Monday, November 16, 2009

How to work with your existing trim color

When you flip through most design magazines, you'll notice that almost all of the rooms in the magazines have at least one thing in common.  There may be many more things, but what I notice the most is that most rooms have white trim.  I love white trim.  Mainly because I live in a home that has oak trim as well as oak doors, and oak cabinets.  Really, in my opinion, that is just way too much oak.  Now, oak can be beautiful if it has the right stain, but the oak in my home has a stain that keeps getting more orange with age.  Oak tends to do that, so if you have an stain with an orange tint, it is just going to get stronger over time.

(Google Images)

White trim is nice because it fades into the background and allows for any paint color.  White can also act as a nice contrast against darker colors allowing for the trim to stand out for things like crown molding.  So, for those of us that live in homes that don't have white trim we have a couple of options.  We can paint the trim white to update our homes (which is a huge undertaking) or we can take a clue from the tone of our existing wood trim or furniture and use colors that complement it.  Also, some people truly like wood trim and that is completely fine too.  It's all about personal taste and then choosing wall colors that will complement the tone of that wood and bring out it's natural beauty.

(House Beautiful)

For example, for wood that has an orange or honey tone such as pine and oak, a medium green works well to bring out more of the yellow tones in the wood and calm the orange.  If you go with a blue, that will bring out more of the orange tone.  An orange paint color will blend it with the wood and the wood will become lost.  Yellow walls will bring out both the yellow and orange tones of the wood which creates warmth, but doesn't enhance the wood at all.

(Googe Images)

Dark finishes, such as mahoghany, walnut or cherry, stand out against a light color, whether it's a tint of green or blue or a hue from the sunny side of the color wheel. In the same way, light wood shows up boldly against dark or strong color on the walls.

If the dominant color in the wood appears to be red, then a green background will enhance and intensify the wood's hue.

Golden-yellow woods look great with warm red as well as earthy greens, teal, or eggplant.

Brown woods with yellow undertones complement buttery walls yet stand out boldly for high-contrast drama.

(House Beautiful)

Light walls with dark wood creates high contrast and allows the trim to stand out.

Antique woods may combine several tones so they can look good against a variety of light or dark colors.

So, if you're like me and aren't a huge fan of the tone of your wood trim or you just want to enhance the natural beauty of your trim I hope this helps you find some ideas that will make you happier with your home!

1 comment:

  1. I live in a home with all white trim (yay!) but honey-oak cabinetry. It literally keeps me up at night, I just despise it so! We are moving within the year, so I have talked myself out of painting it... but I am not sure I can stand it!

    Thanks for the post- maybe I can paint my kitchen a color that will quiet down the orangey mess.


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