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what would you do? wood trim?

Don Martin
May 12, 2019
Hi! This is my first post and I have terrible vision. We just purchased our forever home because of the beautiful lot and structure, but needed some advice on what to do now to update it. We typically like white trim, grey paint, white cabinets, etc... now we have a Colorado home with knotty alder trim/doors, cherry cabinets, not sure what the floors are but they are awful. Terrible appliances. We have been told to live in for a year to see if the Colorado style grows on us... so my question is what would you do to update this home? We probably have 20k now to start and the rest we would slowly do as time and money permits

Comments (29)

  • PRO
    Randy Trainor

    We think you purchased a beautiful home. If you are unhappy with the wood, you could paint it. However, we will show you a home we designed to help you with envisioning your home with the wood still.

    Alpine Ski Home · More Info

    Alpine Ski Home · More Info

  • groveraxle

    Question: Is this your furniture, or are these the listing photos? If it's not your furniture, what style do you like?

    If it IS your furniture, it goes well with the house as it is.

    If you return to answer these questions, then I will work on this house.

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  • PRO
    Focal Point Hardware

    I happen to love the house. the only thing that maybe I would change would be the flooring in the kitchen. to kind of update it and make it more current I would suggest a gray grainy tile - pick a gray color that is in the counter top marble to match the floor. I would even do similar flooring if not the same throughout the house. using the same tile throughout the house gives a seamless look and also makes the space look larger. not that the space needs to look larger- it seems like a pretty large space, but those are the facts of same tile use throughout the house. just sharing.

  • Erin

    I live in Colorado. This is not your typical, cheap honey oak trim and cabinets -- you have high-end wood trim and gorgeous cherry cabinets. All the finishes are high-end. I wouldn't dare paint the wood if it were me. I had honey oak in my home and got that painted, but I had the cheap stuff. Knotty alder and cherry wood are very much loved and highly valued. If you just hate wood cabinets, then try to at least get them removed carefully and sell them.

    I'm not sure what you mean by the floors are awful? Are they in bad condition? Or you just don't like them? A very popular update in Colorado is to do wood-look tile or big format like 24x24 tile flooring throughout the main floor. You can do heated tile floors for the cold Colorado winters.

    I suggest painting the walls white or a light gray that works well with the trim. Also, update the appliances (new vent hood) and lighting fixtures. I think you'll be surprised how much just those updates will change the look of the home. Wood trim and cabinets can look modern/fresh and you can pull this house away from the "cowboy" look very easily without painting the wood. If you don't like the backsplash and counters in the kitchen, you could consider replacing with something lighter and brighter.

    Some inspiration:

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    With your 20k budget, you should be able to paint the walls, get new appliances, lighting fixtures, and other smaller updates. Then you'll have to wait until you have more funds to do the counters, backsplash, and new flooring throughout. But I totally think you could make this house YOUR home without gutting it.

  • housegal200

    Yes, we need to know if these are your furnishings. I happen to love the rugged look of your wood trim, floors, and more. Some of the current furnishings--dining table and chairs, curvy entry table lamp, curviness in general, round table in a living area--are out of sync with the finishes and lines that go well in this kind of house--wood, stone, iron, leather with straight lines. I hope you don't paint the trim, doors, or do the walls in gray--so generic and not in harmony with the house you chose. Maybe spend your budget on more modern lighting, art, bolder patterned rugs. The main living area with the fireplace works very well.

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  • Don Martin
    Wow, thanks for the comments! These are just the listing pics and NOT our furniture... we
    Move into the home in a couple weeks. In fact our furniture would look worse! We have grey Restoration Hardware tables, white dressers, linen color tufted beds, etc. we love it, but worried it won’t fit in our new home.
    The comment about the floors- yes we dislike them because of the condition, and the look. My current fad is the wide plank white oak low gloss or mat flooring finished in a greyish/brownish look
  • Don Martin
    I like the idea of maybe starting with the walls,
    Changing the range hood, lighting futures and see what we think. A friend from there told us we
    Need to live in it for a year before changing any of the wood to see if we end up liking it.

