home about me our home

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I love the architecture and interest that moldings can bring to a room
I have been noticing a trend in moldings lately. Have you all noticed that there are some that are painting the walls and the molding the same color?  Sometimes they are even done in the same finish!

I recently went to a Restoration Hardware store and they are completely re-vamping their look and their store. I could do a whole post on just their look, but today I want to talk about their walls and their moldings.

We all know that gray is the new “IT” color and I guess they thought so too.  All the walls and the moldings are painted in a medium value gray and dimly lit by halogen lighting.

I have to say it was depressing. There was no life, no color. The variations in the rooms came in the form of textural differences, but the colors lacked luster at best. I know that this is a particular style trend, but I for one am not impressed with a whole room or house done in this look. The word that comes to mind is “Boring!” IMHO.

I digress, back to moldings and walls painted the same color.  Here are a few examples where the walls and the moldings are painted in the same color.
entry (360x460)
dark (320x400)
dining room (375x500)
untitled (500x375)
kitchen (434x553)
game room (375x500)
Next I am going to show you some rooms with a subtle contrast in the colors used for the walls and the moldings.
contrast (500x375)
subtle 4 (540x429)
subtle (394x448)
subtle 2 (437x600)
subtle 3 (384x576)
Now let’s look at high contrast between the colors used on the walls and molding.
high contrast 2 (466x582)
What would this room look like with the moldings painted the same color and finish as the walls?
high contrast (470x469)
blue green (500x330)
dark gray (375x500)
navy (353x395)
This is what I have concluded from thinking about this new trend. I personally do not like the moldings and the walls painted in the same color and finish. I prefer contrast, whether it is subtle or a high contrast.

I think when the walls and the moldings are painted the same it makes the room look dull and as if it was a spray and go paint job. I know we have all seen those before. I actually saw a job where the painter sprayed all the walls in a home and when it came to the kitchen he sprayed down a wooden spoon in the kitchen drawer. Unbelievable!!

I am a detail girl and I love nothing better than a beautiful simple molding treatment that stands out subtly or in a high contrast way. I for one hope this new trend does not stick around  too long.

So after seeing all the above images, have you noticed the rooms that are being featured with no contrast in the moldings? How do you feel about this look????
“Enjoy the Process” Of:
Studying the new trends and deciding if you would like them in your home.


Jules said...

Kathysue, absolutely the first thing I thought, before I was half way down the page, was, spray painters!!!! I could not agree with you more about the rather flat sameness of just the one colour. Contrast and more contrast please!!!! xx

Dream House Trish said...

Im with you Kathysue, contrast definately adds a little personality to a space!!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I love that bathroom image (last picture). Just goes to show that you should always follow your heart's desire and not a trend!
X Briohny.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Kathysue, I prefer contrast, too. We use gloss paint on our trim to make it pop from the walls. Ours needs to be repainted and refreshed. Oh, more painting for me to do! I read on another blog that they don't like RH's new look. We don't have one close by so I haven't seen it.

Karen Sabrsula said...

Thank you for saying it!! I agree with you. First, I hope grey goes out the door faster than the teal trend! Everyone is down enough with the economy. Who thought grey would cheer us up??? Hello???? Also, love contrast. The beige room you show is gorgeous! Why go through the expense of having layers of molding if you don't show it off? I think we need to start a happy color contrast revolution!!

Susie @ Maddie G Designs said...

I totally agree. One of the first things I do in a room if it doesn't have molding is add it before I have it repainted. I like the contrast. For our son's nursery I want to do either a bead board or wainscoting 3/4 of the way up the wall.....painted a shade of white/cream with grey in the small amount of wall left. I also like rooms where the walls are neutral and the moldings and doors are painted a contrasting color. I am finding a lot about RH depressing these days!

Unknown said...

i'm with you, i think - i sorta like the contrast of the molding and walls - since i'm getting all my moldings installed in 2 weeks - and i just paid for it all - i WANT people to NOTICE they $$$ i just spent, ya know .. why spend the money for fabulous crown molding if you can't see it? .. now maybe after a few years looking at it, and i go to change my colors on the wall, then possibly i would consider to paint them ..

i'm to wishy-washy when it comes to fashion and decor - i just like A LOT of different styles - i think only thing i'm NOT a fan of is 'country' ..


I am a big fan of white ceilings and trim being the same color. AND...I think the Restoration look is going to get old fast. I was in there the other day and it was a sea of beige.

Completely Coastal said...

We have moldings throughout our house, all in white like the ceilings -and I love them!

Completely Coastal

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathysue,

I tend to agree with you I like the contrast, that said I like the other too !!! Depends on the room I feel.

Kathy :)

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Amen! I agree with you, I like a contrast between the walls and the molding. It adds character to a room. I don't happen to like the direction that Restoration Hardware seems to be going. I miss their original concepts. IMHO

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I have just given this more thought and would like to say that there are always exceptions. For instance, if a room and ceiling are both painted white, I probably would not like a contrasting trim. For instance, the white kitchen you have pictured above...I would not like to see the trim in black or red or probably any other strong colors. Interesting post...as always.

vignette design said...

