Why just white?

Why just white?

I’m having another moment of design evolution.  When we first bought our home in 2011 I thought the only way to make a room look good was to have crisp white trim.

White Trim


I think I assumed it was the rule to prettiness.  I’m pretty sure I pinned the above picture on Pinterest at the time as well.  And why wouldn’t I?  It’s beautiful!

Something happened over the past year, though, and my personal style has changed. I love this board showing different styles.  Which style fits your taste the best?Design style(source)

I most definitely had the biggest draw to the eclectic look. I love that it looks unique.  I feel like I would be relaxed and comfortable in that room, and that it would be a room that no one else has.  I never in a million years would have thought I’d describe my taste as “eclectic”.  But, what the hay…I guess I’m just a little wild! (bazinga)

Back to trim:  If not white, then what?  Well, to that I say, anything!  Blue, green, gray, mocha–why not?!

My first step in to this non-white trim world is in the new office.  I finished painting it over the weekend and it’s a monochromatic greige room–I can’t wait for the room to be finished and post a reveal!  This is what the room looks like right now.  It’s a mess, but what mid-renovation room isn’t?

Office in Progress

Oh! Side note:  I bought a new light fixture for the room today!  You didn’t think I was keeping that chandelier up did you?  It doesn’t exactly scream “masculine office”. I’ll write about that more later.

Painting the office trim a color other than white gave me the courage I needed to move forward and dare step outside the box of white trim.  Why is it a scary feeling when you do something different than the norm?  I think it’s just going from a “safe” choice to something that might be more unique and not as aesthetically pleasing to every eye. But come on, folks!  You only live once!  I know I’m only talking paint, but take chances. Be a little daring.


Beautiful black.

It doesn’t look dark and gothic.

It gives me a feeling of luxury when in a high gloss finish, but it gives me a different feeling of funky when in a flat finish.

These pictures are giving me the inspiration to take the black trim upstairs to the bedroom!  Hellllllo luxurious, romantic bedroom! (TMI?)

Black trim


Black trim

(from Pinterest. Source not linked.)

Black trim

(from Pinterest. Source not linked.)

Let’s see if I can pull this one off without reeking of Kardashian-ness!

So what says you?  Yay or nay to non-white trim?

31 responses to “Why just white?”

  1. I love the black trim. Came over from YHL and also am in mid-kitchen reno. The end result will look similar to yours including the torquay and planked walls (also doing a plank ceiling) I was looking for a reasonably priced subway tile, can I ask where you found such a great bargain? Thanks! Oh, and was laughing at the World Market birthday coupon, I just did (or didn’t 😉 ) do the exact same thing. ha! …for some french bistro counter stools. They have some great furniture. Love your style!

    • Hey Meggan–we go the tile at Floor & Decor Outlet in Atlanta. We get practically everything from them that’s flooring and tiling related.
      I’d love to see your finished kitchen!

      • Thanks! I’ll check them out online because it’s a little far from MN, ha! I’m hoping the kitchen turns out as well as it looks in my head 🙂 Yours was great inspiration…maybe I’ll stop back with pics.

  2. I love black trim! I think it looks so warm and elegant at the same time. Plus, a black windowsill won’t show the dust and grime as much 😉
    This is my first visit to your blog, love it!

  3. I came over from YHL, too! Love your blog and the style of your house.
    As for the trim, I would say “do it”. It really goes with the masculine theme. But I’m not sure how it blends with the brown of the desk. I’m not very fond of the color combination, but it might be cool nevertheless. 😉
    Greetings from Germany!

  4. I love the look of colored trim (especially black). The only thing that holds me back (aside from the fact that I rent and can’t paint- ha!) is how it ties in to the rest of the house. I’m sure there’s a good way to make it work, I just haven’t dug around much since there’s no paint in my own future. But I totally say go for it!

  5. Hi Emily! I stopped by from YHL and might have gotten a little caught up in reading past posts. Promise I’m not a creepy stalker, but I love your style! Our old house had natural wood trim, painted cream trim and painted dark brown trim. In other words, it was a mess. I was never a fan of the painted brown, but I do love dark trim when it’s done tastefully. Maybe TMI as well – but do you want the windows and/or doors to be the focal point in your bedroom? If you paint them dark, I’d personally want to leave the windows pretty bare to make them a focal point. And I’m not sure that’s such a great idea in the bedroom. What fun is having them stand out if you’re constantly covering them up? What about a spare bedroom that doesn’t get as much…ahem..action. Or the new office? I feel like such a Debbie Downer! Or maybe you have awesome inspiration photos of the black trim with beautiful window treatments that I’ve completely missed. And it just hit me – what about shutters? Okay, I’m stopping there. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  6. The black trim really makes the space pop! And honestly, if you paint something and it doesn’t turn out as you envisioned it, it’s only paint, you can always change it!


