Today’s Reader Question is from one of my past clients who has lots of natural oak wood trim throughout her home. There’s much debate in the interior design world about painting trim vs. leaving the natural wood, so if you’re in the natural wood camp (or can’t paint the trim due to renting), read on for suggestions on how to blend the wood color into the rest of your decor!
Our home is about 20 years old and has that orange, oak wood throughout our home. Many people are tired of that look and I get that! However, it doesn’t bother me too much and I don’t want to paint all my wood white which is what a lot of folks are doing these days. Personally, I love white walls and wood together. So, what can I do in my home to downplay or work with the wood that is everywhere—kitchen cabinets, bookcase, windows, bathrooms etc? What colors tone it down or blend with it?
I love this question, because I have a similar situation going on in our home! Our home was built in the 60’s and there’s lots of natural wood. When we painted all the walls, we decided to skip the trim (for now, at least), and I’m actually really liking the warmth that the wood brings to the space.
There are a couple ways that you can downplay or help your wood blend into your home.
Mix in other neutrals
Using neutrals that don’t have brown tones in your home is a great way to downplay the wood. So instead of using a white that has a creamy-yellow tone to it, opt for a cooler white. Grays, blacks, and navys all work great as well, and will tone the orangey wood color down.
Incorporate furniture and accents with different wood tones
When selecting photo frames, bookshelves, and other furniture, choose pieces that don’t have the same wood-tone as your trim. Whether you select white or black, or just a lighter or darker wood tone, it will help to have different tones than your trim. And don’t be afraid to mix and match! As long as you have a good mix, the different tones shouldn’t stick out.
Similar to incorporating other neutrals, you can harness the power of the color wheel and incorporate colors that are opposite from your wood trim. Since yours is orange-colored, then anything blue would be opposite and will help to balance it out. Generally, adding cooler colors will help to tone down all the warmth from the wood. Also, opt for contrasting hardware (black knobs with orange wood rather than copper knobs) to help modernize and downplay the wood.
I hope that these suggestions help you integrate your wood trim into your home better! Please leave a comment if you have other ideas. And don’t forget to drop me a line if you have a question that you’d like to see answered on the blog!