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Ask The Audience: An Update

Final Decision – What we painted our trim

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Thank you guys so much for all your feedback in the ask the audience post.  I read every single comment which made the decision both harder and easier. The choice was down to those four options (above) and most of you chose #5 (50% of you, actually) but there was something I didn’t like about the white beams. It did feel like a missed opportunity not calling out that architectural feature of the room.

For us, it really came down to doing the all black (below) or the white with black beams.

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The light gray walls with the trim just feels so lovely and airy.

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But then some of you had the suggestion of doing the window frames in white, with the windows themselves in black. This was something I considered for sure, but I didn’t think it could work so I had it mocked up and here is what it would look like:

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I liked it. So did Brian but not as much as I did …

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I texted those two renderings to my two best friends who’s taste I trust the most and they said Absolutely do this. No brainer. Its the best option and that we’d regret doing anything else.

But, Brian was REALLY on the fence and I really want Brian to be on board with all the major decisions in the house so I had them paint one window that way for us to see.

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I liked it. It looked more classic, and dramatic for sure. But after talking about it for WEEKS and seeing this option in person we decided that it’s just not us. We picture the doors open 70% of the time, the California breeze flowing and the kids running around. For some reason this life feels more conducive with white frames like so:

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So that is the final decision – we are refinishing the beams (hopefully they will look WAY better than these renderings :))

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Decision made. Finally. We are painting the walls a light gray (like almost white, but technically it’s a tone … and it’s SO PRETTY). Then the trim in white – oh and we are keeping the shelves!!! They are shallow but I can style shallow – we can’t make them deeper so the choice was to remove or keep and ultimately we decided to keep because it’s just vintage character that we love.

Thoughts? Do you support our decision? I feel good about it … 🙂 Let us know below.

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  1. I think this is the best possible option and will be bright and airy yet still keep the vintage character that made you buy the house in the first place. I like that the beams will be a wood tone, the black seemed too harsh to me whereas the white just made them disappear. Perfect comprise. And I’m so glad you’re keeping the shelves. They are lovely and add so much to the room.

  2. YES to the wood beams!!! I liked the black windows but black on the beams was throwing me off. Ultimately, I think white will be perfect with your design and will keep it from looking too busy. Eeee I’m excited!!

  3. Hooray! As the owner of a 100-year old craftsman, with cream walls and dark stained beams, I’m soooo happy you decided to refinish the beams – the black was just too heavy/stark. I think the white windows will match your cheerful/airy vibe. (They did look great painted black, too….)

  4. You crazy kids did good! I like that you stayed true to you. I’m painting my placepink….just because it makes me soooooo happy! Ps….love your book!

  5. Oh yayyyyy!!! I was one of the people who begged you to refinish the beams even though you said it wasn’t an option. I think you’ll be SO happy. This is by far my favorite option. And the very light grey with white trim – delicious! It’s going to be perfect, can’t wait to see.

    1. lol! you stinker (never thought I’d call emily henderson that!) I as well thought that was a perfect idea but it wasn’t an option! hahaha, so glad, some good wood tone to break up the white, can’t go wrong!

      1. ha! our first guy said they couldn’t be refinished. We were ecstatic when our new guy said they could be. YAY!

  6. ABSOLUTELY the best option!!!!! So weird, but I thought about it for days, and kept thinking the beams should be wood-toned, not painted. SO glad you went with that option!!

  7. I’m so happy you are refinishing the beams! That is the best option for sure. And I love the white trim in your room for the windows. I think you ended up with the PERFECT plan!

    1. perfect….I was an option #3 girl but this is by far the best!

  8. YAH!!! You picked my suggestion, and it wasn’t even an option- the wood stained beams…

    and “white is right”

    LOVE IT. !!

  9. For some reason, I was thinking about your beams on my drive to work this morning. The high contrast of black just did not seem to fit your style to me at all. I love the light, bright, airy look you’ve chosen!

