dining room top and bottom - dark over light or vice versa

WendyBApril 1, 2010

I currently have a chair rail in the dining room and many years ago I painted the bottom walls (and trim) a dark brownish red and the tops are off white. It went well with my country rustic look.

I am now sick of it all and want to switch the dark red to the same gold (BM Honeymoon) that is in my adjacent living room. I also think the top off-white Navaho is too dark. I am going to use Sparkling Wine which is a tad brighter but not too white.

However, I am wondering if I should swap the current white-over-color to be color-over-white.

Seems more typical in a dining room, huh? It would be more work (coats) and money. Is white over dark more country/rustic? (which I'm tired of)

My rationale to put the dark on the bottom in the past, was because the color was VERY dark and would be overwhelming on the top (which is taller than the bottom). But the gold would not be overwhelming at all if there was a lot of that.

what would you do?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellendi

IMO the darker color on top would look top heavy. Why not try a lighter gold on top of the BM Honeymoon?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonnieann925

Although the dark above the chair rail IS more traditional, I say do what you like. IMO it can seem top heavy to have the darker color on top. We have BM Raspberry Truffle below the chair rail and BM Bronzed Beige above. We still love it after 5 years!

From [DR flower arrangement 808](http://picasaweb.google.com/AnnieB925/DRFlowerArrangement808?feat=embedwebsite)
    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

That picture looks similar to what I have now. Love those curtains!

I guess I need to see more pictures to know what I like/want. I am having trouble visualizing the change.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

Okay, so I've been googling and found a few of dark over light that don't seem top-heavy. Not my color, but similar intensity.

the 2nd one really calls out for bottom molding. I've always wanted to add some.

Here's one of a two-tone:

notice how the chair rail is white. I think it should be one or the other color. too choppy I think. Maybe that's why I picked white for a wall color...to avoid having the trim be a 3rd color.

Here's an old picture of my DR:

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dawnp

Wendy,

I looked up your color and I don't think it's that dark. You have many options but I would put it on the upper wall. What color is the trim in your room? We have our upper walls painted in RL Balmoral Red (dark) and the lower walls are the trim color. But, they have picture frame moulding added so it looks like paneling. Also, the lower wall is painted in the finish (Satin) of the trim so it really looks like trim work. I will try to post a picture tommorrow.

Another option you have is to use a darker shade like Tumeric on the bottom of the wall. You are not stuck just using white and a color.

I think the Honeymoon will really warm up the room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Honeymoon photo in this thread

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 11:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

The trim will be whatever the lower color is. What a good idea to do the lower body color in satin. I wish I had realized that before I bought a quart of my white satin trim when I ran out of it for the other rooms. I would have bought a gallon. Oh well.

I really don't want to add another color in the mix. I love how Honeymoon works with the off-nearly-white. I have them now in my living room and hallway. In that link you sent that is exactly what I've got going and I love it. My kitchen is an orangey-clay color (Potters Clay), so my overall theme is to be consistent and simple in the rest of the rooms and not have so many different colors (like I used to do!)

So I think I'm now convinced to cover the existing bottom red with white (satin) and do the honeymoon on top.

Thanks, ladies!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 11:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dawnp

Wendy,

Here is a photo of my dining room with the lower half white.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

that looks nice. Well, if you can do it with a strong color like that, I can certainly do it with a lighter tone. I'm anxious to do it now.

I think the molding is mandatory though. I think the white on the bottom would look odd without it.

I found a step-by-step tutorial on the molding. Looks pretty do-able. I'm kinda handy with that stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to install picture frame molding

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dawnp

Wow, Wendy. That's great that you can do it yourself and those instructions are great It's good that you found them.

"Honeymoon" is a really nice color and it will be beautiful.

I actually am tired of the red and want to change it to a caramel color sometime in the next year or so.

Please keep us posted on your progress!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Boopadaboo

Wendy, I completely agree the molding makes a difference when putting the lighter color on the bottom. I can't wait to see how yours turns out. I would love to put some in my current house.

In my last house I did white on the bottom and caramel on the top.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
territ

Boopadaboo love the look of your dining room. What colors on ceiling and upper walls?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Boopadaboo

thanks territ. It is Bungalow Gold from Lowes Eddie Bauer Paint collection.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 4:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
beekeeperswife

Thanks for those instructions, Wendy. We are planning on doing that in our dining room too.

I like the way the rooms look with the dark on top. The woman at the paint store thought I was nuts.

Here's mine:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

I love seeing all these dining rooms. Thanks for posting. I love them all. Is that a chocolate brown or maroon?

Mine is underway. I've primed over the red. I bought the bottom white paint today in satin, so I am committed now. I just got back molding shopping. I brought home 3 different styles to try them out. I've narrowed it down to 2.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

I just took this pic to show a friend and thought I would post an update.

This is just a dry fit with tape only. The glueing comes next. I wanted to at least get this one long wall done so I can move the hutch back in place and fill it before I proceed around the rest of the room. All the hutch stuff is in the kitchen driving me crazy!!!!

I was a bit unsure how the molding would look with different spaces next to the heater baseboard compared to the trim baseboard. So I was anxious to see it in reality and its no big deal after all.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jo99

Dawnp,
Wow, I love the red color of your dining room. Can you tell me what paint you used? It looks a lot like the paint I am considering, Sherwin Williams Bravado Red.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
charlieinnj

Looking good, Wendy! You're making great progress.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

Okay, I'm done. I love it. Still tweaking accessories. Open to any accessory suggestions.

More pics at link From DR Before & After

Here is a link that might be useful: DR Before And After Pics

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dawnp

Congratulations Wendy! It looks great! What an improvement and I am SO impressed with your carpentry skills!!

Jo99 - I'm sorry I did not see your request earlier. We were away on vacation when you posted and it slipped by. It's Ralph Lauren (Home Depot) Balmoral Red.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prill

Wendy - that looks wonderful. What a fun and rewarding project. well done.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kitchenkelly

That is so lovely!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jlc712

Gorgeous room. That is a very well done project, and I am jealous of your carpentry skills!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loribee

Oh my gosh, it looks fabulous!!!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonnieann925

Amazing job on the mouldings, which totally transforms this room from "country" to a much more sophisticated, traditional look. You did a great job!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cooperbailey

I agree!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
WendyB

thanks so much everyone.

The carpentry was incredibly easy. Just a simple miter box and careful planning, measuring, leveling, gluing, nailing, filling, etc. I got a thin molding because (1) it seemed the right scale for the existing chair rail and (2) it would be easier to cut and (3) thinner is cheap! only 30 cents a foot. (so I got plenty of extra for mistakes and waste)

You can do it too!!!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Boopadaboo

Looks amazing. You did a fabulous job. The paint color is lovely.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:19PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help: Photo Shoot at MY house THIS week!
I could really use your help. The local home magazine...
soonermagic
Open Floor Plans: Will The Pendulum Eventually Swing The Other Way?
What do you think? Yes, I realize that there are many...
Lynn
Another example of a small house - living kinda big
This just happened to come across my view this morning...
steph2000
Talking of airbnb, white walls, and Paris....
I'd move into this apartment in a heartbeat. And, no,...
nosoccermom
Question for Deee and anyone with honed black granite
I was all set to put honed granite on my island, but...
grapeleaves
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™