Trim dilemma in old spanish home
Kristin Winovich
August 28, 2012 in Polls
My husband and I just moved into this small spanish style home in Toledo Ohio. The previous owners left us with hideous colors, and mismatched trim. We repainted the living room a pretty spanish white and plan on continuing that color into the lower level dining room over the green. **our dilemma** Half of the trim had been painted white on the lower level and rest of house, but in the living room remains the original wood (in a very beat up state).

Should we continue the white trim into the living room?

We plan on replacing the carpet with wood floors.
Lake Residence
Classical Twist: A Modern Townhouse with Traditional Reference
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Kristin Winovich
I want all the trim to match!
August 28, 2012 at 2:40PM     
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mpoulsom
Light wood floors, I'd paint the trim......dark wood floors, I'd leave the unpainted trim the original wood color.
August 28, 2012 at 2:58PM     
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feeny
It is indeed unfortunate that the previous owners painted most of the trim, as this style of house usually looks better with the original wood trim. So even though consistency is nice, I'd preserve whatever wood trim is left as it suits the style of the house better.
August 28, 2012 at 3:01PM     
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Mary Pettit
Spanish revival style includes wood, walnut, oak and pine. Where you have the original wood trim, can it be brought up to a better standard?
August 28, 2012 at 3:13PM     
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Kristin Winovich
Matt, the baseboard has been glazed over with something, it can possibly be sanded and restrained.

Here is a another view to show how the rest of the house has white trim - I am worried that there is no nice flow with the mismatched trim.
August 28, 2012 at 3:44PM   
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Artistic Interiors by Jules
Trim should all match - at least on one floor. You can have a separate area that's tucked away or an upstairs that is different. That being said, for your Spanish style, I would take it all back to wood or an appropriate color like a soft gold, cobalt, or even black since you don't have color on the walls. This will accent the architecture of the house. If you don't want the architecture or the trim to stand out, then paint it white. Good luck and enjoy the style of the house.
August 28, 2012 at 4:11PM     
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inkwitch
It occurs to me to wonder how "chopped up" the living room is -- how many doors/windows? If there are a lot, all that wooden trim will make the room looked broken up and break any flow you had hoped to achieve. It certainly adds to the Spanish flavor, it will look just as Spanish and more up-to-date with white trim -- and crisper, if that makes sense. You can sustain the spanish flavor (with those stucco walls!) in other ways.
August 28, 2012 at 4:29PM     
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larryhinkle
might i suggest a compromise....do the baseboards in the same white for continuity and leave the windows? I nearly looks like there are beams. I would leave those.
August 28, 2012 at 7:45PM     
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Kristin Winovich
Inkwitch - I agree, there are MANY ways I can bring in the spanish flavor like patterns, textures, artwork, wall decor. The beams are all the original dark wood, will try to find pic.

Larryhinkle - I think you are onto something with the white baseboards but leaving frames wood.

