Interior Design Question: Should Your Interior Trim Be White? | Rules of Renovation

In 2016, Benjamin Moore announced their color of the year. White!

Now that we’re heading toward the end of 2017, can we still consider white to be “in” or is it time to move on from this timeless look? What are the Rules of Renovation when it comes to painting your trim white?

These are good questions and ones that I’ve thought a lot about myself. After all, color (or the lack thereof) can have a real effect on the look and, more importantly, feel of a room. That’s why you want to get it right…even when it comes down to the small details such as the color of your trim.

White on White Walls: Usually a Design Disaster

Let’s get this straight. No one will look down on you or think you’re odd if you decide to trim your white walls in white. In fact, I’ve seen some very beautiful homes painted just like this and it works well for them. However, it’s a tricky look to pull off. Why? Because white on white is overkill. Most likely, this paint palette will wash out your room, projecting a sterile, laboratory feel rather than a cozy and flattering feel.

If you insist on going this route, your best bet for making it work is to install impressive hardwood flooring and big, ornate trim. Doing so will balance the starkness and add a shapely effect.

White on Dark Walls: A Dramatic Effect

If you have deep, dark walls, adding white paint to your trim work will add a sense of spaciousness and prominence to your room. If you want even more drama, use wide and white window and door casings.

White on Pale Walls: Naturally Bright

To increase the perception of space and lightness, bright white trim is the way to go. Especially when a high-gloss sheen is chosen, light will be reflected and bounced around the room. This will give you a natural-feeling, bright space.

Other Color Options for Trim

For lighter-colored walls, you have a variety of colors to choose from to get the look you want.

  • Pale Gray: This color will give soft dimension and gently break up the lines of the room.
  • Black: This is a classic, yet underused, trim color. The contrast it gives can be brilliant and lovely. To make sure it will work in your home, take a look at the flow of the trim installed throughout your home and make sure the stark contrast will look pleasing, not busy.
  • Bold Color: Don’t rule out giving your trim a little personality! You may find that a bright color gives just the right amount of warmth and cheer to your space.

When it comes to trim color, there can be a lot of confusion…but there doesn’t have to be. Afterall, it’s just paint. Even if you end up with a design disaster, all it takes is a can of paint to turn it into a design dream.