Painting My Woodwork
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:
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: