Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wall & Trim - Same Color?

image via Beach Bungalow8

Thank you to Beach Bungalow 8 for a post about the above demi lune table, noting that she was happy to see the wall and trim the same color. Her insightful response to a question I posted started me thinking about times when the better design choice would be to abandon the classic white/ivory trim and woodwork and opt for a more seamless, uniform look.

Before - my living room with trim in White Dove, Benjamin Moore
The white chairs seemed to emphasize the trim - which is very basic and very non-descript.

After - trim and wall Beacon Hill Damask, Benjamin Moore

I'm really pleased with the results. Our house is a 1950's ranch and except for a family room and office addition, the ceilings are 8 feet in height. As soon as the trim and wall were painted to match, the ceilings felt taller. So much so that I'm pondering painting the crown molding to match as a way of de-emphasizing it and also increasing the feeling of height. The crown molding is starting to feel out of place in this mid-century home. What do you think - should I paint the crown molding? Other thoughts on when it makes the best sense to have the wall and trim match?

*part way through my "photo shoot" I took the sconces off the fireplace wall. It took a photo to make me realize I didn't like them anymore! Wall (and the hurricane lamps) are looking a bit bare...

For contemplation, here are some more rooms with matching wall and trim color.

House Beautiful, Robert Goodwin designer. Per interview by Christoper Petkanas: "Goodwin painted the trim in the entry the same color as the walls. He prefers this modern-looking treatment to the tradition of painting it in a contrasting color."

Barbary Barry image via Alkemie

D Home Feb. 2008, design by Kelly Hardage, photography Timothy Kolk
The uniform color choice treats this elegant, clean lined entry table as sculpture.

Martha Stewart's Maine guesthouse Here it's all pink - even the crown molding with dentil trim and the formal fireplace surround and wall paneling.


whiletheynap said...

The color change in the base molding was definately a good choice. The fireplace stands out more. As for painting the crown molding, I would go for it.

Annie, bossy color said...

Hi, Michele! I agree w/ whiletheynap: the room benefits from the more uniform look of the same-color baseboard, so I would paint the crown moulding and window trim also. Leave the fireplace trim the contrasting off-white (White Dove is one of my favorite trim colors, also), or better yet, consider a new stone surround and wood mantle. Good luck!

pve design said...

Same color gives it a less formal feel. I do love white molding but in this case, paint it uniform to give height and a new stone for the fireplace to give it more of a modern lift.

beachbungalow8 said...

i would definitely paint the crown molding. i do love the feel of the same on same color. i think that it feels updated while being an old classic. we're all so used to the contrast that this treatment suddenly feels modern. i love it. do your crown and you're golden!

j u s t i m a g i n e said...

I'm not loving Martha's pink guestroom...that fireplace has some lovely detail that could have benefited from a touch of highlighting ....even if it was just with a half stength paint colour......but that's just me. On the other hand I love the Barbary Barry image - it totally works for me........but that's just me !!

LondonCalling said...

Great room, I like the change painting the baseboards made. I like your examples too but I don't think I would paint the crown molding the same color.

Be the change..... said...

definitely paint the crown, I think it will make the ceilings feel taller and will be more fitting to a 50's ranch! As it is now it seems to cut off the room like a belt. Leave the white around the fireplace though -that makes it POP!

annechovie said...

The room is looking beautiful! Love it! Yes, I would paint the moulding.

simply seleta said...

I'm sure this is tragically too late to comment. But I just found your blog.

Same color crown/wall color is most attractive when there are many architectural details wall. Such as the olive green Barbara Berry room you showed on this post. Notice all the molding there? Therefore, I would say the ultimate and ideal thing to do would be to add a chair rail with picture molding squares above and below the rail. It's a little carpentry work, but does wonders to blank walls. Then paint it all the same. It will look like a million bucks.

I did this to my dining room in Atlanta and it was spectacular. I can email you a picture. I selected the color "Dunmore Cream" of Benjamin Moore, a lovely and sophisticated butter yellow.

My Notting Hill said...

Simply Seleta - I'm a procrastinator so you're definitely not too late. I'm really intrigued by your idea (loved the Barbara Barry image) and would be very interested in having you email me your dining room picture - thanks! mynottinghill at

Frances said...

Leave the crown molding white and paint the ceiling in the same color as the walls or a shade lighter. I've seen it done on and it looks stunning!


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