hmmm…..


It was helpful to see all of these, for sure, but there are so many ways it could look good and the renderings do look a bit weird as they do not really reflect how well some of these options could look in person – BUT they do help.

As we were pulling together this post with all of the options, our contractor started prepping the room for paint. I’m out of town but Ginny sent me this today, which shows the windows with white paint and the wood stripped down on the beams (trust me the wood is bad – it looks better in pics than it does in person, so we do have to paint the beams):


Uh. uh. That sure is helping, right? Even Ginny was like the white windows look awesome… 

We narrowed it down to these four. But, I just realized that white moldings/windows and beams with gray walls isn’t in here and I do also love that option (#10).


So folks… what is your favorite of the top 4 that we selected? Be sure to vote, and let us know why you like it in the comments below:

Check out some more updates on our new home: Our New Home, Deciding The Style For The New House, Ask The Audience.

  1. Option 5!

  2. As a designer… 7+/- years ago I would have been on the white train immediately. Today, initially reading through your post I was like go black, go black! Then, as I sifted through your photos I came to agree with you, your trim is definitely too thick to take on the black trim everywhere. I think the best option is to go white on the windows/trim and black at the beams (The white seemed weird to me, maybe you don’t have enough wood work up on the ceiling to make it work). Drama in the right place without overshadowing the gorgeous light you want to flood the room.

    Now, all that said, I personally would go with (or at least look into) the OCD option of black just at the inside window frames and white at the thicker wood trim- I’d like to point out the second to last inspiration photo, the one with the black fireplace, (and I think the second inspiration image, it’s really hard to tell but it looks like there is a slight shadow of moulding!) has white trim surrounding the black window frame (hope this makes sense). What I’m trying to say is the skinny thin black you are seeing in the photos and loving isn’t necessarily all of the frame/moulding. If you went this route though, you would also need to get an (expensive?) OCD painter.

    Whatever you go with, you always make it right!

    1. I second LJ’s suggestion of inner window trim black and outer trim white, with white walls. (I remember Martha Stewart’s advice that dark window trim draws the eye to the view outside, instead of stopping at the frame.) I am curious about white beams to make them more sculptural and less structural. Also I love the natural wood beams and wish that were a reasonable option! (I love having my design opinion asked.)

    2. I agree! I feel like you can’t go without some black somewhere! I vote beams and JUST the window pane trim not the whole door trim.

      1. I agree! I even did a screen shot and painted lines and it looks amazing, just like some of the inspiration photos!

    3. This was my first thought as well. I think most of the black windows you pinned are skinny steel frames (seems that the only one you didn’t like was the one that most closely matched your thicker trim situation) and it would be easy to get a similar look by painting just the doors and mullions black but painting everything else (trim and beams) lighter. I’m really hoping you consider this option. It’s at least worth mocking up…………

      1. I thought about this so much, you guys. We should have rendered it out!!! Everywhere I saw it done the frame was still thin. Additionally I do fear that its a trend (but maybe i’m just now noticing it EVERYWHERE?). I love the look in the right home but in this old house there is something about it that felt try-hard …. I would say i’m reconsidering it but paint has to be in Contractors hand by tomorrow ….gah

        1. Bottom line, if you have to pull the trigger… don’t go all black. While all white (I’m just talking about windows here) is less risky. it’s less risky! You know it will work and then you can move onto other decisions and push yourself elsewhere. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do and move on. Don’t you just love deadlines!?!?

        2. I don’t think it’s a trend. A lot of bungalows and tudors here in Portland have it that way, and I think it’s classic.

          1. I agree, not a trend! I have a friend who has been a Painter for years and this is one of his go-to moves in beautiful old craftsmans. I think it’s more old-school, but you know we always like to believe we’re inventing the trends when they suddenly burst back into the spotlight. 🙂

        3. I think you already know what you want. You wish black was right for is space, but it isn’t. Regret minimization is never a bad idea. You won’t regret the white.

          1. I think you are right. I want to be edgier than I am. xx

          2. Agreed. I tried designs I loved from magazines, etc. in my house before we renovated everything just to see what I thought. Particularly accent walls of brighter shades, painted ceilings, etc.

            I wanted to love it in my own home. It wasn’t.
            I wanted it to be me. It wasn’t.
            I wanted it to be my home’s character. It wasn’t.

            I like neutrals. I like clean. I like the beautiful natural wood throughout our house to be the feature people react to when they visit (and it is).

            My house is nowhere near what I wish it was like from a design perspective, and I definitely need some help figuring it all out. I still think I’d love a punch, but I think I’m more about doing it in accents and in pieces I can change out.

            I now realize that just because I adore something in someone else’s space, and I *want* it to be me, it’s just not. I feel that way about the black for you. Reading through the post shows a lot of doubt about the black. You could love it, you really could. The question is, how risk averse are you? Are you willing to pay to have it redone?

          3. Couldn’t agree more with Elsa F., reading your post you’ve already made up your mind but you don’t know it yet. I would’ve have said black everything right away no question but it’s not you, so follow your guts ! And it’s easier to start soft and go crazier once you’ve lived in it for a while if you feel like it ! Anyway it’s a gorgeous space, I can’t wait to see the rest !

          4. I was going to say the SAME thing…the language you use in your post points to white trim!!!!! Trust your GUT!

        4. I voted for the all white one because all black is too much and the other options weren’t balanced to me. I would vote for black panes but white trim around windows HANDS DOWN. Best of both worlds. Then you can do black beams (or white).

          1. Agreed. Black panes and doors, white mouldings. Beams, in any room that has them, seem like a separate architectural element, whereas window, door, and baseboard mouldings demand a little more cohesion from me. I realize this is a laundry room, but: https://okl.scene7.com/is/image/OKL/031616_LaundryRoom7?wid=520&op_sharpen=1

          1. Ooh..this inner outer thing is cool. That could be such a great compromise. You get the drama of the black with the white outside trim.

        5. The black window mouldings are overwhelming in the renderings, but is it possible to do just the grilles and similar width on the sashes in black? Those French doors will look killer in black with the moulding white.

        6. When I first saw this post, I was immediately drawn to the all black. After reading the post, however, I am a HUGE proponent for Option 1. You retain the drama of the contrasting beams without compressing the room with the all-around black framing. Normally I would say go for the black-trimmed windows (I love that look!) but I’m afraid it might look a bit forced trying to add the black trim on the non-steel framed windows in a tudor house. I think with Option 1 you are staying true to the character of the house.

    4. Love LJ’s suggestion of creating the thin black look with the existing structure by painting selectively.

      I voted for option 1 because I love the idea of a little drama and bringing your eye up without the space feeling overpowered by black. If you go with something like that, using black hardware is a total must!

    5. Completely agree with this. Black beams, white trim on the window casements and the baseboard, and black on the window mullions.

      Although come to think of it, the baseboard could possibly go black as well to give the space some balance. It feels a bit lopsided without some more black in there, but perhaps with the mullions painted black that will give enough balance and drama.

      Good luck! No matter what you do, I have no doubt it will be gorgeous!

      1. JJ is right! That’s exactly what I decided to do, can’t wait to see both of our final results!

      2. But wouldn’t that look odd, with the new lighter wood flooring that’s going in?

    6. Totally agree with the inner black trim and outer white trim too!

    7. I vote for LJ’s suggestion

    8. Came to say exactly this. White outer trim. Inner frame black trim.

      All black seems pretty heavy handed.

      I would choose to stain the beams a dark walnut color, but if you say the wood is bad, I believe you 🙂 I’d go with white beams then.

    9. Wish I could embed images in this comment because I did a quick rendering using a screenshot and think it looks great! Of course, I have just been loving the look of black frames/white trim lately, and am currently working that into a house I’m designing, so I could be biased 🙂

      Still, only took a few minutes, so might be worth having someone on your team do a rendering of this option! It feels nicely balanced with the black beams, but still so much lighter than the all black trim around the windows. It may feel a bit stark in the rendering but in reality I think the black window frames disappear into the landscape more and allow the views to really shine, as opposed to the white frames, which stop your eye more.

    10. I also vote for black inside window trim and white outer trim. I would say paint all the other stuff white – beams, baseboards, etc.

    11. Agree mostly with this but I would paint the beams and all trim white – including the trim around the windows. The wood framing the individual panes and the inside border of the windows can be black.

      Like the second pic down on this page: http://www.studio-mcgee.com/studioblog/2016/8/31/engineered-vs-hardwood-floors.

      1. I was all in for black trim too at first. But if you were MY client…you want white. It will look amazing and feel all the Thomas O’Brian feels you want in your heart. You’re gonna bring the drama in other ways–including a painted kitchen cabinets that will likely be somewhat visible from this room.

        Also looking at Ginny’s photo I think the room might be a hair small for black beams anyway.

        Trust you gut. You can paint the inner window trim black later without much hassle if you think something is missing.

    12. I just want to throw out there that black window frames with white molding can be very old world as well! Lots of Northern European homes have been doing it for centuries (just look at many of the canal homes in The Netherlands). I know your Tudor will be a bit California eclectic, so if you do decide to throw in just a touch of drama on the windows, I don’t think it will read ‘trendy’ at all. It will still be a bright and beautiful space. http://www.feedpuzzle.com/feed/amsterdam-netherlands-3/

    13. I agree with this. I was going to say option 4, but this is better. My only strong feeling is that, whatever you do, the baseboard should NOT be black–way too much. I would also love to see the beams done a walnut color, but it sounds like you don’t want to go there.

  3. Option #10 is my favorite. A modern take while preserving the historic elements. That gray is going to make all the colors in the room really pop and the white trim around the windows makes the whole room feel brighter.

  4. I would go with #5 or #8. But it seems really clear from reading your post that you don’t really want the black. It’s important to pick what you want to live with day to day more than what you think designers or your readers will like, especially if this is your home-home and not just for your portfolio. I saw this picture yesterday and it made me think of this space, looking back now I see it’s dark windows and light ceiling and I think that’s really appealing! Actually my favorite of your options was option #3 and this is similar. https://www.instagram.com/p/BLKYpOZD9Oa/?taken-by=remodelaholic

    1. UGH. i love that. I think that I, like everyone, can be a bit risk-adverse to things that can’t be just repainted. If it were wall color I would go for it but this trim is taking a week to prep and another week to paint ….but that pic is beautiful and so tempting.

      1. That’s it! That’s the one! Emily, I think you would rock styling the room with this foundation!

    2. Totally agree that I preferred 3 the best out of all of them. Of the 4 they are thinking, 8 for sure. The rest of them look incomplete somehow.

    3. My favorite was option 3 as well. I made a pack with myself when I opened this post that I would just vote with my gut and not torment myself with indecision like I did last time there was an ask the audience! Then when I got to the end and my favorite hadn’t made the finals! She got that rose too soon. She’s grounded with personality while still maintaining an airy casual feeling.

      Another instinct was not to paint the trim too bright of a white. My favorite part of the remodelaholic image above is the off-white putty color on the trim. Darker (antique?) white trim everywhere with brighter white walls will provide some contrast without overwhelming you every time you step into a room. And black (deep charcoal) mullions on doors and windows will compliment the Tudor styling of the house. And once again I’ve invested my emotions in your remodel over coffee! Which is the best kind of coffee break- thanks! Good luck with your decision today. You and your team are more than capable of making any of these options into a welcoming beautiful home. Accessorize with a couple of munchkins and it will be perfect.

    4. I agree, #3 was my favorite! Just enough drama without being distracting.

      1. #3 is my vote

      2. Glad other people saw what I saw! Option 3 all the way. Its the best of both world. Light, airy, and balanced but still dramatic.

        1. I voted for 5 but also really prefer 10. So graceful.

        2. Option 11! with a lighter color on the walls, though

    5. I agree, three was my favourite too! I like that the black on the windows draws your eye outside. I feel like the dark beams look rather odd in the renderings. I know normally you want to draw your eye upward, but it is not a super high ceiling and the shape of the ceiling doesn’t really work for dark beams to me.

      1. Yes, this! Alanna has captured what I was thinking but couldn’t articulate.

        1. i.e. that the beams don’t seem to work very well as dark. I’m not necessarily saying the windows should be. But just that the beams definitely *shouldn’t* be (in my little unknowing mind).

    6. I also cast my unofficial vote for #3!! To me, white looks more traditional and the black looks more contemporary… That said, you’ve been saying ‘traditional’ in a lot of your posts lately… Also, even though I love the black window trim, I do feel like it will date faster than the white. The white is timeless and almost feels as though it will be easier and more flexible for you to work with. Go with your gut. Remember when you painted your wood kitchen blue? Everyone loved the wood but the blue was right for YOU.

      1. Agree with option three!! 😉

    7. I agree! Option 3 was my top choice. The black looks so great on the windows, but too heavy on the beams. Can’t wait to see what Emily decided!

  5. The beams are one of the most interesting visual elements in the whole house. To paint them white or grey and render them virtually invisible would be a crime. I vote option 8 all the way – dramatic and RISKY for your personal style – which, as a designer, is the best and most fun kind of challenge. Go big or go home! 🙂

    1. I’m also on the 8 train. I think it’s dramatic, and I would say that what goes into the room will probably make the contrast less stark. With nothing in the room, all you have to look at is the contrast, but with stuff, there will be more to guide the eye.

      But, like everyone else says, you have to live with it. And if all that drama is going to make you long for something soft and neutral, you should go with one of the lighter/airer options.

    2. Totally agree on the beams being the most important element. You bought the house partly for its details, and painting them white just makes them disappear.

  6. So exciting! I voted for option 5, but I also love option 3! Good luck!

  7. I like #5 but also #8 IF you have mostly white furniture. That kitchen up top with black windows is otherwise all white. We didn’t get to choose any colors because our place is historically protected. The window frames and shutters (which, unusually, are on the inside) were required to be pale gray (RAL 7035 to be precise). I did get to do black window frames on the interior in a bathroom because it doesn’t have shutters. The bathroom is all white except for a very thin black stripe around the room and tiny black cabuchons amid the white tile. I LOVE it. But again, it’s mostly white with a little black. A white window there would have been banal.
    You won’t regret #5, especially if your furniture is colorful.

  8. I wish option 4 made the cut but, you know, it’s your house and not mine. 🙂 LOL good luck!!!

  9. At first I was leaning toward Option 8, but I think lots of black windows will be a lot of look. Option 1 is the most balanced. The beams were a ceiling detail that was meant to be seen, so painting them out with white feels like a missed opportunity. Option 1 gives you a way to show of historical, interesting details in your house while also not having every window and thick molding pop out at you.

    1. Yeah for sure. Option 1 but with black hardware on the white windows to tie in the black of the beams.

      I originally voted for 12 but I want to officially change my party to option 1. This is the kind of voting I can get behind that doesn’t leave me sick to the stomach!

  10. I like 5 and 8 the best. Mixing the trim and beam colors just doesn’t work for me. 5 is subtle and relatively unremarkable, blank canvas-ish. 8 is dramatic and like, wow. I can see either working well depending on what you want. Since you’re a designer, I vote for wow. 8.

  11. Oh God I’m torn too! The black is SO sexy but I have a deep, deep love for white trim. It’s classic and bright and would help the space feel more versatile I think. Definitely anti gray. The image of the white windows with black hardware (matte??) was so good, maybe having those small bits of black, like curtain hardware, window hardware, etc. will give enough drama and chic-ness.
    Just my two cents! 🙂 I’ve been loving following this new home journey with ya!

      1. My first instinct was to go white trim with black doors/windows, but I really think the all-white with freshie matte black hardware will be STUNNING. Like just the right black eyeliner + mascara on a simple, pretty face.

        I’m super torn with the beams, though I can say I’m not loving them white against a darker wall color. Something about that looks too twee or something with the decorative style of the beams. Maybe keep the walls & beams simple, clean white (or white beams + light-tone walls) for now and figure out how to replace the beams with something more rustic + natural later?

        Thanks for sharing all of this with us – endlessly fascinating AND educational!

    1. Now you’re making me rethink my stance on the all black! Black hardware and accessories would bring the drama in.

      …but I DO love those black windows so much.
      And if done like many suggest, just on the inside mullions, it could be painfully chic!

    2. I’m 100% with you, Catherine!

  12. Not one of your top 4, but I like Option 3 the best.

  13. #10. Shows off the architectural detail, but looks modern and bright.

    1. You don’t say what color the floors will be…
      I like option 6 with with grey trim on the windows, Love highlighting the windows, the beams, eh not so much. i would paint out the beams a lighter grey similar to the ceiling and walls. Highlight those windows! And make the floor the darker part. Make the “base” of the room the darkest part to anchor all the other stuff going on.

  14. Option 1. I think once the furniture grounds the room, the black beams will look awesome. It would also be the easiest to repaint (beams black to white) if you ended up hating it. So excited to see how it turns out!

    1. Exactly this. Reprinting the beams isn’t a huge deal if you end up hating it. I think the beams are an incredibly unique shape and stunning architectural feature. Paint them light and you visually minimize them! Once you get furniture in there it won’t seem so unbalanced.

  15. Option 3 or 4, actually, leaning toward 3.

    1. Yep, agree, 3.

  16. I like #5. I think you are light and airy and your house needs to reflect that. I like the idea of black windows but your windows are thicker and you’re right that it feels heavier. I think light and bright and bring in drama with furnishings and design. That is your talent and I think it will be shown off better against a clean backdrop like a clean canvas.

  17. That’s a TOUGH decision. I really like how the dark wood beams and white windows look in this post, fourth picture down. I know you said the beams can’t be stained but they can be faked with a good decorative painter: Segreto Finishes is one of the best!

  18. Emily, I thought for sure I would choose the all black option because it’s so classic but then I fell hard for option 1 which I think is a classic too – just a gentler one. Sooo many options! It’s refreshing to see a designer struggling with paint where. I’m rooting for you!

  19. I chose Option #1, just because all white lacks emphasis on the architecture in my eyes. (It’s not my house of course, so, there’s that.) I totally agree that the black on all trim could be overbearing. I feel like all white is not as beautiful as the black drawing the eye up… and I wish I could see the rooms light because I’m not a huge fan of any kind of gray. My whole house is gray and it works, but we live in a new build, zero architecture and low lighting. Lots of wood tones have been used to brighten it up!

  20. option 6

  21. I prefer option 5. If there was an option for wood beams and white trim everywhere else, I would like that best. I think the black is too much/too dark. Many of the black windows and doors you like for inspiration are really steel-framed not the thick wood trim you have. I think the white looks simple and beautiful and with the light wall paint it is very calming which is what I prefer in my home.

  22. I prefer option 5 of the 4 you chose but my FAVE is option 3. I hate the black beams but love the black window sashes with white trim.

