Share your rooms with dark wood trim and molding...

jill249September 7, 2009


I am looking for some inspiration for paint and a color scheme to go with the dark wood molding and trim in our new house. I usually love thick white trim and molding, but this new place has dark molding, trim and doors all over the first floor. Painting it white is NOT an option because it's actually really beautiful, just not what I am used to.

I am a total decorating moron, so I am looking for some pics or ideas on a color scheme for the first floor. I am not a fan of anything too warm, peachy or pink. Below are some pics of the house on the day we closed. We have engineered Brazilian cherry floors and a very neutral ceramic in the kitchen. I haven't yet selected a carpet for the family room (with the fireplace) because I am trying to pin down the rest of the color scheme.

Sorry this is soooo long but I have never had this much space to decorate. It's beginning to seem like a daunting task at this point. But I am very excited and am looking forward to the help and suggestions from this forum.



Family Room

From Living Room into Dining Room

Breakfast Nook

Kitchen from nook

Entryway (ignore my mom :)

Dining Room (the seller took all the fixtures and messed up a lot of walls...)

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I have dark trim, but it would not be inspiring for you. :)

If you do a search in this forum for "wood trim", you might find some pictures. ttodd has some lovely rooms with wood trim, you could search for her posts as well. There are some others but they're not coming to my sleep-deprived mommy-brain at the moment.

FWIW, I have a light yellow sort of color and I do not like the stark contrast with the dark trim. In my next go-round, I will pick darker wall colors. Then again, others prefer the contrast to accentuate the woodwork. So if specific colors have you overwhelmed, you could start by thinking about light and dark and which you like better.

I so know what you mean about it seeming daunting. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 2:38PM
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Here are some of mine. The good the bad and the 'What was I thinking?'. We have dark wood throughout the downstairs and upstairs is painted white by PO. I've been through a gazillion colors and the best that I've found w/ dark wood are mid range colors or colors darker than the trim. Or really rich (not glaringly bright) lighter colors. Usually if I use a lighter wall color I go for a darker ceiling color but that's my penchant for some drama.

Sorry for all of the dupes.


Past Greens:

A horrid brown:

A simple off-white but w/ a blue ceiling:

A great rich cream:

Past Blues:

Past Browns:

Past Yellows:

Past Greys:

A red:

A breakdown:

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 4:34PM
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LOL!! Don't know about anyone else but I loved that little trip through Color Changes by ttodd!!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 5:35PM
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I am facing exactly the same issue right now. In fact, our trim looks a lot like yours. I would also love to paint it all white, however, there are practically brand new vinyl replacement windows throughout our house, and you can't paint that stuff, unfortunately.

In our testing with samples, we have found the greens and yellows look better than blues and beiges. We don't get a lot of natural light, though, so I'm sure that makes a difference.

I'm looking forward to all the great responses, and appreciate all of ttodd's photos!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 7:30PM
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I loved that trip through Color Changes by ttodd too -- and the colors were all so beautiful! Lovely home, ttodd.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 8:41PM
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Thank you for all of the photos. I did a search and wasn't coming up with much other than people painting their dark wood and that is not something I want to do, so this is a huge help.

ttodd, I really appreciate all of the photos you posted. You seemed to have done very color I was considering at one point. I especially like how the greens looks with the trim. Your trim and molding has such character.

kimberlyrkb...we have the same window issue. But I am growing to like the idea of the darker trim because it's different. I have been leaning toward SW Svelte Sage for the entry and family room, so it is good to know that greens and yellows look better. I am going to paint some foam board and hang it a few places. I am just so bad with color...

I do like how the pale blues look with ttodd's trim, though. There is also a ton of natural light in the place, so I am hoping that opens up the color option more. I think the issues then becomes light vs. dark...I'll probably come somewhere in the middle.

Thanks again for the posts!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 8:45PM
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If you have a lot of natural light, I think the pale blues could look terrific! Svelte sage is also a beautiful color. We currently have BM Dry Sage in our bedroom, and while it's a great color, it's just too dark in there as there is NO natural light - very depressing in the winter, when we have more grey days than sunshine.

Trying samples on foam board is a great idea. I've been bringing the large samples home from the local Benjamin Moore dealer a few days each week and I haven't even gotten to the point of choosing paints I would like to sample! Although...we may like Filtered Sunlight for our bedroom.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Not my room but I think it's gorgeous

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 4:07AM
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Oh I LOVE that room! Where did you find it? Anymore? Am I asking too many questions? SAVE ME!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 8:16AM
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I have 100 year old trim that I just finished stripping and restaining. I have a pale yellow sitting room that is very close to the picture just posted and I love it. I also just painted the dining room a mid-range blue that leans toward lavendar and it looks awesome. The little bit of red in the blue makes the deep wood stain just sing! Sorry I don't have pictures, but I just finished this project last weekend.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 11:46AM
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Wow ttodd, I am tired just thinking about all the painting you've done.