    Question about the cabinets- the appliances seem to be dated. They have split ovens- one on each side of the range. Does it look like an expensive remodel to add a nice range/oven combo with a matching rangehood. Im guessing it would mean changing out cabinets where the existing ovens are. Thoughts?
  • housegal200

    You know, your Restoration Hardware furniture will fit in better than the listing furniture--rugged, straight lines, natural materals. It is a good idea to live in a place and see what it "says" to you. Your view is like a floor-to-ceiling painting; the gorgeous fireplace dominates the room so handsomely. Work with those in art work choices and finishes. I love your gold "knotty" floors--part of the vibe as well in a color that is totally suited to that wood. Consider getting a color consultant who can combine your furniture with the floors, trim, fireplace, and the lighting conditions you will have.

    You could go in a pale gray/gold wood hightlights direction to combine the two. It's a cooler look.

  • PRO
    LB Interiors

    Pretty home! I would paint the entry door and framing a white. If you want to paint walls, I would think light gray or a warm taupe. Accent all trim, molding and doors in white. I would also paint the kitchen island base, light or mid tone gray or white, which will be determined by countertop colors or a bolder accent color from a different palette. Maybe an accent color you like!

    Keep in mind the island color needs to work with your future visions for furniture and all your colors for your home. Make color choices while keeping in mind your color palette for the future projects.

    For Fireplace cabinets, you could paint white also with possible gray or warm taupe walls.

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  • Brown Dog

    Beautifiul home! But I see your point about all the wood. If this was my house I would start by painting out the interior doors, door trim and baseboards and I'd paint them white, the same white as the big window in the family room. I would leave the inside front door, the dining room door and the fireplace cabinets as is so you keep that Colorado style. I would get rid of all the display nooks and recesses. The floors look like they are in pretty good shape and not too old so I'd get someone in to stain them the grey/brown you like with matte finish (refinishing will be a lot cheaper than replacing). The grey/brown colour will help to hide the current contrasty knott spots. I would put most of your 20k in the kitchen and to update light fixtures. Replace the appliances that need replacing, update the range hood and backsplash to more your style. Then stop. With grey/brown flooring, new appliances, range hood, backsplash and lighting, that may be enough. If not, go to phase 2. Keep painting out the wood you're not crazy about. I think your house will be a process. Your kitchen cabinets are a lovely classic style, they would look great painted white or a light colour with the island painted black or another dark colour. If possible, it would be great if your upper cabinets went to the ceiling. Good luck! You have a lovely home!

  • calidesign

    This home will never look right with grays, which are also cold colors for Colorado (notice how out of place the gray stools in the kitchen are). Stick with warm whites or light greens for wall color. The front door and trim is beautiful as are the kitchen cabinets. I think with your updated furniture it will look even better. I would paint over the faux finish walls in the dining room. If you want to update the kitchen, replace the countertops and backsplash with a warm white granite or quartz. It's a beautiful home and you shouldn't try to make it into something it's not.

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  • Erin

    Cold colors for Colorado? Eh, what? Where you live does not dictate anything about whether you're allowed to use warm or cool colors. The gray stools look out of place because literally everything else in the room is brown or some other warm color, not because this house is in Colorado.

    It IS a beautiful home, but the owner can make it into whatever they want. Just because I live in Colorado, does that mean I can only wear warm colors? Nope. If they remodeled this house to look like a modern New York penthouse, would it look out-of-place in Colorado? Nope. I see all sorts of beautiful homes around here that vary in style and color choices. This house obviously was built to have a specific style, but that doesn't mean you can't change it.

    Don: Do you think you would not use both ovens? I personally like the cooktop being separate like I see in your kitchen. Then you have the wall oven and the microwave above it on the left, which is nice, but if you don't need that second oven that is on its own, you can definitely have it removed and see if you can fit some other appliance there or get someone to build cabinet drawers in its place. I don't think that would cost much.