  23. Also, question, I’m no designer but can’t you do the trim around the windows separately from the window sashes? So white trim but black sashes to cut down on the amount of black? I thought the two tone thing was a thing.

    1. Yep! We thought about it and its tempting, but I’m hesitant enough (for months now) that I’m not willing to risk it. but I’ve seen it done (when frames are thinner) and it looks so beautiful.

      1. You should at least mock it up it would be amazing! I don’t know why you think the sashes themselves are so think- they look so much like your second inspiration photo. Also you could do the top windows on the left all white to balance the height and only the sashes on the main windows black. Try it you’ll like it! 😀

  24. Only voted for the all white because it’s the only one with white beams. For some reason, I feel that black beams look too harsh in the room. The windows are the real problem!

    1. I would agree with you but when you are in the space and you picture what is going to go in there (some navys, blues, blacks, whites, grays, ) then it really will be grounded. I think. 🙂

      1. The floor treatment is the major missing link.
        Black beams look great…. need that contrast on the floor or in the rug and furniture.

        The black windows are a bit trendy I’m afraid.

  25. The only one that I really loved was #3 which didn’t make your final four. Option 5 is my fave of the four that you selected. Nice and bright.

  26. One word- DUST! All I could think was how much dust will show on all of that black. So my vote is white!

    1. That’s the first thing I thought of too! I clean my own house, so white is less work for me. 🙂

  27. #5. You can add black with your furniture and accessories. A long time ago my mother advised using my walls and floors as a background “and decorate with your accessories.” BTW…. I’m painting all trim white in dining room/kitchen. Walls will be Sherwin Williams ” Sedate Gray.

  28. I love all the PS mockups – but personally find the black ceiling trim ridiculous. The black doors with everything else white seemed by far the best to me. Could generate a bit of additional subtle interest by choosing a gloss white for the baseboards and ceiling bits and eggshell for the walls . . . but given the 4 you narrowed it down to I’d have to pick the all white. The black above everything just feels so distracting and cramped.

  29. #1 and add black hardware for doors and windows. The hardware would help balance the room so it’s not just top-heavy in black.

  30. Ah! This is such a tough choice.

    I loved the all black, but I do agree that it was very visually heavy and dramatic. I can certainly see how you may not want to go for that vibe in your tranquil daily living area. The white felt fresh and bright (though maybe a little bit boring?), but I think it will still be a classic and gorgeous canvas for whatever you design within it!

    I was another one who really liked option 3 as well! It feels more visually balanced to me than the white trim / black beam of option 1, but perhaps that is because the room is empty. I can definitely see how the darker beam could draw your eye up in option 1, so that you experience the entire room beyond what is just at eye level.

    My advice is to just go with your gut! You know you the best – your plans for the room and the overall look and feel to come.

  31. What a shame the wood isn’t good enough to stain! That warm wood tone is gorgeous in the photo your contractor sent!
    If you could swing it, I would definitely figure out a way to get unpainted wood beams up there!

  32. It’s hard to make a decision without seeing the furnishings, but based on the renderings, the all-white is the clear winner to me. The black seems so stark and not english cottagey at all. BUT…the photograph of the current state is honestly prettier to me than all of the renderings. (Maybe renderings never look as good as real pics??) I know the wood is not in good condition, but if that’s a project you can do later, I think that’s another reason to go with the white, which will look awesome with natural wood tones.

  33. We went with white trim throughout our 1928 tudor. Tudors, especially those with smaller windows get dark and gloomy fast and we’re very happy with our decision to keep it light.

    Having said that I’m all for #1 for the detail contrast.

    The room is sort of an interesting mix of Romantic and Spanish and those additional garnish/trim pieces on the joints and base of the beams look a touch out of place. They add bulk but I’m not sure that they really enhance the design. I’d suggest trying both with and without those garnishes no matter the paint choice.

  34. I voted for #5, but 2, 5, 7 and 10 all look nice to me. I think the ones with the beams, windows and trim are all the same look more cohesive and l like the brighter/lighter colors for that room. I think at night dark trim will just be so heavy and gloomy.

  35. I vote option 1. And if you could add black hardware to the windows I think it would look amazing!

  36. Lindsay agrees with Lindsey! Option 3 was my favorite (black but in a smaller dose and the beams didn’t seem bright white) with 7 being a close second. Most of the trim in my 100 y/o house is natural wood (chestnut) but my kitchen and bath are painted a similar gray-Benjamin Moore Willow Creek, love it! I picked option 12 from the final 4 but the black beams seem jarring to me…….

  37. Not one of your final shortlist, but option 6 was actually my favourite. Ignore the beams – paint them the exact same colour as your walls and ceiling (whichever shade you go for) and treat the windows separately. Personally I love black on the window frames and paler beams, but it wouldn’t matter. Main point is that beams and window don’t need to match!

  38. If I worked in your office, I would vote for white #5.

    I also could compromise and vote for white beams and black doors + windows.

  39. Of those 4, I like option #5. My favorite was Option #3. Black on the ceiling/beams feels heavy to me and makes the room feel smaller.

    1. So, I wrote my comment before reading the others (I didn’t want to be influenced. ha!) and you have many rooting for #3. 😉

      1. I know!! I actually really love #3, too and i’m tempted for sure ….. ugh.

  40. personally i love option #3

  41. Absolutely #5! I do like the idea of trying some black hardware, easy to change out if you don’t like it.

  42. I’d go with Option 1. But would paint only the baseboards, outside window and door casing/trim white. Then paint the doors and window mullions black. That way it it reads thinner like the inspiration photos and helps to balance the black beams.

    1. I know I am too late. Hope you picked #10.

    2. I know I am responding WAY too late, but I think you need to make separate decisions. Make a decision FIRST on the Windows and second (and independently) about the beams. I think you only have beams in one room so this doesn’t need to influence the whole house. Decide what you want your Windows to look like everywhere and then choose for the beams. Worst case scenario, you choose wrong and repaint the beams.

  43. Option 3 is my fav. I’m not in love with the shape of the ceiling beams in the living room, they remind me of giant insect legs overhead. They also give such a high rhythm to the ceiling, I feel like i’m being pulled somewhere else when all I’d want is to sit, relax and look at the beautiful garden instead of focussing on the ceiling… They make the eyes loo up instead of out. I love the idea of clean bright white ceilings, beams and walls with the chic contrast of black windows.

    Good luck on this one. whatever you decide, it will be fabulous!

  44. I was with you in hoping this could end with re-finishing and staining the beams. In the absence of that, though, I don’t *love* the beams (the spacing? the amount they arch down on the walls?) and think they suit a lower-contrast situation much better than a higher contrast situation. I’d be apt to do something with the walls and beams the exact same tone, with a different tone on the window/door trim and baseboards (either white on walls and beams, and grey on trim; or grey on walls and beams, and white on trim). My favourite inspiration photo was the one with the black hardware. I think that’s a better look for this house, as you’ve said, on account of the thicker door frames. I also think you’ll love it longer.

    That said, I was kind of expecting (hoping?) you’d go in a more beige direction with your walls this time. I kind of got it in my head that this house was going to be “taupe.” (I just painted our house BM Smokey Taupe, and then after that, saw that SW’s 2017 colour of the year is Poised Taupe.) Did you try the renderings with some warmer colours? I think that the part of the black beam photos that “works” is that they look more “English tudor” (the cold grey is such a modern look). I’m wondering if a warmer colour (taupe-beige) would also help traditionalize it, without having to go so high contrast. ?

    Thanks again for letting us weigh in on this stuff. It’s SO fun! And, we can’t wait to see what you’re going to do!

    1. I’m thinking the wall color is where my problems lie. I just painted a room white so I’m not against it but I think that the cool whites and grays are making all of the options look too bold or too much like a background option. I have black trim with some brown undertones and it looks great in the rooms with the taupe. It looks a little bold in the rooms with the white. With gray it can go either way since there are so many lighting issues there. Even if you want to go white, white on white or a cool gray just doesn’t have the extra touch of contrast you need to stand out.

  45. I prefer the all white, and at most would do black beams. Definitely no grey on the trim/beams!!!

  46. I definitely vote for white. I agree with you that while the black windows/moulding look fantastic in the right house, your historic house has much thicker and much MORE moulding which means a LOT of black. I live in a 20’s craftsman and we have a lot of windows and moulding too. We painted our walls white (BM Chantilly Lace) and windows and mouldings are all a very light gray (Ralph Lauren Montauk Driftwood). Also we did the windows in a higher gloss then the walls which I think helps give them more attention without being distracting.

    I would just ask yourself what you want people to notice when they walk into your room? Will it be a beautiful piece of art, an inviting seating arrangement, or two huge bays of windows. That would answer the question for me!

  47. Voted but my favorite is option 3 black on windows/doors, white trim.

  48. Emily
    This is quite the decorating pickle you’ve gotten yourself into! A house with a different style then you currently live in, drool worthy trim details, a complicated layout scenario, and falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole. Lol! I went back and read your post on the layout for this room and yesterday’s post on feeling/inspiration and I keep coming back to the core concept that this is about your children in a shared family space…and the house feeling “new/old house: classic, casual, comfortable, inviting, and yes, always happy with a more older-world feel than I’ve had before with some classic midcentury pieces in the mix”

    The black is compelling but more drama then family space may want/need. The black is aspirational but not happy/casual/comfortable. Basically the black is a IG girl with eyebrows on fleek, contoring and highlighting, and face slaying. Whereas option 10 and 5 are a natural Instagram beauty with great skin and beautiful eyes who happened to catch the light with her face. Neither is better then the other but what speaks to Emily? I’m not even going to work on metaphors for those other colors. And mixing black in on beams but not Windows makes my OCD kick in. Good luck. I’m sure whatever choice you make will be awesome.

  49. I like the black on the windows and doors but not on the beams. Its looking like spider legs on your ceiling. I do like black doors and windows but the beams are to much.

  50. All black! (But I would paint the shelving whatever wall color you select so it blends in more.) I say embrace the Tudor elements and give into the house’s spirit a little bit. The gray feels way too cold for me with that architectural style. Do you know Reath Design’s work? I have recently gone down the rabbit hole. I am in a 100 year old foursquare, with two kids under six. The use of color with kid-friendly design that somehow feels super fresh and modern while also working in more traditional spaces is hitting all my buttons right now. I think the lead was previously at Commune and the sensibility feels more LA than Jessica Helgerson’s work (which I also adore). You’ll do beautiful work, but it’s a big decision for sure!

  51. I really want to like the dark windows, but I think you’re right at the trim is too chunky. I’m tied with #1 and #5. The dark beams in #1 make for such a cozy feel. But the all white woodwork with dark hardware in the inspiration photo are really appealing. It will be gorgeous either way.

  52. Option 1 ! white windows to keep it light and black beams for a bit of drama 🙂

  53. I feel like you for got an option. In your second, third, and ninth inspiration photos, the actual window is painted a different color than the moulding or trim around it. I think your second and ninth inspiration photos are something you can do, painting the actual window frames black, and all the trim and moulding around the windows white.

  54. I think if you really want white trim, you should do white trim. It’s your house.

    As for the beams… they’re kinda hideous. When the trim is white and they are black they are way too jarring, too stark a contrast. I voted for #5 because they blended in the most. I think they would look best if they were finished wood, but since that’s not an option, I would actually paint them whatever color you paint the walls and ceiling, just so they would blend in.

    Good luck. Whatever you choose will no doubt be amazing!

  55. OPTION 5!!!!!!!! A distant second option is 10. Your house already has loads of character so stick with your gut (the white). You can always revamp it down the road if you decide you want more drama.

    Though I would also really like bare light brown beams with white walls which has not been explored here…

  56. I like #1 and #5 but voted for #1 because I felt like the black beams balanced the black of the fireplace. I cannot wait to see this room transform!

  57. Gracious. #1 or #5. And my eyes are now crossed!

    1. Here’s the thing. I thought I’d be Team Dark side all the way because I love black windows and the contrast is super beautiful to me. But the more I think about your house, the more I vote all white with the light gray walls. I think the house has enough drama on its own, and let’s be honest, you’re not very minimal in your decorating. It’s going to get crazy with all the contrast. White will still highlight the beautiful details but act as a calming backdrop for everything else. Also, I totally vote to nix the shelves all together. There’s already enough architectural interest in there. Can’t wait to see what you go with!

  58. Number 5! You will limit your options for furniture and decor substantially with the all black molding etc

  59. My vote would be keep it all white, black hardware, and replace the ceiling beams with a beautiful wood when you can. This keeps it bright and happy, but the wood would add enough interest and warmth. I pinned this mage YEARS ago, and still love it. Never for the design aesthetic (too formal for my taste) but the beautiful details of the bare room.


    Glad to see you decided to replace the flooring. This house has me soooo excited. We renovated a 100 year old home that was COMPLETELY run down (think holes in windows and ceilings, doors falling off, missing chunks of flooring, and decades of grime!) on a terribly tight budget (we only lived there 20 months before turning it into and income property). But I love how it ended up with the resources we had available for it. And we’ve since rented two different historic homes ourselves to live in while we’ve moved for my husbands work. I LOVE older homes.

  60. I voted for option 8, but only bc I live in a house with dark (not black, but just barely. it’s a suuuuuuuper dark stained brown wood) trim, and I thought I’d hate it, and I LOVE it. Like, real, true, prada-backpack love it. We rent, so we didn’t have a choice, and I thought I’d just suffer for a few years while we saved up for a house. But it turns out I love it so much, and it gives such warmth and style to our very vintage townhouse, that I’d consider bringing that into a house I own, if the style was right. Even our baby nursery, painted the palest shade of blue, looks great with the nearly black trim. Plus, we get tons of compliments on it, which I accept as though I made the decision myself.

  61. What about doing just the mullions black?

  62. Option 5. I don’t like the black beams at all and I agree that the window trim/mouldings are too wide to handle black. I think the beams should be painted the same color as the walls

  63. I voted for #8 because those windows just have to be black! However, of all of them I actually like #3 the best. Black windows but the room would still calm because the beams and trim are white!

  64. How about doing just the mullions black?

  65. I chose option 1 but I also liked 10. I think it would look awesome to have BLACK BEAMS and then light colored windows with BLACK HARDWARE! You will bring then the black from up top onto the walls in a quiet way.

  66. Emily, I’m sorry to say this, I hate them all. I want you to just replace the beams and leave them a raw wood with white trim everywhere else and medium gray walls.

  67. I think Option #3 was the best of both worlds. It kept the room simple, but pulled the eye to your beautiful yard. We just moved in to our new house and after helping multiple friends and family decorate theirs, it is so much harder to decide what you want for your own home. This was supposed to be the easy house without any outside opinions!

  68. Go all white! Find other ways to incorporate some black. Maybe it’s the renderings, but the black beams feel so clunky and like they’ll take away from the other (I’m sure) amazing design elements in the finished room. I like the suggestions of thin black inner window rims. But oh man. That first inspiration photo is perfection. Don’t be afraid that all white is boring. It’s classic for a reason. Good luck!

  69. I definitely think Option 1 – the white walls and woodwork are bright and airy, yet the black beams keep the cottagey feel you’ve said you’re after.

    I also personally think Peak Grey is surely only days, if not hours, away and nobody should be painting anything else grey. Also, grey on the walls and ceiling with white woodwork and beams reminds me a lot of a cameo brooch, which I’m pretty sure is not the look you’re going for.

    I agree with you on the black being too much for the windows, and I would have been on Team Black Windows before, so I do think white windows is the right choice.

    Or, to summarise, Option 1 all the way!

    1. THIS.

      Emily I think it comes down to that one picture you keep going back to that gives you pause and what some have read “through” your writing. That you *want* the black to work on the windows, but your intuition is that what you have is too different from the inspirational pins for it to give you the effect you love in those photos.

      This space is going to be big and open and airy and then cozied up with the furniture and art and people in it .

  70. It’s not a choice, but #3 is my vote. Love the black on the windows but it seems to be too much elsewhere.
    Of the four you presented, #5 seems the safest so I’m dying to see what you’d do with something different. But that’s just selfish me.
    Reading your post, it seems clear that you’ve chosen the white windows, so that’s what you should do. It’ll be easier down the road to paint the white black than the black white if you change your mind.
    Just please don’t go with #12!!!

  71. 1, 5, or 10. I think that you’ll feel like you’re living in a cage with black windows.

  72. Option 5, 8, or 10. I think getting all the furniture in first may help with the decision. Either way, all the trim the same color is my preference and I don’t think the black would be too heavy since the ceilings are higher. I LOVE your new house!

  73. So, I’m typically team black windows, but I’m voting all white trim gray walls #5. You’re right, the trim is heavy and #3, which would have been my preference initially, doesn’t look quite right. I don’t like the black (or gray) beams, they feel harsh, even if you grounded with darker furnishings. The light to medium gray walls would give the white beams some contrast for now, though I’m 100% on board with the ‘add reclaimed wood beams later’ idea. You’ll clearly make anything work, but in this situation I agree you’ll never regret white!

  74. Doooooooooooooo the blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

    Daniel Kanter (Manhattan Nest) converted me to using black indoors (and outdoors) and I’ve never looked back.

  75. Option 5! For a decision this big you have to stick with your guns. You said it yourself, “Back to white. I’d never regret it.” I think that says it all right there. 😉

  76. I love that everyone has such a strong gut reaction to this.

    Here’s my 2 cents. Stick with the style of the house, that’s what drew you in to it.
    It’s spanish, it’s traditional, it’s drama so just let it be that and adjust the furniture and rugs to fit the house instead of trying to change the house to fit the furniture.

    Number 5 is my least favorite, to me it says my house has this awesome feature I just don’t know what to do with it and I’m scared so I’m just going to paint it light, bright, non-offensive white. But you’re not scared don’t know what to do with design lady you’re Emily f***ing Henderson.

    My vote, Paint it black (queue the Rolling Stones)

  77. I personally like # 9 the best, but out of YOUR faves, I like # 8 the best.

  78. I voted for #5 by thinking historically about whitewashed homes. Simple and classic, plus it will be easier to paint over the white if you change your mind. It also gives you freedom to do something very dramatic around the fireplace.

  79. I think you have to come to my house in Santa Monica – a 1924 tudor with Craftsman stuff happening too. There are so many similarities in style and aesthetic. We have a wood ceiling in our master bedroom, and while we were renovating, the wood got damaged so I decided to paint it white. Walls are a medium grey. Best decision ever.

  80. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Option 3. 100%. Both drama and safety. Classic, yet bold enough.

    Option 3, 100,00%.

