Incorporating Rustic/Country Style into Brick Colonial

ShariLouWhoMay 25, 2014

We are in the process of purchasing a very traditional brick Colonial that we absolutely fell in love with. This wasn't at all what we'd pictured for ourselves (we were thinking more along the lines of a farmhouse/lodge/etc. type home). The home is much larger than our current home, so we know additional furniture will be necessary, but I'm at this point trying to figure out how much we want to do as far as painting, etc., which of course is easier to do prior to move-in.

There are great features in the home, and looooots of wood: crown, chair and baseboards, tongue & groove paneling on the bottom half of the wall in the family room (like where wainscoting would be, not the entire wall), wood "slat" ceiling, if that makes sense, in the sunroom, and of course hardwood floors. It's a LOT of wood, and it's so gorgeous that I hesitate to paint it. On the other hand, it's a LOT of wood, so much so that it's almost overwhelming.

The kitchen is updated, but again, wood cabinets, trim, floors, etc. The dining room has painted wainscoting, chair, crown, baseboards, etc., and I like the look, although I think I might like it better with a bit more contrast.

Help!

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Olychick

Do you have some pics you could post so people will better be able to respond to any specific questions you might have, or at least see it to be able to make suggestions?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 1:09PM
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tibbrix

My (farmhouse) was ALL pine when I bought it. Every ceiling and floor. It was overwhelming. I had the same intuitive reservations, though, about painting wood. However, when you think about it, it's generally wood that is painted!

What I did was decide how I wanted to feel in each room. If I wanted a room to be warmer and cozier, I left the wood ceiling as it was (dining room and winter living room). If I wanted it cooler and more airy and to more reflect a beachy feel, I painted the ceilings in BM White Dove (Master bedroom, kitchen, master bathroom). I left beam unpainted.

I love it. It's just the right balance.

In a Colonial, you have a lot of choices. Benjamin Moore now has a Colonial Williamsburg Collection of paint colors. You can check it out, look at examples of how they're used on woodwork, furniture, etc., and Google Colonial Williamsburg to look at those houses and the colors.

Typically, they had white walls with the wood trim - doors, fireplaces surrounds and mantels, windows - painted.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 1:52PM
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kswl2

Pictures needed :-)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 5:23PM
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louislinus

We are living parallel lives! I just sold my old farmhouse and am moving to a much larger brick colonial. I also never saw myself in a colonial but we love it! I've decided to go with the more formal feeling of the colonial and use it as an opportunity to buy.all.the.things. Lol

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 6:55PM
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lavender_lass

Paint the kitchen! It's wood cabinets, trim and floor. Paint the cabinets and see if you like it. I'm guessing a Colonial would have the kitchen separate from most of the rest of the home...so an easy room for a change.

If you love it, paint some more rooms. If you love it for the kitchen, but can't picture it for the other rooms...watch some Rehab Addict on HGTV. Nicole will have you loving that wood! :)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:41PM
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chucksmom

Please re-think how much you want to paint before moving in.
I know it's tempting and much easier before but you won't know how the house "moves" and the light reflects until you're in the house a while. It's one thing to "freshen" up the walls, clean up/refinish the wood floors, etc. but making a major decision like painting the wood might be a mistake. I remember years ago a woman was bound and determined to paint her new bathroom black and did so before moving in. Much to her dismay, even though there was a window, it let in very little natural light and the bathroom always seemed like a dungeon. Painting over the black wasn't easy but getting the wood stripped-NIGHTMARE! Please think this over....

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:56PM
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lazy_gardens

Rustic / Country would be easy to do. It sounds like the house has good trim already.

True "colonial" houses, except for the ultra rich, tended to be simply furnished with one showy piece or an entire room if they could afford it. The parlor or the dining room would be all velvet and mahogany and the rest much simpler.

Just stay away from formal colonial styles and finishes - instead of glossy mahogany buy matte-finished pine or painted pieces. Instead of damask or toile draperies, use plain linen or simple checks and stripes.

Instead of gilt mirror frames, use dark stained or natural wood.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 1:28PM
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ShariLouWho

(pics removed since we did not end up purchasing the home)

Thanks so much, everyone! For some reason I wasn't getting the emails stating that I had replies, so didn't check back sooner. I can post photos - it looks like you can only post one at a time?

I love the Benjamin Moore Colonial Williamsburg collection! And since we live less than a half hour away from CW, it's very fitting as well. In fact, I've walked/driven through the area several times lately just getting a feel for others' decorating style.

@jaysmom49, thank you for your advice re: not painting prior to moving in. Given what you've said, we've decided to follow it!

(front of home pic incl gratuitous shot of our Realtor LOL!)