    I also think your Restoration Hardware furniture will look great in this house. I know it's hard to see it with all the previous owner's stuff in there, but it will look completely different once your stuff is in. I think wide plank white oak would work really well in your house and would be beautiful! I would suggest doing tile at the entrances to the home because of snow.

  • Julie B.

    If you want to turn this house into a gray-toned/white Shaker cabinet kind of feel, 20k would barely get you started. Every hard finish and every fixture in your home would need to be replaced—all flooring, light fixtures, bathroom tile, doors, trim, fireplace stone, cabinets, counters and kitchen backsplash.

    Even if you just wanted to paint out the trim, that’s going to be problematic. There’s serious grain and knots in it. You can‘t paint over that without extensive prep work.

    Yes, it would be very expensive to swap out your rangetop and ovens for a range. You would need someone to come in and built custom cabinets to refit those areas. Matching the wood and the finish would be costly for something that’s generally considered a step down in appliances.

  • jhmarie

    Every new build in my area for the last 10 years has been gray with white shaker cabinets. Finally some builders are moving away from it. I love those french oak wide plank floors too - but some new trend will come along.

    Whole house transformations cost tens of thousands of dollars - if not more, and that amount will not be recovered in the sale of the home. The square footage will still be the same and if newer trends come along (and they will) it could be a transformation that is considered "dated" in 10 years. Perhaps if it is your forever home, you won't mind the cost or care that it looks dated in 10 years if you truly do love white and gray. Many "love" white and gray because they have been influenced by home improvement shows, which are basically marketing tools.

    There are areas you can make more your style - change out light fixtures, paint walls and add your own decor. I would do those first and perhaps rethink if this is your forever home.

  • PRO
    LB Interiors

    I agree with Erin and think your furniture will change the feeling once it's in your rooms. You have a great start. The walls are the largest areas in the home. If you just repaint in a gray, that will be a surprising result.

    Gray lends itself to being a cool color and the woods are warm, which makes a nice balance. You can always paint the wood choices later.


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  • hollybar

    That furniture gone and all the swirly metal removed will make a big difference. I'd probably have all the walls,none of the wood, painted while the space is empty. A neutral to warm-ish white. (Heck,I could live with just a couple coats of primer for a year, just not the current paint.) And I'd change the kitchen light fixtures. That's it until I lived in it a while.

  • PRO
    LB Interiors

    I totally agree with jhmarie.... right on.... gray is overdone, as every trend evolves to.

    I prefer a difference and designing with you in mind, with one's own unique personality. I help clients find their own individual design. Every staged and flipped home is gray. They all look and feel the same. There are thousands of other colors, styles, directions, and possibilities in Design.

  • Julie B.

    Painting the walls a true gray would declare war on your kitchen (and probably your bathrooms.) A typical blue or violet gray up against those gold (?) beige hard surfaces would look really bad.

    She’s referenced a lot here, but Maria Killam’s blog is a must read for you: https://www.mariakillam.com/blog/

    You bought a Western style home. I know you love the grayed-woods/white furniture look now, but that really means you love what’s current. I thought I would always love stenciled walls. Replacing a few elements, like the floor, with what’s current now is going to result in a devalued and unattractive home.

  • MountainView

    I'm mostly posting to get notifications of updates, but wanted to ask if the OP could tell us where in Colorado this is? Or is it just a "Colorado feel" and not located in CO at all? Like Erin, I live in CO, I'm in one of the ski resort areas, and this look is very appropriate for this area, although the furniture seems overly formal and fussy for CO mountain areas. But if this house is along the Front Range, then I'd say it could definitely go a different way and I've seen homes like this in the Denver area. And even in the mountains, you can do different styles -- here is a very contemporary style home that is amazing! https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/688-Vasquez-Rd_Winter-Park_CO_80482_M29328-23210

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I would google some Modern Colorado home interiors for some ideas. IMO to go from white and gray to ALL that wood would make me crazy. I also would not wait a year to change that kitchen and the floors. This home can be anything you want it to be but it willbe big $$$$

  • groveraxle

    Don, if your furniture is Restoration Hardware style, I think you can make it work. Move in and then post more photos with your furniture in the rooms.

