Interior Decor and Styling

Trending: Original Unpainted Woodwork and Stained Trim

trending woodwork stained trim

Unpainted woodwork and stained trim is trending now!  Says who? We the decorators! In the last year I have noticed that the popularity of original, unpainted woodwork seems to be on the rise, and the bloggers who are showcasing their homes with original or stained trim are just on the verge of this huge trend. I have also noticed more and more homes with light, neutral walls and unpainted woodwork turning up in decor magazines after at least a decade of all white rooms.  As much as I love white, I find this stained woodwork trend very refreshing!

wood ceiling coffered ceiling woodwork

I consider myself a very lucky homeowner to have original woodwork. After years of living with all white decor and trim, it was a bit of a transition to decorate with stained trim and it took some getting used to. When we first put in an offer on our historic yellow brick home a few years ago, we loved many things about it— but the stained woodwork was not really one of them! We had originally planned to paint it once we moved in, but later decided that we just couldn’t erase 96 years of history with a few coats of paint. The darker woodwork was new decorating territory for me, so I headed to Pinterest for inspiration. It was there that I stumbled upon Finding Silver Pennies blog, and my passion for unpainted original woodwork (and a true love of our home) really began.

chesterfield sofa living room unpainted woodwork

Photo: Finding Silver Pennies

One day I was just browsing Pinterest and this chesterfield sofa caught my eye, but as I looked closer I noticed all the beautiful, original woodwork too. I decided to click the link to the blog Finding Silver Pennies  and immediately I was hooked. Blogger Danielle Driscoll’s decorating style seemed similar to mine and her home looked dreamy! At the time I was frustrated with my own decorating and I wasn’t liking how my shabby chic furnishings and decor looked with our woodwork (which was a bit orangey). As I kept reading her blog however I discovered a tutorial for darkening woodwork with General Finishes Java gel stain, which did not require stripping! We decided to try it out on our trim and it absolutely transformed our home!  Our woodwork got a little makeover without losing character. We painted our walls a creamy white which made the darker woodwork really stand out, and everything finally came together. We already had a wood ceiling, but my husband also added some coffered beams (tutorial coming soon) when he darkened the woodwork. I am so glad we didn’t rush in and paint everything white!

Follow The Yellow Brick Home original unpainted woodwork stained woodwork dark trim coffered ceiling cottage style

Thanks to the ideas from Danielle’s blog our home finally feels like home! I really love historic homes and I feel it is important to preserve history whenever possible. I am on a mission to prove that stained wood does not have to look “dated.” Instead it should be “trending!” It will be soon, just watch! Perhaps homeowners will hold off painting their original woodwork, or even consider restoring it.

Let’s take a look at a few more of Danielle’s photos as well as several other gorgeous homes with original unpainted woodwork. Warning: If you have white trim you might end up heading to the hardware store for some stripper, sandpaper and stain!

Finding Silver Pennies

For a while I struggled to reconcile my brocante, shabby chic and vintage farmhouse style with our stained woodwork. I just couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I began reading Finding Silver Pennieswhere I found the look I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Seeing Danielle’s dining room for the first time was my “Eureka” moment!  Her home has the perfect blend of white, bright goodness with the warmth and historical charm of old unpainted woodwork. The perfect backdrop for vintage and shabby furnishings and collections of all kinds, like mine! I had tried to use a 1920’s historic wall color with our trim, but after seeing Danielle’s home I realized we needed to go much lighter with our paint. I had read “expert” decorators warn against using white or antique white with stained trim, but Danielle proved that it could be done with stunning results.

shabby chic dining room original unpainted woodwork unpainted trim stained woodwork

Photo: Finding Silver Pennies

Finding Silver Pennies Original woodwork stained trim unpainted trim chandy

Photo: Finding Silver Pennies

Just look at those gorgeous wood posts! Danielle really has an eye for detail and her love of history is so evident. Her blog is a pure delight to read. Check it out and you will see why I love it so much!