  81. I didn’t think I’d like option #1 best, but I do. I think those beams need a little drama. I like #8 as well but I 100% understand your concern with the thicker molding/frames. I am not feeling grey in this room though. I usually love grey but it doesn’t feel right here for some reason…

    I saw someone comment on a HONY picture the other day that coin tosses are the best not because they tell what you to do, but because for a split second while you wait for the coin to land, you know exactly what you want. So maybe a coin toss is in order 🙂 I know you feel lots of pressure to please everyone who will see this room but you have to live in it. And of course since paint isn’t permanent, if you absolutely hate it, you can change it but it sounds like you really don’t want black. Do what feels best to you. Good luck!

  82. In this order:


    I really feel the black is too stark / heavy for this room.

    I also wonde why you haven’t considered a brown wood colored paint for the beams, that you could texture so it looks more wood realistic? That feels more authentic and warm to me. It would work well with white window moldings /grey paint, I believe.

  83. Emily, I trust your gut that the space is too small to handle all black window trim buuuut I would love to see a rendering with the innermost window trim black (as LJ suggested) with the rest -along with the baseboards and other trim- white. Until those beautiful, natural wood beams you love get installed, I think letting them disappear in their current form by painting them the same color -white or light gray- that you choose for the walls/ceiling might be worth considering/rendering as well (especially since this scenario wasn’t covered in any of the choices above -makes me quite curious if perhaps it could be what’s complicating the decision making process..?). Just a thought… As always, thanks so much for sharing your process : )

  84. White!

  85. I thought I’d be in the all black camp, but I’m kind of loving the white with black beams.

  86. I know this is so unhelpful, but… I like 3, 4, and 7. I think the black baseboard is what makes it too intense on option 8, which is why I like 4. I like 3 because it gives you the contrast and freshness of the black in the doors and windows, without closing it in all around you. I think 7 is my favorite, although maybe it could be a slightly darker grey to give some of the contrast that the black brings but not so intense. The reason I like this is because I feel like it still makes the trim features interesting and pop but doesn’t overwhelm the space, giving you a great flexibility to go darker or richer in your furnishings/rugs etc. Whatever you do will be beautiful I have no doubt! Can’t wait to see it all come together!

  87. I do appreciate a good black window but I ordered just the window to be black and the window casings to be white. It will give you a thinner black look without overwhelming the space. Of course that is easy to do when you are building a new home. Not sure how simple that is when you are repainting everything! Next favorite would be all white trim. You can never go wrong with this one.

  88. I thought I was going to love all black woodwork, but I do think it looks heavy. I picked #5. But I didn’t see a white on white option, with all white woodwork. Did I miss it? I kind of think that would be best, then later replace the beams w/ reclaimed wood. So excited to see what you do!

  89. I picked #5 in your top four, but I also like #3 (just black windows) if you want some drama. Accenting the windows with a dark color is fine because you’ll have light coming through them (usually) to balance out the black, but if you accent the beams with a dark color your eye will always go there first and there’s no light to balance up there – it’s just a dark ceiling.

    I think it would be helpful to know what you’re going to do with the fireplace, too . . . the dark beams really detract from that as a focal point unless it’s also painted a dark color? Which I think would look weird . . .

  90. Option 1 is my favorite all the way for this house, based on your living room mood board and your direction for the house: “classic, casual, comfortable, inviting, and yes, always happy with a more older-world feel than I’ve had before with some classic midcentury pieces in the mix.”

    I totally agree that these window frames and mullions are too thick to be black. I would LOVE to see them white with black hardware, like in one of your inspiration photos. The black hardware is classic and would punctuate the windows and speak to the black ceiling beams. If you were to go all black on these particular windows, you’ll be more likely to look at the windows than through them (because there’s so much wood), and it would be more dramatic than you’re going for.

    Black beams might look a little funky in the rendering but IRL they work. They’re classic, old world, and they emphasize height and give depth to that room. There’s also a nice rhythm going on. Black beams with black hardware on white windows would give the room the right amount of drama without competing with other elements you’re putting in the room.

    Finally, the light gray toned walls are a smart way to bring these classic elements into the present. Pick #1! 🙂

  91. My first reaction when I saw the black paint on the ceiling beams: they look like spider legs! Perhaps it’s just the rendering, but gosh, they sure stand out. As you say, you would have furniture and other objects to pick up on the black, but I would choose the white (option 5). I guess it’s all about whether you want the beams and windows to be a dramatic feature, or whether you want the art and furniture (and the views outside) to be the star.

  92. Either option 5 or option 8 – none of this mixing of colors. 🙂

  93. Paint it all white. Obviously you love white; it sings your song.
    If at some point you want something different, you can easily cover the white. Not so easy to come back from black (think a TON of primer, maybe 3 or4 coats before you can paint…lots of hours and lots of money).

  94. My absolute favorite is option #7 but you didn’t have that option in the narrowed down options so I went with #5 because I don’t like the beams painted black. They look too heavy or dramatic or something that I’m not down with.

  95. #1 with black hardware to pull hints of the black into the room without making it too heavy. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  96. Option 5!

  97. I join the others saying that they like #3 the best — but I voted for #1.

    I understand what you’re saying about the wider window spaces — a shame they are not thin, maybe even metal — but I think if you can figure out how to do some black on the windows (maybe doesn’t have to be on all of it, like others say), it will look better than black on the ceiling.

    #5 is the safest, of course (boo to winning the vote!), probably where I would initially go, if I’m honest, and perhaps where we ultimately end up, but I think you owe to yourself to at least try some drama in the first go around — which can be changed later, if it’s too oppressive.

  98. Option 6

  99. I like option 5. The black makes the room look smaller even though I do love black painted windows.

  100. White beams no matter what– anything darker make it heavy and oppressive. And bad feng shui, too. You want that lovely ceiling to soar, I think, not feel like it’s slowly pressing down on the room’s occupants.

    The black on the rest of the trim would be very clean and graphic but black trim is pretty modern, IMO. I’m not sure it goes with the style of the house or with your comfort level. You seem pretty anxious about it, and the house feels more rustic than that.

    I think that, to suit the house and your own aesthetic, it should be all white with either white or a suitable gray on the walls.

  101. Isn’t there a saying, once you go black you never go back?? I believe that originally appliied to window/beam treatments. GO BLACK!!!!!! You will NOT be disappointed. Go wild you white on white girl!!

  102. I can’t believe all white is winning! What!?! Em, I love ya I do but we’ve seen nothing but white trim and white white white from everyone for years. Please please your house is so different from most please do something different.

    What about #10 but with black beams? Soft gray tone on walls, white windows, and black beams.

    It wasn’t an option that you gave but my all-time favorite pick would be: very very light tone on walls, white trim, black windows only (not the casing around the windows), and black beams. And maybe see what a deep dark charcoal or navy looks like instead of jet black.

    white trim, white beams, black on the thinnest part of the windows would be my vote (would love to see a rendering of that like so many others!)
    i do love #1 IF the beams were simple/ squared off. the detail *could* make it read slightly medieval. does that make sense?
    so i guess a combo of 1 and 3.
    buuuuut… what about encasing the beams with real wood so the paint color for them is taken out of the equation completely?

  104. I had already made up my mind when I read the title that you should paint everything black. However, looking through the pictures, I see why it’s such a dilemma! I truly think it’s just a gorgeous space and you’re an awesome designer, so go with your gut and what will work best for your family and you can’t go wrong! All of your final options could look great with balanced accessories. If it were my space I would still go black, but I’m definitely not a designer! 🙂

  105. I’m surprising myself by voting for # 5. I love a good black framed window, but just because it’s “in” doesn’t mean you have to do it. You know what you want your home to exude, and if I’m guessing correctly based on your comments, I think it’s peace and tranquility. (I get it – I’m also a mom of youngins.) The all black is much busier. The combination of black and gray looks confusing to me. I can’t wait to see what you choose and what you do with it!

  106. I know this is a kitchen, but I like the white with black windows and beams. This room has very similar architecture. Don’t do all blown out white on white. The charming features deserve more of a showcase.

  107. Black windows. White frames around the windows. Only paint the trim that is thin and goes to the glass. All other trim (beams and baseboards included) white. Grey walls

  108. Option 1! Option 5 seems most likely what you would select for your old house, but i’m excited for you to be moving forward with this new aesthetic (per your last post) – and it also seems like the newer design direction and not as safe. As designers sometimes we have to take risks that feel uncomfortable right? Option 1 will still feel light and bright but have some architectural interest with the dark beams! The ceiling is tall enough it can handle it and will enhance the other black accents in the space.
    I also think really really really dark green beams (almost black but not quite) would look nice and complement your kitchen as well.
    Lastly I agree your window trim is too thick to go black. I love black windows when they are steel.

  109. imo #5 or #3! what are you doing with the fireplace? love your work!

  110. #3 was far and away my favorite, but I might do the very outside trim of the doors white as well. But I love the black doors – just to add some eyeliner to the room!

  111. I think you seriously need to reconsider option 3. It is by far my favorite. The rest of them look slightly off, the only other option out of the 4 that you picked that spoke to me is 8. Three allows for the edginess of the black trim, but not so much that you can’t have color on the bookshelves and elsewhere.

  112. The black beams look like giant, looming claws to me. I would feel like I was inside a claw game.

    And the black windows would just make it feel even more cage-like to me. I would want to highlight the view, not the grids between the panes. My house was built in ’87 and has black metal fake ‘panes’, if you know what I mean, so it just looks dated to me, not fresh.

  113. Voted #1, but prefer #3! (or #3 with just the mullions black!)

  114. I don’t like the beams black. It’s just too jarring against the white walls (for me). My favorites are 5 and 7. They highlight all the beautiful details in the space, but subtlety!

  115. Hi Emily –

    This certainly is fun to weigh in!

    I didn’t see an option with white beams, white walls, white baseboards, and black window trim. Was that a consideration? I think the drama on the windows could be interesting, and tie in the accents you will bring in, but not overwhelming with the beams painted a darker shade. To me having a dark color on the beams draws your eye there, but not in a good way. It makes it a little too choppy (make it’s the curved shape…?).

    Good luck!


  116. I like #1 & #5.

    #1 I like because the black beams add a little drama, but it’s not overwhelming. Having the window panes black would have been too much.

    #5 I really love because it’s so airy and painting the beams white brings a really modern twist to a classic architectural element of the room, so it’s kind of a win-win. Plus- it would look gorgeous with a dramatic rug- something bright. Of course, I don’t know what your furniture color palette is, but just a thought!

    Like both, but voting for #5!

  117. I LOVE option 8. But if you feel it’s too much for your home, and if you plan to go with a darker rug, big sofa an all, I would go for option 1. Please keep the beam dark !
    I’m a sucker for all Tudor things, froms King&Queens to the architectural style (And I’m still mourning my grandmother house she sold a few years ago that was a truly beautiful Tudor mansion at the top of a mountain!)
    I even went to England ti visit all those real classic Tudor houses and castles. In my opinion, you have to keep some dark contrasting element in the architecture to really have that authentic Tudor feel. Albeit it only be the beam !
    White would look good, sure. But would it really be Tudor? Wouldn’t it be disguising it?

    Anyway, any choice you make it will be pretty, and it’s you who gonna live there after it’s painted ! So at the end you gotta like it. Can’t wait to see what you choose 🙂

  118. I think 1 or 5, but picking out the sashes and frames in black. I think you just need to be there when they are painting so you can get a gut check while it is happening. The black interior sash is not specific to this time period, it is actually classic, and there is a reason for it. It draws your eye to the view out the window, not to the window itself. Try it and see! As long as the outer trim is white it doesn’t look clunky. Good luck!

  119. I love love love the idea of black trim, but I agree that it’s just not quite right in this room. It’s just too heavy. I’ve grappled with this myself in my 1940s bungalow and I just had to come to terms with the fact that some houses just need white trim. If you had the option of wood I would unequivocally say wood, but white is your only choice here.

    As to your point on the white in the images…I Photoshop everything I do in my house before I do it and white always looks weird. You just can’t make it look good. It’s either too opaque, or you can see too much color through it. Just trust your gut on this one and go with the white.

  120. I can tell you want lighter, go with it, you know what your doing. You know how you want it to feel. I fought with everyone about painting my trim for like 8 years and I was so right when I finally just did it. I have a 1904 folk Victorian with bullseye trim around the windows and doors. It looks so much better. I would be much more weary about replacing things in this house rather than paining them. Its a slippery slope, don’t take the soul out of it. Leave the floors and anything that is original paint what you want.

  121. I think the all black reads very Tudor, overwhelmingly so. The beams start to look like giant spider legs, but perhaps that is just in the pictures. So I would say option 5 (though option 7, all grey, actually is my favorite because it is clean but still a little quirky).

  122. My first choice would have been all gray trim, but since you too that option out…black beams, white trim except inside frames of Windows and doors…black with those. Honestly, the gray would have been my compromise choice though…very versatile.

  123. Option 5 – clean and fresh. Black is too heavy.

  124. Option 3 was my favorite, it was calm and balanced. Within your narrowed down choices, I like option 5 best. You live in an high energy world, work in a high energy field, and have two little kids. Calmness in your home seems a good path to me.

  125. Option #1 b/c the ceiling beams cannot/should not disappear, you have small children so unless Stella does windows at least the bottom fourth will look like framed fingerprints if you do black, and for “light walls” may I suggest the palest interior-of-a-conch shell pink? It is a remarkable neutral and it will glow in all your California light.

  126. It’s soooo hard to make decisions on so many aspects of a new house without having lived in it. My vote, all white. After living in the space, it’s not that expensive to paint the beams black {my second choice}.
    And, it’s easier to cover over the white than the black. Any of the choices will be spectacular! Hats off to you making rapid fire decisions!

  127. Option 10! I feel like it is you and your house style coming together like pie and ice cream.

  128. Option 1 for the same reason many states- those beams are unique and deserve not to fall into the background. I have no doubt your furnishings and hardware will ground the look. Also, If I was making my decorating decisions with all this input, I would probably make less mistakes but would also have intense decision paralysis! In the end, my advice would be to go with your gut.

  129. Are you sure the gray is out?!? Search Pinterest again for gray trim white walls. So pretty!!!!!!!!

  130. I am not a fan of the black beams. I was doubtful when you first suggested it in the initial walk through tour of the house. I think it draws your eye up and even through the ceilings seems high it really makes it feel closed off.

    I actually like the black window trim more then I thought I would, but I personally think Option 5 is the best and most welcoming/homey option. I’ve been following you for a long time now and I also think Option 5 best reflects your style.

    Ugh, best wishes making the decision. Sometimes you can make yourself go crazy trying to choose. But fortunately with paint, unlike other home projects (tile or hardwood floor anyone?), paint is a fairly easy thing to change!

  131. #3 or #6. Definitely.

  132. I like #1 and #12. #10 feels too one note to me. I really like #7, but that didn’t make your short list.

    Could you white wash or use milk paint on the beams to cover the ugly but let the wood shine through? I feel like the black beams are too heavy.

  133. Have you considered a rich dark olive green color? In a barely satin sheen. It can act as a vibrant neutral. It will look nice with the wooden floors. Black can look elegant, or harsh and crude.
    Gray, blah, why bother!
    What a wonderful room, great trim details! So bringing them out is a fine idea.

    1. I like this suggestion, too… Was kind of where I was thinking with a very dark, ashy brown, but a deep olive could do the same thing and might be more fun!

    2. I too was thinking a green “neutral”, if possible. Would look especially good with all the blues that are sure to come in.

  134. I love the white window inspiration shot with the black hardware! That seems key to me.

  135. Option 12. I love that medium grey on the windows, and I never would’ve thought to use that color. It looks beautiful when you look at it but doesn’t scream “look at me,” so we can focus on all the other lovely things you do in the room. It also goes with the color scheme you mentioned yesterday.

  136. I voted option 5 because I’m just not into the black beams and window frames for your house, for exactly the reasons you covered – too chunky. And for me, too contrasty (totally a word, right?), If it were me, I’d do the walls and beams the same colour (so if that’s grey, I’d do it all grey), and not pick out the beams in a different colour (eye roll – I know that wasn’t an option! 😉 White for the windows for sure!

  137. 5! (Although I’d actually paint the ceiling beams the same colour as the ceiling and walls, in either white or very pale grey…)

    Definitely not black beams!

  138. I’m shocked to say that I actually prefer #5. Since you first posted pictures of the new house, I pictured those beams, windows, and doors black. After looking at the renderings, I see the issues you have with going black.

  139. With the four options presented I’d have to go with 5. I’m with you, the black looks good in other houses, but I think its tooooo graphic for your windows/space. Besides, there’s a brightness to your style that I think is reflected in option 5 with white trim. That said….the white beams still need something. They seem a bit off in the rendering. I do like how the wood tone looks with white….might be super pretty when you do replace them with reclaimed wood. 🙂

  140. I’d go with gray walls (Options 5 and 10) and white trim. Why? I can more easily imagine an Emily room with that background. I think that black, especially on the beams, would bully your warm/cozy/color/a little metallic aesthetic and you’d be left with fewer options to change things up the way you like to do. You also said you were leaning towards cozy neutrals, I think the gray and white will best support that look.

    I do understand the appeal of black – very au courant – but I just don’t think it would look great in that room, with your style. And all white is always alright, but, seems like a missed opportunity to add your kind of signature texture.

  141. I voted for option 5, which I think is lovely, but my favorite was option 3. I didn’t think I would like black windows in that space, but it actually looked really cool. I have to say though–I hate the black beams so very, very much. Please do not do that. It looks so jarring and way to modern for the space, in my opinion. However, you are a magician and I’m sure whatever you do will be amazing and win me over.

  142. I like Option #5 best, because it is the “happiest”. While I like the dramatic touch Black would add, I think you cold easily get that touch with all the stuff going into the room, like art, furniture, etc.
    It will be so pretty!
    ? from Munich, Germany

  143. #10 but with the fireplace in white rather than gray.

  144. I am definitely of the feeling that the beams MUST be dark. This is the signature, the ’20’s Tudor-ness of the room…why let them fade out? I like option #8, (or #4) but I’d do it all in a very dark, near-black, brown instead. This defines all of the pretty original details of the room in a softer, not so hi-contrast way, & still would feel chic & contemporary, with the fresh white (not cream) walls.

  145. I’m always pinning images of black windows and I was planning on voting black everything, but I agree with you that the last picture with the thicker window frames just doesn’t work painted black. It would make your lovely home feel too heavy. I vote 5!