  10. I’M SO HAPPY. I couldn’t even vote on the last post because all I wanted was for the beams to be actual wooden beams, not painted. This is the best possible outcome.

    1. Ha! Same here!

      1. ha. we were told they were fake/not real wood so that’s why we didn’t opt for that. then our new contractor said they could be refinished. so happy. xx

  11. OMG THANK GOD YOU ARE REFINISHING THE BEAMS. I was one of those rooting for black windows/white trim, but refinished wood beams was 10000% my real preference and the way bigger issue, IMO. I just didn’t say anything because I thought the option was off the table. It’s gonna look sooooo good!!!!!

  12. I feel a little bit like I got tricked, I thought refinishing the beams wasn’t an option! 🙂 But absolutely looks great!

    1. Haha I feel the same way! I love the wood beams, but I thought that wasn’t an option? Well, I’m glad it’s back on the table now because it’s going to look great and oh-so-Emily Henderson. Just curious: what changed your mind on being able to refinish them?

      xx Hannah // http://www.HomemadeBanana.com

      1. We didn’t think it was !!!! We were told it was like a weird faux situation, but then once we sanded they said it would work. YAY!

    2. I do too. Not amusing.

  13. Yes!! Yes yes! 1000 times YES!!!!!!!!!!

    this is the perfect answer! It was my first thought when you first showed us the house and my continued thoughts as you instagrammed and blogged about this “dilemma”, It seemed like a no-brainer to me. I know you said the beams weren’t refinishable – what changed?

  14. Yes!! Absolutely the right decision! I am so excited to see how it all looks when you move in!

  15. YAS!!!! That was what I wanted you to do!!! SO excited to see the beams. What’s the worst that can happen??? If they look terrible, you’ll just paint over them, but I bet it looks AMAZING!

  16. SOOO glad you decided to refinish the beams and not paint them! And I love the idea of the white, airy windows. Can’t wait to see pics of the finished product 🙂

  17. I love your decision. A nod to tradition, without it seeming overwhelming. I would love to know what color gray paint you are using on the walls?

    1. It is going to be awesome – great decision you two!

  18. Love that you are keeping the shelves! I had my fingers crossed for that. I have the same situation next to my fireplace and we use them as picture ledges. https://www.instagram.com/p/BIQbdZQAgYY/?taken-by=lemae

  19. Good! I was sad when you said refinishing the beams wasn’t possible. All the painted options didn’t seem authentic to the house. So glad you’ve found a way. (And, nobody will closely inspect the beams, so it’ll be okay. We inherited a fake beam in our house that is a bunch of barn board covering a drywall, and I’m PICKY, and I’m fine with it, and everyone who visits always assumes it’s a real, solid chunk of wood.)

    I’m sure your friends are lovely and have great taste… but Brian was right about the black windows. 😉

    Nice work on a great decision!

  20. Love it! The black hardware is a very smart idea. Also love the Blackened paint color. Just got a paint sample of it the other day to test in my place.

    Have you picked a layout for your furniture yet?

  21. I am SOOOOOO glad you chose the wood beams! I didn’t comment on the Ask the Audience post because it seemed like the wood beams were 100% a no go and I just couldn’t get on board with any of the choices (it was like I was trying to convince myself to cast a vote for the lesser of two evils….but they all just felt wrong…..wait, am I talking about the election or your beams? I’m getting cofused;) I read all the comments and looked over the pictures, repeatedly, sadly almost like this was my own house. I just kept begging you through the computer screen to choose none of the options and go with the wood. WOOD = SOUL and the black/white options offered me no soul and homes NEED “SOUL”. Does that make sense? So all this to say…BRAVO, great decision!

    1. AGREED AGREED AGREED. I voted, albeit reluctantly, on the option to have the beams black so they stand out as an architectural focal point. In my heart I wanted them to be wood. I think you could spend big $$$$ on getting those beams to be the right wood color and it would be worth it. Cant wait to see!

