Wednesday, September 7, 2011

All the Trimmings

While painting our bathroom, we ended up getting a bit of paint on the trim. I didn't seem to think this was a problem, as I had a quart of white semi-gloss kicking around for touch ups. And what did we discover: the trim in our home is not white at all. The white touch up smudge stuck out like a sore thumb, and certainly made the trim look very creamy. White trim in a home is generally a fail-safe option. White goes with everything, and can accommodate almost any decor scheme. I'd even wager to guess that if you were to look around your settings, you'd find some bright white trim around you.

To contrast, in the Martha Stewart Living Paint brochure, out of the 8 different rooms she displays with her paint, not a single one of them is painted with white trim. Why is that? Is it just a devious ploy to get the consumer to buy more paint? Possibly. When I first entered the paint scene, I painted my office an autumn orange with black-brown door and trim in FLAT paint- big mistake. The paint claimed to be scrubbable, but it was like chalkboard paint on steroids- it would mark up just by looking at it!

I do think there's validity in painting the trim to coordinate with the room colors. I don't think it's always the best answer, but I do think that it adds a touch of thoughtfulness to the room, and incorporates a flow into all elements of the room, rather than promoting a jaded mismatch of random colors. I would especially recommend it if your home displays strong architectural features such as crown molding or wainscoting. But then, if you start to paint the trim a different color in one room, do you have to follow through and paint the trim in every room? How else can you maintain a sense of continuity throughout your home?

I'm also seeing another variation of this trend that's on the rise: painting the trim in the same color as the wall, but in a different sheen. From what I've seen of this, it tends to elongate the space in both width and height. It also can make your room accents pop, as they aren't competing with quite as many colors.

My verdict on this one is, if you can, do it! Choosing a different trim color (that goes well) will only soften the feel of a room and set yours apart from all the other ones that subscribe to a standard formula of plain white trim. 

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