HomeThe Best Paint ColoursBenjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams: Paint IdeasThe 9 Best Neutral Paint Colors to Update Dark Wood Trim

The 9 Best Neutral Paint Colors to Update Dark Wood Trim

Posted on January 4, 2020 by KylieMawdsley

Dark Wood Trim: The Top 7 Neutral Paint Colors to Update & Coordinate

While this blog post refers to the wood trims of the ’70s & ’80s, the color ideas are also FAB for older homes with dark trim work.

With a focus on updating the oaks and maples of the ’90s, it’s easy to bypass the dark wood trims and doors of the ’70s and ’80s. Oh, those were the days…shag carpets, avocado-colored fridges and macramé plant hangers. Wait, isn’t some of this back in style again?

Best paint colours to go with dark wood trim, doors and floor. Kylie M INteriors Ediesng, similar to BM White Dove or Dove Wing. Client before photo

Do you think it’s the color of your trim that is the problem? Think again…

  • With its two-inch width, the SIZE is 1970s, not the stain color. In fact, some of the most amazing homes have dark wood trim – but it’s thicker, more substantial looking and often a finer quality wood. In other words, don’t curse the color, curse the size. Once you get three+ inches, things start looking better
  • Painting your dark wood trim from the ’70s would help modernize your home, just keep in mind it would STILL be narrower than the modern style of white trim work
  • And if you’re reading this blog post, I’m assuming that painting your trim is out of the question for financial, labor-intensive and marital reasons (oh those hubby’s…)

Dark wood trim, stairs and doors in older home entryway, best paint colour soft white, similar to SW White Duck or Alabaster. Kylie M INteriors E-design, before image. Client design

The above two photos are great examples of trim that is wider than the ’70s and ’80s versions

So, while there isn’t much we can do about the size of your wood (wink wink), there’s A LOT we can do with what’s around it (I’d say we could enhance your wood, but that might be crossing a line…)

Best paint color for dark wood trim, oak floor. Kylie M Interiors E-design, Benjamin Moore REvere Pewter in entryway and stairs

As shown above, BM Revere Pewter

Tony Taupe in dining room, best neutral beige brown paint colour. Dark wood trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour and advice blog diy

Before we begin, stop thinking of your trim as a ‘wood/stain’ and start thinking of it as a COLOR (brown). That’s right. If you blur your eyes to block out the grain, it’s easier to see the COLOR of your wood and you can then decorate accordingly around that.

BTW, I rely 99.9% on photos from my E-Design clients, so you’re seeing REAL homes with REALISTIC budgets. 


Ballet White is a soft, warm, subtle way to complement your dark wood trim or cabinets. While Ballet White has a cream base, it nods lightly at greige, meaning the traditional yellow hue found in most creams is GREATLY reduced.

Sherwin Williams White Duck with wood trim and oak wood cabinets in dining room and kitchen, black hardware and update ideas. painted subway tile backsplash. Kylie M Interiors Edesign (2)

Sherwin Williams White Duck, Bunglehouse Blue painted interior door, wood cabinets oak, wood trim. Laminate countertop, affordable update ideas. Kylie M Interiors Edesign


One of the most IMPORTANT parts of choosing the best paint colors is to COMPARE them to other similar colors…

  • Benjamin Moore Navajo White, which has a bit more creamy warmth to it
  • Sherwin Williams Shoji White, which is very similar to White Duck but has a wee wink o’ green in it
  • Benjamin Moore White Sand has a similar look with a bit more body

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Ballet White


As shown in this next photo, while the trim is a soft white, it’s easy to see how STUNNING Graystone looks with the warmth of the wood doors. Its slightly warm gray/greige approach adds some balance to the warmth of the wood without making the room look cold and uninviting…

Wood doors with white trim, Benjamin Moore Graystone paint color on the walls, White Dove trim, Kylie M Interiors Edesign


  • Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray can be stunning, especially with darker woods
  • If you want a bit more depth and drama, Dovetail is a great choice

The Best Darker Greige & Taupe Paint Colors – Benjamin Moore

The 10 Best Gray and Greige Paint Colors by Sherwin Williams


Balanced Beige is one of my favorite light-medium beiges. Its popularity comes from the fact that rather than having a typical beige-golden look, it actually leans just slightly into gray-taupe. It’s quite similar to Accessible Beige, another personal fave.