I was looking around and trying to see why the dark trim works and thinking about ttodd's rooms and I think it's that the furniture and fixtures have dark accents to balance the trim. I'm not saying you have to go dark with everything, but even if you go with white or light upholstered pieces, for example, then do dark legs.

You have a lovely home. Enjoy decorating it and, of course, post pics for us to enjoy.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 9:05PM
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I just finished painting my family room last week and it took me almost a month to find the perfect color, not too dark not too light, I though my husband was going to divorce me, in fact he said I must commit otherwise he just didnt want to talk to me until I did. Well I chose BM powell buff. What a beautiful color. I do however get a lot of light but I have a triple slider, triple window, 2 double window and one single, with dark wood surrounding them all. I just think it makes the room look very classic and I wouldnt think of painting the wood. We are ALL very happy with the color. When painting please wait 2 days or so, the color will be more true. Good luck, and dont paint the wood it is absolutely beautiful!!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Saw you were considering svelte suede-just a note to say that is the color we used in our bedroom, with oak trim. Looks good to me. This was also recommended by my decorator friend. Other colors that have looked good with the trim is gold-the blond paint and all the ones on that color strip. Another decorator friend told me greens and blues work well with that oak trim, but that I need to be careful with red. Wish i could post a pix...not that savvy yet!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Hi, here is a picture of my family room that has similar molding. I spoke to a designer who said that greens and greyish blues work well with dark molding. I am going to try the grey in our living room and will post that later. Sorry this is so late!

I just realized I have no idea how to post a picture on here but you can see it at the link below along with other pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Thanks for all of the really nice comments! I'm glad you could all share in my walk down Color Mania Drive!

I was inspired bt Texas Hottie to try the richer grey/ browns and go back to black (someday I'll get my black kitchen painted!). I really like it alot but I must admit that I miss my Baby Turtle LR!

And then I see that htnspz posted and I just drool and am glad I went rich neutral!

PS - I sampled Powell Buff a long time ago and I agree it was really pretty!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:50PM
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Here's my 3/4 bath that we've remodeled. It's a 70's Tudor style house that had dark paneling and dark trim throughout. I've painted some, but here I kept the molding and just caulked and papered over the paneling. I applied gel stained to the molding to make it darker and richer, which I really like. Above the chairrail is LA Gold (3 or 4, I'd have to look at the can to remember), and the bottom is a very subtle animal print wallpaper in a golden camel color.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 9:42AM
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I have one room in my house (1920s bungalow) that still has all its stained wood trim. If I can give one bit of advice it is the dark trim is going to make your paint look way different then it looks with white. This yellow I really loved in another room with white trim. In here it looked like Velveeta cheese. Here is the only picture of it I could find (It only lasted a year)

I finally settled on an off white. I'm not a big fan of white rooms but I can live with this:

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Gorgeous room Amy! Love the dogs too.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 2:59PM
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ttodd: Love your pictures! I think you have painted more than I have and that is saying a lot. (only mine was in 5 different houses) Beautiful, I love that you have tried so many different colors. What colors are your grays. The lighter one by the fireplace and the one in the bedroom and also the darker one by the computer? I have lighter wood trim, wish it was darker or white. I am finally realizing I need a cool color on the walls, a warm fights it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 8:44PM
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Almost all the trim in our house is dark wood. I like white painted trim, but the stain is so much easier to take care of, and I think it adds character to the house (which was built in 1950).

Here's the basement room, with a knotty pine wall, that I just painted a rich orange:

Bedroom and bath in a lavender (BM Enchanted):

Living room is off white painted by the POs (can't decide what color to paint; am thinking a gold):

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 10:48AM
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Amy - care to share your final color that you ended up w/? The off-white looks lovely - especially in that last pic.

Ojoy: here are the greys listed top to bottom:

Bedroom main part:
SW Requisite Gray
Alcove where you catch a small glipmse: SW Backdrop

Middle pic (brownish grey):
old Martha Stewart line from SW: Thunderhead in room
Hall: MS Sandpiper

Last rm. pics (dark grey):
Valspar (I think - def. from Lowes) High Speed Steel

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 2:22PM
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ttod the color is cinnamon cake by behr.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 7:03PM
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