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Old House Inspiration: Unpainted Wood Trim

From the glossy pages of magazines to the irresistible, infinite scrolling of Pinterest, one thing is clear: white trim reigns supreme in the decorating world. And for good reason. It can look as clean and crisp as it can cottage chic. It boasts versatility with different furnishings. It makes colors and hardwood floor really pop. (Above image: Houzz)

But in the lovely old house we'll soon be moving into, we'll be surrounded by unpainted wood trim – most of it original to the house. (Bits that aren't original are actually salvaged from houses of similar age/period.) And I couldn't be more thrilled about it. In fact, my heart breaks a little when I think about how someone painted the original trim in my Victorian apartment.
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Old trim and woodwork just has a certain warmth to it. An aged elegance and timeless charm. I won't be painting my walls bright coral or chartreuse green. While those bold hues might have worked well framed in white trim, I really want the trim itself to steal the spotlight rather than the walls. So I'm thinking: drizzly gray-tinged whites, rainy day sky blues, balanced greiges, dusty sea-foam greens, and some vintage-friendly whites and creams a la Rehab Addict Nicole Curtis.

Each day, I'll be sharing one sneak peek of our house on Instagram. And in the not-so-distant future, I'll be sharing more photos here on the blog. 

In the meantime, I've been scavenging Pinterest for paint color ideas that complement the natural beauty of unpainted wood trim. 

Martha Stewart

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I also love Decor Adventures blogger Jessica's post about Why I'll Never Paint Our Wood Trim. She pretty much sums up my feelings about beautiful old woodwork perfectly.


Olivia M. said…
While I do prefer white trim on the whole, I have a soft spot for original trim because of my current San Francisco apartment. The flat actually has both white and original trim (which is kind of frustrating!), but my bedroom is in the original part of the home. I ended up painting my walls a light gray that worked really nicely with the dark wood. (I chose a gray closer to the blue hue scale because my yellow ceiling light fixture would have made the walls look gray-green.)

Photos and paint info is on my blog, if you're looking for color inspiration! PS. I'm mad jealous about your new home! It looks...well, lovely :)
First of all, thank you for sending me in the direction of your blog! I love your style and I'm probably going to spend hours admiring your posts! :)

Second, thank your for the tip about choosing the right gray. And I love the tip on your blog about painting foam board first to see how the light makes paint look. Genius!
Carolyn said…
I'm going to say this in all caps so you understand how serious I am about this: WOOD TRIM IS THE BEST! It is my biggest home decor blog pet peeve when a designer goes into a home and paints perfectly lovely wood trim boring white. I wish people understood how hard that is to undo, just for a white trim trend.

Good for you, staying strong and keeping it natural.
Ange said…
What paint did you use on the walls of the dining room? (First picture on this post?)
Tara said…
We had lovely stained woodwork in our 1990’s home and did not want to paint it. We found a beautiful paint color that was a medium Frey with green undertones called Pewter Tankard from Sherwin Williams. It looks khaki tan against other greys and tans, but the greens came out in the evening indirect light. Absolutely loved it. I love stained wood and old woodwork; not a fan of the white so much. Your home will be beautiful!
Tara said…
* grey. Lol


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