interiors & styling

Trend Alert : Contrast Trim

Gray Contrast TrimIf you follow along on stories, you probably already know what color we painted the master bedroom. I haven’t shared the reveal yet, but…. spoiler alert– theres lots of beautiful contrast trim. It’s a paint trend I’ve been noticing more and more lately! Basically, the wall color and trim color are reversed- lighter walls with darker trim. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly makes a statement and showcases beautiful millwork, mouldings, and architectural features. I’m 100% on board. Click through for beautiful examples and lots of inspiration…

Contrast millwork certainly isn’t a new concept. It’s been around forever and is really quite classic! I love that we’re seeing more and more people stray from standard white trim and mouldings in their homes. I opted for a subtle color palette in my bedroom, but for those of you jumping on the high-contrast train, like the navy and white image below, you deserve mega bonus points. The risk seems to always pay off.

Navy Contrast TrimYou can also mix and match your painted trim. For instance, the image below features custom cabinetry, built-ins, door casings, and base board all painted the same gray, but did you notice the crown moulding? It’s white! I actually like that the crown was left white… it gives your eye a place to rest and makes the ceiling height appear a bit taller than it actually is. It all depends on the space!

Contrast Greige TrimWhether you’re ready to try contrast trim that is light and subtle, or heavy and high-contrast, each look nods to the lines of your home.

Black Contrast TrimIt’s funny, I was chatting with my sister on the phone (who is our number one fan when it comes to the renovation), and she confessed there is one thing she didn’t love that we have done so far. Any guesses? Yep, the contrast trim in the master. Like I said, it’s not for everyone, but I think these images are proof that it’s pretty gorgeous when done well! My sister and I have a pretty similar aesthetic, so I have a feeling she’ll come around. You can get a glimpse into the space she’s talking about below. If you’re interested on what’s behind those doors, find my closet here, and Emmett’s closet here.

Light Blue Contrast TrimWhile we’re on the topic of trim, we used Metrie for our entire renovation and I couldn’t be happier! If you’re not sure where to start or which millwork style is appropriate for your home, they take the guesswork out of the equation, breaking their collections down by styles. I selected a ton of mouldings from the Fashion Forward Collection. The world of millwork is super vast, but it’s amazing how it instantly transforms a home. I completed a seminar on interior mouldings and my eyes were totally opened. Ever since, it’s been a huge priority during renovating or home updates- as opposed to an afterthought.

In my opinion, the best part of an old home is the character. To me, most of the character lies within the architecture. Millwork is a huge part of that! How charming is this charcoal and white hallway that leads up a spiral staircase? From the wainscoting to the stair rail, everything ties together nicely to tell a beautiful story and draws you up the staircase.

High Contrast TrimWhat do you think? Are you guys loving this trend as much as I am? I almost hate to call it a trend because it’s really such a classic way of painting that has been around forever and will continue to withstand the test of time. I’m just glad it’s resurfacing! Thoughts? I’d love to hear them!

images: one | two | three | four | five (room for tuesday) | six

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  • Reply
    Amy Lynn
    May 4, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I’m drawn to some of the more drastic contrast trims, like black and dark grey, but I’d have to say my favorite contrast trim would be a dark stained wood against white walls! We almost went with that for our house, but in the interest of saving money, and the fact that I wanted my black windows to really stand out, we opted to keep it low contrast and do a paint grade trim in white :) but I agree, very classic. And your closets turned out very pretty!

    • Reply
      May 4, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you so much!! Wood trim is also very beautiful! I should’ve added that to the roundup. xo

  • Reply
    Leah Prevost
    May 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I LOVE IT!

    • Reply
      May 4, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      Woohoo! One more vote for the contrast trim. Thanks, Leah! xo

  • Reply
    May 5, 2017 at 5:28 am

    They are all beautiful, Sarah. It would be difficult to choose one. Cheers, Ardith

  • Reply
    May 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I like the photo of the gray kitchen cabinets and door trim but the crown molding left white. In a case like this, what would you do the baseboard? Keep it white as well to match the crown? I have a living room with 3 windows and I am thinking of painting it white with gray trim around the windows only.

  • Reply
    Ashley - The Gold Hive
    March 5, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I’m dying to find the source for image #2. Any recollection of the designer or more info on that gorgeous paint?

  • Reply
    March 16, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I have dark doors ( Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron) .. would it be appealing with grey trim instead of white?

  • Reply
    April 12, 2019 at 6:47 am

    What color paint was used hallway wainscoting and trim?

  • Reply
    August 21, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Just stunning! Wondering the source or paint color for the kitchen cabinets in image #3

  • Reply
    January 5, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Sarah, I love a warm trim colour! We’re considering revere pewter trim with white dove walls. However, with a more traditional centre hall plan, I’m struggling with how far to take it. Would love to hear your thoughts!

    Thanks, Heather

  • Reply
    May 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    what paint finish do you recommend for trim?

    • Reply
      May 31, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Semi gloss!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    I LOVE all the contrast trim! Hoping to see more of it.

    • Reply
      September 16, 2020 at 9:30 am

      Same! It’s so beautiful :)

  • Reply
    Kristin M rhoades
    November 13, 2020 at 11:50 am

    I LOVE LOVE this idea! What do you do if you have Plantation shutters in your living room? Do you leave them light or have them painted the trim color as well? I just can’t figure out what to do with those.

    • Reply
      November 16, 2020 at 8:43 am

      It totally depends on what look you’re going for, Kristin! I prefer them to be painted the same color as the window, but you could also leave them white, if you’re doing contrast trim… either / or!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Hi Sarah, any ideas on what color the trim is in photo #2? It’s so pretty and I would love to try and find a color match.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Love this contrasted navy trim on pale floors! My question is, with this combo, if I wanted to avoid a white kitchen, what would you suggest for cabinetry color ideas? I like the dirty light brown stained cabinets with leathered black granite, but it might be too much wood everywhere if I have ceiling beams. So, give me your thoughts, love what you’ve done!

    • Reply
      October 19, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Natural wood or warmer colored wood would be beautiful- I treat navy like a neutral, so you really have lots of room to play when it comes to paint colors!

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