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:27

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:26PM
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ShariLouWho

wood in kitchen, including brick arch

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:28

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:30PM
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ShariLouWho

living room

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:35

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:31PM
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ShariLouWho

close-up of living room paneling

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:29

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:32PM
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ShariLouWho

sunroom

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:38

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:37PM
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ShariLouWho

I will stop with the pics, but let me know if you need more - I have plenty. As you can see, the seller's furnishings are very traditional, while ours are more rustic in nature (think World Market, Pottery Barn, etc.).

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:39PM
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nosoccermom

I'd check out Young House Love. Their house looked similar when they started.
I'd probably paint the pine wainscoting in the LR, ditto the ceiling molding unless it's nice wood, also probably the fireplace brick.

Kitchen before and after

Before/after

Here is a link that might be useful: Young House Love

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 8:33AM
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ShariLouWho

You're right, their home is very similar. I just don't know about painting the brick, because then I think I'd need to paint the arch as well. I just don't know. I think that I personally would love it all painted, but since decorating trends come & go so frequently, I don't want to do something that isn't reversible. And all of the trim, paneling, etc. is nice wood, which I love, but it makes the decision even harder! If it was just el cheapo trim, I wouldn't be having near the same difficulty in decision making.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 9:19AM
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ShariLouWho

And now I'm wondering whether we should consider staining the wood darker instead?? I think it would go well with the hickory floors. Although I also must ask, is that any easier to change than paint? I'm seriously a newbie at all of this.

And then if we did, that would beg the question of what to do w/the wood on the sunroom ceiling & built-in.

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:31

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:00AM
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nosoccermom

Honestly, I wouldn't paint or stain the wood in the sun room but just pick a lighter wall paint color. Or if pressed, I'd look into a more English/scrubbed pine look for the built-ins. I don't know how difficult it is to bleach pine. There was a thread in kitchens on silver grayish kitchen cabinets (by feisty) and products and techniques were discussed.

Agree to take it easy on painting the wood but rather lighten with wall paint, furniture, lights, curtains, rugs, etc. Oh, and give it a good cleaning for starters.

Google Scandinavian design and pine/fir.

Here is a link that might be useful: silver grey stain

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Ew-whee! I'd paint that sun room! Even the ceiling. I would wait on the rest of the house as much of it looks like it would be easy to work with, esp with your style as you describe it. But that sun room is dark...just what it shouldn't be. But you have time to live with it for awhile before making any decisions. Esp if you don't have the furniture to fill it. I always think it best to wait and live with it and see how it works for you....but for me, that'd be the first room I'd have at....

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:14AM
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nosoccermom

Gauzy white sheers for starters and creamy white walls. Is the ceiling really as dark as it looks?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:21AM
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madeyna

I would paint the roof of the sunroom and leave everything else for now.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:34PM
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ShariLouWho

LOVE the gauzy white sheers. Adding that to my idea book for sure.

That ceiling is maybe not *quite* as dark as it appears in that pic, but it's pretty dark. And they used flat paint on the walls, so that sucks additional light from the room. I'm not a fan of that blue-green shade regardless, so that's a must-paint room. It's just a question of how much.

And see how all the wood tends toward an orange-y tinge? I'm really not a fan of that at all, and I worry that using light, cool colors will clash horribly.

I'd really love a grey wall paint color, but I'm not sure how well it would blend with all the wood. And for furniture, we're looking at the white slipcovered pieces at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.

Here's a pic of the arch under the front porch; it's the same material as used in the sunroom ceiling.

I truly love the silver grey look that nosoccermom is describing - in fact, I took a photo of a piece of furniture at World Market like it earlier, just to figure out how to reproduce that stain look. I would love it for our kitchen cabinets as well! Ah, I love all these ideas - thanks, y'all, and keep 'em coming!

This post was edited by ShariLouWho on Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 19:32

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 11:29PM
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musicteacher

I love your brick. Please don't paint it! That is a beautiful house and it makes me want to move to that area.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 12:40AM
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aktillery9

If it were me, I would paint the wood slats on the lower half of the wall in a nice white or cream. I would consider painting the beadboard in the same color. I would leave the brick and live with it before doing anything drastic. I think it is a lovely home, but just needs to be lightened up with paint.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:51AM
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ShariLouWho

Thanks to both of you! And no, painting the brick isn't an option. I considered it, but I find the arch to be such a focal point & an integral part of the home that I don't want to paint it, and I think painting the fireplace but not the arch would be odd. I have considered framing out a (removable) white surround for the fireplace, maybe something similar to the one linked here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our Fifth House Screened Porch Fireplace

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 11:51AM
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