Dark wood trim & doors too dark?

newhome09April 2, 2009

I'm currently building a new home and having a hard time deciding between medium-dark to dark oak trim and white painted trim. We have a VERY open floor plan and have cherry kitchen cabinets with a very dark stain. We plan on using a medium shade hardwood flooring throughout the home and I was originally thinking we would do a trim color a shade between the floor and cabinets with 6 panel oak doors, but am now worried it would seem too dark. I have a 2 year old I stay home with and plan on having more children so I'm also worried about constantly cleaning white doors. I really like an old world look, but like a lot of light in my room also. We have a lot of windows that are south facing and we installed A LOT of can lights so that might help. Any suggestions or ideas? Has anybody else done this much wood in a home before?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't like dark trim at all. It's dated to me. I'm a fan of white and ivory. It's classic and timeless IMHL. I have a friend who did colored trim and it looks gorgeous.... teal blues and yellows with walls in lighter shades of the trim.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What's the weather like where you are? Up here it's grey and rainly nine months of the year. I had dark woodwork and floors when I moved into my new house in 1970. I came to absolutely hate it, it was so grim and depressing. BTW, dark floors show everything light colored. I replaced it all with lighter wood, and sanded my floors and restained them lighter. That lightened up my moods like a huge heavy weight had been lifted from me. Now I have medium floors and white woodwork. Nothing sets off the colors of your walls like white woodwork. Besides, if you have it done white from the beginning, it will save you money.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also agree that so much dark wood would look a little heavy.

We are also building a new home, and we have decided to do painted trim which will be off-white in color, but we will stain the doors in a medium oak stain. Our doors will all be oak, as will our hardwood floors. Our kitchen cabs are maple in a saddle (medium) stain.

We also have our main living areas facing south. We are looking for a stain color for both the doors and floors in a medium, true brown (no red or orange hues) color...the color of darkish toffee comes to mind.

In our last 2 custom builds, we always stained EVERYTHING, and this time, I'd like a change! I have seen pictures on these forums of some really gorgeous looking homes that have mixed painted and stained with very elegant results. Some of the stains used were darkish, but they were really well coordinated with painted trim that gave a bright, elegant look.
I hope that painted trim will be easy to keep clean!

Hope this helps, and good luck with your new build!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have dark stained wood throughout my downstairs except the kitchen where it was painted white. Upstairs they painted everything white but left the doors dark.

I started to paint the doors white but never got around to finishing them and w/in the past yr. began painting the trim a rich creamy ivory. I love this look of creamy trim w/ the dark doors and am goinf to beg DH to refinish the doors that I started to paint back to the original dark wood.

In the kitchen I hate the white doors. Between DH and all of the kids I have to regularly wipe them down around the doorknob because apparently they think that the knob is ONLY for opening and that one must always use their grimey dirty hand to push it closed.

I guess that puts me in the camp of a mix of wood and paint.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have some of each, painted where the walls are and stained around the cabs. We don't use white though for the painted trim, but a rich cream. It seems to warm it up a bit.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dissenting view, here.

I'd kill for real wood trim and doors rather than paint grade.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You've got such a tough decision here. While light doors and trim brightens up everything, it does show stains and scuff marks. I think it depends on how neat and clean you are and how much things like scuff marks and handprints bother you. I think it also depends on your inspiration pictures for your home. What do you get really excited about when you see pictures of other homes? How are you inspired? We lived in a 70's home with painted trim and hated it. We lived in a 90's home with stained trim and doors and loved it. I'm sure the dirt was there, but you couldn't see it. The scratches and knicks just seemed to add character to me. We now live in an 8 year old home with white doors, trim and cabinets. It always looks dirty to me. I am constantly cleaning and never done. We have three kids. As I get older, I just kind of give up. I just get to what bothers me the most in the public rooms. However, it is the brightest home we have lived in. Just remember, if you're worried about it being too dark, your fabrics, wall colors, drapes, ect. can all be light in color. We will down size in about 10 years (hope to), and it will be to a one level house with stained woodwork and a beautiful fireplace, something I don't have now. (aahh, now I'm off to daydream!) Good luck. Whatever you decide it will be beautiful I'm sure. Floors, cabinets and open floor plan sound wonderful.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You stated you have a VERY open floor plan, so I'm going to have to agree with Parma. If the rooms were closed and small, I would suggest mixing paint and stain, but it sounds like you have wide open, light filled space. Stain grade wood can always be painted-if you start with paint grade, you have no options

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also have an open floor plan, European cottage, dark wood floors, windows, doors, trim and cedar beams. Lots of windows, veranda overhangs on front and back. Face south. Lot of light when it's sunny. Still fine when it's cloudy. Most of our walls are painted a warm white. A few rooms are F&B French Gray and one is F&B Light Blue.

I don't think you can go wrong as long as your wall colors stay light to medium.

Kitchen below, with some older pictures of great room beyond. Kitchen/breakfast room does have light color stone flooring, but great room, DR, foyer and MBR are wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Kitchen

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the feedback! I think I'm going to stick with my initial idea and go with a medium to dark trim. I just love the warm feeling the wood tones give. We might do a cream color in the bedrooms. If I don't like it I can always paint over it, but I won't be able to change my mind if I pick white. Now I just need to find a stain color. Ugh!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You'll love stained doors and trim. I have light doors and stained trim.
Our daughter just replaced all her white raised panel doors in the bedrooms and closets to raised panel Cherry doors and cherry trim, it's gorgeous. Our son was the lucky recepitent to her nice white doors.
Our other son has medium stained oak doors and trim, very pretty as well.
Hey, you can always paint them if you don't like them, however, I think you'll love them.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 7:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is this a great statement or a great ugly mess?
Hello to all I could use your input here I have a mid...
Office ready for window treatments - WWYD?
I finally hung the diplomas and DH's favorite print...
sectional sofa help
hi cross posting this from furniture b/c I really could...
Budget kitchen remodel
We relocated to a new state, and bought this home last...
Is this legit? RH law suit. You get this ?
This came on email. I suspect it's bogus, but thought...
Sponsored Products
Veneto Luce Dakota Zig Zag Chandelier by Justice Design Group
$396.00 | Lumens
Horus 4-light LG Silver Vanity Mirror
Dark Brown Swindon TV Stand
$124.99 | zulily
Runner Rug: Amarillo Teal 2' 6" x 8'
Home Depot
Vig Furniture - Divani Casa Spindle Modern Dark Grey Eco-Leather...
Great Furniture Deal
Diamond Sofa Rectangle Cocktail Table w/ Glass Inset & X-Shaped Base
Beyond Stores
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™