Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Reader Question: Can I Mix Trim Colors?

It's time for another reader question!  Today I'm tackling Erin's question about trim colors.  She and her boyfriend are in the process of buying a home (yay!) and her future abode is sporting lots and lots of not-so-chic oak trim.  Here's the picture of her space and her dilemma:

All the trim in this house is oak.  I want to update it and paint it white but I also love the look of black trim, especially on windows and doors.  We have sliding French doors on the back of the house that I really want black.  But I want the rest of the trim to be white. Would it look okay to mix and match the two???

Mixing trim colors can be tricky.  Similar to open floor plan homes, it can be difficult to know where to end one color and start another.  But that shouldn't stop you from experimenting with trim colors in self contained rooms especially if you've got some really fabulous trim that could use highlighting.  

As far as I'm concerned, Erin's situation is very clear cut - paint all that trim white and paint the doors BUT NOT THE CASINGS black.  The casing is what actually meets up with the trim so by leaving them white you create a seamless look with the rest of the white trim but still get the drama and impact of a gorgeous black door.

It can look REALLY amazing, especially when there are hints of black throughout the room.  See...



It also doesn't have to be black.  Here the windows and doors are a pretty gray while the rest of the trim and casings are white. 

Here's the opposite effect - painting all the trim AND casings black.  I'm not as big a fan of this look.  Bold, yes...but it feels like someone went over the windows with a big, fat Sharpie or something.

This same thing can apply to windows - white trim, white casings, black window.

Some simple Photoshop work gives you an idea of what Erin's back wall will look like with white trim and black doors. 


So Erin I say paint away!  Those French doors are so fabulous, they will totally transform the space once they're black and immediately draw your eye outside. 

If you have a question or design dilemma irking you, drop me an email at honeyandfitz (at) yahoo (dot) com.  I love a challenge and I love searching out pictures to help inspire you to tackle the issue and make your space the best it can be.