Best paint colours with dark wood trim, Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige and Warm Stone. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color consulting

As shown below, Pavilion Beige is similar to Balanced Beige but has a touch less taupe in it…

Family room with travertine tile floor, green reflection on lower walls, wood trim and beams, stone fireplace, blue sectional. Kylie M.

FULL COLOR REVIEW of Sherwin Williams Balanced Beige


  • Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige has similar intentions but a lighter approach
  • Sherwin Williams Loggia is QUITE similar, just a small shift in undertones
  • Benjamin Moore Stone Hearth is a beige-gray with a bit of a taupe backdrop

Things to consider when you have dark wood trim…

  • A room with a medium-dark paint color and dark trim needs adequate lighting to bring things to life. It also needs to be lightened and brightened via accents and decor so that there’s contrast, reflective value and visual interest. If you ignore these topics, things may fall flat and heavy.
  • While warm beiges and browns like the ones shown above can look awesome with dark trim, heavier chocolate browns can blend in and leave your room without much definition or contrast.

Don’t forget about choosing the best color for a north-facing or south-facing room!


When it comes to POPULAR neutral paint colors, it’s hard to beat Revere Pewter. So it’s no surprise that it not only looks great with white trim but with wood trim as well!

Revere Pewter in room with dark wood trim, dark wood floor. Kylie M INteriors edesign client photo

And a HUGE thank you to all of my E-Design clients who send their photos in, you make my colorful lil world go round! 


Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter


White Duck is an off-white cream that is heavily sedated by a beige-gray base, which calms down the yellow (very similar to Benjamin Moore Ballet White).

Kylie M Interiors Edesign, dark wood trim and doors. Off white warm creamy greige walls and travertine tile flooring. Online paint color advice blog

Dark wood kitchen cabinets and trim with travertine tile backsplash and warm granite. Sherwin Williams White Duck darkened on walls. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint color advice blog

The 5 Best Off-White Paint Colors: Undertones and More

When using light and bright paint colors like creams and off-whites, make sure your home décor can visually support a high contrast look. Without getting into too much detail, you need other high-contrast items in your room that mimic the contrasting combo of your trim/walls.


Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams White Duck


Collingwood is one of my FAAAAVE warm gray paint colors with its soft, subtle violet undertone. This particular undertone can be a beautiful complement to many dark wood finishes.

Benjamin Moore Collingwood Gray, warm gray , greige paint colour. Online Color Consultation by Kylie M Interiors. 2 storey entryway, curved stairs, black railing (2)

And while there is NO shortage of grays in this range, when it comes to DARK wood trim, I usually prefer light grays that lean into a violet undertone, more so than blue or green undertones (learn all about gray undertones HERE).


  • Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist is similar to Collingwood but lighter
  • Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray can be pretty with some darker wood stains

FULL Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Collingwood

Online paint colour consultant Benjamin Moore Sherwin Williams, Vancouver Island, USA, UK. Interior, exterior, edesign colors. Kylie M Interiors, blogger marketing

Click HERE or on the above image to see the available packages! 

Let’s take a quick break to talk about paint samples…

Undoubtedly, you’ll be heading out in the near future to grab paint samples – stop right there! I want you to check out SAMPLIZE. Samplize offers peel and stick paint samples that are more AFFORDABLE, EASIER and more ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY than traditional paint pots. Here are just a FEW reasons why I recommend Samplize to my clients…

  • samples arrive ON YOUR DOORSTEP in 1-3 business days, depending on location
  • they’re more affordable than the samples pots/rollers/foam boards that are needed for traditional paint sampling
  • if you keep the samples on their white paper, you can move them around the room

Visit the SAMPLIZE website HERE


With its subdued, grounded look, Natural Tan is a nice way to get a warm look, without committing to stronger yellow, orange or red undertones.