Would it be strange to paint the window trim white also, but leave window panes black?
August 28, 2012 at 8:11PM     
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PRO
Custom Home Planning Center
Given the rustic style I sand blast the trim and stain to a consistent color. It takes commercial vacuum system to keep the sand from being a problem
August 28, 2012 at 8:31PM   
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Christopher James Interiors
Go with the natural wood stained medium to dark brown if your budget allows. It is more costly to go this route due to stripping the existing painted trim and restaining it but the final outcome will look a lot nicer.
August 28, 2012 at 9:38PM     
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llmichaels
Leave the windows
August 29, 2012 at 5:51AM   
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zealart
I think the darker wood trim in this home works a lot better. The white trim just seems to get lost.
I think I would paint all the trim a dark/darker color. Then it would still pop like the wood does, but be cohesive at the same time, without all the time spent stripping the current white one.
August 29, 2012 at 6:01AM     
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llmichaels
Zealart has the best solution. Paint it dark. The Pop in the dark trim makes the best design statement for this house.
August 29, 2012 at 6:04AM     
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Mary Pettit
I have to agree with the dark trim. It is the contrast that you will need to visually ground the heavily textured walls. Maybe you can simulate some graining in dark trim. Here is an example of a faux finish that shows what that would look like.
Creative Cabinets and Faux Finishes, LLC
18th
August 29, 2012 at 6:42AM     
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nzdanovich
Hi Kristin, what type of wood flooring would you go with in the living room? That might have an impact on the color of the trim for the rooms. I would try and keep the trim the same color throughout the house - it lends continuity. Instead of painting the trim to match, is it possible to get new trim to match the living room and for the entire first floor, rather than spending time stripping and refinishing? There might be a style of trim that better matches the style of the house as well.
August 29, 2012 at 6:43AM   
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sailnmuffin
Unfortunately, based on the photos I think the trim is the least of your problems. The rough-troweled texture of the stucco walls is....excessively rough. It compresses the psychological space & IMO makes the whole house design/construction look amateurish instead of just rustic. That kind of stucco makes the walls look very heavy & if you went with dark-stained trim the place would look & feel likea total black hole. If what's underneath all that stucco is sheetrock (aka gypsum board, aka wall board), you might want to take on a labor-intensive but relatively inexpensive DIY project of replacing the sheetrock room by room, & covering the sheetrock with a much thinner coating of an acrylic finish that gives you the look of real plaster. I've studied this a bit for our own Pueblo Revival house we're building in NM (roof going on next week!) & today's acrylic finishes come in about 6 different textures & at least 15 different colors, any of which could significantly improve the looks of your Spanish Revival. If you want to investigate this option further, start where we did at www.variancefinishes.com - since you have to yank off all the trim to re-do it anyway, might as well deal with the walls too, if at all within your budget, time constraints & skills. Even if you must hire someone to hang & finish the sheetrock, you could still save a fair amount of money by doing the demolition yourselves. You could simply replace the sheetrock in just one small,out-of-the-way room to see the results, before deciding what to do with the rest of the house. With smoother plaster walls, you'd have a lot more options with what to do with the trim - much easier to go dark on the trim, or keep it natural, or switch off room by room, if you have smoother-finished walls. Good luck with whatever you decide!
August 29, 2012 at 7:23AM     
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Artisanaworks
The narrow stock baseboards with quarter round does nothing for the Spanish flavor. Rip out all (including quarter round on stairs). Simple "plank" baseboards ripped to 3/4" x 3"-no routed detailing-simple boards. Finish as Christopher James's example, raising the grain first w/water...brush w/layer of off white trim paint...wait a few...scrape raised grain with single edged razor blade. Wait a couple of days, then apply a med brown stain. Replacing with straight-forward simple boards, distressed w/the "Pickled look" would get rid of the tract house builder look that your current baseboards reflect. Also, Strip down the plank of wood in the open arch in the wall, leaving some of the white...then over stain to match. Also, I do agree with Sailnmuffin that the wall texture is a bit over-done.
August 29, 2012 at 8:22AM     
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fielding
True Spanish homes have no baseboards. And the trim around the doors and windows should be a bullnose effect
August 29, 2012 at 8:24AM     
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Nancy Hehmann
I agree with wood trim since a lot of the experts are saying it goes better with the flavor of the house. I have a lot of wood trim in my house and actually some has been painted. People are always telling me to paint more; but they are not around when the painted trim gets dirty and chipped. Stained wood trim is so much easier to maintain. I also don't turn my house into open concept because I like to be able to close off rooms at times - doggies, children etc don't always need free rein of a house. So when people tell you to knock down walls you might want to really think twice. I am sure it is less expensive when contractors are building houses to have fewer walls; but, it limits you.
August 29, 2012 at 8:24AM     
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caldermary
Here in New Mexico the old Spanish homes had beams in the ceilings and over doors and windows and there was no wood trim on walls and for base boards. Later when some trim was used it was very plain, ripped, rough lumber and was seldom more than baseboards and lined the window area in deep walls.
I do agree aiming for uniformity throughout a floor level seems best for flow. Foux finishes or new trim are all reasonable possibilities. I like the suggested pickled wood trim. It is easy enough to achieve and gives a great antiquated look no matter what color you choose to finish up with.
As for less weight in the look of the walls it would be calmer to live with. Even old adobe was often rough but the aim was to be as smooth as they could achieve.
The last place I lived in that had an over done texture. I took fine grit sandpaper to the entire walls of the worst rooms then repainted everything an off white. That is a lot of “elbo grease” and time. It all depends on how far you are able to go with the redo… new sheet rock and a lighter touch with the texture would be the best in the long run. As for “stark white” no way, all they had for many years was natural adobe or whitewash. That is another entirely different look.
I could live with the dark trim and might try to match until I couild replace it all. I guess whatever you choose to go with, continuity is the bottom line.
August 29, 2012 at 4:41PM     
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Artisanaworks
Caldermary has it right, on all accounts. Only thing I would add...if walls are painted, use Dead Flat Paint. Any gloss or shine at all is totally out of character.
August 29, 2012 at 6:27PM     
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caldermary
thanks Artisanaworks..mat is a good choice and would soften the look of the overdone texture.
August 29, 2012 at 6:50PM     
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memo3
Try putting some "Gel Stain" over some white woodwork in an inconspicuous place and see if it will coat evenly to cover most of the white paint. You could also paint over the white with one of the new acrylic opaque stains which come in colors as well as regular wood tone stains. A new stain touch up on the living room trim would probably help clean it up since it's beat up. I personally love the walls as is. I think they have a lot of character and look updated. Who says you always have to go the "traditional way"?
August 29, 2012 at 7:30PM     
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fife2
As frequent visitor to New Mexico - I have to agree with Caldermary. If you ARE curious - try finding a book on Santa Fe Architecture and look closely at the details. The entire flavor of "Spainish" influence is its basic incorporation of natural materials: The adobes from local sand and hay; simple rustic woods, the beautiful dark stained woods or naturally dark woods against the natural colored walls. Personally - I would leave the windows alone, take out ALL the baseboards, and simply replace them all with plain boards. And there is certainly nothing wrong with having your baseboards the same color as your floors. And too - I would just knock some of the edges off of the walls. You can get a sanding block on a stick to do this - just like if you were sanding off stibled ceilings. I would do one room at a time with the sanding, covering the doors with plastic to keep it manageable. I like your idea of a white - but would defintiely look at a softer white - and since I grew up there - it was interesting to discover I had absolutely chosen an adobe colore to paint my bedroom - never occurred to me this is what I had done. But to keep the work from becoming overwhelming - I would just take the walls down a little. And this will also keep dust and dirt from sticking to them.