  146. What happened to option 2? I think it’s the best. Similar to 5 but prettier….

  147. Option #5

    Here’s why:
    You should only paint your casings dark if you love the casing themselves. Doesn’t sound like you do. Probably would if they were thinner but that’s life 🙂

    So go with what you love. Light airy.

    Option 1 is a close second for me but it looks a bit weird in the rendering.


  148. Of the options I’m all for gray white (5). Everything seems too chunky for black and then once decor is in it there it could get overwhelming.

    Were the beams stained originally? Is that why there was no option to keep the natural wood tone? It’s really hard to tell from the photo. As an aside, I’ve noticed for years now that natural wood gets a bad rap in houses when it comes to trim. Everything seems to be painted. We bucked that and have natural window casings and beams in our house and I absolutely love them.

  149. I was initially drawn to #4. It didn’t make the final four. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  150. Personally I’d pick the black. If it’s going to give you “clutter body” though and make you feel you have to always keep things dramatic, then it’s probably not the right choice.

    I actually LOVE your white on white inspiration pic, but option 5 – at least in rendering – doesn’t look like that. Either the walls are like the super palest gray (in the inspiration) or they are actually the same color in a different finish. The latter I think would look amazing – a semi or even high gloss on all the trims and a matte on your walls. The matte does “attract” more fingerprints though.

    Bottom line, the personality of the “client” (i.e. you) would incline me to find the best white on white or super pale (blue)grey option because that will fit decorating tendencies and bubbly, open personality so much more.

    1. As a mildly related side-note; in fang shui you would almost always make the choice to either remove the beams or paint them a light color so as to lessen “cutting” chi coming down onto your head / reduce the possible, literal, feeling that something is hanging over your head. You know, just in case you want another argument on the side of white.

  151. I think your trim is thick and heavy in black and you will end up with a more masculine look that I think is your style. It’s fun to change things up, but I prefer skinny black everything 😉 Thick black is a really heavy look. The ceiling beams should be painted out the same as the ceiling IMHO, the look like goofy parenthesis in black and kind of stark in white. If you go with white walls, paint everything the same white and let the sculptural details look crisp and pretty in an understated way so you can change up your decor at whim with out having to balance such a strong element. Unless you have a solid decorating plan that deals with the black, don’t worry about the black trim craze 😉

  152. I think you need to go all white trim/beams OR all black. When the beams alone are black, it looks like the claw of a giant creature is about to grab everything in the room.
    If you go all black, maybe choosing a softer black would helps things from being so harsh? White is probably the safest bet (it looks bland in the rending only because there’s nothing else in the room).

  153. I think white is the only way to go here. I LOVE black but I think you can find somewhere else in the house to do it, and just do the windows. I don’t think I would enjoy black baseboards ever!

  154. I love 2 and 3, which surprises me. When only the beams are black I feel like I’m being attacked from overhead – surely that’s just because the room is empty. And what, no mock up of hague blue beams and trim?! 😉

  155. So I have to say the current contractor picture is my favorite….The natural beams give the room interest without too much weight up top. I would urge not to paint the beams black, we live in an older home with similar details and it gets dark feeling fast. I feel like option 3 (which didn’t make the cut?) provides nice balance with the dark fireplace, while still feeling light. The dark windows also draw your eyes out to the beautiful yard, but feel a bit more traditional then all white. For that reason I also find myself liking number 9….
    Mostly I keep wondering if you’ve solved your TV dilemma. I had a thought to build something of a thin cabinet above your mantle to house the TV in. Its doors would open from the center when you want to watch, and then close to hide it when it’s off…I also thought that it could be covered with cosmetic tile that could be continued on the whole fireplace to make it look as though there isn’t even a TV cabinet there, just a lovely traditional style tiled fireplace. I realize this doesn’t help with the paint problem….

  156. Cannot vote for my fav which is option #

    Love the black windows, but the black beams are too much for me.!

    Fully believe your end result will be astonishing, howeer.

  157. We have beams and painted them the same color as the ceiling. I know that sounds boring but we love it. We actually painted all the moldings in our house the same colors as the walls and all our ceilings are one shade off our walls so it blends really well. It makes it feel really open and fresh. The only “white” trim we have are our baseboards, window/door casings and doors.
    See page 30 in the link below. Home and gardens teamed up with Farrow and Ball and I found it really helpful. Good luck! I love your blog!

  158. I just totally surprised myself by voting for #5, the white trim option. Ever since you first showed us this room, I thought “Black trim and beams and white walls” but this rendering shows that it’s too much. I also quite like Option #7, even though we could not vote on it – it’s subtle and unique, but still has some drama.

  159. Love #12! Feels like the right balance. Don’t cover up those beautiful beams with a light color, let them shine!

  160. #9 which isn’t even in your last pic…so? The black is stark. and clutterly. (Word?) Hard decision. Actually I think I’d get rid of the beams and put in some great heavy crown molding… but then what would I paint it. Obviously I am no help at all. Good luck!

  161. I really like option 1 and option 12, but I think option 12 a little more. You are right,black everything is reeally heavy and could very easily look very busy. I like that options 1 and 12 bring a little drama, and would look so chic with some black and inky blue accents, without making the while room heavy and crowded. Personally I think the gray casements are more interesting, but white could work too. And notice that 3 of 4 options have black beams, so maybe that decision has been made, even subconsciously? 😉 good luck!

  162. I’m going to put down my opinion before I read everyone else’s and change my mind! But I think Option 7 and then Option 5 are the best!

    The reasons are:

    (a) I lived in my parent’s 17th century English cottage with beams painted black (as were all the neighbors’) and they really lower the visual height of the ceiling and make it very busy (it also reminds me of all the country pubs that feel the need to nail horse brasses on every square inch of said beam!)

    (b) I was recently rereading your post about design errors and how bad antique faux can be. Well, Californian Tudor is faux English Tudor and the black look of the beams is trying to replicate years of soot on 500 year old beams (which obviously these ones are not!)

    (c) By the way, the fashion here is to sand back the beams to their natural wood (usually oak) and wax them or use a heritage paint (i.e. Farrow & Ball) to pick out the beams and window trim in a slightly different shade of white / grey (Skimming Stone works well). Just Google “English beams painted white” and tonnes of images are available,

  163. Don’t paint the beams!!!!!! Dark stain them for that english look! It will be so much richer looking…even if the beams aren’t in perfect shape… Charming with character xx

  164. White 100%!!!!! From your post that definitely sounds like what your gut is saying too. I don’t think you want to look at the beams the minute you walk in and that is what will happen. I think they will dominate the space and make it feel like the ceilings are lower too.
    I say white, it is so much fresher and you will see the beams because they are so thick and have lots of shape. You can’t miss them!
    I love your new home and I am so excited for you and your family!!!

  165. Why couldn’t you use a gel stain on the current beams, keeping them in the brown family and then all white trim below?

  166. My vote is for the white windows/trim and black only on the ceiling beams. If you can put black hardware on the windows it may look even better. White on white is a good look, definitely a never tiring option, but it lacks any kind of drama. This house is old and has a lot of character, I would highlight it.

  167. All of the final options are pretty amazeballs, but I say go full on drama with Option 8! 🙂

  168. More option are not necessarily better. It just makes it harder. Forget the readers, go with your gut, you clearly want the white. 🙂

  169. Hi Emily- my opinion comes from personal experience. We are currently renovating our 1926 home. We decided to do black trim. Bought the paint. Started the paint….and UGH it looked horrible. I was excited until I started doing it. I had pinned some of the same pics as you. I love black trim…in some spaces…. but I don’t think it is right for your house. My two cents…go with WHITE.

  170. I like #5 with black hardware on the windows. Black beams just look wrong to me.

  171. Option 6 would have been my favourite!

  172. Boo my fav is option 3 – I guess it was already discarded.

  173. I voted for Option 1 because I love the dramatic pop of the dark beams; in my mind it was THE feature that made me love your new house, so I wouldn’t draw attention away from them by letting them blend into the ceiling. Although I totally hear you about having ‘too much black’; although I would be interested to see what you do with it. Your style is very light with pops of colour, natural wood tones and brass. The black frames could be an interesting challenge!

    Congrats on the house & happy anniversary!

  174. OPTION 3!!

  175. #5 just opens up that space, makes it feel larger and lighter. I think bringing out the fireplace more (with more visual interest) and whatever you decide with those built-ins, will balance all the white. Plus, if in the future you replace the beams with wood lightly stained, that would still work great in that space. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  176. I love option #3! It feels classic, bold, and your eyes are drawn to the windows, yet clean and simple with the white and light beams. The furniture and styling will ground and balance out the space. I’m always a fan of white walls and trim, though! I love following along on your new home journey. You are an inspiration!

  177. #5 – I definitely think that the white beams may not look perfect in the photo but you will choose just the right shade and it will be great. I think the black beams are a bit heavy – but that may be the photos as well so go with your gut. I do think #5 is very chic. I also think staying simpler on the ceiling will give you more ability to do a wow with color in the furnishings, rugs, etc. Best of luck – can’t wait to see what you do!

  178. Option 5! As you said your windows are too thick for the black.

  179. Love 1, 7, and 12! With 7 being my favorite.

  180. I actually like #2 the best, but not an option, so I picked 5. I have white trim in my house, no beams but French doors and lost of trim, and the paint is BM Moonshine, and I love it. Just enough color to make the white pop, and the color is always changing with the light, which I love. It can seem gray, blue or green, its awesome. Good luck, it will be fab!

  181. Oh man I am TORN on option #1 vs. #5 – I think I voted for 5, because as I scrolled through the options I literally *sighed* YESSSS when I got to it. But now looking back I feel like 1 could be the best of both worlds, still highlighting the beams, but giving you that light, airy feeling when you walk in the room.

    Also, I’m scrolling through your comments, and it seems like that’s what you really want, even if you haven’t admitted it yet 😉

  182. Love 8, BLACK!!! Love contrast black and white with color details in accesories and of course.. PLANTS!!!!

  183. Black inside the Windows, white trim, white beams.

    What about painting the bookshelves on each side of the fireplace black? Either the shelves or the back?

  184. I have to say I am surprised at myself but I HATE the black. I thought I would love it but I just can’t get on board with it. Too 80’s looking maybe? I also do not like any of the options with gray. I’m going with Option 5… all white! I can’t believe I’m typing this. I do like the idea of throwing some ORB or black hardware on the windows/doors.

  185. I liked none of those 4. My favorite was option3 above with dark window frames and white/light colored beams. While the beams are great drawing attention to them with black creates visual dissection of the space. Keeping them lighter and the window frames darker draws your attention out/down making the illusion of a larger space.

  186. So, I voted for option 1 because I LOVE the idea of the black but all the finish work in black is heavy and feels like a magazine-ready home. I think you should go with option 5, though, because of your inspiration words in your last post: classic, casual, comfortable, inviting, and yes, always happy with a more older-world feel than I’ve had before with some classic midcentury pieces in the mix.

    I don’t think all the black is casual or comfortable/homey. I think to pull off the black would require sacrificing some comfort for style in your home. And this is a family home, not a magazine home! I mean, you could probably pull off a beautiful intersection, but it would be v. hard. The grey and white looks so inviting! I want to wrap up in a blanket and sit on a plush rug and eat popcorn out of a salad bowl while I watch “Master of None.”

    Whatever you choose–good luck!

  187. Option 5 (or 3). 5 is peaceful, calm, which it sounds like you’ve really been going for last couple of years. And more versatile. I like 3 – the doors and windows black, but not the overhead trim. Even some of the pinterest images you loved, didn’t have black moldings on the ceiling. I think it does make it look busy, adds too many extraneous lines (prob just the renderings, but kinda looks like spiders legs). But just black doors and windows adds a lovely drama…

  188. I like option 3 by a long shot. It adds drama and character, but still leaves lots of attention for furniture.

  189. Love #1, but paint the beam above the bay window white.

  190. I think, since it’s a tudor, it would be a shame to paint them out as white. No matter what, I’d go with painting the beams black.

    Elisabeth Wallace – The Abstract Life

  191. The renderings are so helpful! I wanted to love the black, but based on the renderings I think Option 2 is better suited to the home and the beams. Your issue with the beams reminded me of a recent feature in the LA Times — rather than try to strip his beams the homeowner cleverly just flipped them inside out! Maybe not possible in your case given the condition of the wood, but a potential solution to a client’s dilemma down the line. Here’s the story and photos of his beautiful hand-crafted restoration in Highland Park. http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-0924-taidgh-oneill-20160907-snap-story.html

  192. My vote is for 10 or 8

  193. I like option one because it highlights the beams but doesn’t feel as overwhelming and heavy as when all the wood work is black. I’d add black hardware to the windows, like in the dining room inspiration photo, to pull it all together.
    I can’t wait to see what you decide, because no matter what it’ll be gorgeous.

  194. I was all about the black (and voted that on Instagram) but now I see why that might not be great. I say white and black hardware on the windows. It still gives you that more classic, traditional feel without the heaviness and like you said, opens up your possibilities for the furnishings. It’s going to be amazing!

  195. While I love the drama of the black options, I really think that, for THIS room, option 5 would work best. Considering the size and layout of the room, I think the black would just be visual clutter, and make it feel small and busy. The white makes the room seem more open and airy, and will
    allow your furniture and accessories to make the statements…not just the windows and beams.

  196. I like 12 with the white walls, dark beams and grey trim OR a modification of 1 – white walls instead. I think if you paint the beams out white, they’ll blend too much and you’ll lose the charm of the room. I think the white suits the bright open space and all the other items in the room wont have to compete with the wall colour. You could consider painting just the fireplace a darker grey to that it’s a feature and helps to balance the beams in the room

    1. Actually…I like the darker beams with white or barely grey walls and white trim everywhere else but the beams don’t have to be black which could be very harsh. They could be a dark charcoal or you could go with something like BM’s Racoon fur which has blue undertones (since you’ll be having other blue items) or you could go with a charcoal like the one Brady used on his wall behind the credenza

  197. This is the hardest online quiz I have taken in WEEKS.

    I know what you pick will be great! Or… you can change it. The EHD team always figures it out in the end!

  198. I really liked 4!!!! oh well. I went with 8 since it was the closest. I love the black windows/doors/beams. But I thought the white base boards helped lighten in up.

  199. In the minority, but I really like version #6.

  200. Emily, you want it to be right with black but it just isn’t. It’s obvious your gut is saying that white really is best for the space, so go with your gut. You are the design star, and there is a reason you are the amazing success you are today…trust your instincts here!

    P.S. Love the black hardware!

  201. All white, do something cool with those shelves and you are good. It is very clear this is what your gut it telling you to do. Think about your current built ins and how you changed it all back to white and felt so much better!

  202. We just painted our english tudor and went white (BM simply white trim, BM swiss coffee walls, and white windows)…got rid of the painted brown trim. It looks so great….go with white!!

  203. I am gonna throw a monkey wrench in there and say navy blue on the windows and a taupey gray on the beams.

  204. So, I have black windows on my french doors opening to a patio in California, just like you. My trim is thinner, so no issues there. But I wanted to point out something that seems to be missing from the conversation. They don’t work as well when there is a garden behind the windows. The black makes the window disappear. Because you see it against the light, your eye doesn’t register anything on the frame (it’s too dark), so it tends to look out into the garden. My next door neighbor, same house, white windows, you see the window. So if you go for black, you have to make sure that what you see outside is great. That’s for during the day. At night, the black also disappears into the darkness. The effect is really somber, which works if the whole space is really minimal, but is otherwise a big black hole on your wall. The solution is to add a lot of lighting on your patio, but then you have to have the garden lights on as well. Or, you can have draperies, but closing the draperies can be claustrophobic. The dark windows are great for NY where you see the city lights, but not for Cali gardens, I think.

  205. Initially I liked #3: with the dual balance created by 1) the black on opposite sides of the room on the window casings and 2) the de-emphasis of the beams which balanced well with the light floor color (from your pinterest board). The beams do not feel special enough or the room large/high enough, to be highlighted in black. So then also looking at your inspiration rooms post from yesterday and your pinterest board overall, you really seem to want/need a lighter, cleaner, base to layer on top of with color/pattern in rugs, art, furniture etc. It seems that the real big style statement is going to be in those decor pieces more than the architecture. Also, have to told us what you are doing to the fireplace wall itself (not the shelving)? Am I remembering a mention of tile? That too will add an architectural highlight in the room. So I voted, and am gaining in confidence about, the one I voted for, #5! It just works best with everything else you have going on and the overall style you are working towards. It will be anything but safe and traditional when you are done with it!

  206. Ok, so I love that you’re putting it out there for your readers to vote. This is a toughy. I ultimately voted for option 5, but if I could’ve I would’ve voted for #9. I think it’s an overlooked option that perfectly walks that balance of classic modern. It looks house-appropriate but still has a little something to it that makes it feel modern. There’s enough visual difference in the beams that you notice them, without being all “OMG THERE ARE BEAMS IN HERE!” and you still feel cozy with all that glorious light shining in.

    So, my vote is #9!!!

  207. I’ve been very excited about the black window mullions–BUT hadn’t considered the thickness in comparison to the steel windows that I’m actually in love with. You’ve had excellent suggestions already for potentially how to deal with that already so I second a lot of them. I voted for #5 of the options but had an instinctual feeling towards #3 so I’ll join that clan. Sorry!

    Also, and maybe someone mentioned this, but could they do just one window for you to see a bit better? I know it would be insane to repaint all of it, but not that much to have to repaint one window in the scheme of things? Just a thought (on how to spend someone elses money…)

  208. Although I love the white square ceiling & moulding in your pin, the beams are very different. I love the white wall coloring but for some reason, the white beams are not appealing to me at all. I voted for Option 8, but prefer Option 4 version with the white baseboards. I am with you, I think the beams would look much better as natural wood eventually. The slightly darker grey option was much more appealing than the white.

  209. Are you trying to go English Tudor or not? If so, do it with gusto and don’t whitewash it! 🙂 I vote for Option 8.

  210. I vote for 5 as the best of the choices but don’t like any of them. I would do warm off white walls like Benjamin Moore Mayonnaise or Cotton Balls or Vintage Taupe with white trim and ceiling beams tending into a warm brown. I think black is just wrong for room.

  211. I think it depends whether you want the Windows or the furniture to be the focus. I’m probably missing something but I don’t like the beams being a different colour. Black seems too harsh against the white and white too stark against the grey. I would keep them the same colour as the ceiling and let your windows or furnishings shine.

  212. Option 1. It was my favorite option even before I got to the part of this post where you narrowed it down to four or five options. Your windows are not symmetrical (the ones on the left are taller). So, painting the window trim black or gray just highlights the asymmetry for me (and not in a good or charming way). Plus, as you said, once you have everything in the room, the black ceiling beams will be balanced out well. Plus, this room could feel too dark really easily, and I think that Option 1 eliminates some of that risk.