Kylie M Interiors E-design. Best paint color for dark wood trim and stairs, doors. Sherwin Williams Natural Tan. Online, virtual paint colour consultant


  • Sherwin Williams Neutral Ground is a pretty tan inspired color with a soft creamy backdrop
  • Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan is quite comparable
  • For a wink more depth, check out Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Natural Tan

REMEMBER, the depth of an off-white or light color would be more noticeable with clean white trim. Dark trim tends to make light colors look LIGHTER than they would with white trim.

Best paint colours dark wood trim, Similar to Benjamin Moore White Dove of Dove Wing. Kylie M INteriors e-design, client before photo

In the above photo, compared to the white crown molding, you can ‘see’ the color a bit more, whereas, against the dark trim, it’s a bit more difficult to figure out what the undertones are.

Living room with dark wood beams, trim and tv stand, stone fireplace, brown leather furniture and greige taupe


  • The lighter your paint color is, the more high contrast your room will look. High contrast can make a room look slightly smaller and more cluttered, particularly if you have a LOT of doorways and windows. While you can remedy this with other elements, it is something to be aware of
  • Light, neutral and warm can also mean ‘cream’. Now cream and off-white are BEAUTIFUL complements to dark wood, however, HEAVY creams are not. Let me rephrase that, they ARE beautiful complements if you like a more traditional look. However, it can be a heavy and almost murky look if a) your room doesn’t have enough natural light b) if you don’t have modern enough décor and c) if you’re going for an ‘overall’ modern style.


You can also dive into the slightly colorful range by choosing grays with decent undertones such as blue, green and violet.

Sea Salt is an awesome green-gray, but it’s a bit of a NINJA, so be sure to check it out closely HERE.

Best paint colour dark wood trim and floor. Kylie M Interiors E-design, online colour consultant. Sherwin Williams Sea Salt in dining room with fireplace


The 8 Best Blue-Green Blend Paint Colors

Paint Color Review of Sherwin Williams Sea Salt


While a lot of people lean into lighter grays with dark wood trim, choosing a gray with a bit more meat on its bones can be a stunning complement to warm wood tones.

Coventry Gray is a soft, stormy gray with VERY passive blue (slightly blue-green) undertones. As shown in this photo below, it offers a nice balance to the warmth of wood tones…

Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray best gray paint colour, wood floor, wood trim and headboard. Client photo, Kylie M Interiors Edesign


Paint Color Review of Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray

Things to think about…

  • Generally speaking, the more ‘color’ you add, the less modern your room may look. Now this isn’t a bad thing as it can also look more vintage and have more personality than a neutral color
  • The more color you add, the more you may complement your dark wood, meaning your wood could stand out and ‘pop’ more. Read more: The 15 Best Paint Colors to Coordinate with Wood
  • Medium tones can be FABULOUS with dark trim, but you will need to add white/off-white elsewhere to add some contrast to your space, otherwise, things can feel too dull and heavy.

Tony Taupe in dining room, best neutral beige brown paint colour. Dark wood trim. Kylie M Interiors Edesign, online paint colour and advice blog diy

I hope I’ve helped to enhance your wood (a girl can dream!) and lower your stress level!


How to Mix and Match Wood Stains and Undertones

The Best LIGHT Greige & Taupe Paint Colors

Update Oak or Wood Cabinets WITHOUT a Drop of Paint!

The 12 Best WHOLE HOME Gray and Greige Paint Colors

The 8 Best WHOLE HOME Warm Neutral Paint Colors

Not sure which color is best for you and YOUR home?

Check out my affordable Online Color Consulting Services!

The best warm gray grey paint colors for your room. Online paint colour consulting by Kylie M Interiors Edesign. DIY decorating ideas and blogger

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign



Originally written in 2018, awesome updated in 2020


    1. I have an old house with low lighting, not many fixtures and plenty of windows but the light doesn’t come in. The house orientation doesn’t allow for that I guess. I have so much gumwood, staircase, doors, paneling, built ins. Can you suggest a white for the walls and a trim and ceiling color that will pair well throughout a house like this.

