What WOOD you do??

October 8, 2019

My fiance and I are closing on a home Friday and are at a loss with what to do with this north-facing living room. He thinks the wood ceiling and stove call for a rustic look, I had been leaning towards painting all wood and white washing the bricks around stove.

For reference, the house is a 1970's dutch colonial and we would like to be able to sell in 4-7 years. We will be furnishing it with a sectional to maximize seating and putting a TV on the wall next to the kitchen.

Thanks for any recommendations!

3 Victoria Ln, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 - 4 Bed, 3 Bath Single-Family Home - M · More Info

3 Victoria Ln, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 - 4 Bed, 3 Bath Single-Family Home - M · More Info

Comments (28)

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    I don't think painting the wood would be a smart idea. That doesn't appear to be cheap wood trim, and painting it would probably hurt the resale value. Before you make a decision on the brick (I'm against white washing it as well), get it professionally cleaned.

    I don't think the wood means you have to go "rustic", but I would stick with warmer tones. Also, rethink the sectional because they're big and usually bulky which will only make the room feel small and dated.

  • tqtqtbw

    The stove says rustic to me, but you don't have to let it force your decorating style or try so hard to counter it. Based on the stove being there in the first place, I'm going to assume it get really cold and people in your area would appreciate a comfy space.

    I see that some of the trim in the rest of the house is painted white. The unpainted wood and the brick looks nice in the pictures and I think you could leave it and decorate in a non-rustic way.

  • houssaon

    I agree with Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design .

    With more attractive window covering and the right wall color, this room is quite charming.

  • tqtqtbw

    I followed the link and saw the rest of the pictures. Don't dare paint the wood or the brick. This room fits the house perfectly. The way it is staged is perfect - a perfect family home with comfort and polish.

    I can't tell if there is a better place to put the TV. I don't like the idea of it being on a small wall between two entries into the room. Add a picture of the missing wall or a sketch and maybe there is a better place and a better furniture arrangement. I own sectionals but your room might need a sofa and 2-4 chairs instead.

  • Sheeisback GW

    I would not paint the wood or whitewash the brick.

    Pretty home.

  • tatts

    This isn't HGTV; this is the real world. Your brick has very deep-set mortar (called nail-struck). If you paint it, it will have a grid of heavy shadow lines outlining every brick. See below. Yuck. Plus--a hot fire will cause the paint to discolor. Plus, plus, it will lower the value of the house (as will painting the beams).

  • groveraxle

    I would not paint the woodwork unless you are prepared to paint it ALL. Every stick of woodwork in this house is natural, so leave it all. I see someone has already painted the brick on the entry fireplace, so you might consider limewashing the brick in the living room.

    I also would caution against a sectional. Two sofas will give you exactly the same amount of seating and be more versatile, plus they can move with you and you won't have to worry if they'll fit in a new home.

  • alexqp23

    Okay okay we won't paint the wood or fireplace! Thanks for all the suggestions. Any ideas for wall colors? When refinishing the floors (they are very scratched up), would you keep them the same color or stain it closer to the rest of the wood? The missing wall has a small bay window seat and a door to the outside, so no tv hanging option. I know the sectional isn't the most stylish option, but I've got a large family I'm hoping will be hanging out there! ; ) Thanks again and any other suggestions for the house are welcome!

  • J Williams

    Personally, I think that beige rug is bringing things down, plus the weird itty bitty curtain/valance thingies. There is just too much beige. If it were my room l would chose a rug with richer earthier colours.

  • hollybar

    I'd get the floor closer to the tone of the wood in the rest of the space. If you post a simple floorplan with the dimensions, you will get more useful advice re:furniture. What sort of sectional are you considering? Many of them are large but way less useful for seating a large crowd than you might think. Do you have a rug for the space? Buying a rug and then choosing the paint shade is way easier than doing it the other way around.

    Congrats on the lovely,lovely house!

  • groveraxle

    I moved these people out of your house and gave you a rug to cover up those ratty floors for now. You'll want to have them refinished before you move anything in. I would do them in the same color they are now, mainly because trying to match the existing woodwork takes the chance that you'll end up close-but-no-cigar and it will look like a mistake. The current color looks good.

  • alexqp23

    What a small world! Thank you for the rug and advice groveraxle! Don't tell the previous owners we suggested painting the wood ; ) Hollybar, we were planning on ordering one from the series below. We have one now that we like and were planning on putting in the basement. For walls we are now leaning towards a greige, but appreciate the advice to purchase a rug first! Any thoughts on ceiling color? We don't like the high contrast with the wood. Once we close and get in there, I'll provide measurements. Thanks everyone!

  • PRO

    Swimming against the tide here as usual.

    I'd paint all the wood so that it blends with the rest of the home, and I'd update the stove to one of the newer versions and 86 the brick entirely See image below.

