What IF . . .

Thanks for all of the input on my last post, and by all means, KEEP IT COMING!  I’ve got some options to think about.

Here is one more for you:

What if I paint the walls a different color?  A color that closely matches the flooring itself?  Would that help pull it all together and make it so I don’t have to paint the wood?  Or would it make the whole room too monochromatic?  Maybe I’m just trying to smoosh too many colors all together with the green on the walls?  I mean, I love the green, but I’d rather re-paint the walls than the woodwork.

See?  I wasn’t kidding when I said I hate painting perfectly good woodwork, even though it is oak.


Obviously the picture isn’t the greatest.  It is cloudy today, so the natural light that usually floods that room just isn’t there today.  Anyway, if I go this route I’d use the middle color.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “What IF . . .

  1. Liz

    How about that same shot with swatches of the green paint? I need it for references on what I’m voting for. Those earthy light greens are usually really nice. Either way, i do think furniture will really distract from the oak and it won’t be so obvious. The dark at the floor kind of anchors things but I wouldn’t add it up top. If you’re going with crown moulding – which would add resell value and make the room look more finished, it all has to be white – top and bottom. Normally I MUCH prefer white moulding but if the rest of the house is oak, I might be very tempted to leave it. However, I would get rid of the border up top…for several reasons but mainly because I think the combo of darker line at the bottom and the border up top is distracting because there are too many mismatched styles going on.

    How’s that for almost no help?! Lots of “if-then” stuff and no real voting – except for the border. I vote “goes” on the border.


  2. Emily

    I hate painting wood too but I keep buying houses with orange oak cabinets so I’ve been there too. I know this post is kinda long but for what it is worth I have a design degree (though it is in graphics not interior but the same rules apply) and here are a couple of tips/rules on decisions like this.

    Whatever is different will stand out. Whatever is simmilar will blend together and form a backdrop. – so if you paint the walls a shade of beige, brown, a browner shade of green or even mauve that is the same/closer in value (not color) as the oak trim it will blend in and the floors will stand out.

    Monochromatic isn’t bad if you are trying to hide something you dislike. Then it is called a foundation used to highlight other things you do like. Bold curtains, areas rugs, furniture, art work, the border. It is also probably the easiest way to keep the walls a lighter color.

    To neutralize a color break it down to its essential components – in the case of oak, it is orange and brown with some yellow-then play up the one you like. The closer the value of the color is to what you are trying to hide the more it will be hidden. To check value do a squint test. Put the 2 colors next to each other and squint your eyes until they are almost closed and things start to blur. If 2 colors are the same value the line between them disappears. The closer in value they are to each other the more they blur together. Anything that is closer in value to the trim will help. Be careful if you pick a yellow though, if you pick a shade that matches the floor too much it will make the baseboards stand out even more. Any color that pulls out the brown in the oak (not the orange) will help make it blend it.

    Adding crown molding that matches will also help and if you intend to keep the border (though I think with the oak and the floor it makes the room a little busy) I would put a line strip of oak below it also there by highlighting it.

    Whatever you do, don’t paint anything blue. Blue is opposite from orange on the color wheel and it will make it stand out even more.

    Since your furniture is dark that will help it blend it also unless your walls are too light. The lighter the walls the more it will stand out.

    If you have your heart set on a light airy feeling (and have the patience for it, I don’t) since you want to keep the border you can actually stain the oak darker to make it a not so orange color – more ebony/walnut/mahogany with a gel stain (you’d probably have to sand it first depending on how it is sealed but the paint store would tell you) and then put up a thin matching strip of wood under the border and above it and it would pull out the black in the piano and make the wood work a positive focal point used to play up something you like.

    Repeating colors in the room helps too. If you keep the border it will especially be important to duplicate the white that is in it to get it to balance. This is also a trick to make everything that doesn’t go together, go together. If you found a rug that had green that went with the walls, brown/orange that went with the base boards and light colors to go with the floor, it would pull it all together and make it look deliberate. The only catch is the tie it all together item must be big enough to actually do that or be multiple items.

    All that to say, personally I’d paint it a mid value, warm brownish shade of beige with not too much yellow. Paint over the border and buy really airy floor length white curtains and white accessories. Your furniture and the white will stand out and everything else should blend together, if you pick the right shade.

    Okay, I’m done and this is way longer than I expected it to be so please feel free to delete on the basis that it is longer than your post.


  3. Our 1940s era house still has all the original windows/doors/flooring/floorboards/trim, etc, and I totally agree with you. SOMEone SOMEtime is going to paint all that woodwork but it ain’t gonna be me.

    On the flip, it’s a bummer b/c there are colors I would love to paint some of the rooms that would look so much better with white trim.

    I’m no real help. I like the green with the natural oak trim and the bamboo – I think the green and bamboo look great together and doubt the trim color will be that noticeable once the room is furnished.


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