  1. Really enjoyed this post! Goes to show how the right paint colour changes everything. The first before and after is incredible. What a difference. We just moved into a house 4 months ago that has all brown doors and trim. I am in the process of painting all the brown with BM Cloud White. An amazing difference already but like you said, a lot of work! The hall down to the bedrooms looked like a tunnel…lol. The white trim really opens it up and it looks so much brighter. Look forward to your next post. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Bert! If you haven’t already, you’ll want to change out the old hardware too (usually those dark brown doors/trims are accompanied by those old brass style knobs) We had those in the last house and changing the knobs and hinges was a GAME changer for updating the house!

      1. Thanks, Kylie. Right now I’m working on trim. We plan to replace the doors and will definitely be getting new door knobs or handles. Never thought about the hinges so thanks for that. I’ve seen a lot of dark door knobs lately and thought they looked very nice. Do you think the black would look out of place on new doors? We’re keeping our eyes open for sales.

  2. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this!!! You are great about explaining the reasons behind the color choices, which is so helpful. Looking forward to the follow-up on contrast!

  3. Oh my…this article may have literally convinced me to convince my husband to reconsider purchasing an old house we’ve been eyeing up! It would be an amazing space for our family with 4 kids, but the amount of updating it requires (and the attached price tag) has intimidated us. Your pictures show that the right paint/decor really can make an older home look lovely. Even with the modern paint colors and furniture, I think the rooms shown maintain a traditional feel, which I enjoy, because of the dark wood. If we do ever pull the trigger on that home, I will definitely use you for e-consultation. Thanks again for the great info!

    1. Wahoo, now THAT is what I’d like to hear! I’d LOVE to help you with your home if you go ahead with the purchase – good luck Steph!

      And you know, if you want a 2nd, unbiased opinion on the house, just to look at the scope of the projects I’d be happy to take a quick boo at it if you email me the link! kylie@kylieminteriors.ca I wouldn’t get into too much detail, but I can certainly say whether ‘I’d’ do it or not (I’m a bang for buck gal – nothing too major…)


    1. Hi Amy, when it comes to ceilings, they always pick up a shadowed look anyway, simply because the are kind of upside down and horizontal. For this reason I would use Simply White because it is going to look different anyway! More cool, crisp whites can go even more gray toned and Simply White has that nice soft warm undertone to it which helps to counteract the shadows a wee bit.

      Thanks for asking!

  4. Kylie- I am about to paint my 80’s style house that jade dark wood trim and moderate light. I am really leaning toward Sherwin Williams Modern Gray. I see many post on Repose Gray and Mindful Gray and others, but no one mentions Modern Gray. Am I missing something in this color, is there some reason it’s doesn’t seem to be as popular as some of the others?


    1. Hi Amy, I’m glad you brought that up! Modern Gray IS such a pretty gay and I am often tempted by it, but it ‘can’ pick up a slight pinkish look compared to some of the other popular grays. Now this does make it look softer and not as cold as many other grays, but it’s a bit more unpredictable I’d say. Now your walls won’t look pink, that’s not what this is about. It’s about a very subtle undertone that may come through. It also has a bit more brown/taupe to it than some of the other popular ones.
      I hope that clears it up for you!!!


  5. Thank you so much for this post. All I see in decor magazines are homes with miles and miles of white trim. My house is an 1894 tudor with elaborately milled, formal, very dark oak trim. It would be a crime to paint it, but choosing paint colors around it is tricky! It’s nice to see dark trim getting some loving attention.

    1. Hello, thank you for commenting! I LOVE homes with dark trims when it is done well, and with an 1894 Tudor I bet it’s STUNNING! I just wish there were more inspirational photos online with dark trim – it’s few and far between when I KNOW there are some beauties out there!


  6. Thank you so much for giving some attention to dark wood trim! We just bought a new house and the previous owner was retired master carpenter. There is some beautiful work here with really thick big quality wood and wood like to see if I can make it work and remodel my house in a way that is unexpected. I figure worst case senario I don’t end up liking it and paint the trim white. Thanks for this inspiration!