New Mexico and Spain are both about being "lands of contrasts" - it is all about the light - your windows are fine! I know you will find just the right combinations and you could even have the flooring people install the new basebaords when they put in the flooring?

Let us know - but do look up some S.W. traditional architecture to see how this is done.

Sounds exciting to me.
August 29, 2012 at 10:49PM     
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fife2
BTW - baseboards should be at least 5 inches. Like putting deep crown molding around a ceiling - it will make your room look larger and add architectural interest.
August 29, 2012 at 10:51PM   
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Artisanaworks
Love a lot of what fife2 has to say about the essence of the Spanish adobe home. The look of a 5" baseboard is often an attractive choice. In fact, I replaced all my skinny 2"ers w/ 5.25". All things must be taken into consideration including ceiling height, window placement, and junctures at entrances to adjoining rooms. As I study the photos provided, and take into account some of the comments made here, I'm inclined to go the no baseboard route (which was my very first thought, but I deleted from my original comment!). A no baseboards approach will visually heighten the walls, enhance the overall appeal, cut down on labor, material cost, and headaches at some of the junctures I will point out.

Looking at the step-up to the L.R....really should be no baseboard under step. If taller baseboards are installed, it is going to require chiseling off vast amounts of wall texture, and this may very well be stucco, not a softer plaster mix. One window in L.R. is very low...no baseboards will give more wall space, which would be a plus. Currently, the baseboard on the inside of the arch in the entrance to the raised L.R. is simply not good. I am sure there are other such junctures which create situations which make placement of baseboards not appropriate or simply a bad idea.

So, we simplify...which is the core of the original style, save time, $, and materials. All that might be needed: A heavy, wide joint grout to fill in any space that might have been left between tile flooring and wall, and a stucco or dense texturing mix to fill in any nail holes and voids in walls. Life is easy...er!
August 30, 2012 at 4:02AM     
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fife2
Artisanworks - this sounds good also - if they choose NO baseboards - aggregate could be added to the plaster to fill in the spaces left by removing the baseboards. But, I do have to say - having stayed in original adobes in Santa Fe , and other places in New Mexico - like Abique & Taos, even the Mable Dodge Luhan House - I have actually NEVER seen one which did NOT have baseboards! The ones which did NOT have baseboards, were like the rooms in Georgia O'Keefe's house, or the 400 year old mission churches - dirt floors, dried and finished with cow blood! And here is the thing about TILE floors and NO baseboards - the edges of the tile, and some of the stucco does come off around the egdes - without some type of baseboard - this is always around the wall line.

