To paint or not to paint? The wood trim conundrum

More than once I have been posed the question of how to make a home look fresh and modern when it is accented – or filled -with wood trim.  These days magazines are full of homes with doors, trims, moulding, banisters, and mantles all in white.  I won’t lie, I love white, but I also love original details in a home.  If you just can’t bear the thought of painting over the wood trim in your home – put down the paintbrush!  Choose other aspects of the home and decor wisely, and your home can still look modern and fresh, not dowdy.

Gorgeous.  Notice the modern, crisp lines of the furniture and armchair?  The sleek drapery solution?  The chrome and glass brought in by the coffee table and the lamp?  All of these items counterbalance the dark, heavy feeling of the wood trim.  Fill this room with brocades and velvet drapes in burgundy and hunter greens and you have dowdy and dark.  Use the above picture as inspiration and you have something really charming and unique.

Above is an example of using stark contrast to make a room feel modern.  If you have really dark trim, try using creams (cool creams)  and whites in your space and call attention to the trim.  I wouldn’t recommend this if you have particularly small rooms, because it’s contrast that has more effect on whether a room feels large or small, not whether you paint it dark or light…IMHO.  This all adds up for a really glamorous feel. The glass chandelier adds a modern flair.

The above is probably my favorite example.  It’s another illustration of mixing modern elements, like the sofa and artwork, and paying homage to the original bones of the home – the fireplace surround and the moulding. The navy and honey color of the wood looks super chic.

Below are three other shots of the same home, a Bed Stuy brownstone.  I think it’s gorgeous.

I would shave my head for those doors.  Wouldn’t hesitate.
I highly recommend reading this post by Jessica of Decor Adventures  (Also the source of the two images above). She has done a great job making her home look fresh and modern while preserving the integrity of her 114 year old abode.

Another option – if you are a bit bolder, is to go for unconventional colors.  The bright rug and yellow-green chesterfield add enough funkiness to keep the space modern and not stuffy.

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