    Now, if you hate my suggestion / vote for Option 1, then my second choice is Option 5. I would prefer white walls and white ceiling beams, but that wasn’t an option, so Option 5 is close. I would never have guessed, until I saw the Photoshopped images, how complicated choosing a wall color could be with white beams. You’d think that white would go with everything, but it doesn’t actually seem to.

    Option 8 seems too busy to me, and Option 12 highlights that asymmetry thing I don’t like. Option 10, which you narratively indicated was still on the table, is just like a darker Option 5, and because I’m concerned about the overall brightness / light level of the room, I think Option 5 is therefore superior because it’s lighter than Option 10.

  213. I love most of those Pinterest images, but you’re so right- your space has wider window trim and that makes a big difference. It says a lot that you know you wouldn’t regret white, too, because you are the client here. My favorite Pinterest image, and the reason I voted for #5, was the one with the white, pale grey tone on the walls and black hardware. I think the way it’s decorated is similar enough to your style (with the woods, leather, and the blue in the rug) to give you a more realistic idea of what it would look like in your space… AND IT’S AWESOME. I think your concern about things becoming too busy is valid, you restyle your house constantly for shoots so a more versatile option makes more sense for your life. I totally love the black, but for YOU, I think the white is a better choice. Just like yesterday’s post- the two things that determine the style of a home are the house itself and the personality of the clients.

  214. When you first announced the new house you talked about how much you love the feel of the living room, the light from the windows, and the option of throwing open the doors for access to the yard. In this post you seem like you really love the white trim, but feel like you’re supposed to do a darker color for other people. My takeaway; it’s your house, it’s your gut reaction, and white would go better with the feel for the living room that made you fall in love with it. Go white! (I happen to think both the white and gray walls look great with the white trim). Good luck, I can’t wait to hear what you decide!

    1. Oh, AND I feel like the light trim really allows the fireplace wall to be a true focal point – the dark trim seems to distract away from that.

  215. I think it depends whether you want the Windows or the furniture to be the focus. I’m probably missing something but I don’t like the beams being a different colour. Black seems too harsh against the white and white too stark against the grey. I would keep them the same colour as the ceiling and let your windows or furnishings shine. Option 3 with white windows

  216. I like options 5 & 8… but what about white beams with black trim around the windows? Like option 3, but no grey? Just a thought! As if you need another option to consider, haha. (And have likely already discarded this one pre-post!)

  217. I like the white windows and soft grey walls. Couldn’t you do a dark grey wash on the beams so that the grain shows a little texture? I’m excited to see your new house take shape.

  218. Don’t you dare paint those beams white. I say this with love. I say this because I like white moulding, trim, etc., but not in this house. We have a 1930s cape code and all the wood is wood and it is one of the most elemental aspects of this house’s charm. Black yes, grey, no, white, please God don’t.


  219. I do not envy you! I voted 12, but I like 1 as well. The darker beams honor the house more than white beams. Plus, the beams are the feature of the room don’t try to camouflage them!

  220. I chose #5 because it’s the most “you”. This one brings in the light bright balanced vibe of your MCM house that you want for your living room. The drama of the room is in the interesting ceiling shape and whatever you wind up doing with the fireplace, plus the light. Black trim in here is like not taking off one accessory before you leave the house. I also think it detracts from the indoor+outdoor function. #5 reads as gazebo/garden folly and the black trimmed versions look like a living room with the doors left open.

    #10 is definitely interesting because I think it makes the statement you are going for with black trim. It skews modernized French country to me. I think it’s the one you do for blog content, not the one you do for your family to live in.

    Torch the shelves.

  221. I voted for option 5 but I really like option 10 the best! The deeper wall paint features the beams and other trim more which is a consideration since they are so distinctive.

  222. I love the drama of black accents in a home but I found the black beams to be particularly jarring. I think you will feel held hostage to that decision, having to select certain furnishings to balance out the black. Option #5 was the clear winner to me. It’s lovely and neutral, providing just the right backdrop for whatever furnishings or design you choose (rather than competing with it). I remember reading how you regretted not originally painting your built-in bookshelf white. I say, go with your instincts. They are spot on here.

  223. OPTION 3! Black beams seem too heavy/stark overhead.
    Agree with others here, just paint the WINDOWS themselves black and the trim white.

  224. I really am liking the grey on the windows and baseboards – option 12 and I could not tell you why other than the other options seem like just too much of one colour lacks the patina/layers that older houses built over time have. Good luck – can’t wait to see it

  225. I voted for #5 but really love #9. It seems like it would look so cool and appealing on warm summer days but also cozy on cool fall and winter nights. I like the layers of the tone on tone, the beams are still little special but not distracting.

  226. I’m completely torn between option #3 and #5. But def either of those two.

  227. I would do a middle grey on the walls, white beams and woodwork but also paint the fireplace white. It is a feature but when it is painted the same color as the walls I think it looks blah. So, basically, Option 10 with a white fireplace. Of the 4 finalists I’d do Option 5 with a white fireplace (keep the bricks on the fireplace the same color–don’t paint them in either case).

  228. I think painting the beams white goes against the entire purpose of having exposed beams. They’re there to be displayed! To be seen! I love the drama of black beams against a white wall. Trim-wise I’m partial to white or gray. Good luck, Em! What an amazing dilemma to have! 🙂

  229. This made me think of your space. The color on the windows is a happy medium between the dark and the gray…with the beams staying white. It looks like they carried the window color over into the butler’s pantry on the cabinets, which would be pretty in your kitchen. Not as dramatic as the green, but pleasing to the eye.

  230. I think you should go all white! The windows, trim,beams. The whole shebang. Then when you have all of your stuff in there, you get a better feel if you want to paint anything black at all. It’s easier to come back with black paint then white. Especially now you have to make a quick decision. Personally I think there are to many beams, trim and windows to accentuate and would look daunting.

  231. Option 5

  232. Option 8 ! But I can see why you are having a hard time, it is all so confusing when it comes to our own houses. Good luck Emily. We can’t wait to see what you do with the place. Hugs. Lynda

  233. Hi Emily,

    Here is a link to a room designed by Daryl Carter. Love the way the windows are done. I would do just that on your windows and paint the beams white. So clean, elegant and dramatic.

    Scroll down through the first few photos to see the windows trimmed in black.

  234. Go with the white! I am not a designer, but I love everything that you do! I think the black trim shrinks the room and looks too heavy! I love the subtlety of the white and then you can work your magic (like you always do) with pops of color!!! Amazing house!!

  235. Damn, it sucks the beams are a fake wood … I am totally with you … a reclaimed wood would look amazing! I have to agree with a lot of other commenters though, I think doing the window sashes/mullions in a black and keeping the window casings and all other trim white would look great. It would be more “tudor” than doing all white. The beams are a tough one … I am hesitant about the black and lean more towards a white. So, I guess that means I am for Option #3 but with all the window casing white. All the “woodwork” would be white and the black window sashes/mullions would tie in with the wrought iron railings. This wasn’t one your team selected, so I am probably not much help, ha!

  236. Option 5! You’ll never get sick of it, so airy and timeless…

  237. I like Option 3, I don’t care for option 12, can’t believe it made the cut.

  238. Also, there were way too many to consider.

  239. How about going a bit funky and unexpected. White windows, trim, walls and PINK beams?

  240. I love #8…very graphic, without being overwhelming or weird. It frames the space beautifully. The other options seem rather safe or off. That said…whatever you pick, you’ll make it look incredible with your magic touch. Good luck!!

  241. It’s a beautiful room with a lot of charm and will look good whichever option you choose. The fact that you have four or five options you are considering makes me think that you aren’t totally in love with any of the them. Of the choices above, I would probably select either #1 or #5 but I personally love the look of light stained wood beams, it’s just a little softer and more authentic but still striking.

    I haven’t followed your blog for that long but really like it. I’m not a designer but I love good design!

  242. 8! The lights/whites/grays are pretty, modern, and light-filled but the black is just so striking. It elevates formality and sex appeal w/out being stuffy at all. Good luck!

  243. Yes – white beams on white walls with white trim — AND consider white-washed brick on the fireplace — lifts the whole room, adds so much light, so very fresh and allows all kinds of options for texture and pops of color during any season and any celebration …..

  244. I think you should consider painting the beams white and all the trim white, including the chunky moulding around the windows. Then, to add that touch of modern drama, the actual window can be painted black.
    Good luck! Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

  245. I was really torn between 1 and 5 so I’m glad those made it to the final 4. Here’s my thoughts…keep the walls and windows light. I have a rough idea of what your final plans for rugs/sofa/seating are based on yesterday’s post, and it seems like most will be a little darker in color (aka kid friendly) so the lighter walls will work really well. I think 5 would be beautiful, but is definitely the safest. My vote was for 1 though, because although a bit riskier, it is much more interesting and I know you could balance it out per your point above. So many people would kill to have beams like that so you might as well let them shine! Also, your window frames are quite thick so I think the darker paint just looks off in options 8 & 12.

    Good luck! xoxo

  246. I love option #10, but it is a very refined color combo–sort of hancock park-y, and maybe too formal for the rustic brick. Have you considered a really good faux paint job on the beams to look like aged wood in a mid-tone?

  247. I was ORIGINALLY on the black trim train, BUT the beams need to be wood not black…the black just looks too heavy in the space. I’d go all white until the beams can be redone in wood…THEN I would re-visit the black on the windows. Your gut is right…all black is too heavy. But black and wood could be LOVELY. In the interim, you will never regret all white.

  248. Before I looked at the pictures I thought I was going to be 100% team black beams but after looking at the pictures I have to agree that the black beams feel a bit much in this space. Something about the black beams seems to really lower the height of the ceiling and in a space of this size I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. My favorite of the four options is #5 but overall I LOVE option #3. To me it’s the best of both worlds, the room still feels airy and tall but you also get the impact of the black windows as well.

  249. when you originally posed this question I was certain black was best. Now, after seeing the renderings, I say WHITE, WHITE, WHITE. Everything white, walls, trim, beams, etc. – maybe a creamier white than in your other house. The dark beams and trim are totally distracting – the dark highlights that the windows on either side of the room are different heights and the ceiling feels like it’s hulking over the room, especially since the ceiling is sloped. The beams will become subtle textural accents to the room. With a blank palette you can let the fireplace and your amazing design be the focal points of the room.

  250. I actually prefer option #3……but if I have to choose from your scaled down options I like option #5, I don’t like the beams painted dark, think they should be same colour or close to the colour of the ceiling, they won’t “disappear” they just won’t be so in your face when you enter the room, having said that, I can’t wait to see what this room looks like when you’re done with it Emily.

  251. Option 5

    Emily, how about the rest of the house? Are there beams and similar architectural details anywhere else in the house? Will you be painting them the same way? Have you “talked” to your house? Is it whispering: paint my beams black, paint my beams black …….or would it just feel like you are making it into something that it`s not. Trust your gut. You already know the answer 🙂

  252. Option 1, because it highlights the accent beams without making the whole room too closed in. After you, you do live in sunny, southern California, but then again, you want to showcase the Tudor style of this house, since Tudors are awesome and increasingly rare. And having just the beams ceiling black but everything else white will allow your furniture, rugs, art, etc. to pop. (I think even the most amazing console in the windowsill will get lost if the windows are black.) That said, my second choice would have been Option 5 (not an actual voting choice), as I do love me some black windows and doors in an otherwise, all-white room. But Option 1 seems to be a win-win.

    1. Woops, I meant option 3 as a second choice/non-choice.

  253. I voted for 5 but you left off the best choice –

    OPTION 3!!!!! Please reconsider. I love 3 – it is the balance of the white beams and the dark windows that does it for me. I love that one the most.

  254. Option 5. I love me some black molding but agree the width of the trim would be too much. Same with the beams. Maybe because of its details, black beams would scream for attention away from the beautiful outdoors. That said, I would do something dark (slate, black granite and/or marble?) for the fireplace to anchor the room. And definitely matte black hardware.

  255. I can’t believe I am saying this but I really like option #8. When I first looked at all of the designs I didn’t like it. However, after looking at every option I kept going back to 8. Very cool design work all around though on every option! I’m glad I don’t need to make these decisions often because this would kill me… haha

  256. I feel like I’m cheating because this is my second vote…I previously voted for #3 because I really like the black windows but the more I think about the pic of the stripped down beams – which you said were in horrible shape…is it possible to get the look of the bare wood beams by building boxes around them? I guess you’d lose the corbel design but i really think the bare wood looks so warm. Just a thought.

    1. here’s a link to what I’m talking about – they have real wood boxes and faux wood boxes available – here is a link to a real wood sample http://www.fauxwoodbeams.com/custom-wood-wire-brushed-beams.php

      1. Yes! Wood….this house needs wood beams. Losing the corbel design would make it a touch more modern too. Come on Emily, you know you want wood!

  257. Option 5 is classic and allows you to make lots of furniture, rug, art changes without the heaviness of the black beam and trim everywhere.

  258. I chose Option #5 because I think the black on the windows will be overkill. I am obsessed with the black window trim pics too but you are right, doesn’t translate to your house. Too bad the beams are a bad quality and they can’t just be a stained dark wood and do the windows white as an option! I know it will be beautiful-good luck!

  259. I’m partial to Option 3 or Option 12. Love the grey trim on either the beams or windows – we did this and used BM Revere Pewter, which looks lovely with dark hardwoods!

  260. Option #1.
    Could you have someone faux wood paint the beams?
    Your furniture & accessories will make the room.

  261. OPTION #5!!!❤️ Our historic bungalow has same look, white trim/super lite grey walls and its feel light & airy with blues whites greys etc. I have an English roll arm couch slip covered in ecru canvas (perfect for 2 toddlers & furry cats). Easy to wash . Sunbrella is not good for food stains.
    Your house is going to look lovely!

  262. i think black beams and moulding will look harsh. i think black on the window casings would look look, but i think you need to leave the beams and moulding white, or the color of the walls–that’s why i was so sad to see number 3 cut! i think whatever you do, you should paint the beams to match the wall color. i don’t even think i’d like them white with a colored wall. with all of the personality you will bring into the room with accessories and furniture, i think the beams would be a huge distraction and yelling “look at me!” as soon as you walk into the room. so, i’m split between black or white on the window casings and mullions, BUT i am not a fan of the beams being a different color than the walls. good luck choosing–tough choices!!!

  263. I agree with most comments I’m reading about the inner window trim being black and the outer trim being white! (Option 1 but with black on the window grid!)

  264. Option 5!

  265. What about black window trim and baseboards, but white beams?? That might make it a bit less overwhelming, but retain the definition of the windows and anchor the room.

  266. Option 8. I don’t dislike any of them, but I kept coming back to the shape, size, and details of the room, and the height of the ceiling with the black. Even picturing it furnished, it says, “I’m a magnificent room. I can handle the dark and still be happy.”. Hey, it’s trim. A lot of trim, yes, but it might be worth it to go for the different and live with it for a year or so. If you feel then that the white is right, change it out.

  267. Option 7!!!!!

  268. Tudor Homes need STAINED WOOD BEAMS. How bad could they be? Isn’t Distressed a Thing now?
    Not distressed enough, hit it with a chain! All that Old Wood……so nice!
    Black window mullions, and if its in the budget wood or black base boards.
    Mostly #8

  269. Option 8!

  270. I really loved option #3 but it didn’t make the final cut. #5 was my other fave.

  271. Traditionally the beams would have been wood colored, so the lighter ones just look odd to me. If you paint them contrasty white with the wall colors, it just looks wrong.

    I voted for the all black.
    Mainly because I’d love to see you do it because I want to be brave enough to do black window frames in my kitchen!

    Did you consider painting the outside trim of the windows white, and just the insides of the windows black? That would make them visually skinnier.

    When I saw your house first, I was excited, and thought you’d have wood color vintage wood trim to work with. I have a house filled with victorian paneling and woodwork, and hubs wants to paint it all white. I say we can only paint the rooms that are already painted (salmon, or pantyhose color now, blech!), but that we have to leave the ones that haven’t ever been painted.

    Because with an old house, it’s not YOURS. The house has a life of it’s own, and you’re just the caretaker, for a little blip in time. And if the woodwork has been unpainted for over 100 years, it’s not your job to “make it trendy” and paint it. Because we all bemoan the 70’s remodel that ripped out the original stuff and put in vinyl flower-pattern flooring, right? Don’t be that person!

  272. I love option 3. The black beams on the ceiling seem overwhelming and heavy, but black on the doors is a nice contrast and to me is the best of both worlds.

  273. Have you seen this house tour? Check out images 7 and 8 (living room and bedroom).. light birch beams over head, white trim, and thin black trim inside windows.. pretty dope. I wonder if a light tone on upper beams would have similar effect? I also love your option 5! Good luck!


  274. How can the wood be that bad?! I zoomed in, it doesn’t look terrible! The wood with the white windows looks waaaaay better than any of the other options IMO…

  275. I LIKE THE BLACK WINDOWS ONLY!!!!! OPTION 3!!!!Even if you don’t do the entire thing, just the windows and not the trim? I think that will really modernize the space. I like the beams white though, black would be too much. Black brings in the edge, the modernity, the interest, the details… I like the walls white or a very, very pale gray.

    Or, do everything white and if you hate it, add black later… 😀
    Good luck!!

  276. Sorry, I like #4. Dramatic but it feels lifted, unlike the one with the black baseboards, which feels weighted down and busy. Not digging the gray, maybe it will look better in person, but it doesn’t feel natural for the space. If I have to pick one of the 4 it would be #1. But it’s very safe. Hopefully, your black accents will make up the difference. But all 4 seem a little off to me. I still like #4 best.

  277. My fave is black windows and beams but white baseboards, option 4 in the first list above!!!!!

  278. #3 All white except the windows. The view outside is art work for the room and I do not frame things in white and your black accents will tie it together

  279. It’s no contest for me — all white.

    I love the *idea* of black trim in this style of house, but these renderings look too high contrast/jarring. Light and airy will feel better, and since you want to spend so much of your time in here, you want to feel relaxed and calm. Especially with all that natural light and the doors open to the yard. As someone who lives in a row home with minimal natural light, I say embrace that California brightness!

  280. The beams needs to be black! I like option 1, 8 and 12 but i can see how option 8 might feel to heavy once you add all of your furniture. so NUMBER ONE!

    I just wouldn’t go all white, I can’t believe that many people want the entire room white. The beams add so much character and they need to stand out! What’s the point of the beams if you paint them white and everything blends and disappears? I would kill for beams in my house, even if they were junky wood that needed to be painted 🙂

    Good luck!