I personally do not feel a smaller gap between the bottom of the window and the floor is a mis-step. I have seen this done with as little as only a 2 inch gab between window and baseboard -it is ultimately up to the homeowner - what look they want to finish this off. It is an interesting house - and I love the rustic feel they seek. Again, I think it would behoove anyone undertaking this process to find a book on traditional architecture and study what looks good to them. This is just my opinion. :-)
August 30, 2012 at 11:33AM     
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Faireden
Yes, paint all the trim.
August 30, 2012 at 11:40AM     
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Artisanaworks
So, we have not heard from Kristinwinovich in a while. How are you doing, Kristin with all this advice?
Hope you are not sorry you brought this up! But, wait...there is more.......

For anyone who is interested, there is a good, strong Saltillo mortar made for grouting wider areas -I have used it. Tile will not be chipping away if the mortar is butted up against the tile and all the way to the stucco. My parents lived many years in an adobe home in Pojoaque outside Santa Fe. Parts of the house may have been 70 years old. The house had no baseboards.
August 30, 2012 at 12:13PM     
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fife2
Funny !!!! Poor Woman - maybe she has run away?
August 30, 2012 at 12:22PM     
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Kristin Winovich
fife2 - you are funny!

I am gathering my thoughts from all these awesome responses! Everyone has made such interesting points that I am trying to visualize the best solution. I think from reading through everyone's advice, I have a temporary solution for the upcoming months and a more permanent solution for the future when we have the money to invest. My husband and I are only 24 and bought this house as a foreclosure, so we have quite some saving to do before we can replace the trim and woodwork. (We have 0 furniture right now as well) I'm going to write up my response tonight after work and have my decisions for all you helpful designers!

I have been doing some research on spanish revival and the essence of spanish architecture for the past few months, so what everyone is advising sounds very familiar. The challenge isn't visualizing what I want, but visualizing what is best for our 1920's home on a tight budget. Not to mention my husband is on team white trim, so I will have to present my case otherwise wisely!

Until my next post - here are a couple more pictures of the house for more visualization:
- outside pic and kitchen looking into dining room
August 30, 2012 at 1:18PM   
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Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Love this post from start to finish - 24 years old, eh? Beauty of a home - the designers gave excellent ideas - enjoy the work job ahead & the satisfaction -
August 30, 2012 at 2:10PM     
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fife2
Dear ArtisanWorks: LOVE Pojoaque! Was just there and bought the BEST ever jerky - from the babershop located across the highway from the reservation. I like the one made with the local chiles.

OK - I give - did NOT know about the Saltillo Mortar! Maybe BASEBOARDS are a personal preference? OR an economic issue?
August 30, 2012 at 11:12PM     
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fife2
Kristin: How fortunate you are to have this BEAUTIFUL house. And, I am sure the house, will be glad you found it! Since this is your first - it will become your training ground, and will serve you well as you develop your talent for re-creating it as a beautiful home. Folks, as you can see, get really excited about this stuff - and appreciate those others of us, who love working on their homes also. I have taken my much abused little Victorian Farm House from a duplex back to a single family home - and I can tell you - it is never done! But always fun. just enjoy the journey. we are waiting to see your creation.
August 30, 2012 at 11:20PM     
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Nancy Hehmann
The new pictures of your house are beautiful. I can see why you purchased it. All houses need a lot of work over time. When I redecorated my kitchen 5 years ago, I liked it so well (even though it is 30 yrs old) I decided I did not really want to move. Course with the recession, I am glad we stayed. I like HGTV sometimes for inspiration. They teach you a lot. Love it or Leave it is a good one and property brothers. They really do a good job on their remodels too. Property brothers was the name of their show but they have a new one we watched last night ( 2 male twins from Canada) Designed to sell also teaches you not to change things in your home (if an expensive option) that only you will love in case you have to sell it.