  22. Oh, thank goodness you’re doing the beams in wood. It that had been an original options I would have hands down gone with wood beams, white trim and a barely there grey walls. It’ll look bright and airy but still have a nod to its history without being too overwhelming. The wood tone will add a bit of warmth to the room as well.

  23. That is great! I love the real wood beams!

  24. Good for you for going with your gut! I think it looks fab!!!

  25. Clapclapclapclapclap! I’m so glad you are refinishing the wood beams instead of painting them! They will be fantastic, and it will be a look that you can live with for a long time and not regret.

  26. Yes! Well done.

  27. YAY! That’s the one I picked. So striking 🙂

  28. Absolutely love this decision! This is by far my favorite option and I can’t wait to see the end results! It’s going to be gorgeous.

  29. Excellent choice! Love it!

  30. I love this decision. Nice teamwork!

  31. Crossing my fingers the wood responds well! This is going to be gorgeous and I’m really glad you’re pursuing this classic option that highlights the beams.

  32. Wait! That was my suggestion – Option 13 – white trim throughout and reface wood beams. I’m so proud to be EH approved:) It gives me the confidence to tackle my own home!

  33. Love your choices! The refinished beams, keeping the shelves, and the white window trim. Beautiful. You’ve done it again!

  34. Kudos on going with your gut and landing on a decision that suits YOU and YOUR lifestyle! The white windows create a bright, happy space which totally reflects you and your family. I am so excited that refinishing the beams was a possibility (I was secretly hoping it was!). It makes the space so much warmer and more balanced. I do like the shelves because of the character they bring to the space, but there is something squatty about them. Maybe because they are rectilinear and the ceiling isn’t? They just seem to stop so abruptly. I can’t wait to see more … it is a house with great bones that you are transforming into an amazingly beautiful home 🙂 You are such a talent!

  35. Simply lovely. The Blackened wall paint will be so pretty, and the black hardware on the windows, so sharp and old world. The quirky shallow shelves will add character and so much styling enjoyment. (I am picturing your kids’ favorite books invitingly displayed on the lower shelves.) AND THE REFINISHED BEAMS! YAY!! I am eager for your next crowd sourced opinions on your charming new home.

  36. Yes! It looks great! The all black was way too dark and while the white frames with black windows could have looked really good, I think you made the happiest-feeling choice (no surprise there).

    I’m also so glad the wood beams could be refinished. They look so warm and inviting. Down the road, you might want to replace the white shelves with wood planks to match the beams.

  37. YES! I love this choice!

  38. If it were me, it would be black trim, black beams, black behind the bookcases…but it’s YOUR home, so whatever makes you happy is what you should pick 🙂

  39. I voted for Option 1, but I like the final choice too. Am I the only one confused as to why wood refinishing is now an option, even though the original (voting) post said it wasn’t?

  40. Yes, yes, yes!!! So pretty. Best option by far. It’s going to look amazing!

  41. Ha! This is what I was wishing you would do. Light white and airy but with proper wood beams. That is just right – congrats!

  42. Glad you can get the wood beams to work!

  43. Yes! Love. I also struggle with lusting that kind of Nate Berkus-y, dramatic chic thing. And then I realize it’s just too much for me in my real life. So I totally get it.

  44. P E R F E C T

  45. No fair, we didn’t get that option because I for sure would have picked that over #5! 🙂 I love it!

  46. I love this way better than the other options!! It’s going to look fantastic!!

  47. P.E.R.F.E.C.T.

  48. You did it! The black was too severe and the white made the beams invisible. Totally the best choice, not even close. If it’s this pretty already, I can’t wait to see it with all your beautiful pieces.

  49. Great choice. Looking forward to seeing the whole process.

  50. Did I miss something? Were woods beams in one of the options?
    But I do like them. The black was too heavy and the white disappeared.

  51. THANK YOU! I really was not feeling the painted beams and I honestly think the stain is and will be perfect, something you will not regret down the road. 100% the best decision. YAY

  52. I 100% support your decision. We all have to recognize that while we can appreciate beautiful design (black frames) it does not always fit our space! Congratulations it will look beautiful!