  281. #5 – I like it the best and it looks like you!

  282. I definitely think black is not right for this style of architecture. You keep saying that you’re not edgy enough for it, but I think in the right space you would be. The house is not edgy enough for it. English Tudor is, to my mind, a very old fashioned style, and I think black is a step too far in trying to update it. I know option 3 didn’t make the final cut, but I’d like that one the best if you used, say, a medium-to-dark warm grey on the windows instead of the black. If not that, then a not-too-cold shade of white for everything with matte black hardware.

    And while I totally understand what a complete pain in the ass it would be if you ended up having to have the trim and beams repainted, it can be done! You are not irrevocably locked into what you choose tomorrow. It’s hard to fully visualize a space when you’re essentially starting from scratch and tackling a whole new style. Cut yourself some slack and remember that this is an opportunity to expand your design skills in a “safer” space because it’s your own. Mistakes will suck for sure, but better to be working out the kinks in your own house than in a client’s! And what you learn, even from the mistakes, will be invaluable going forward. Good Luck, Emily!

  283. I would consider painting only the frames/mullions of the windows black, but doing the actual casing/trim white or gray, and white or gray for the rest of the trim and beams! I think the problem with the last pinterest image is that the casings and the crown molding make it too heavy. If not that, then all white with black hardware!!

  284. Ugh! So hard!! I can’t even vote because those four aren’t in my top favorites. I know all white trim in tempting, but I can’t help but feel that it sucks all the soul out of the room. Black is just too heavy for me, although I love the idea of it in the right circumstances. The picture from today is just SO GOOD. If it were mine, I’d probably be having a 3 yr old temper tantrum that the wood isn’t good enough to keep! My favorites of the photo-shopped options are 3 and 7. I like 3 only because this particular photo-shop job makes the beams look grey, not white, so you get some of the drama and none of the heaviness. And I like 7 for similar reasons – the grey makes it so much easier to swallow. Which makes me sound like such a sissy, and I am not that! But black across the board… I just don’t think so. A beautiful warm grey would be my choice, along with a very warm white for the walls. Tudor should be warm and cozy!! (Says the person who lives in northern US, not not LA!) Good luck!!!

  285. I voted ALL WHITE and was surprised to see that it has 52% of the vote!! I’ve recently been in the same boat with adding black to the windows (we are building a house-think modern farmhouse with industrial touches). I agree with you, it works in SOME houses but not all. Does anyone else see what I see with the black beams (I didn’t read all of the comments)??? All I can think of is a big black spider on your ceilings (beams being legs :-0 ) Maybe it’s the time of year but I just cannot get that out of my head. Also, the black REALLY closes in the room and chops it up. I know black is “all that” right now (believe me, my hand hurts from all the pinning I’ve been doing of black windows!) but I finally gave into what my heart truly desired- CLEAN, OPEN AND A BLANK CANVAS to add color/black if I want to with art, accessories, textiles. I feel like the black on the walls/ceilings/windows would compete with what you want to shine in that room. Also, I just think white won’t obstruct with your views. We are building on a golf course and I came to realize that the beautiful view we have with our lot would be compromised by the “clutter” of black window panes. ***If you want some contrast, the ONLY other option I would go for is #6 – gray windows & white beams. Good Luck Emily! I’m sure whatever you do, it will look FANTASTIC!

    1. Opps, I see that # 5 is NOT all white, it’s got a hint of grey! That works too!

  286. I vote no. 8; here’s why: I think next to the femininity and detail of a more traditional decor style, the boldness of the black throughout will work as a simple but eye catching counterpoint to keep everything balanced.

    (P.S. I love you all, and you’re unbelievably talented so go with your gut girl!!)

  287. As a resident in a country full of period homes (England!) I have seen beams tackled in many ways! Have you thought about painting the beams, trim and ceiling in white so they’re a subtle feature and just painting the window frames black? I do feel faux Tudor works better when it’s not in your face, hence the white beams 🙂 But tbh I know you could paint them fluorescent pink and you’d find a way to make them work with the room Emily :))))

  288. option 5
    I like the airy feel plus the white beams give just enough architectural detail. If you are putting in different book cases, I think that would be enough to balance the room along with all the furnishings.

  289. Just have to say, any of the options you will make look incredible! But, go with your gut! It’s your house that you will be living in and looking at everyday. Do what YOUR gut tells you is best, even if your team would pick something else.

  290. Just saw a gorgeous French house with medium slate blue on interior trim and it was lovely. Not too dark–almost a neutral, but a really nice, muted blue/gray. The black is too black, white disappears, and gray is too blah–either be safe and stick with white up top or do a muted blue/gray (not too blue!)–the advantage of this is that it could carry through windows and doors too. It would complement the floors beautifully too. Beautiful house!

  291. Option 5! Option 5! I love how airy it feels. You can bring the drama in.

  292. i chose option 5 because:
    a) you should go with your gut on this, &
    b) with all of that lush & beautiful garden outside & a charming fireplace inside, do you really want the focus to be on the ceiling? the black beams are a bit oppressive here… i love black trim ordinarily, but not sure the size of this room & the ceiling height lend themselves to it in this instance…

    though i really could have gotten behind option 3 too 😉

    good luck… i’m sure it will be brilliant whichever way it goes &, if not, it really is only paint!

  293. Okay, I thought I liked the all black trim on Instagram, but after seeing the still pictures without them all flashing at me, I think the black beams with everything else white looks amazing and not to crazy or in your face as it might be if all the trim was black. A little black in the trim would be something different for you and more appealing for the type of house it is, I think.

  294. After the first read through, I totally thought that no.5 was right for you. You are light and bright! Then I was tempted by the drama of no.3. After reading through comments, I’ve come around to and voted for no.1. The room maintains it’s overall lightness while highlighting the historical details of the home. I agree that black window hardware and curtain rods could be awesome and you’re correct in thinking that furniture and accessories will balance the weight of the room.

  295. I like options 1 and 5, but after reading your post, I’d lean 5 — it’d be so airy and dreamy to live in, with the focus on that beautiful view!

  296. I liked option three. White beams, black windows.

  297. I voted for #5, because I went back to yesterday’s post and noted the words you are using to design your new house: “classic, casual, comfortable, inviting, and yes, always happy.” I was really leaning toward all black (which could be considered “classic”), but that look doesn’t scream “casual,” “comfortable” or “happy” to me. It’s definitely “dramatic” and “bold,” but that’s not how you described the feeling you want to create in your family’s new home. It might look amazing in photos, but if it’s not the feeling you want in your house, you won’t like it.

  298. Just a design question- why do all the windows have to have the same trim color in the house? can’t some rooms have different trim than others? If so, I love the taupe color on the window trim in some of the rooms, but would get sick of it throughout the house. Lastly- my first option would be to do a pickled finish on the beams. I’ve seen that pulled off on cheaper wood well.

  299. I voted for & feel like #5 gives you the most flexibility- but I really think you need reclaimed wood beams to bring in that English cottage feel- it will be so charming!! Can’t wait to see your choice.

  300. It shows off the wood features in the room in a more subtle textural way. Your funiture and decor will be the focus.

  301. I voted for white trim. It’s classic. I really love the black trim, but I feel like it’s very right now? That’s a lot of trim to paint if it’s going to scream 2016 in a couple of years. You’re the designer…what’s your opinion on that?

  302. If anyone can – you could pull off the bold black. But where you have so many other projects going on at the same time, seems like white is classic and easiest to pull the trigger! Plus it’s beautiful with all the light coming in and keeps the space bright.

    You mentioned your bookshelves, I have a little etsy shop and sell book spines just for projects like this. I can make them however deep you’d like. They stand on their own and are attached to each other. They would look great if you end up keeping those shelves. https://www.etsy.com/listing/451246572/perfectly-cut-book-spines-for-diy?ref=shop_home_active_17

  303. It would be helpful to know what your plan is for windows/trim/beams elsewhere in the house. I usually like these architectural elements to stay constant in a home–or to be selectively distinct.

    Not knowing anything more, I would be inclined to paint everything white. Painting windows and trim (anything with a lot of brushwork) is expensive. White would continue to look great long after grey has become passé. It allows you to change wall colors easily in the future.

    If, after you have put the whole room together, the room needs a kick, you could change the color of the beams, painting them black, grey, navy, or–what someone else suggested– pink. Because the hard prep work was done already and your beams have a simple design, this should not be expensive. In addition, because the wet paint would be on the ceiling, repainting wouldn’t interrupt your family life much.

    This is a little like your old TV series—paint it white first and then see if layering in some color/accent is needed.

  304. Everything white. Hands down. No question. Black and grey frames are definitely a fad that will go out of date and you’ll want to change down the road. White is brighter, fuller and can be dressed up or down with all your bright furniture and decor. If you don’t like the beams now they will stand out even more when you paint them black; your eyes will always be drawn to them it sounds like you would rather them be towards the windows, outside. Later you can always replace the beams with higher quality wood. Look forward to seeing your end result. Thanks for sharing.

  305. Option 3 with white walls/beams and black windows is really the best. Black beams seem so heavy for that smaller space. But I love how the windows are so much more of a presence with the black trim. Also, it seems like everybody I know, myself included, is regretting not having white walls right now if they made the choice to do gray. Even very light gray. Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  306. I have old casement windows that I painted black but they have a narrow profile and I do agree black in your case would be too much. And I don’t think you can really go wrong with white and maybe taking the chance on not making a mistake is worth the decision. And I know the gray window trim isn’t getting much traction here but I like it. I think it adds a bit of old world charm and shows a little more sophistication and thought than just whitewashing everything. I have an old home that I just remodeled and we painted everything a very clean bright white and it is a little too crisp for an old house I think. Maybe I am projecting here but I wish I had made a choice with a little more personality. I know there are other ways to infuse a space with said personality but they also tend to add visual clutter. When you add personality to the architecture I think that is extra special.

  307. Since I work for a contractor, my suggestion would be to cover the beams with wood over the existing. It would be a wood shell that would fit right over the existing…easy and not as expensive as replacing the whole thing.

  308. Ok, so have you thought about painting the inner moldings black but keeping the outer trim white? I ended up there after first painting it all black (too heavy) and then went to white on the molding trimming the windows. It’s a perfect balance and ours are very much like yours in size. Good luck! Whatever you do will be gorgeous!

  309. Do you *have* to do grey walls? The beams are beautiful but they feel very spider-like to me and any contrast between the beams & the ceiling/walls just seems to emphasize it. Are you opposed to white walls & beams and black door trim? Let the contrast for the beams show up in the shadows they cast. I always feel like white beautifully highlights architectural details without screaming HEY LOOK AT ME I’M PRETTY!!..

    Less “dramatic” than lots of contrast, but also more calm and you can play up the drama with art & furnishings. Just my $.02. Option 3 would be my choice although that white trim under the french doors to the left might bug me.. looks too much like they are floating. Ugh! Such a dilemma!

  310. I see that option 5 is winning and I have to say, I think white beams with a gray ceiling looks a little off to me. I think if you are doing white beams you need a white ceiling. But your beams start on the wall, so this would mean white walls too.

    Personally, I agree with the suggestions to paint only the inside of the window trim black- this is in some of your inspiration photos and I think is pretty classic. You’d get the look you’re after without having that excess of heavy black trim. Together with the black beams, this would look really good!

  311. i like option 7, 6, and 5 best. I think most of these inspiration photos with black window frames are METAL. The frames are thin, and its not really ‘painted’ per say. i think black looks great when its metal, modern, thin, not with your country/spanish vibes of the exposed beams.

    i like the idea of exposed reclaimed beams and getting rid of the dated scrolly lines.

  312. I like the wood as-is!!!! You could make it awesome without painting the wood!

    1. Maybe just replace the beams with reclaimed wood and paint the rest of the trim. My husband just installed a reclaimed wood interior in a home. It’s super beautiful and is a really great backdrop for the rest of the design…Sorry i know that wasn’t one of your options!

  313. I would vote for…none of these options (though 1 and 5 are best). I think the window casings look best white, but none of the options for the beam color really wow me. I have a feeling you’re gong to be changing them to a nice reclaimed wood not too far down the road.

    In the mean time, have you considered matching the beam color to the wall/ceiling color? I realize it might not have that “pop” you want for photos, but I think it would be very subtle and sophisticated. And maybe have that old world feel you have mentioned.

    Good luck choosing!

  314. Definitely no. 5 – the black looks too chunky & heavy and I think u will tire of it very quickly. White feels a lot more bright and cheery, like you!

  315. #5 with black hardware is my vote. (Though I agree with you, in the rendering I’m not loving the wall/beam colors together.) I have struggled with this decision too! Our situations are similar in that we have more substantial frames/trim.

    **This is my first blog post ever, that’s how strongly I feel about it, haha! But who am I kidding, whatever you choose you will make it look amazing.

  316. Option #5 is clearly beautiful but option #8 has that hey girl (think Ryan Gosling meme), wait a minute while I pin this vibe. In the absolute best way possible.

    I mean, you can always go back to the white…go big.

  317. I like #5 but with the doors painted black. I just don’t really like the beams painted black…it becomes the only thing you notice in the room. I’m sure whichever option you choose it will be beautiful. I adore your style and everything you touch turns to gold (or brass :)).

  318. I’m a fan of Option #3 as well. 🙂

  319. Hi Emily!
    My living/dining room is similar to yours, except we have only one wall of windows. Reading your post and looking around in here, I realized my paint colors are similar to #9, except in the cream family… so cream walls and trim with a shade or two lighter ceiling beams, white ceiling. It was painted this way before we bought our home, and we never considered painting it… mostly because the room is massive, the ceiling is super high, and it would be pricey!! But we like the way it looks anyway!
    Just thought I’d mention it, since it’s difficult to tell from the images exactly what you’d like best!

    1. Oops… I meant to say a shade or two DARKER on the ceiling beams!

  320. Is white washing the beams a possibility? Or Is the wood too cheap for that as well? I was thinking it could get you the lightness you want, but also the rustic authenticity aspect of wood, while possibility hiding the woods flaws.

  321. Option 3 for the win!!

  322. I admit that #3 was my gut favorite, because you got that yummy pop of black but did not overwhelm the room with too much heavy contrast. Since you didn’t choose that one for your final 4, I think I’m with you on the lighter option – so #5? These are amazingly hard options to choose from! It helps to know that a real designer goes thru some of the same mental craziness that I go thru 🙂 I have faith that whatever you choose will look amazing…!

  323. Dear Emily, From the Uk again, where I practise as an interior designer. Normally you would catch me recommending black frames (never, ever black beams) but it so draws the eye and you don’t need that. This room will be styled. It has no choice – you will have enough going on because, unlike most people, you WON’T stop decorating too soon. The beams are too strident and – aren’t you in California? You do not need to make this look like Henry VIII’s long lost hunting lodge. It’s a family home. The polls show that this is most people’s instincy.

    Normally I’m all for dark and moody and atmospheric but dark frames and dark windows just shout FAUX! Good luck. White ’em out! x

  324. I choose option 5 but because it is a lighter version of option 10 that it is the one I really love. That tone of grey is great. I think it will match with almost any texture, material and color.

  325. White beans and black Windows/doors

  326. I think it’s going to look lovely. The white windows are going to be gorgeous (with black hardware!).

    I have two thoughts on the beams and walls: As another poster suggested, what about a walnut stain for the beams? Rustic but also less dramatic than either the white OR the black. And then, what I keep coming back to is the sense that gray walls might not be right for this room, esp if you do go with white beams. An off-white tone for the walls, a warm tone, might be the perfect fit. I say this as someone who tried so hard to find the right gray for a 1910 cross-gable bungalow and–after having the whole living room (with walnut beams, btw) painted, realized that I needed to have gone off-white–lik BM Navajo, maybe. That would stand out from both the white windows and possibly white beams, and would still let black hardware shine. I love gray–love love love it–but the room called for something else.

  327. I have the exact type of house (100+ years, needed some TLC, but minus the beams in the living room) and we were going back and forth with the black trims. I looooove the look of black trims but if it didn’t work for the space then we will need to spend a lot of time preping and painting again!! so we painted the windows white, the walls a light grey (horizon BM) and ceiling white. We also have a black cast iron fireplace so that gave me the black I needed in the room. It looks so airy and bright, and once you include all your furniture and decor it will just bring everything together. I would go with Option #1, I still love to have some black somewhere!

    I can’t wait to see the progress with the rest of your house so I can get inspired as well!! we are doing one room at the time while we live here and we are finding so many surprises, good and bad 🙂 . But we are enjoying every day!!

  328. I like option #5 best. Second choice would be option #8.

  329. Option 5

    The black, especially on the ceiling, breaks up the room. Love the clean look of the white. You said a number of times that you felt more comfortable with the white…go with your gut. Bring black trim in somewhere else. Have fun!

  330. If it was an option, I def would have picked 3….but the all white is a strong second. A choice that is easy to live with, classic and like you said, you’re never gonna regret. Good luck!

  331. Option 5 is my favorite, it looks happy and bright, and makes the room look bigger. Hope you find what works best for you, and surely it will be amazing.

    So many votes and opinions and inputs, man, polling may make the decision even more difficult. I’d go crazy, that is for sure:)

  332. All WHITE……
    ( as my husbands says ” white is right” haha) , and the beams the darkest brown, or black!!!!

  333. Emily, most of the “black Windows” inspiration pics I’ve seen have the wood trim around the window painted to match the walls, so it’s just the thin metal part of the actual window that’s black. I think that’s the best option and one you haven’t put into the photoshop options.

  334. I think in many setting all white looks great, it’s very classic, very on trend for the last ten years or so. You have a lot of white trim that you love in your previous home. However, your house isn’t the typical transitional/traditional home. You’ve got an English cottage with a SoCal flair. It’s going to be difficult to find the right inspiration because it’s not the typical home that Pinterest is saturated with. I love the black, you don’t want such beautiful architectural beams to fade away. All white is popular because it’s safe. All black is gorgeous and stunning and more fitting to this home. Originally, the beams would never have been white! Sure all black is scary, but I think you’ll end up really loving it. Or, I’ll propose another option, one I see gaining more and more popularity. The windows, doors, and mullions themselves as well as the beams are black. The window and door casings, and the baseboards are white. The contrast is there, the room still has elements of both. You do this with a slight tone on the walls. Check out this pin here to see how well it works with the brass accents you love! https://de.pinterest.com/pin/504895808205832278/

  335. The thing about black that I haven’t seen mentioned (and forgive me, but I didn’t read all the comments!) is that when you look out at the landscape black frames the “picture” that you see so much better than white. (Personally I liked #3) Good luck; I’m sure you’ll make the right decision for you and your family. And remember, it’s just paint – you can change it later if you want 🙂

  336. Option 3 is for me. I know it is not a choice now, but it has a little drama in a balanced room. It has the pinterest-feeling for me.

