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Design

Painting My Woodwork

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Back to white.

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I’d never regret it.

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

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Grey windows and moldings and white beams… eh.

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

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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?

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

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

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

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

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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):

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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).

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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.

Fin Mark

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Sina

Option 5!

LJ

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… Read more »

Amy Madeline

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.)

Lesley

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.

Colleen

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

Samantha

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…………

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!

Molly

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!

Jane

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

Lilli

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

Amanda

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

Nastassja

I vote for LJ’s suggestion

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.

Aimee

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.

Rachel

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

Lauren

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.

Britt

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.

Al

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/

Leslie

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.

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.

Danielle

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

Jess

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.

Mary V

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.

Ashley

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

Meghan

#3 is my vote

Brynne

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.

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

Liz

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

Alanna

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.

Kim B.

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

Kim B.

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).

Luci

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.

B

Agree with option three!! 😉

Rachel

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!

Kim

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! 🙂

Natalie

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.

Amber

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.

Noelle

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

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.

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

Christine

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.

Emily K

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!

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.

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!

Lilli

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!

Sonja

I’m 100% with you, Catherine!

Lindsey

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

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

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.

Leigh

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!

Julie P

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.

V

Option 3 or 4, actually, leaning toward 3.

Jess

Yep, agree, 3.

Jody

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.

KID

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!
http://segretofinishes.com/segreto/2016/09/05/french-moroccan-home-old-world-charm.html

Sheila

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!

Julia

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!

Elsa

option 6

Greta

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.

Carrie

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.

Carrie

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.

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!

Marcie

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.

Danielle Merrick

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

Ashley

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

Melinda

#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.

Molly

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.

Miranda

#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.

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.

Grace

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!

Teresa

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.

Dr. Cheese

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.

JenB

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.

Sarah

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

Lindsay

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…….

Katherine

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!

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.

Beth

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.

Beth

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

Jen

personally i love option #3

Jan

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

Stephanie

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.

Diane Howe

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

Molly

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.

Fantic

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!

Summer

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?… Read more »

Julie

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.

Katie

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

Caroline

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!

Therese

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

Danielle

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… Read more »

erin

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.

Anne

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!

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