So it’s no secret that the main floor of my house is wood trim city. If the trim was not of a high quality or covered in years of gross varnish I would have painted it white the second we moved in. Instead it’s nice, and pretty, quarter sawn oak with perfect patina so it stays (even though it’s not ideal for this girl). I still need that wonderful contrast that only crisp white trim can give you.
Instead of painting the trim white I went nuts and painted every frame (7 of them) in the living room white. I used the same paint that I used for my trim color upstairs, Farrow & Ball’s “All White”. Combining the nice bright white frames with light covered curtains (covering the wood trim of course) gives unity to the room and makes the wood trim not so woody. I also get that contrast that I was dying for between the white frames and my new dark teal walls (full post on the living room coming soonish). The wood trim is no longer the first thing you notice when you enter the house, it really gets pushed to the background and I can totally live with that. Yay for compromise!
Looks great! I love the paint color!! One quick question…Where did you find your drapes?
They are from ikea, here’s the link.
Thank you for the link! Can you see through the curtains at night from outside? I’m just wondering how sheer they are. Unfortunately, I live in Oklahoma where there is no IKEA!! So if I order them, I really want to be sure that they will work. Also, I have gray walls. How do you think they would look against gray? Thanks so much!
You can not see through them at night, they are made of a more heavy weight fabric with grommet curtains at the top. They also work well during the day for blocking out the sun.
The pattern running through them is a charcoal color and they are of- white, as you can see in the pics above. I also have these hanging next to the gray walls in my dining room and they look great. I think they could look good with many different colors. I’ve had them for 3 years and still really like them.
You need and IKEA!!!
I am obsessed, probably for life with white frames. They always work, no matter what else you do. They create continuity in our tiny house. It might be a bit boring, but one of the home design rules I rely on the most, that is my own, as far as I know is “Paint it Black, Paint it White.” [Nod to the Stones]. If I could own stock in Ikea Ribba frames, I would, because I support their sales mightily.
I like the stones ref., nice one :) I know, I love Ribba frames too!
Love the wall color! What is it, and where did you find it? Also, I’m dealing with natural birch trim and deep walnut floors in a bedroom with much shade. I was planning on accenting with white as well, but my husband is skeptical…what do you think?
Hey Kelly, The wall color is called “Dragonfly” by Benjamin Moore and you can find more info on my room and official after shots here!
Regarding your bedroom, do you like your birch trim?, if so I say keep it. If not, consider painting it white. Adding lots of white accents to a room really worked for me in lieu of painting the trim. The white accents add crisp contrast to the room in the same way white trim would. Consider adding some white curtains too, and have them hang over the edge of your trim.
I am so glad I made it to your site! I, too, have an old house with wood everywhere. Mine is 123 years old, and pretty much everything I have ever wanted. While I love all of the beautiful wood trim, I have to talk myself out of painting it weekly. My house was not as lovingly kept up like yours seems to be. At some point, someone slapped down carpet throughout (even the dining room!), and sheet vinyl in the kitchen, and they cut my kitchen in half with some ceiling mounted cabinets. My family room is almost identical to yours with half walls leading from the foyer and it has been painted kind of a slate blue. I wanted a teal color as well but it doesn’t go with my wood as well as yours. I have tons of work ahead of me and it’s going to be slow moving but it is great to see a house so similar to mine that looks so great!
Yes, I do the same thing to my house. Even when I think I have come to peace with my wood moldings, I find myself scheming and trying to figure out if I can paint all or some of them white.
Eew, carpet in the dining room, that stinks. I know that we lucked out with our house not needing major updating. I’ve never really shown much of my kitchen on the blog though, it is a weird mess, made up of about 3 different rooms and not functional in the slightest.
My friend Nicole has a house almost with the same layout to mine, and sounds very similar to yours too. Hers was covered with carpet (even in the dining room). It’s taken her almost three years to get all the carpet out and all the wood floors re-sanded but it looks so good now.
Hang in there! I love how hearing stories of old houses. Hope to see you more around the blog :)
Hey there! I stumbled onto your blog (literally) Looking for dark wood and Wood Staircase … I live in Chicago and have a Victorian …err Foursquare (what the hell, the taxes for the city of chicago says Victorian) ..I have Origional Wood Trim and origional wood floors on this Restored baby and although the Seller had a GORGEOUS Home.. Me being about 20 yrs younger couldn’t figure out what to do with all of this Wood! I’ve decided to Embrace it. I’ve been here 1 year and couldn’t figure out 1 simiple paint color that looks fantastic! It had a very saturated Deep Yellow (so not me) on the walls so I quickly painted them bleeker beige (Yuk) although I’m stuck, Now I’m found thanks to your blog haha. Thanks so much for This post..
Your house sounds so amazing. I’m so curious to see what others are doing with their century-old midwestern four squares covered in woodwork.
I would call ours a four square too, but it’s own weird version of a four square. It doesn’t look like one from the exterior, but totally is one from the inside. Glad you found me!!
I stumbled upon your pictures looking at rooms with wood trim because I’m lookng at bunglaows that have wood trim (same dilemma).
I just went to the Baltimore Museum of Art yesterday, and one of the rooms was painted this deep, luminous, peacock blue, and they had LOTS of beautiful old wood moulding in that room and it looked fabulous, so I think part of the issue is just picking the right shade of paint.
Anyway, I love what you have done, and the teal paint is beautiful!! The white frames were a great idea.
I’m curious about your artwork, the photograph in the living room of what looks like a sheet with a projection on it. Did you/someone take that out at the art shanties? Also, the art work in your bedroom is amazing. The painting of what look like little houses all clustered around? Deets requested if you can on both. So happy to have found your house. The kitchen is inspiring. We’re in NE Mpls so I feel all the feels about old houses.
Hey Alison! (I’m glad we both spell it the correct way). Thanks for noticing the artwork, both the photos are part of a series of photos I did about 10 years. I made Camera Obscuras inside rooms by blocking all the light – except for one small hole. Then I took photographs of the space with the projected image. A lot of the exposures were over 8 hours long.
One of my best friends in the world Matt Scharenbroich painted and drew almost all of the artwork in my home, including that painting in the bedroom. He is from Minneapolis but is currently going to grad school at the Savannah College of Art and Design. You can look him up here! He’s always open to commissions although he is busy these days.
Hello! Great job, love tour style. Can you tell me where your adorable white upholstered chair came from? It is in your family room with the kittle while legged stool. We don’t have a large room so looking for comfy smaller chairs. I live in Wisconsin where it may be illegal to paint wood! We do have painted wood and it is a pain to keep up so there, you have that!
Thank you so much. The chair is called “Cole” and is from Room and Board. The chair is totally perfect for lounging and being comfortable, but at the same time being nice and petite. Ha, yes I know all about the legality of painted woodwork, I feel you.