Make white walls feel warm + cozy with contrast trim.
Contrast trim is a design idea I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Though this design concept has been around for ages, contrast millwork seems to be experiencing a bit of a resurgence again as of late. And for good reason, not only is it a timeless + classic style, but it’s such a simple way to bring a bit more warmth to a bright, white space.
Like the trends towards warmer colours, the use of decorative millwork, and bringing in mixed metals and woods, we’re seeing a big rise of those more classic design elements. I think it all circles back to a movement towards more nostalgic, cozy design details that we seem to be more drawn to lately. It all comes together to create a less polished, cozier, more collected feel and it’s where I see my design style moving towards in the months and years to come.
Our master bedroom was one of the very first spaces we renovated when we moved into this old house from the 70’s five years ago (see that transformation here). Though it was a pretty big transformation over a very busy six week timeline, it’s seen very little change since. Honestly, even five years later, I’m still quite content with this light + airy space, but there are a few changes I’ve been contemplating lately as I feel my style evolving + changing.
I’ve felt my design tastes shifting a bit this past year and have had more than a few ideas pop into my head about changes I might like to make and ideas I might like to try (throughout my whole house really, but especially in our bedroom space). I’d say what I’d really love to create is a space that feels a little less bright white and little more warm + cozy. A little less predictable maybe and a little more collected. Honestly, with the iron bed frame and vintage furniture pieces, it’s not far off. But, I find myself wanting to inject a bit more coziness and character into this space.
I’m picturing bringing in a few more vintage style elements – a rug, new curtains and throw pillows, a new chandelier and some vintage style artwork – all with a bit more colour and pattern to them.
Another way I’d been considering bringing more colour and warmth into this space was painting out the millwork with something other than white. Obviously nothing too crazy or dark (baby steps here), but just something to bring a bit of contrast and interest to the walls and trim. With most of the walls in our home painted out in Edgecomb Gray and all of our ceilings and trim in Cloud White (you can find more info on our paint colours and decor here), and the stencilled accent wall in this space also featuring the same colours, they were a natural go-to to continue through this space.
Though classic in style, painted trim isn’t something we see much of these days or in or our neck of the woods. In fact, besides the few images on Pinterest or Instagram that had caught my eye, I’m not sure I’ve ever crossed paths with millwork that wasn’t wood or painted white in real life. Truthfully, it felt like a bit of a risk (even if the colours I’d be working with were more on the safe side).
I debated for months about whether I wanted to venture from the traditional white trim I’d always known and loved. But the more I looked at the beautiful inspiration images I’d saved (Room for Tuesday shared a brilliant collection), and pondered the look and feel I’ve been finding myself more drawn to in interiors, the more sure I became that it was worth a shot at least. And so, one rainy day in May, I decided to finally take the plunge, painting out all of the doors and trim work in our bedroom, while leaving the walls and ceiling a light + airy, yet warm white.
Most of the time crown moulding is painted out to match the rest of the millwork in a room, but not wanting to make our already low ceilings feel lower, I chose to leave mine white here, letting it disappear into my walls and ceiling instead of creating a hard break between to two.
With my walls already painted out white, trying out the look of contrast trim was made pretty easy. In just one day, I managed to get two coats of paint onto all of the baseboards, window casing, inside of my doors and the casing around them AND get the room all put back together in time for dinner.
And though I felt like I was venturing way outside my comfort zone through every minute of it, once all was said and done, I couldn’t have been happier with the look + feel it created in this space!
Though the light colour keeps the contrast subtle, reversing the typical wall + trim colours still feels quite bold and cozy in this space.
I know watching this room evolve and take shape will be more of a marathon, than a sprint – finding + collecting each piece isn’t going to happen overnight, but I’m so excited to see where this all takes me and I promise to take you along the journey, each + every step of the way.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this “design trend“. Is contrast trim a design element you’d consider working into your own home? Something you might just admire from afar? Or do you prefer the look of wood or white millwork instead?
*Wall colour: Cloud White from Benjamin Moore | Trim colour: Edgecomb Gray from Benjamin Moore*
Wishing you SUCH a lovely day my friends!
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I can't wait to hear your thoughts!