I need to see the details in a room too. Why have mouldings if they are the same color as the ceiling and walls. Can we say prison cell? I was just in Restoration Hardware today with their dark gray walls and mouldings the same color, and I wanted to scream, "depressing!" Am I being dramatic? Gray, gray, go away! I love the crisp contrast between the white moulding and navy blue walls in the bathroom--last photo. Great post Kathysue! You always make me think.....

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

The house I am currently working on will have the molding ect.the same color as the walls. We are doing this to play down the very traditional roots of the house. Plus the couple just wanted a Big Change. This will be my first time doing that, I am a bit uncomfortable with it though. Great Post.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Plus, it does make a space look larger to have everything the same...

diane@onlinefabricstore said...

I hate to disagree with you but I like the moldings the same color as the walls, especially when the color is a bold one. I think it makes the details stand out. That being said, I also like a subtle contrast. I dont think it is particularly trendy, I think it has been around and people are just starting to notice it because of popular colors like gray. but I must agree that moldings do turn a boring room into something spectacular.

Kathleen said...

I like the contrast too, K! And I had lunch last week at the place where Eddie and Mary did right here where I live in Southampton! I would have loved to snap a few pics of them for my blog!

Marcus Design said...

I think I agree with you as well Kathysue, I like a little contrast! However some of these looks above are quite amazing, and some of the more meaty and substantial mouldings really speaak for themselves even without a contrasting color or finish!!

Bring Pretty Back said...

Kathysue, Depressing is NOT the feel I want in my home... thats for sure. I am happy I am back to the wite, pink and green!
Have a pretty day!

Allie and Pattie said...

Kathysue, this has come up several times this year with clients. I am not a fan of the monochromatic look- there are some rooms with moldings and wals in the same color that I have loved BUT the finish must contrast
xoxo Pattie

Anonymous said...

I totally agree I like a contrast. I especially like a crisp white molding against a vibrant colored wall! xo

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh Kathysue, all of the moldings are so pretty. Living in the SW, it is funny that builders rarely ever use any moldings of any kind. Our house doesn't have any on the windows, ceilings or walls. Even the open doorways don't have moldings, just rounded corners. Guess that's totally a SW thing. Hugs, Marty

Hamptontoes said...

Great post. I am a huge fan of enhancing walls, windows and entry ways with trim! I too, like to see a contrast to really show off the work!

xinex said...

I do agree with you, Kathysue!..Christine

designchic said...

I agree totally - you hardly notice the beautiful character and detail of moldings when they are painted the same color. Love your blog!!

Unknown said...

I like both, I just love moldings and character in a room...period! Have you ever seen when the moldings are painted the same color as the room, only in a high gloss version of the paint? Lately, that's my favorite look!

Cashon&Co said...

you always bring up the BEST subjects Kathysue!!!
i JUST had to pick out moldings for a client yesterday. for a paneled room, cabinets, shoemoulding, crown molding etc.....
Wow. it's not easy. it just confirms how I am not a 2D person. The carpenter wanted me to pick it out from an illustrated catalogue, and there was NOOOO way I could do that. I had to see it 3D. and the funny thing is we decided to skip it all together on the crown molding, as it's a contemp. 1950's house and there is no other crown moulding in the house, and in this room's remodel, I decided to keep with the rest of the houses style. But it's not an easy thing, is it?? Love your images too. Hope I did the right thing, after seeing all these beauties. :)
Have a wonderful day dear. K

Acanthus and Acorn said...

A really good thought provoking post! I think we know how I feel about the new look of RH :) That said, I would say it depends.

Think of a beautiful library that is paneled in beautiful wood. No contrast. I think much depends greatly on the light of the space and the furniture placed within. This is why so many dislike the new "mood" of RH. It is the combination of the wall/molding color and the limed-oak wood furniture. Change either one to something completely different(please, make it the furniture!) and it might just be enjoyable.

In my own home I have cream moldings and mostly light colored walls. All the ceilings are cream except the foyer, which is a blue-gray. Our library is high contrast with dark brown walls and cream moldings. I like all the options when executed well!

La Dolfina said...

Hi friend,
I haven't even read this yet, but I just had to come over and thank you for your sweet comment about taking Chris off to college! I felt you strength and love the whole time and you would have been proud of me :)
I'm happy to be back and settling into a new normal now and would love to see you. How do things look for next week? I still have your gorgeous blue vase from the White Elephant and it wants to go live with you :)
Much love to you Kathysue... I couldn't have done it without you!!!

P/F said...

I liked all of the molding except #7 and #8. I like the continuity of the molding matching either the ceiling or the wall for an updated look.

But I am 100% behind you with the fact that Restoration Hardware's new look in store is too weary. Can't wait to see how they decorate it for Christmas ;)

Unknown said...

We're in the process of remodeling/moving into/making ours - a colonial style house built in 1986. The builder put in some REALLY nice trims and mouldings, and when we first saw the house, everthing was beige on beige. BORING!!! When we painted I had the hallway walls, living room and ajoining dining room painted "cappaccino" with a bright white on the trim. In the bedroom I did a sage green with the mouldings in white and I LOVE seeing the beautiful trim now. http://3388river.blogspot.com/2010/10/sometimes-it-should-be-easier.html