Have a great time. You also might want to check out Etsy.com for home decorator items. A lot of the artisans do a great job on their items and you can use their search engine to find what you need. They have a lot of good photography too. Check out the shop, nancyhehman. That is me. Seriously though there are many options on Etsy from plaques to clothing for any bambinos you might have in the future. A lot of the shops are in the US, Canada and even as far away as Australia. The profiles usually tell you where the people are located.
August 31, 2012 at 7:45AM   
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Mary Pettit
Lucky you to have found such a gem! I have a Spanish revival/Craftsman bungalow and they are fun to work on. I have the Craftsman dark walnut trim on the interior with the large mopboards and the flat plaster and lathe walls. We are currently working on the exterior first to bring out her beauty. Can't wait to see all your progress.
August 31, 2012 at 1:47PM     
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Sonoma Decorative Arts
Being a painter, of course, I always think of paint first as the solution to any problem :). Should you decide on the wood trim, it may be easier to go faux wood than to strip and stain. There are some very good faux finishers in Ohio, but this is something you could try yourself, if you are comfortable with a brush. Memo3 makes an excellent suggestion with gel stain, we like Old Masters brand. But not over white. You would want to paint the trim with the lightest color you see in the real wood trim, and it needs to be a kind of juicy color, because you are going to knock it back so much with the stain. Then experiment with brushing the stain on, or better yet, brushing and flogging, it's a special brush for wood graining. Then a coat of varnish. If it chips, always a problem with paint, you can touch up with a touch up pen. Pierre Finkelstein has a great book The Art of Faux, which has a wonderful section on wood graining, or you could hire a faux finisher for a day to help you to pick colors and get you started. Interesting that your husband likes the white trim, usually guys are the ones howling if you wan to paint over any wood! Good Luck, what a great adventure!
September 1, 2012 at 9:41AM   
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nasmijati
You have a gorgeous home to work with. I'm pleased you are studying Spanish architecture. In an 1880's adobe home in the North Valley of Albuquerque, the floors are brick, and there is no baseboard on the smooth plastered walls. At some point, someone did paint a five inch border around the bottom of the wall in the same color as the brick floor. New Mexico is so dusty that I think the plaster must have gotten very stained. I will look forward to seeing photos of your progress!
September 1, 2012 at 10:07AM   
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Kristin Winovich
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their valuable input and opinions on our trim dilemma!
The design decision had our brains rattled for the past months, but I am happy to say we are 100% satisfied with the final results. After going back and forth in our minds weather or not to preserve or cover the remaining wood trim in the home, we decided to take the plunge and paint over! Although we had to say goodbye to a bit of history, our home now feels warm, clean, comfortable, and has the nice flow we were searching for.

About a month ago we had painted the living room Benjamin Moore - Spanish White. We were convinced this color would be the best option to open up the space and create a natural palette for any decor. After living with it for a while, it began to feel a bit cold, and the only way the color would reach it's potential was if we preserved the trim and added matching trim to the rest of the house as well. I think this look would have been beautiful for any spanish home and would be worth consideration in the future, but at this point in our lives the best option was to paint over. I think the spanish flavor is still preserved in the wood ceiling beams (not shown in picture) and the steel casement windows which were left black. Not to mention the thick wall texture.

The new wall area is painted Benjamin Moore - Cream Fleece - 25% lighter. The trim was painted Bear - Clear Moon. We are having hard wood floor contractors in this afternoon to give us an estimate on flooring for the living room and upstairs…. going to leave the spanish tile floors in the dining room and kitchen.

I hope to have up more pictures of the progress as we continue throughout the home.
September 6, 2012 at 7:29AM     
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nasmijati
Warm, clean, comfortable. That is a definition of "home" for many people. You now have a hybrid Spanish style home in Ohio! Sometimes transplants do look a bit different far away from their usual geography. I would very much like to see progress photos as you continue through the house.
September 6, 2012 at 8:20AM   
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fife2
Beautiful . And IT IS always about what works for YOU! Keep us updated.
September 6, 2012 at 8:25AM   
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Kristin Winovich
tipi - it is indeed a hybrid! You nailed it!
September 6, 2012 at 8:25AM   
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memo3
Beautiful! I hope you and your husband enjoy every minute of your life there.
September 6, 2012 at 11:19AM   
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larryhinkle
I think you made a good choice. Even if you didnt paint it the same white I thought it should have a fresh coat of brown anyway so I would have covered the wood regardless.
September 6, 2012 at 11:26AM   
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Emily Hurley
Wonderful! It turned out lovely.
September 6, 2012 at 11:29AM   
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Faireden
A perfect example of a contemporary Spanish style; authentic yet modernized! Beautiful work!
September 6, 2012 at 11:54AM   
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Kristin Winovich
Thank you all! I am very excited to get that carpet out of there > I think wood floors will pay homage to the old wood trim and bring in some sophistication :)
Can't wait to fill it will beautiful patterns!
September 6, 2012 at 12:02PM   
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