dark trim, light walls: do you dare?

Last week, I visited a new client's home with certain expectations about the space I was about to see. I knew I was going to a townhouse in a stylish, high-end new development. You know, the kind that's called Newbury Farms or Partridge Hill and has huge stonework pillars outside and a gate to make you feel like you're entering a private community (when in fact the gate is never closed and you never need to get buzzed in). The outside had some style, with a pleasing mix of siding and faux-stone facing, but it still looked like a pretty typical New England "luxury" condo project.

What I didn't expect to see when I actually got inside the unit was the reversal of the typical painting plan you see in most new construction these days. So, beige walls and white trim were out the window. Instead I saw this very pretty scheme of ivory walls with sage painted trim. How unexpected and lovely!

I love the way the warm tan color of the limestone tile surround looks against this soft green. So unpredictable! A white mantel and trim just wouldn't have this impact. And check out how great the door looks below.

Dark paint + light walls feels very traditional and is a really fantastic way to instantly bring some timeless style and a sense of history to new construction.


The green trim even looks great against the wood floor.

Painted trim has a long history. It's classic New England and yet still very relevant today. As evidenced below. Black and white--classic and modern.


Turquoise looks bold and very today. Imagine if the walls had been painted turquoise. That would have been too much in my opinion. Instead, the teal is just a pop, a highlight around the room.

Kimberly Coleman bedroom via High Heeled Foot in the Door

High wainscoting and thick moldings add to the impact here.


This one's subtle, with the fireplace painted a slightly deeper neutral shade than walls.

House Beautiful

And grey, classic grey that is totally now too.

House Beautiful

I like this look. It has such impact. But I'm on the fence about doing this in my own house since the walls are all pretty much painted and the trim is all white. Maybe I could try it in a space yet to be finished, like the dream laundry room. But are you feeling brave? Do you have a room you could envision doing this in?

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