  53. Excellent plan! I think that refinishing the beams would have been almost everyone’s first choice if you hadn’t shot down that option straight away! This will be beautiful and seems like your style

  54. So glad you made a decision that excites you!

  55. I’m so looking forward to this remodel. Any chance HGTV would film this as a TV show?

  56. I’m so excited to see the refinished wood beams! Great decision!

  57. That was also my suggestion and I love the decision! How about rustic wood shelves at the bookshelves to mimic the beams?

  58. Emily! You know you cheated picking an option that wasn’t on the poll lol But I do LOVE the natural wood beams, and think it will feel more earthy and comfortable, especially with the white trim!!!! Excited to see the next phase 🙂

  59. I find it amusing that the final option wasn’t even available in the original post. If you’re still worried about the quality of the wood, I would consider cladding the beam I’m a wood you like better–although that would be tricky on the curvy bits!

    The final choice is beautiful and appropriate for your taste and lifestyle. Any plans for the fireplace?

  60. The best choice ever! The wood beams will look so warm!! Can’t wait!

  61. Wood beams!! This makes me so happy. The black beams just didn’t feel right to me. Congrats on your decision! I can’t wait to see the finished product

  62. Absolutely! I think it looks beautiful and most importantly, it is your house and it should be what you want it to be!

    1. Love the wood beams! Best way to retain the original character and charm of your Tudor gem!

  63. So glad you left the beams! It looks great.

  64. Absolutely the way to go! The black was sharp but it didn’t look like you.

    Happy you’re happy, too.

  65. Team work makes the dream work, I mean the BEAMS work!!! I love it and I love that it does really keep the charm. I love that you are adamant about both of you being on board with decisions. I could see how easy it would be for you to play your, “I’m the Beyoncé of home styling/design” card. 🙂 BTW, you can come that card any day at our home!

  66. YES!! this is exactly what I would have done if it were my home, and the entire time I read the options post, I couldn’t stop thinking how authentic and more “story book” refinished/natural wood beams would be! Itching for more!

  67. I LOVE IT! I was really hoping you would refinish the beams. The black seemed too harsh and the white washed them out. I’m a huge sucker for natural wood anyway so this makes me very happy.

  68. Oh, I am SO glad you’re keeping the wood natural!! I don’t recall that being one of the voting options, but I wanted it to be! ❤️

  69. I agree. You have an old house with character, definitely respect it!

  70. Hey there! So glad you decided to refinish the beams- very beautiful! I was wondering (I probably missed an epic post) if you were planning to paint that shapely fireplace. It’s amazing!

  71. I am so glad you went with refinishing the beams! And keeping the character with the shelves is is idea. Hooray for going with your guts 😉

  72. I would have voted for that option too. The beams really wanted to stand out but the black paint wasn’t right. The wood beams with white windows and walls will be a.maz.ing! It reminds me of a room Amber Interiors did. You two really should be best friends. You would make really cool design babies.

  73. This was my choice from the moment I saw the stripped down beams! I was hoping you would change your mind about refinishing the wood beams! Even a faux finish would work, or refacing them!

  74. I am so weirdly invested in this beautiful room. I was pulling for au natural beams and a lighter breezier feel. Feels way more California mission style. ❤️❤️❤️

  75. YASSSSSSSS I was hating on the black because of the exact reason you mentioned – it is so much airier with them white! You won’t regret the choice I’m sure 🙂

  76. I like this a lot! Way to go!

    I really, really disliked the black beams, windows, and and trim–it was just too dark and heavy for this room, the black beams especially. Can’t believe your friends voted for it for this room!

    The refinished beams look nice, even in these renderings, and tie in with the floor! I hope you keep the beams and flooring in the same wood tone as one another, and a light, medium, or natural tone at that–definitely not a dark stain.

    However, if, in the end, you decide to paint the beams the same light color as the trim, I think you’d like it too. Trust your gut!

    Thanks for the update, Emily!