  7. I love my white trim… and walls….. however really appreciate the beauty of coloured trim as well! I do have a black interior door and may paint them all that way? But the outside trim is white. lol. Go for it… your black trim will look stunning!

  8. While house hunting last year we fell in love with a house that had grayish trim throughout. It was beautiful and interesting. Love the contrasting paint on your kitchen window trim. Just pinned it!

  9. I notice in your before pictures that your trim actually started off as wood toned?? At least in your kitchen? Our house has oak trim on the main floor and white upstairs and down (it was that way when we moved in a year ago), and I’ve been wanting to tackle the trim, not because I hate it as much as I thought I would. (Initially, it was the first thing that I wanted to tackle in the house, because I thought it limited my wall color options too much, but I put it off, not wanting to take on such a big project, and kind of pretended that it didn’t exist. And, like I said, I don’t actually hate it as much as I thought I would.) But I’m ready for a change, mostly because I’d love to paint our interior doors something other than oak. So, I’m kind of interested in how you went about changing out your old trim…..Did you paint it? Or replace it? I’m worried about the durability of painting the trim due to our 4 kids who seem to destroy everything in sight…..If it’s painted, how’s it holding up?

    • You’re right..the entire downstairs was stained wood. My best tip for painting over it is thin coats of KILZ. For most of the trim I did 2-3 thin coats of KILZ and then 2 more coats of white, semi-gloss, high quality paint. It’s held up perfectly so far! It’s been about a year and a half and there are no chips or peeling.

  10. Emily – I had to come over from YHL and say how much I loved your kitchen makeover. Absolutely stunning!

    We also bought a late 80’s fixer upper – screaming “update me please” with complete with hideous wallpaper and brass lighting fixtures with smoked plate glass! A lot has changed in the nearly three years since and we’re just preparing to write about it.

    Aside from the luscious light fixture over your dining table, I really love the fact that you went with two colors for your cabinets. I *almost* did in our reno and now I kind of wish I had!

    Kudos on a fabulous job.

    I can’t wait to look around here a little more.

  11. White trim is classic, though a shiny BLACK trim would be pretty unique va va voom twist. I’m looking fwd to seeing the office reveal (bookmarking ur blog now). And yep, a messy room is def a sign of a room that is a work in progress – have FUN transforming it!!

  12. I love black for trim! White is crisp but black is a bit more sophisticated. My first choice is stained wood but that isn’t always an option obviously.

  13. You have amazing taste. What paint color is the greige you used in the office? I love it. Thanks to Young House Love for letting me discover your fantastic blog. Sue

  14. I love the idea of doing something different with the trim. I’m currently working on painting my trim a greige colour a few shades darker than my walls. One interesting idea out paint store suggested was to paint the darker trim colour glossy, and our walls matte to create higher interest in the monochromatic scheme, and also to reflect an draw attention to the beautiful light coming in our windows. Can’t wait to see your office makeover.

    • Ha— that’s exactly what I did. Flat on the walls and semi-gloss on the trim. Not only does it look good, it’s also practical. I’d never put a flat paint on trim. But if I could do it over I’d actually go with high gloss!

  15. I think black trim is so classic and beautiful! I am painting my doors black right now…pretty excited about it! Love love your kitchen too! Have a great week!

  16. Just coming across this post via pintrest wife email. I know it was long ago, but do you recall what the flooring color and name is upstairs. We are in the process of a remodel and that is the exact plank color we are going for and having a hard time finding. Thanks in advance

  17. I have colored walls, dark wood floors, and white trim. Decided to paint all of the doors black. Wow, what a difference. It added so much to each of the rooms. It’s stunning. My husband thought I was nuts when I told him what I wanted to do but he too loves the look.

  18. What is the wall paint color in the upstairs hallway picture? Beautiful. The pic at the top of your blog – the one with some circle mirrors hanging on those beautiful walls!

  19. What color are the walls in the first picture of the hallway? I really like the warmth of the picture.

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