  337. Option 1! 🙂

  338. If it was me, I would do:

    Medium gray walls, white moulding and baseboards, and dark gray beams (so gray it almost looks black – like Sherwin Williams Iron Ore). When you go dark gray instead of black, it changes with the light more than a straight black paint would.

    Have fun playing with the options in decorating and designing your house! ?

  339. Option 5!

  340. I absolutely love option 3! It didn’t make your final cut but it’s a nice combo of safe and bold!

  341. You HAVE to find a way to keep the beams wood. Flat paint in any color just looks like an afterthought. I think #6 with darker whitewashed beams would be a gorgeous canvas for any decor style. Please don’t paint them black.

  342. You’ll make it amazing regardless of which direction you go, but I think I like #5 the best. Like you said, your frames are on the thick side and I think that would be a lot of black (especially in the dining room). White is classic. And eventually white windows and trim would look amazing with wood beams, if you went in that direction down the road.

  343. Option 5 will make the room feel bigger – the black closes everything in. It also leaves the tapestry of your room more neutral for changing the styling. Enjoy!

  344. I love the white you have in your current home (absolutely love that house) but with your new home I think option #8 would look great, to me the black trim says English cottage. Whatever you choose I know it’ll be beautiful!!!

  345. Sorry to rock the vote!

    I love option #7- gray trim, gray baseboards, BUT with the rustic wood beams. It sounds like that is a down-the-line project, but I think that would all balance sooo well. And the gray would be intertwined so well with the layers you put in the room.

    You can do white on white in any other room in the house. This is your show stopper (all the rooms have awesome potential, but we know this is the crowning jewel)!

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you pick.

  346. As a graphic designer I vote for #5, but perhaps with one shade of white for the walls and another for the window trim and beams. The black beams visually lower the ceiling and the window casings seem too heavy to paint black. White is always airy and fresh and will better showcase your furniture and artwork choices. Edgy can have a short life!

  347. …but! If the window trims were black, actually standing in the room looking out, they wood will appear thinner than it is, with the green landscape beyond and the sunlight streaming in…that black will visually become more narrow (narrower?). If it were my house, I’d go black.

  348. I vote for #1.
    We have a house built in 1925 – our doors and windows are almost exactly the same as yours when we moved in.
    After 5 years in the house, we painted them white. As soon as we did that, I felt like I was looking OUT of the window for the first time, rather than at it. It was amazing how much we actually noticed our garden outside.
    With beautiful black hardware, and the beams painted (as well as with furniture in the room), I think it will highlight the traditional features yet still remain light and airy!
    Good luck!

  349. I had this wonderful idea, and felt so proud of it (I even came up with a name for it, The Oreo) then went to post and realized others shared this idea, still worth chiming in. I think the black window frame with white trim would be a wonderful idea. You still get the beauty of white trim, but the beauty of the window is highlighted with black window frame. I feel like all black would be too harsh, and all white, would wash out the architectural interest and character of the windows, and I also think all white would not “frame” the beautiful outdoors, like those windows are made to do. I found a picture that I think is very similar to your living room window situation and in a similar scale to your window/trim, where this black white combo was used. I found it at traceryinteriors.com. I think it is lovely, and worth checking out. It is the thumbnail on the bottom left, of the Mountain Brook Country Club. Obviously, when you click on it, you can see a larger pic and see the scale and style better. It is the third photo in the gallery when the thumbnail is clicked.


    In addition, I think eventually replacing the beams with better wood and a nice medium wood stain would be a beautiful reflection of your new wood floor and would tie in some warmth into the ceiling, without being to heavy.

    Oh, I almost forgot! I do love the picture where black hardware was used for the white window and trim, so, if you do choose white, I think the black hardware would look fabulous.

    Good luck with your decision!

  350. Could you do black beams, white baseboards and window trim and just paint the mullions in the Windows/doors black? That’d be my vote. Recently did that in my kitchen with light grey walls and it’s fantastic.

  351. I’m an Interior Decorator. This is what I would do after looking at your furniture inspiration board which I love by the way. I would paint the windows and doors black. The thick trim around the windows, the door trim, and baseboards paint white. I would paint the beams white so it’s more textural. I think black beams would weigh down the room. If you feel like you need more black, paint the bookshelves black. That’s my two cents! Good luck!

  352. Option 13. Have the beams stripped and stained dark oak, (and the bookshelves if you keep them), Windows and trim white, and the walls a modern yet classic paint color.

  353. Def option 5 or option 8. Option 5 is soft and dreamy but white beams seems weird for some reason. And option 8 with black beams is super chic but less cozy. WHATEVER YOU DO WILL LOOK AMAZING!

  354. I like #8! It makes the most of why you fell in love with this room. Perhaps it’s taking you outside your comfort zone but I believe it can still be a happy, inviting, bright, room. All white seems to hide all the cool features of the space and is kinda zzzzzzzz. It’s paint! It can be redone. You’ll wanna change it eventually anyway because you are a designer and it’s what you do. Good luck!!

  355. I prefer Option #5. I think the black just looks a little too heavy in most of those renderings and the white makes it appear more open. I would do some tall dark drapes though to still get some of that “drama”!

  356. What about slate gray? Like in the old world style house you did. I think that would be beautiful!

  357. I voted for #1 but my ultimate favorite is probably #3. I feel option #5 is probably more ‘you’ but perhaps working with black could be a fun design challenge :)? Whatever you choose it will be amazing I’m sure!

  358. Option 5 for sure! Light, open, timeless… Presents an almost blank canvas, but still holds character. Also, like anything important in life, go with your gut instinct – if you’re feeling white, do it!

  359. In the last house I remodeled I changed out all the old hollow core flat doors for two panel ones and I painted all of them black. You should have heard the howling from my interior designer, the electrician, the plumber, my husband, and everyone who visited during renovations. Now the first thing people say when they walk in the house is how much they LOVE the doors. Some even take photos.

    I would paint the beams black if you can’t afford to replace them with reclaimed ones and paint the windows black and paint the trim around them white. I would. I would oaintuld paint the door trim and baseboards white.

    I think the beams painted white will look cheap and will make them look much less integral, less structural. It’s a beautiful room. I would highlight those beams. White is going yo make them disappear.

  360. I voted for 5 because it was closest to how I think you should go but I think you will be happiest with all white. I love the doors black but your hesitation tells me that you think it would close up the room. A good comprise would be the all white and use black hardware . It would give you a touch of that look without smothering your room . Whatever you decide , I can’t wait to see , because anything you pick will be great.

  361. I love option 5 and here’s why……the open, light, airiness of it makes me feel that no matter what kind of art, furniture, etc you add will really shine.
    I thought I would love the black trim, but for your house it makes the room feel closed in and too tight. If the ceiling were higher, I think the black trim would be wonderful.
    Can’t wait to see the results soon. Try and have fun even though you’re on a crazy deadline :). Congrats!

  362. Hi Emily,
    From the pictures, these beams do not look like they are original to the house, they look odd to me? Added some time later, maybe??? Have you thought of refacing the beams or removing the beams altogether or putting up new beams, probably too costly??
    So, I vote for #5. Make them blend in, black makes them stand out too much for my taste.
    PS: Has Katy Perry moved in the convent yet?

  363. I’m hearing that you feel safest with all white trim, but that there is still a brave part of you that wants the drama of a touch of black. I vote with the rest of the crowd that is opting for black on just the window mullions and white on the rest of the trim. I would even do the beams white too, then the ceiling feels nice and high and the eye is really drawn to the windows and outside, which seems like one of the most important parts of this home for you. Good luck!

  364. I love #3 so much, but you can’t go wrong with #5. And, admittedly, if it were my home, I’d probably go with #5 because I don’t have a cute little house like yours and I REALLY hate painting trim.

  365. I like black on the windows but only on the interior mullions, not the whole frame/ trim around. That looks too heavy. I would do the walls a warmer white, like BM white dove, and the trim and beams even slightly warmer white and not as stark, so it would be softer next to the black on the windows.

  366. Option 5 with Black hardware!!

  367. I voted for #5, all white.
    I’ve been into black trim lately, but I agree that your trim is heftier to accommodate the black on black. And you have kids so STUFF exists, all the time. Also, from what I can tell of your style, white just suits you better.

    I did also favor the white beams with the black windows.

  368. Its funny, maybe because the room is still empty all I can see is the inside of a whale (the beams are ribs). I guess I don’t have the “eye”. Or, maybe I’m just really good at seeing animals in non-animal stuff. Anywho, I like #5 because it’s different and it just feels more you. Light bright and airy for the win.

  369. I vote for #13 – yes I just made this up. I think all trim should be white. I think you should paint the beams white for now. But, I think you should consider adding new wood to the beams and encasing them. Then I would stain the new wood to coordinate with the floor. I think this would be a great, neutral backdrop for everything else. The black looks fresh, trendy and graphic right now but I’m not sure you’ll want to live with it or decorate around it. I realize adding new wood to the beams may be an expensive option – perhaps a faux painter could help.

  370. Option 8!

  371. Option 1. The touch of black is nice. I like white Windows. Fresh and pretty. White beams don’t make sense to me. Neither do grey Windows. Option 1 easier to live with. Rug will ground the black beams in a good way.

  372. Option 1 all the way and here’s why…I think the white trim is beautiful but all white everywhere is better suited for a cape cod or traditional style home. You need to reference the Tudor style of your home in a small way. If you introduce that dark black on the beams then all the sudden you get character that doesn’t overpower, just supports everything else you’ll do in there. (Plus, it’ll be different then your last place!)

  373. I think in your heart of hearts, Emily the homeowner wants white, but that leaves you “in the box” when it sounds more fun to Emily the designer think outside the box. That’s why it’s easy for your team to tell you to go black. We all get excited to encourage others to think outside the box, but actually doing so ourselves is much to difficult! Your work will still make a HUGE statement even if your woodwork is white. I’m comment number 400+, so you may not even see this, or someone else said it! (I didn’t read them all), but I love the white trim. Inside the box on this is GOOD. People do white trim because it’s so consistently GOOD. But THOSE BEAMS. They need to have a moment! They’re beautiful and unique. They can be outside the box, while the rest of the trim quietly cheers them on and supports from the sidelines. Wind beneath my wings–ahem, beams– and all that. Beams black, other trim white. That’s my vote.

  374. When I saw option #3, I knew it had to be that one! It’s by far my favorite! I think it looks fresh and crisp, but the black on just the windows adds so much character. Sad to see it’s not one of your favorites! So, second choice would be #5. I love white!! I feel like the white trim on everything would look so good, especially if the walls were white. But it’s going to be beautiful no matter what – it’s a lovely room!!

  375. Of the four options, I choose option 5. However, option 10 would be my true first choice. White trim is classic, a beautiful contrast with all colors, never overpowers and looks good in all rooms. Black trim is pretty, but also trendy. My experience is to listen to your concerns and be true to what your know about you. It’s never a wrong move. Love the idea of the natural beams and hope you get them. Have you considered a thick natural wood in the wall shelves? I also hope you keep the present color of the wood floors. Natural beams, natural shelves and natural wood floors, what more would be necessary?

  376. So much fun, thanks!

    I like a bit of black but not for the thick trim and windows so i picked 1 but if there is any doubt, do white and add black in other ways. Closet doors, front door etc.

    You could do a bit of black on the inside of the house. Back of front door, closet doors etc.

    Are they going to prime the beams? Then you would def know.

    At least you are not on eastern time, you have a few more hours!

  377. You have two small children- they have plenty of beauty and drama without going black. This gorgeous room room will be the backdrop for your family, not just a pin. Keep it you- light bright and fun- so the real focal point is the life those walls shelters and nurtures.

  378. Option 8. I live in a 1920s Tudor. When we bought it the 2nd floor was white everything, the first floor was dark wood everything trim. The first floor looked MUCH better. We eventually had the 2nd floor done to match the 1st & we’re so glad. Yes, a whitewashed backdrop makes it much easier to decorate however you want. But making all the trim dark makes the character stand out & be noticed. It’ll be an interesting departure from a lot of your work to decorate/accessorize with that. Plus, having the house i just described, I would be thrilled to see what your talents could do to such a space.

  379. I definitely think number five. It leaves you with a nice, bright and airy room that brings more of the greenery from outside to the inside. I also thibk it gives you a better canvas to add all your furnishings into it. You’ll never regret white!

  380. Definitely team five for me. The black beams look like bigass beetle legs to me. I

  381. I like the white trim and windows with the darker beams but the thing that is throwing me off about that is the thick wood beam above the windows – but not above the door – so I’m thinking that could throw it off. Not sure if anyone has mentioned that. I do love the look in the 4th picture that someone else posted. http://segretofinishes.com/segreto/2016/09/05/french-moroccan-home-old-world-charm.html

    I love white trim, windows and doors with black hardware. I do love # 5 also.

    Good luck – I’m sure whatever you choose it will be amazing! Can’t wait to see it when its all done.

  382. My in-laws used to own a lovely Tudor home and none of the wood was painted. It was wonderful and kept with the character of the home. They also had some wrought iron painted brown on windows and it looked great with the Tudor style. I like black on wrought iron, but not on a wood door. I would do the reclaimed wood beams and either try to remove the paint on the doors or paint them white or a darker shade of whatever wall color you select. I also think the black doors closes it in

  383. Option 5! It will be beautiful!

  384. #3 or #9. I kinda like #1, but it draws your eye up too much. You want the focal points to be the windows and the outdoors (hence #3, where that is featured by the black panes). I like #9 for a completely different reason, in that it is serene and monochrome, which is beautiful and classy.
    I could get behind #5, but you would HAVE to have the black metal hinges and knobs on the windows.

    Ultimately I like different tones for the window frames and the window trim, but it sounds like that’s out of contention.

  385. Have you thought about gel-staining the ceiling beams with General Finishes Java Gel stain? It’s dark and dramatic, without having the wood look painted & without looking like it’s trying too hard. If the wood is sanded well, the stain goes on very dark. That way you can keep the window casings and baseboards white / matching with what the rest of the house looks like / will end up looking like.

    For the record – I do think that stained trim (baseboards, windows etc) have it in them to look cool!

    Good luck – so excited to see the amazing work you and your team do!!!

  386. Have you thought about gel-staining the ceiling beams with General Finishes Java Gel stain? It’s dark and dramatic, without having the wood look painted & without looking like it’s trying too hard. If the wood is sanded well, the stain goes on very dark. (We’ve used it all over our house to match existing woodwork & are big fans!) That way you can keep the window casings and baseboards white / matching with what the rest of the house looks like / will end up looking like.

    For the record – I do think that stained trim (baseboards, windows etc) have it in them to look cool!

    Good luck – so excited to see the amazing work you and your team do!!!

  387. Of all of these, I can imagine walking into room 1 the best. It makes the most sense and feels rich, followed by 5. Number 5 feels most like a blank/clean canvas to focus on your decor. #1 leans more towards architectural focus. ?Best of luck!

  388. My faves are 2, 7 and 10. I love the grey/white look. The black certainly looks lovely, but I think it does look quite heavy. I think the lighter tones really make the area look bigger are airy and I think would make a better canvas to your styling.

  389. #5!!!!

  390. Option #3. There’s no other option 🙂

  391. Without knowing what furniture choices you have made… I think the black beams close in the room and lower the ceiling.

    You mentioned a dark sofa and rug, so my vote is #5. There will be enough dark items in the room and the black will be too much. If you want something to frame the windows, use great curtains.

  392. No. 3 was my favorite. I like white on the beams–the dark looked like scary eyebrows. But go for the black on the windows. I’m so sick of white on white on white. Embrace some contrast and the great architectural features in this house. You can do it!

  393. I like Option 5. The black beams look like spider’s legs to me.

  394. As another option – and you’d have to make sure it was done right – could you paint just the inner window frames black, with white surround? It would have to be the right frame – and I’m not sure what the details of yours look like, but it could look great!

    Either way I am against the black beams on the ceiling… It makes the ceiling feel lower, in my opinion!

    Can’t wait to see what you do. You have fantastic taste.

  395. I’d like to add another option, as clearly you didn’t have enough (I kid): the black beams are striking, but it sounds like you wouldn’t be happy living with black window trim. Why not do black beams with white windows AND white walls? In option 1, the gray walls are detracting from the stark contrast that makes the B&W combo so beautiful.

    I’m picturing a graphic B&W with lush greens vibe, like this image from Carla’s floral post, but pulled back with a healthy dose of MCM. https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Emily-Henderson-Color-Clash-Florals-Petal-to-the-Metal-2.jpg

  396. I liked #6 the best but since it wasn’t an option I voted for the only one that didn’t call attention to the ceiling beams. In this particular room I wouldn’t highlight them.

    Designer 10+yrs
    Heather W.

  397. Emily,
    After a day of being visually stimulated as a Decorator, it’s nice to come home to a perceivably calm space.

    I’d recommend white walls, and a darker muddier shade of white for your mouldings, trim, beams etc.
    That will be a calm, fresh approach that accentuates the craftsmanship of your Tudor home.

    All the very best with your newest fun adventure!

  398. As a Decorator that is visually stimulated all day, it’s really nice to come home to a perceivably calm, relaxing home.

    I’d recommend white walls, and a darker, muddier shade of white – for your trim, windows, and beams.

    It will be a fresh, welcoming, calm environment, that still draws attention to the Tudor details of your gorgeous home.

    All the very best on your newest adventure!

  399. I vote black–option 8 because it is so classic and visually appealing. I know that Emily will style the heck out of any space and even a home with no character would have character with Emily–take the makeover takeover of her nanny!!!! Yet this house has such cool character built in and I think let that take center stage! Think of the amazing instagram posts! Reading this website is my pornography.
    Yes, the white is pretty, but I think it’s safe.

  400. They all look amazing, but I would personally go for white windows and make the beams the same colour as the walls (whatever colour you may end up using) That is, with the room being empty. The Beams keep catching my eye and not in a good way. Obviously that might change with the beautiful furniture etc that you would bring in to the room, but it’s also like you said, you don’t want the room to go cluttered and busy. Black to me personally is a very harsh colour, also why I would not choose it. But you are the interior genius! Cant wait to see what your end result will be!