    1. If you decide to have a darker floor, I’d definitely go with painting the beams the same light color as the trim….

  77. LOVE IT! so glad you’re refinishing the beams! I hated the idea of painting them black, it seemed too dark (but i’m a wood purist so I hate painting most wood). Can’t wait to see the progress and ultimately the finished room.

  78. I love the idea of refinishing the beams. It was one of the reasons I didn’t vote the first time around. It’s going to look great!

  79. Yes! I love this option. It feels like the best of both worlds. I feel like you get the drama and really highlight the character of the space. However, it feels light and airy. SO good all around!

  80. I like it…it looks more American country farmhouse than the English country cottage I was thinking you’d go for (maybe with beige or grey trim and beams) but at the end of the day since its your family home, I love that you and your hubby agree and like it!

  81. This is great. I like the wood beams much more than the black ones (they felt too heavy). White window frames look nice. That was my first option. I love black window frames, but it just felt too heavy due to the type of windows you have. I have to say the same for black baseboards, I’m glad you’re going with white. It will look much better and not draw attention away from your furniture and decor.

  82. love the decision for natural wood beams, beautiful and warm;
    kind of remind me of eyebrows or picture frames, highlight the ceiling, black would have been harsh, white washed out;
    the shelves will be great for displaying pottery or pretty glasses once the littles are a bit older
    sharing my favorite room (Peacock Room), one of many amazing features are the shallow shelves holding pottery
    http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacockRoom/gallery.asp

  83. Girrrrrrl,

    Black, white, grey or wood… you can make anything look soooo good. Just do your thang;)

  84. Oh my goodness, I am so excited! It will be beautiful. I was one that supported the white trim with black windows, but once I saw the photo with the black paint I was instantly worried you that you would choose that option! It just didn’t seem right. I think that black hardware and the refinished beams will look simply amazing with your white trim.

  85. Yes! I hadn’t thought staining was an option but it definitely looks the best being a natural wood colour with the white windows. Light and airy but classic. I am building a new house and doing something very similar. You can see the complete project on my IG account! I believe classic colours and timeless finishes never go out of style.

  86. This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to see it finished. I was sad when you said in the last post that the beams couldn’t be refinished, but it’s just so pretty!

  87. Okay, I was one of the go ALL black–mostly because I wanted to see beautiful, pornographic design photos of them and live vicariously. But–in my house, I wouldn’t have done that either. Truth be told, I am a native California girl (Angeleno, but Marin bay area now) and love white trim. I have white windows and trim all over my house.
    Yet–refinishing the beams was never given to us faithful readers as an option. I would have TOTALLY gone for that. I hope they turn out great! And if they don’t–paint them white OR wrap them in cool lumber and get the look you want. This is your business and so many people’s pleasure to watch you renovate and decorate. I don’t know how expensive wrapping them would turn out to be, but it seems like it would be worth it.
    You’ve had neutral, but political posts recently and I have to say that I find your blog an oasis. Like, I felt really dirty after watching the second debate and I looked forward to my nightly ritual of reading your blog after I put the kids to bed. I was thinking, “Just show me some pretty pictures and make the madness go away!” So you are totally relevant in the bigger picture of this earth.

  88. I voted for 5 because I thought a mid-contrast was right, vs high or none. So yeah, I’m on board;)

  89. Perfect! That was my vote originally even thought it wasn’t one of the options you presented. Can’t wait to see it finished!!

  90. I just read an earlier comment. Why isn’t HGTV filming this?!!!!! It’s their whole real estate design formula right?!!! And you and your adorable family and intelligent, quirky design team would be so watchable!!!! Get Brian to film you and then sell it to them. You are sooooo ratings excellent. I am there target audience and income level. I want you on TV again darn it!

  91. Love! I actually just moved into a house with super narrow builtins so I’d love to see your take on them and some tips!!

  92. I love your choices, that’s what I would have wanted if it were my house. And it seems like the perfect fit for you guys. I’m really happy to hear about the beams being refinished. That’s going to look wonderful. I couldn’t see the beams being done justice with paint.