    1. Hi Holly, I’m glad you found some inspiration with my blog post! And yes, I just wish there were MORE photos online as examples help SO much when explaining an idea – and I LOOOVE some of the old, dark wood trim, it’s nice to work with it if you can and yes, if all else fails – there’s always white paint!


  7. What a great and timely article! I have antique cherry stained raised-panel (18″ wide boards!) and painting them is not an option in my 1970’s home…I’ve been thinking a light gray, perhaps Gray Owl just to update this room. You have given me something to ponder…Thank you!

  8. Thank you for posting this with such eloquent explanations of why to use one color over another. Very enlightening. I’ve been searching for about 6 months now for colors for our Dutch Colonial built in 1929, with tons of medium colored natural wood, not sure what type of wood it is. But it goes along the side of our staircase and adds a lot of character, but is also distracting for me to settle on a color scheme for my home. Your examples helped me have a clearer idea of the route I should be going. Thanks!

  9. A year ago, we bought a 1916 four-square with Craftsman influence. The entire first floor, as well as the master bedroom and hallways on the second floor, have lots of dark stained wood trim and built-ins. The trim itself is beautiful — especially the fireplace and surrounding built-ins, but the previous owner listened to her real estate agent and painted over her happy wall colors with drab beige. Now, this beige wall color would look gorgeous in a Suzanne Kasler-designed room with white trim. But against the dark wood, it is drab and sad. For a year now I’ve been waiting to repaint, and I’m finally narrowing down my choices. I think I’m going with a really soft pink, a pinky white, and a soft (but not baby) blue. I’m thinking that as awesome as pink and brown are together, that combo will really make the stained wood sing!

    1. Hi Hollie, your home sounds BEAUTIFUL – we don’t get many Craftsman style homes here on Vancouver Island (or at least, not in Nanaimo!). I think your colours sounds lovely! As long as you have just a weeeee drop of gray in them, they should go too ‘baby’ inspired’ and you should be rockin’ – I would loooove to see photos!!!!


  10. Thanks for the article. I did notice that nearly every example you showed was a historic home with built-ins, wide baseboards, multi-panel doors, and windows with exterior casement…or grandiose new homes made to look older. I thought this was meant to show how to update a 70’s look? That is significantly more challenging, like the first photo in this article. I work with clients as a color and design consultant and I’m interested to see someone else’s approach to updated the very dated look of post mid-century modern.

    Personally, I have a 1909 home with gorgeous woodwork in the living room, dining room, and hallway. 12 years ago I painted the living room an army green. We have four large windows, a front door with lots of light, and a mirror so it didn’t feel as dark as some would think. The dining room is a warm neutral with a gold tone. People seem to love it. However, I’m ready to make a change in the living room and have been considering Revere Pewter or something else in the” greige” family that has a warm undertone. Our wood has the reddish cast to it so I can’t get too cold with the color choice. That is the one thing I would suggest to others in this situation. Avoid using cools with warm darks, and vice versa when it comes to paint and wood tones. Leave that for the accessories.

    1. Hi Alison! You know, I would LOVE to show more photos of 70’s and 80’s homes but they are SO hard to come by (wink wink nudge nudge – if you have any good ones I’d love to use them!!!!). Of course there are SO many stunning photos of the older homes with the dark wood – but with the 70’s home, everyone seems to paint it or replace it – rather than work with it. And I DO love Revere Pewter, it’s just that perfect flexible warm gray and while the green undertone doesn’t always show up, when it does it’s pretty and would be subtle enough still with the red toned wood for sure!

  11. I am updating a VERY 70’s house which has a lot of light and which I LOVE — but I am really struggling with how to update it inexpensively. Particularly since my furnishing tendencies are not modern, but Victorian antiques and hippie-chic hodgepodge.

    I have vaulted ceilings upstairs, and a low ceiling down – and am getting new flooring put in next month (yay!!)
    All the doors and that skinny trim are dark — but I’ve been anxious about using gray and cool colors for the walls b/c the trim/doors are reddish. Not super red, but if you put a cool color next to the brown, it looks… uncomfortable.