    You have no ideabooks. I'd start one for each room right now, and another for lighting. (Those chandeliers will have to go, but I'll bet you can sell them to defray costs on new lighting.) Save everything you love. Don't make any decisions until you have a clear plan for the house.

  • mainenell
    What a beautiful home! The only thing I would change is the flooring. But I would probably live with it for awhile. I house speaks, it has its own mind of what it wants to be. Give it time to tell you what that is. And what flooring would be best. I am thinking tile even though tile is not my favorite. (Too hard on the feet.) It would brighten the kitchen up.
  • Erin

    There are a ton of homes in my area that do not have the western feel. A lot of new builds especially are contemporary, though I'd say wood cabinets are still more popular than painted (when they are the premium woods like alder or cherry). I see a lot of varied styles in homes, such as Cape Cod, Victorian, Rustic, and Mid-century.

    Also, gray is a trend for a reason -- why is everyone so keen on knocking it? Just because you don't like gray or you think it's a fad, doesn't mean other people can't like it. Again, I personally would not change this houses' alder trim or cherry cabinets because those are premium materials and are really beautiful, but I also love white and gray cabinets too. You can mix cool and warm colors, gray and brown, and get really awesome results. The problem is when people decide to go gray and then everything is the same shade of gray.

    Don: I think that by just painting the walls, changing the lighting fixtures, then getting all your furniture in the home, you'll see a huge change. I would do a warm white for the walls in your house. For the flooring, if you wanted to replace all the wood flooring with white oak, I could see it costing 20k just for that, but get some estimates.

    Look at these homes with a mix of wood tones, grays, whites, and browns.

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  • MountainView

    I agree with Erin that you can make it anything. In downtown Colorado Springs are amazing Victorians build back at the turn of the century. But changing the basic personality of the house will cost a lot.

    I do love the Mountain Contemporary or Modern Mountain look, and that is exactly what we were going for when we were planning our house design. Steel beams, concrete floors, but with lots of wood touches.

  • PRO
    Debbi Washburn

    I would focus on floors and painting so it can be done before moving in... Maybe see if there is a stain a couple of shades darker than what is there now. It will give a little contrast to the other wood in the house and the kitchen. Paint would be great! The color that is there is too blah - it doesn't show off the wood work at all. I personally would not paint any of the wood - it is beautiful. Try to do different colors in each space - that same color almost everywhere is boring.

    And take the carpet off the stairs - make them wood stained to match the floors.

    I think just all of that work will use up alot of that budget and maybe leave room for changing some light fixtures and doing some updates on furniture or draperies, etc.

    It is a beautiful home! Enjoy!

  • nycbluedevil_gw

    I just went through the same thing at my country house. My 3500 sf house has yellow pine floors, which is what I think you have too. All the trim in the house was knotty pine—not nearly as nice as your knotty alder. I just replaced all the doors and windows in the house so had to make a decision, finally, about what to do with the trim I left the floors and painted all trim, interior doors and baseboard white. Covering the knots requires a special primer. I will tell you that the paint job to was close to 20K, and I actually think I got a good price, given how much work it was.

    Regarding the suggestion about staining the floors, if they are in fact yellow pine, I think staining would be very difficult. I have been exploring that and have read that staining pine floors is really tricky. If I do anything, it would be a whitewash.

    Your house is beautiful. I would paint the walls, change the lights and then reassess.

  • Chisos


  • Julie B.

    Erin, it’s not gray per se, but one element of gray in that house where it is has no friends. It would be like putting a gold and brown granite on white cabinets with Carerra marble backsplash.

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