  93. I love it. If it were my house I’d refinish the beams so I was disappointed when you initially said it couldn’t be done. I love the black hardware too! Our kitchen growing up had pickled pine cabinets with black hardware similar to your mock-up.

  94. I love it! ?

  95. So happy you chose this one!!! This was my suggestion!!! It’s classic, english and will serve you for many years to come!!! Can’t wait to see everything done for Christmas! You won’t regret this choice!

  96. I agree 1000 % !! Trim, wall color, beams, & keeping the shelves! You will love it 🙂 so happy 4 you! 🙂

  97. Love the wooden beams…Black was gorgeous too, but lent a different feeling. White with wood beams suits your style perfectly!

  98. Yes! Exactly what I would have done! Second choice would have been gray/taupe trim. I think this is just what the house calls for! I knew there was a reason I chose you as my HGTV design star way back when!

  99. I’m soooo happy you aren’t messing with the built ins. Leave ’em be! I think your final decision on paint will look light and airy and pretty. Can’t wait to see it all done!

  100. If this was an option in the first time, this would have been my favorit! Very, very good decision Emily! And I love the shelves too.

  101. I’m so glad you’re refinishing the beams. I think it would be a shame to whitewash everything, those beams are what make the room (and that fire place)! It’s going to look so good now!

  102. Gorgeous choice Emily!!!
    I’m sure you and your family will love the space for years to come

  103. Ok I know you are soooooooogood at what you do but I would remove those shelves and put two beautiful pieces of art in the alcoves with down lighting. I commented on the original post to keep windows white but I LOVE the idea of whitewashed/lined/bleached beams ?????? Can’t wait to see the final results ?

  104. oh i am so glad! this is the best best decision! for sure! i was so hoping you wouldnt paint the beams and leave them in a wood finish because its so much softer and feels natural to the space, and white for the windows is also the best decision in my opinion. i am very pleased hahah!

  105. Love those wood beams! i too was having a hard time with all the black..and was leaning to white..but then those beams needed something! The wood feels cozy and warmer than either black or white but still softer than the black. It’s perfect! Great pick!! 🙂

  106. Very classic; great choice. I agree throwing open the doors lends iself to white. Young and fresh!

  107. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with rustic beams! I’m sure anything you do will look great!

  108. You are light, bright and airy. Your house should reflect you. It looks amazing. Are the beams going to be the natural tone? I love it.

  109. Perfect! Refinished wood WAY better than the black and much more authentically English! The black is very Tudor and thus a bit heavy.

  110. Great decision, this room is going to be your best yet!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

  111. Love. I don’t think refinishing the beams was an option originally? In any case, that makes all the difference! I still love the black, but the warm wood of the beams is a great focal point…!

  112. This option 5 voter says, “SWEET!!!”

  113. Oh, YAAAAAY!

    I’m happy with this decision. I think it feels like you – It’s bright, airy, light and very happy. I’m still not sure what I would do if it was my choice, though… I think I’d damage my brain just thinking about it… I love the black, it feels dramatic but still very classic, but it might be too much. I tend to go for white; but I guess you’re right on that one: all white might be a lost opportunity here. And I just don’t feel the two tones solution (that with the beams and the windows painted different colors), unless one of said options is natural wood. So yeah, I think you solved all the problems, basically. Ha! But I’m still wondering…

  114. “…the walls a light gray (like almost white, but technically it’s a tone … and it’s SO PRETTY). Then the trim in white…” — OMG, I am just quietly freaking out at my desk right now because that is EXACTLY what I did in my new master bedroom not even two weeks ago. HUZZAH! Now I really know I made the best decision!

  115. Great decision!!!

  116. I wish this was an option in the original voting post, cause I totally would have voted for it. So pretty.

  117. Perfect! I honestly thought from the get-go, “why not natural beams?” The black to me was too harsh and contrasting, and trendy vs. classic. Love it!