  401. I prefer option #5. The other options seem a bit too busy for me.

    1. Option 5. All black is very dramatic but lacks serenity. Any other option lacks harmony

  402. So many great opinions! At first I was definitely thinking #5 or #10, i.e. white beams. It just looks so fresh, and nothing will ever clash, whatever route you decide to go down designwise. But…the architectural effect of those beautiful beams will be lost, at least a bit. So, I’m thinking I may go for painting the beams black but leaving the rest light. I completely agree with you, it won’t look unbalanced once the furniture is in. It does, however, limit your decorating options just a tiny bit, but you’ve got that covered. I’m so excited about this!

  403. My vote:
    -All white trim
    -Black window frames
    -Dark brownish gray on beams (too much contrast with all black)

  404. One more thing to consider (my house has both white and black windows)
    When will you be using this room, mostly during the day or at night?

    White windows disappear during the day when it’s light outside and allow you to enjoy the view in a more interrupted way. Black windows disappear during the night when it’s dark outside.

    The opposite of course is also true, black pops during the day and white pops during the night.

    So if it’s a room where you’ll sit at night a lot and watch TV then you might think about whether you want your windows to pop (white) or blend into the background (black).


  405. Option 5 is the best! Light tones, clean and bright. black seems too harsh on these pictures, too much in contrast with white.

  406. 5!
    8 would be absolutely awsome for an almost empty space (I am picturing a chic art gallery with very few pieces), but I’d say it’s too busy for a room in a home, with such thick frames.

  407. I think that you concentrated too much on the fact that the beams can’t remain with the wood finish, and still would really like the beams to be the strong feature of the house, but it is just not the case. Black would look perfect on them only if the beams were straight lines, but these shapes are too fragmented and without good proportions (and also looking like spider legs-as some said already). They will look too decorative and not spatial. If you paint them white you will still feel their nice presence and details but not in an ostentative way. Also, in the inspiration photos you chose, the black was used mostly for windows/doors. So I think no. 3 is the best option for you, white beams on white walls, and maybe accent with black just the doors (and the windows paint white), or the inner trim black and outer trim white.

  408. I like either #5 or #8. The other options look disjointed to me–the dark beams look too heavy without the dark trim to balance it.

  409. Is it an option to wrap the beams and stain them? I love the look of the white trim with wooden beams you have going on right now. Although I know you said the wood doesn’t look as good in person. I can’t wait to see everything!

  410. LOve just black windows…….the room is large enough to notice all the wood on the ceiling and i think you want the focus on windows…..

  411. Opt. 1 … if you are planning to replace those beams at some point, then try introducing the black on those. If you love it then begin adding more black to the trim/windows AFTER you’ve placed your furniture and decor in the room. If you hate the black, then it gives you the excuse to replace those beams sooner rather than later. Remember, it’s always easier to paint black over white than the other way around, BUT you never truly know something until you try it on first.

  412. 5, 6 or 9. Nothing black

  413. I’m wondering if you could do white (or alt. the exact same colour as the walls) on the beams, base boards, & the frames around the windows. And then do black on the internal frame and the window divider thing (I don’t know the actual name for that part of the window). It would be similar to the window in your second last inspiration photo, if you look closely the external thicker frame is actually white and only the thinner internal frame is black. If not that then I would go white on the windows, do the black hardware thing, and I would actually keep the beams the exact same colour as the walls/ceiling. I think the beams have enough drama to offer on their own and don’t need to be highlighted with paint. I think it will get to heavy and feel cluttered. I would personally rather highlight those windows and draw your eye to them and to the view.

  414. Look at Jessica Helgerson’s Library House and Four Square house for inspiration if you are considering black.


    1. You’re going to make this home stunning!!

      Any of your options can be successful if the rest of the space supports them. I’d make sure to recognize the shapely fireplace and add a touch of contrast to the bookcases – the shelves are a great place to repeat a soft black.

      Here’s a quickie rendering: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6Tq-fS_yaL4TzdMUDVBM2JBTlk/view?usp=sharing

      Congrats on your new adventure!

  415. Bonjour from France !

    Another option :
    * white beams
    * black windows
    * white walls but a focal wall around the fireplace in grey

  416. #1 or #3. I think the beams either need to really stand out or kind of blend in. I don’t like the options where the beams are white and the walls are gray. Its like you WANT the beams to stand out, but they really don’t. Also, I really don’t like gray trim. It feels dingy or out of date to me (even though I know its a thing right now). Good luck! This is fun!

  417. #8. The trim and beams have such character and #8 showcases them perfectly.

  418. i vote for the classic of 5 and 9…and i would get rid of the book cases…the black makes the room very busy…i know black window trim seems the hot item right now but I go for a timeless look…and the bookcases being so shallow…either build that all out or get rid of.:-)

  419. I vote for 12. The whole thing in black looks so frame! And I am thinking about the furniture. My favorite from all is number 7.

    1. I’ve got some unique experience here as I used to live in a big house about that age that I painted with pale gray walls. Plus, right now my apartment has very large windows with very dark brown frames that read black, and many black metal accents through table legs and shelving. The gray walls in an older house turned out to be a mistake that always made the interior look a little dowdy, so I was bummed to see you eliminated the white walls, gray accent option, which was my favorite!
      If you wind up with any of the black accents, the only reason they work in my place (not currently pictured on my blog) is a SUPER bright couch, console and cabinet that stand up to and balance the black.
      Good luck!!!

  420. I initially would’ve said black… but there’s a major difference between the black inspiration photos you shared and the ceiling woodwork in your new home. The inspiration photos are cleaner lines and don’t as much weight and architectural detail as the ceiling woodwork.

    My vote is white or a light wood stain (I know that’s not an option here but it would look great!).

  421. You didn’t give it as an option, but I really liked Option #3. Just black on the windows. it is striking!

  422. I reeeeallly wanted to love the black…somewhere somehow I wanted to see black in there. Sadly, I couldn’t love the black. Harsh? Too much of it? How i could imagine the room with your style down the line? After thinking about a stranger’s trim for way too long it was #5 for me in the end. 😉

  423. Option all black (but maybe do the baseboards white)? And do a matte, chalky black that isn’t a harsh shiny solid black. The all-white and light grey looks too much like your old house. The black looks more like your inspiration photos.

  424. I would also love to see what a dark fireplace would look like?

  425. EMZ. I’m super in love with the black doors and everything else white (option 3). Reconsider, perchance? The blackity black black is a little pick-up-sticks busy and may only work if you’re going full Kelly Wearstler.

    1. agree. Option 3

  426. If you can go black windows, you should! It looks so great and that room is big and light enough to handle it.

  427. Option 8!

  428. Paint is probably going on as I write this (always late to the party!) but I just want to add my two-cents: I think the beams are throwing everyone off. If they were, in fact,
    gorgeous old original beams – or even icky beams encased by reclaimed wood – the option would be obvious. I did try the black painted door in my own home, leaving the door frame white, and ended up LOVING it. But it required a leap of faith. I left everything else white and just did the doors. In truth, I used BM “wrought iron” so it was just off-black. But if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. White on white on white is always fresh. Just ask all of Scandinavia ❤️

  429. Option 3

  430. OPTION 3!! I know its not on the top 4 but the black windows are beautiful — the black on the baseboards and ceilings is too much 😉 ORR it looks like you have stripped them – what about leaving them wood grain?

  431. I think that you will eventually end up putting proper reclaimed wood on the top beams, so in the interim you should go DARK on the beams because it really sets them off (and I presume this is the only room that has the beam feature?). I kind of liked the options you were pinning that had different colors on the window casings, muntins, and/or the window hardware. I think white window casings with black muntins could be good and not too overwhelming. I agree that your windows are too broad/the casings are too thick for black all around.

  432. Option 5! It won’t compete with other design elements and you can control the amount of black/color you use. And it’s super-flexible for when you get tired of something and want to make a change (not that you’d ever do that…)

  433. White beams and window frames all the way with light grey walls. While the black beams and frames in theory sound good and stays true to originals etc it would be hard to live with. Light bright and airy over rides everything else for me in terms of style. If you are living there any enjoy an airy and bright space then 100% go with your gut on it! Can’t wait to see what you do with the place ?

  434. I love the tone on tone look of option 7 because it brings out the trim and beams without breaking up the space. Since that isn’t one of your final options, I like option 5. If you have too much black/white contrast, you’ll be limited on color for the rest of the space to things that go with black and white. This could be very beautiful, but may not be what you want.

  435. What about black beams and baseboards to balance out the black but white trim on the doors? Just a thought!

  436. Option 5. Those dark beams in that shape/style remind me of spider legs. Keeping them that dark will draw focus to them and the ceiling instead of the other vignettes in the room. In a modern or Scandi house black frames and trim create a stunning effect, but IMHO, not so much for a Tudor style house.

    However, whatever you select will be stunning.

  437. Don’t hate me, but I think my favorite idea isn’t here…black on the windows and baseboards, but white on the beams. Otherwise I like Option 3!

  438. I voted for #5, but I really prefer #3. It looks traditional and classic without being too heavy. I don’t think that your instincts will steer you wrong in this case, though, so do what feels right to you.

  439. I say go with all white…live with it for a while and then see if you still want contrasting trim color(s). You know you can’t go wrong with all white.

  440. Seriously, do you even need those faux beams overhead right now? I’d remove them and hold out for reclaimable timber at a later date. I guess what’s not working for me is the way in which the beams wrap themselves halfway down the wall! What would’ve been more effective is if the beams had only extended slightly down on each side. I think it would’ve opened up the space more fully and lifted the vibe in the lounge room. All white, definitely! And lose the shelving – completely. mwah, heather x

  441. I voted 5, but only because 10 wasn’t an option. If you look at the black-trim inspiration photos you shared, they tend to be on very modern, very angular windows. Your room reads traditional, and the dark trim colors reinforce that in a way that could end up feeling dated when paired with your rather modern aesthetic (even with older antiques, you know it will still feel modern and fresh). Also, I’be seen the black-trim look all over a French design blog I follow, and those rooms tend to be very monochromatic. You could certainly design a moody, monochromatic room that would be beautiful, but I can’t see you and your family living in one day-to-day. You’re to happy and fun-loving! Finally, you’re a stylist at heart, and stylists live for the accessory, the art, the stand-out piece of furniture. With the black trim, all the focus is on the ceiling and windows, drawing the eye away from all of the beautiful things you’ll place inside the room.

    PS: 10 is the best of the white-trim options because it draws attention to the cool architectural details that make this room interesting without demanding that they get top billing (because who wants a diva hanging out on their ceiling?).

  442. Stained wood – even if that means replacing beams, doors, and windows.

  443. Why don’t you use a semi-solid pale stain on the beams, like Cabot Pewter? soft matte white walls, white trim, with only the inner parts of the stiles and muntins a soft matte black? Now that would look spectacularly understated.

    1. Gurrrl, take a look at this place. they opted for dark soft black and it looks pretty great. https://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/2223-Veteran-Ave-90064/home/6800545

  444. We had to make this same decision when we renovated our house. Although our style is more similar to your old house (midcentury), I thought pics of our house might be helpful. We did white walls and trim with black beams.


  445. I really like Option 1 but think you need to do Option 5. I’ve followed your blog for years and you LOVE white!!! Go with your gut, which I think is to do white. I know you respect the designers that work for you but at the end of the day you need to do what makes you the happiest. I remember the built in bookshelf you did in the last house, you started with the wood finish and hated it and painted it white! Save yourself the heartache and do it white. White is so much brighter and fresher too! No matter what you do though it will look awesome. Good luck!

  446. I also like #3, but would consider off-white on the walls, too. And I would just do the actual door frames and window frames/panes in black, but not the trim around them. I’ve seen this before and it helps from making them look thick, which was your concern.

  447. another option for you: do the doors and beams black. The window frames and trim work are all white. so option 1, but with black doors. then you can pull the black accents without being overwhelmed by the heaviness. you can always paint it again later. although i am trying to tape out my own 12 pane doors right now and need a vat of wine as an assistant.

    1. My vote is for #8, but just to be careful with what you bring into the room so it doesn’t get too busy. It’s definitely the more dramatic choice. I also love #5, and if you would rather a more “safe” but still classically beautiful option, that’s the one! Go with your gut!

  448. On all the black window inspiration pics that you like the mullions are painted black but the architrave is white. In the picture you don’t like and your mockups the architrave is also black and that’s why it looks too heavy.
    You didn’t show a photo of the outside either – if your window colour is going to be the same inside and out it would be good to consider that at the same time.

    An old window fitter once told me that dark frames look like part of the window and white frames look like part of the house – I’ve got white pvc windows and anthracite bifold doors and I can confirm that’s true (the dark colour doesn’t cut the windows up so makes them look larger)!

    So I’d probably go for:

    Mullions and bits of door visible to the outside = paint dark on inside and outside. N.B would you consider an off black like F&B railings? True black might be too harsh)
    Architrave and skirting board – white
    Beams – white (although that’s mainly because I’m not really a beams person)

    Anyway, it’s probably a bit late now!


    P.s. Sorry about the British terms, I don’t know the US ones but hopefully Ginny can translate!

  449. I would vote for #5 but have one question: can the beams be rubbed, fauxed, or washed (or wished) to look like an old, soft, whitewashed pine beam? I would like the contrast especially if the floors will remain the color they are. If this is not possible (and cannot be wished into happening), then I vote for white!

  450. I like option #5 but my first choice is #3. But I do understand that if these wi dows are black then you need to start painting the rest of the house which may not make economic sense or be pleasi g to the eye in other areas.

  451. Option 5!
    It makes the room look bigger. The black beams look like legs of a bug sitting on top of the room 😉

  452. White all the way !! Simple, classic and most versatile !

  453. Paint woodwork white lacquer, walls lime flat pale grey OR
    Paint woodwork white lacquer, walls lime mineral paint pale grey flat and ceiling lime mineral paint in pale blue 🙂 !!

  454. We just went through this dilemma at my house! The ceiling beams were painted/stained this horrible, chalky brown and the only way to salvage them was by painting. We ended up painting the ceiling beams black and the window frames and baseboards white. We love it! The black ceiling beams create a little drama and also bring your eyes up. So that is my vote!

  455. Whatever you do, make the beams white!!!!! You need to remember……this space will soon not be empty, and I feel the rest of the design for the room will be better with white beams–no matter what the style. And it makes the ceilings look taller.
    I like #3 the best.

  456. Possibly paint all the trim and beams white and then stain the floor almost black?? You get an edge and are grounded in the tudor feel but the room feels airy and lofty.

  457. I hate to do this to you – but I would suggest another option. Instead of black on the beans and windows, I would suggest a dark grey, similar in value to the brown that is on the trim now, but obviously more current and neutral, with soft white walls. The grey would feel softer than black, with less contrast, but would still give you the crisp ‘chic’ look you like in the black examples.

  458. None of the above. I vote 100% soft white (walls, beams, windows, baseboard, trim) except for the floor! I like black windows in other places, but I HATE any and all of the black for your living room.

    2nd choice–#5, but with some kind of soft white or even swiss coffee. I love gray and cool colors, but for this room I’m voting soft white for all woodwork and swiss coffee for walls.

    3rd choice: #5, as you have it.

    Add a small black accent table or frame or something like that if you want black.

    Good luck, Emily!

  459. Also, I’d definitely ask Orlando Soria and Scott Horne to throw in their two cents!

  460. Option #9 is my favorite. But of your top 4, I would pick #5.

  461. I really liked black window frames with white beams. I’m not in love with any of the selected options, but it’s not my house. You have to do what feels right to you.

  462. I dont think you will go wrong with most of these combos, but Im digging #3 and #5 the most!


  463. When I saw this image on Orlando’s blog, I thought of your post about painting woodwork. Hopefully this provides some inspiration: http://hommemaker.com/2016/10/10/orlandos-obsessions-pedestal-side-tables/

    I like the black curtain hardware on white and think the white beams are fresh and modern. It’s a blank canvas with which to do anything and that’s what a stylist craves!

    I don’t mind the idea of natural wood stain either…but that’s a lot of work . Maybe you could have some temporary wood installed around one or two beams so that you can see what it looks like before committing?

  464. You’re probably too far into the process to change anything, but I think it would look nice with a medium blue trim and creamy white walls. Its more of a historic paint scheme. Either that or a warm medium/dark gray trim with creamy white walls. I’ve been watching the show “TURN” set in the east coast in the 1770’s. I could watch every episode over and over just to look at the interiors. I love all the dark muted colored walls.

  465. Emily you’re gut is telling you all white, womens intuition is for real! Like you said, you feel like you should be edgier, but isn’t it edgier for you to not go black? If the wood were slavagable then of course, that would be the perfect situation. I think all white would look amazing in that room, it’s narrow and needs the lightness and it will balance out with the floors. I think I’d do reclaimed wood in the nooks and maybe a wood beam mantle, also some wood accent pieces. If I remember correctly your kitchen is going to be quite edgy, isn’t it? I think there are plenty of other spaces you can go for edgy but stick to your gut with this.

  466. I am all for 3! The beams in black look a bit like spider legs!

  467. Since the beams are in bad condition and require painting. I would paint the beams brown to coordinate with the floors and leave all the windows and trim white.

  468. white beams, black windows! option 3. i HATE option 12. I think the black beams are kind of overbearing and there was only one option in the poll for them without, so everyone choose Option 5. but i would want the doors black!!

  469. #5! 🙂

  470. I went with 5. Just don’t like those dark beams. They need to be white in my opinion.

  471. What I liked in the pictures you posted for comparison where th dark framed windows with the white trim. Alas, option 3 wasn’t available to select from.

    1. Me too! That was the winner, in my opinion as well!

  472. OPTION 10! Which I couldn’t vote on. I would love to see you play with something new since your last house was mainly white walls- would you consider going all Abigail Ahern on it and considering Hague Blue with white trim? Pleeeeease?

  473. I would paint the doors black, the door TRIMS white. Then the black wouldn’t be chunky but get that slim look we all love. Base boards white and ceiling beams black. The beams make that room and I think they should be accentuated. Ceiling is high enough to handle the black, and with skinny black doors (i.e. white door trim) they would complement each otehr without overwhelming. My two cents.

  474. Take a look at hammerkraft home co. Instagram’s account,
    @hammerkraft, their #hammerkraft should answer all your color questions!

  475. You may have already made a decision on this but I recently saw a photo of some trim and it made me think of you and your dilemma! Can you paint the inner thinner framing of the windows black (the pieces between/around the panes of glass) and paint the larger outer trim white – does it have to be all or nothing? I think that would give you the dramatic look of the back you want, without it feeling so heavy. Maybe you have thought of that – or maybe you already made a decision – but I figured it was worth a try!! Dying to see floor plans!!!

  476. Gotta tell you, option 3 was my favorite. Sad to see it didn’t make the final four.

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