    Dutch Colonial homes are charming, if a bit feminine homes, not rustic cabins and that addition doesn't fit from what I can see in the kitchen.

  • arcy_gw

    You have been watching waaaay too much Sarah Richardson. White washing everything...I would strongly suggest you speak to a few realtors and find out the hit your home value will take when you remove any reference to any REAL RICH wood quality products in your home. Painting for your own aesthetic is one thing but 4-7 years to create something that cannot be undone is never to be done lightly.

  • chiflipper

    groveraxle's oriental rug is a winner. Deeper, richer tones will "balance out" the wood. Think Ralph Lauren's Polo living rooms. The stove and pipe can be painted any color, ask for referrals at local stove shops.

  • catlady999

    Please consider insulated curtains for those big north side windows. Uncovered glass just drains the heat and money from a house on winter nights.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.

    I'm with Beverly, my very first thought when I saw the picture before reading the dilemma was ' this room would look great painted'

    Do what you want- it is just wood. To me the painted wood looks so much brighter and opens up the space. I know that is sacrilegious to some. It is just pine and plywood, this isn't Cyprus or mahogany...

  • groveraxle

    Those who say paint the wood have not gone to look at photos of the rest of the house. This house has miles of wood. Every single piece of trim is unpainted wood. They will use their entire 7 years here to paint it.

    Alex, instead of the sectional, do two sofas placed in an L-shape. Then you can put a side table in the corner.

    Clairemont Whole House Renovation · More Info

  • PRO

    I was only able to view the part of the kitchen that borders the addition and that trim looks painted to me.

  • tqtqtbw

    Bev and others, if you click on the "More Info" hyperlink on the first photo and then the Website, you can see all the rooms. The kitchen and laundry room have white trim. The rest is wood trim and beautiful wood doors. I'm an oak hater but this wood is warm and fits the house and site nicely.

  • Kaitlin

    This room would look great in blue, but then again, I'm pro-blue anything. I'd also lighten up the fabric colors and do a darker (or lighter) coffee table. We have a lot of wood as well and in our living/kitchen, we went with sage green, while our basement (with a similar brick wood stove area) is a navy blue.

  • decoenthusiaste

    IMO, the biggest mistake in this house is the way someone painted the trim in the laundry and kitchen. The wood in the rest of it is beautiful and would be complimented very nicely with a varying palette of sage greens. See the office for a hint and how nicely green works with the wood. My inclination would be to remodel the kitchen and laundry to match the rest of the home.

  • hollybar

    In this space, the wood adds interest (other millwork as in Bev's photos is missing) and visual warmth. When all wood gets painted out to white you lose that quality and in a house that is located where the long winter is very gray (howdy from the Fingerlakes!)) you might want to hang on with the wood. Or even paint it....not "white" at all! "It is a question of the light and atmosphere" As Grover & others pointed out, the rest of the home has mostly similar trim so most definitely a bear to paint it if you want matching throughout. Do you? Are you planning on a kitchen remodel/tweak soon? Myself,I would probably tone down the current ceiling white (what is with the dark ceiling panels? Speakers?) and live in the house a bit while I made a whole house plan.

    As for the sectional, no sectional dilemma..... IME, I can seat more folks comfortably on two sofas at right angles than will sit on a sectional. But the OP's experience may be different...perhaps her friends and family are friendlier than mine ;-)

  • Linda

    Realtor here, Im going to go against most of the opinions here and say, it should be painted. I can peek into the kitchen and see off white cabinetry and white moldings and trim. If its 1970's im betting the rest of the house is very dark doors and molding, not the same color as this room. This room seems to be an addition that was done later than the 1970s, because of the color of the wood. Right now, Im betting you have this natural cherry color, dark walnut in the rest of the house and white in the kitchen. If you do paint it, however, you need to paint all of the molding and trim in the house white too. Right now, its disjointed. That room seems to have a different feel than the rest of house seems to have. Its similar to having different flooring from room to room. Paint it white, get it cohesive.

  • decoenthusiaste

    Linda, Realtor - look at the listing photos links. The kitchen and laundry seem to be the misfits here. For such a short stay as the OP plans, I would leave painting all of it to the future owners who want to make it their forever home.

  • Linda

    Decoenthusiate, I didnt see the listing photos but now I have looked. Now, even more, I think the molding, trim and doors in the remaining rooms needs to brought to white. The kitchen, bathroom, laundry and drop area are all white. It is a lot less money to paint some trim than to change those areas. She hasnt even closed on this house yet, I wouldnt be worried about selling in 4 to 7 years. I would worry about how I wanted it to be when I lived in it. Making it cohesive is not going to lower the market value but in fact could raise it. This is not an 1800's colonial where painting the wood is damaging its history.

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