  118. Love it! I’m surprised at how much the white makes the windows disappear! Love the refinished beams too as well as the wall color. Great choice, although I didn’t agree with it initially!

  119. I feel like I would possibly get rid of two shelves from each side and readjust so they were wider apart? Or put in chunky wood shelves to bring in the same wood color from the beams… They seem so tight together that they might be hard to really style.

    Love the wood beams. But i definitely liked the black and White on the windows as well. Cant wait to see!

  120. I’m so glad you decided on gray walls with refinished beams!

  121. Excellent decision. I was totally going for refinished beams. The wood color is so warm and beautiful with white instead of the super dark beams. Although it is your house and you can do whatever you want, I’m super stoked on your decision. I’m a big fan of Nicole Curtis too, from Rehab Addict, and I know she would have been like “RESTORE THOSE BEAMS, BABY!”

  122. The beams need to be wood. It is their fate. I love how black framed windows look in magazines, but I have always wondering if it would make my rooms feel boxed in. But you live on the internet and in magazines, so it’s ok!

  123. Yaaas, girl! I was hoping they could stain your beams! I chuckled because you did exactly what I do-ask everyone’s opinion and then go with something else. But I say that others’ opinions ultimately help you sort out your true feelings about the space-so it’s a good thing! 🙂

  124. Yes! This feels most airy to me and the look of natural wood beams w/ white walls is my absolute favorite.

  125. Love it! So glad you could refinish the wood beams – white hid them too much but black was too heavy. I would have preferred the black on the inner frame of the windows, but I get that it’s not “you”. Also, the black hardware will bring back some of the character you’d be missing with all white. I’m on board!

  126. Great decision…..
    Bring it on!!

  127. If that would have been an option to pick it would have been my #1 – good call. 🙂

  128. Love it!!! I knew you would go with the white trim 😉 And you can refinish the beams?!? Yay! It’s perfect. I bought my house the same that you bought your last house and now you’re making me want to move and do something new. I cannot wait to see how it all comes together. It’s going to be amazing!

  129. REFINISHED BEAMS! Yes!!!!! I am SO thrilled you guys went with a refinished beam. One point towards bringing gorgeous natural wood back into style!

  130. Fantastic news! This is what I would have voted for, but it didn’t sounded like it was an option. So I never voted on the previous post. I hope the beams can be refinished beautifully. Can’t wait to see it finished.

  131. Yes!! This is by far the best option, and what i would choose. While reading your last post i was silently screaming at the computer ‘find a way to do wood beams!’ The black really felt like it brought the ceiling down in an ominous way. The white/wood combo is more airy, organic, less harsh. Definitely the right choice ??

  132. YES! always great to keep some original timber feature. Think it is the best decision.

  133. I love your decision. I would still probably like a warmer creamer white personally but I know you are more of a cool white person.

  134. I just read this post and am so glad that you made the choice to restore the beams! Was pretty surprised because it’s exactly what I was hoping you would choose to do. Since the living room is a favorite room in your new house, it’s too important to compromise on. Your room reminds me of my LR (without beams) so it is easy for me to visualize it. I’m always drawn to the ceiling when I walk in my LR. If the colors/finishes aren’t right, bet it would bother you every time you go in! And if the beams don’t turn out the way you expect, you can always paint!

  135. It is light and bright with enough depth and an accent on the architecture without the weight of the black: just perfect!

  136. I’m really surprised there wasn’t a ‘paint something blue’ option 🙂 jk! I think the black looked too harsh and I love white trim for the windows, but the beans would disappear. Your choice is perfection!!

  137. Brilliant decision. Really like the look!

    And one further thing you might want to consider, if the refinished beams turn out too dark, is to white oil them. Wocca Oil (from Sweden) do a wonderful oil that looks great. I’ve used it on my oak kitchen work surface and my refurbished (i.e. sanded by me) original Ercol chairs and dining room table. It really lightens the wood but still allows the grain to show through.