    Also, ALL the cabinetry in my kitchen is the same dark color. They are good, solid wood cabinets and I can’t justify replacing them. Have thought about painting them, but then I’m still competing with all the doors/trim that are still brown. And yes – painting ALL that trim and the doors is daunting. Besides, the sliding glass doors are brown also and then they’d REALLY stick out. Ah, it’s a slippery slope… easier to embrace the dark trim, I think.

    And if you really want pictures of 70’s houses with dark trim — I could overwhelm you! 😀

  12. Hi! I love your blog! We just bought a home with dark to med wood trim on everything. Trying to convince my husband that we can have a balance like painting the trim white but leaving the exposed beams, floors and stairs wood. Trying to figure out wall color too! Need some advice!!!

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  13. I love your blog! Could Carrington Beige HC-93 work with dark wood paneling? I have paneling half way up the wall in my hallway (1930s) that is mahogany colour (with a red tone in it). It is currently painted Carrington Beige but I’m not sure if that look is too dark and dated. The hallway gets light from the north and the west. Let me know if you would like some paneling photos for your blog.

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      Hmmm, off the top of my head, i might say it could be a touch murky looking as it does have a wink of green in it…perhaps I could talk you into the slightly more neutral Manchester Tan????

      And yes, I’m ALWAYS needing photos with dark wood panelling, absolutely!!!!


      1. Thanks so much! Is there a page on your site where you talk about Carrington Beige or is that a colour you avoid? We have a lot of it (whole basement family room is covered in it!) and I prefer it over similar colours with pink undertones or colours that look peachy in some lights. I painted it 18 years ago though… maybe it’s time for a change. Thanks again.

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          Hi Christy! Carrington is lovely, but it does have a very vague green undertone, which happens to be a colour that some people want to avoid – they are often wanting a more clean neutral. But it IS a beauty!!


  14. Your article has been not only an inspiration but a confirmation of what colors I plan to use for our new construction. With the design goal of modern mountain, we are considering Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze for trim, with SW Mindful Gray, Dorian Gray or something else along those lines as the primary wall color for the great room, halls, kitchen, dining, loft and entry. Do you have any suggestions for a modern non-white trim color? Thank you again for posting this insightful article.

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      Hi! A modern non-white…hmmm…I’m hesitant to go into that without seeing the other products in the home. But I can tell you I wouldn’t do Urbane Bronze, it will be too warm for the walls. Check out Gauntlet Gray as it will give you a CONSIDERABLY more modern look – and it makes total sense as it’s the dark version of the wall colours!!! YOu can also look at the more clean gray look of BM Kendall Charcoal which is PRETTY wicked!

  15. We have nice 90’s oak trim (not thin), except it has ambered over the years. I do not love the orange tint, but I also am not a paint it all white gal. I have toyed with the idea of painting it darker since I have been told that staining it darker (which is my first choice) would not be an option. I’d have to rip off all of the trim and stain new trim the walnut color I’d like. Finding pictures of painted trim that is not white or black is tricky. Have you ever had anyone restrain their existing wood trim without a HUGE expense or can it be even be done?!? Or can we keep out baseboards stained and paint the trim?? Trying my best to not get rid of perfectly fine oak wood trim…except for my issue with it’s orange tone 🙁
    Thank you for any thoughts, ideas etc!

    1. Post

      Hi Lauren! You know, I have seen quite a few people have luck with Gel Stain as you don’t have to sand the trim right down. Other stains tend to penetrate more, which is why you need to strip the wood down, whereas Gel Stain can act more like a paint in that it can still show the grain, but it sits more on the surface. In Pinterest, look up ‘Gel Stain cabinets’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about. And yes, while I’d have to look at your photos, you ‘could’ consider wood baseboards and painted trim, but I would be more inclined to keep them the same…hope that helps!

  16. Hello looking for advice for my older home it has original woodwork built ins and hardwood floors all which I describe as having a cherry or red undertone. Not orangey oak and not espresso brown…? I have tried diverse beige but that looked purple. I tried a taupe and at certain times of the day it has mauve undertones. Would like a gray that complements but not sure what to try next? Was thinking Dorian gray, mega griege but need help.

