When designing a space, there are things we may want to change, but working with what you have is often more of a priority. I recently wrapped up a living room e-design project where we worked around the oak stained beams, window trim and fireplace surround. Often times, my first inclination is to paint that all out, to create dramatic, updated change. When that is not an option, it’s on to plan B. Plan B doesn’t always have to be the lesser option… it’s just a matter of selecting colors and fabrics that compliment the oak stained wood work, as opposed to competing with it! Since the space has a lot of warm wood tones (also including oak stained floors), the name of the game has to be to bring in some cool colors. Grays, blues and greens will be your friend and balance well against the warm woods. Here is the design board I created for them, where cooler tones reigned supreme…
Can I please have that blue chair all to myself?? By adding the blues, greens and grays, The warm woods will feel more welcome and will bring that mix of traditional with modern. The walls will be the soft gray color on the top left corner of the board and we will whitewash their brick with the color to the right of that. When showing my client this whitewash idea, I came across this blog post that showed an amazing before and after of their fireplace. I included a shot of the after on the bottom right side of the board. They also painted the brass fireplace insert black, which I also recommended to my client! It will be an instant modern update. They love the plans and I can’t wait to see their progress!
By the way, when researching rooms with stained oak trim, I came across the amazing parlor room of Nicole Balch, from the blog Making it Lovely. Her space is proof that stained oak trim can be chic…
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