    1. Here’s a link to the oil in case of interest. http://www.wocadirect.com/master-color-oil/

      I used the one for kitchen work surfaces as it’s OK with food preparation.

    2. Sorry – that should read Woca from Denmark!

  138. This looks fabulous, darling! I was one of the ones who suggested painting just the windows black. I do think it looked good, but slightly too formal for your lifestyle. The breezy bright white is always a winner in SoCal sunshine. And what a delight to see that the wood beams could be kept as wood. It adds a lovely bit of warmth — dark beams don’t work as well with the white/bright concept. This is going to look amazing!!!

  139. OMG, SO HAPPY! I was one of the ones rooting for black window frames with white trim, which I still think looks fabulous, personally, but does seem better suited for a different person/aesthetic. For you I would have said white trim and wood beams all the way if I thought that was actually an option!!

  140. Giving some serious side-eye for that “engagement-bait” of I NEED YOUR FEEDBACK to “Oh, we’re going with this other option that we didn’t even present to you.”

    Regardless, I think you’re making the right choice and here I am commenting, so CONGRATS! Your evil plan is working! 🙂

  141. Love your choice! What software are you using to do your renderings? I’m pursuing design as a career, but can only do it self-taught for the time being. Forces me to ask lots of questions if other experienced designers!

  142. I love the option you guys chose! I loved the all black option of the first four…and the black AND white window combo too…but I LOVE LOVE LOVE refinished natural wood beams in WHITE rooms and think it will be PERFECT for your SoCal life. I’m all kinds of envious. 🙂

  143. YES! Yes, yes, yes to the wood beams. I like the black windows, but it feels more at home the Midwest than California. Wood, Gray, and White always win and are a staple of your aesthetic anyway. YAY!!!

  144. Love the choice, although my favorite part of this post is the picture of Brian looking skeptically at the black window frames. Very evocative of a mental struggle 🙂

  145. I was the “leave the beams alone” vote since I just love old wood with patina. So I think refinishing them is a great choice.

  146. I’m so glad you decided on wood for the beams. I voted for the most popular option, but only cause it was the least objectionable. Black was way too harsh for the room. You made the right call with white and wood!

  147. I thought you said the wood was in too bad a shape to re-finish. I think it’s a great choice. I voted white trim and if the beams were not salvageable to paint them brown. I did not think the black suited the space. Congrats on getting over that hurdle.

  148. How about the baseboards in the same exposed wood as the beams? All white baseboards feel like the room isn’t grounded. Exposed wood baseboards would help ground the room, integrate the exposed wood of the beams into the room as a whole and incorporate a more natural, ‘California-airy’ feel into the room.

  149. I like the idea of the refinished beams. Cannot wait to see the room finished.

  150. Wow truly amazing makeover. love the style and bold accent of black. astonishing!

  151. I can’t wait to see all of your amazing pieces in this beautiful room! Good choice!

  152. Glad you are on the wood train! Here’s to hoping you have wood cabinets in your kitchen, but being a long time reader I know that is not likely. Baby steps….. 🙂

  153. I am so happy you’re refinishing the beams!! That’s what I thought would look best all along. The white trim looks beautiful, though I love the idea of black mullions with surrounding white trim (because that’s what I did in my house!). Both options are gorgeous, though. Glad you found what works best for you!

  154. Hello!
    I need an information: which program did you used for the photos? (to change the colors of the room). thanks!

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  161. Support! Support!
    All great decisions 😀

  162. What is the size of your rug?

  163. YAS!!!! That was what I wanted you to do!!! SO excited to see the beams. What’s the worst that can happen??? If they look terrible, you’ll just paint over them, but I bet it looks AMAZING!

  164. was sad when you said refinishing the beams wasn’t possible. All the painted options didn’t seem authentic to the house. So glad you’ve found a way. (And, nobody will closely inspect the beams, so it’ll be okay. We inherited a fake beam in our house that is a bunch of barn board covering a drywall, and I’m PICKY, and I’m fine with it, and everyone who visits always assumes it’s a real, solid chunk of wood.)