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      Hi Tracy! When it comes to personal questions where I need to see the space, I refer to my e-design (it’s affordable and fun!). This way I can take into account the size of the space/exposures/furnishings and all of that other good stuff that can play a BIG part in colour choice! Off the top of my head, Dorian it sounds like Dorian could be a pretty complement, but that’s really just a guess… https://www.kylieminteriors.ca/online-decorating-design-services/


  17. Help please, I have a room with red/purple wood trim and wainscotting. I need to know how to update it without painting or restaining the wood. The floor is to be covered with broadloom – probably a grey fleck. I would like a light Benjamin Moore colour that cancels out the purple in the wood – it really looks like a stain gone wrong. I also want to paint the walls and ceiling all the same colour. I was going to attach a photo of the room so that you could see what I am dealing with but there is no means to do this. I can send a photo in a separate email if you tell me where to send it.
    Thanks, Dorothy

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  18. What light gray would look nice in a living room with dark wood trim? Agreeable gray?

    My foyer that opens up to living room is Aloofgray gray.


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      Hi Grace! A lot depends on your exposure, flooring and furnishings, but i WILL say that Agreeable Gray is an awesome, flexible greige. It leans more to the gray side and will EVEN MORE if you have northern exposure, in which case some people can find it a touch too cool…

  19. Hi! I have dark walnut floors and trim, beige carpet, and cream colored doors. Currently most of the rooms in our home are painted a dark beige and I am looking to modernize with a gray. Is there any you recommend? I was looking at sw anew gray. Thanks!

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  20. Wall color to blend in or soften yellowy oak cabinets…..looking at greige with warm undertones….but to blend or soften not sure which tones……looking for more modern greige color.

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  21. Hello Kylie!
    I had bookmarked one of your posts several months ago, and checking it today it seems to have changed. Yikes ! I am panicking !! It is a picture of entry way and walls appeared George, trim off-white and dark wood accents to include a dark exterior door and dark trimmed portal window. I thought it was posted in “what potassium goes with dark trim?” But when I went there today, it’s not there! I loved this look and wondered if you remember it or know how I could find again? Thanks Soo much, I love your ideas and style. Keep up the good work!

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      Hi Carolyn, i know JUST the George you’re speaking of 😉 Seriously though. I’ve been going through my site and deleted HUNDREDS of photos that aren’t mine. Generally, a lot of us refer to other designers with a link to their sites when we want to use a photo, but I’m trying to be more careful and use only images that are mine from my Edesign, so unfortunately, it’s been off-loaded!

      1. Thanks Kylie for your follow up! I am going to enlist your help via with color scheme for my 1925 craftsman house. Working on filling out the info and need to decide what package to get!

        See you soon!!!

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  22. I just want to thank you for all of your articles. I was looking for a white for my northern exposure dining room that has dark wood trim (my house is an old Victorian). I read through a bunch of your posts including how to best choose white. I ended up going with SW West Highland White. It came out so beautifully. Thanks again for all of your tips and advice!

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      Well, thank you, Allison! With all of the questions I get, it is SO nice to get a note like this – thank YOU!

  23. Thank you so much for this post. I feel less alone with my dark trims. 🙂
    Do you have a psychological limit of “LRV not to be exceeded” for the choice of ceiling paint? I have the feeling that 90 would be this limit in rooms with white trims. But with dark trims, is it better to play in the 80 to limit the contrast? Perhaps I have it all wrong!
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Thank you for such a detailed post on paint colors with dark trim. I just remolded my home and convinced my hubby to toss out the carpet and went with engineered hardwood. I picked a dark smokey brown and had my carpenter install farmhouse trim to match. I also went with what I liked for my paint color which happened to be sea salt from Sherman Williams. I was starting to think I made a mistake until I read your blog. However I’m stumped on how to decorate. Your right there isn’t many pictures on the internet. I have moderate natural lighting but lots of other light. What is your thoughts for furniture color? If you wouldn’t mind me picking your brain.

  24. I love the high contrast white wall with dark trim look. But what do you do with the chair rail? I haven’t been able to find any examples that include one. Keep it dark, or paint it the same color as the wall?

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