Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Contrast in context...choosing trim colors

Sometimes, you can get so excited once you have found the perfect paint color for you walls that you can completely forget to take into account coordinating your trim (baseboards, chair-rail, and crown moulding).

A few posts back I wrote about color, and how it magically changes dependent upon the light conditions of the room and with the placement of other colors next to it here:


Most likely, the trim in your room is your basic white...designed to be inconspicuous...until you decide to pick a bold dramatic color for impact.  Now suddenly that white trim around the doors is glaringly white!  You no longer really see the bold color...just the contrast! 

Now...don't get me wrong...I love contrast...in context.

What do I mean by that?  Well, consider what else you have in your room.  White trim and bold colors will work well in a sunny room filled with light wicker furniture but, if the furniture in the room is heavy and dark and your have perhaps wrought iron table lamps and dark wood furnishings...you might want to consider the opposite of white and go for a dramatic black.

Like this example of black trim used in an entertainment room:

If black is too big of a leap for you…or if you have mid-toned furnishings (oak for instance) you could consider trim in the same color family just a few shades lighter or darker. If conventional white still is your top pick…this is okay… 99% of the homes I visit (and some of the rooms in my own) utilize white for the trim color. But consider this…white is a color…so, is your existing white trim the right white?

Yes, white is a color with cool tones and warm tones. Warm tones generally have a hint of yellow in them and cool shades a bit of blue. So if the white trim in your room isn’t quite feeling right, you may need to experiment with a warmer or cooler shade.

Embrace color, this includes the color white….and experiment.
(and just for giggles try saying "right white" fast five times)

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