Recently I went on an “instahunt” for other Instagrammers and bloggers who do NOT have white trim. With the popularity of everything white, homes with original, unpainted woodwork are a little harder to find but as the trend continues we will be seeing more and more of them.  When you do come across a home with unpainted woodwork  they are often full of charm. 1915 house is no exception…

1915 House

original woodwork unpainted woodwork unpainted trim cottage farmhouse style chandy 1915 house


Sandra @1915house loves to decorate with whatever makes her happy! Her home is the perfect example of a blend of styles. She incorporates rustic and modern touches, all the while remaining classic and timeless. The warm wood tones juxtapose perfectly with her uber stylish light and bright décor.

1915 house neutral original woodwork stained trim unpainted woodwork rustic cottage glam staircase

Photo: 1915house

Her original, unpainted trim and woodwork is truly a treasure!

1915 house antique mantel fireplace original woodwork rustic glam cottage style vintage

So much character!

1915 house this old house original woodwork french shabby chic rustic unpainted woodwork trim

The detailed woodwork in her home is décor in and of itself, and the white walls make the unpainted trim pop. I am so glad she decided to preserve such beautiful history. Visit 1915house IG or blog to see more of Sarah’s amazing style and fun projects and posts!

The Willow Farmhouse

original woodwork the willow farmhouse demijohn crates rustic vintage antiques

Photo: The Willow Farmhouse

Jennifer @thewillowfarmhouse IG has an authentic farmhouse decorated with the coolest accessories and vintage pieces.

the willow farmhouse fixer upper tobacco baskets candlesticks rustic original woodwork

Photo: The Willow Farmhouse

Her original unpainted woodwork adds to the authenticity of the farmhouse. The stained trim provides so much character and warmth in her welcoming home.

the willow farmhouse original woodwork staircase

Photo: The Willow Farmhouse

I fell in love with Jennifer’s dark woodwork on her stairs and foyer when I first discovered her IG account, thewillowfarmhouseI think I would just want to sit in this space all the time!

the willow farmhouse original woodwork farmhouse style

Photo: The Willow Farmhouse

Looks like I am not the only one who loves this space! What a lucky dog!

If you love farmhouse style you will definitely want to follow @thewillowfarmhouse on Instagram. Jennifer is also the owner of Gable Lane where you can find awesome farmhouse style home decor. Happy shopping!

Homegrown Surroundings 

fireplace mantel woodwork unpainted woodwork original fireplace homegrown surroundings

Photo: Homegrown Surroundings

Jessica @homegrownsurroundings lives in the most amazing 1860’s home with all the original, unpainted woodwork. I especially love her fireplace which she decorates so beautifully for holidays.

original unpainted wood work stained trim dark woodwork unpainted woodwork trending

Photo: Homegrown Surroundings

Original unpainted woodwork stained trim unpainted trim dark woodwork homegrown surroundings

Photo: Homegrown Surroundings

Jessica has such interesting, eclectic-vintage style! She is also in the process of fixing up her home and making it her own. You can see more of her home’s character and the ornate details in her woodwork on IG @homegrownsurroundings and her blog, Homegrown SurroundingsOnce you see her photos you will be so glad she decided to preserve the woodwork in her historic home too!

The Rustic Life

the rustic life farm table chandy original woodwork cottage style

Photo: The Rustic Life

Sandra @The Rustic Life   also has beautiful, original woodwork in her rustic-glam home. She uses lots of whites and neutrals in her decor along with a blend of shabby chic, romantic and rustic accessories. The unpainted woodwork provides a stunning contrast to the lighter pallet and makes everything seem so perfectly chic and cozy.

The Rustic Life farmhouse chic original unpainted woodwork stained woodwork dark trim unpainted trim

Photo: The Rustic Life

shabby chic chippy rusty roses original woodwork the rustic life

Photo: The Rustic Life

Rust, roses and original woodwork? Yes please!

rustic glam decor original woodwork the rustic life

Photo: The Rustic Life

I could sit in this room and scroll through IG and pin for hours (probably pinning Sandra’s images from her Instagram and blog)! Take a look and you will be pinning away too!

The Homemaking Momma

farmhouse original woodwork farmhouse light milkglass thehomemakingmomma

Photo: The Homemaking Momma

Bree, blogger @The Homemaking Momma has the prettiest cozy, country-farmhouse style. Her neutral light gray walls perfectly compliment the cherry tones in her gorgeous original woodwork.

thehomemakingmomma farmhouse original woodwork

Photo: The Homemaking Momma

I love how she uses different wood tones in her home to add warmth and interest.

thehomemakingmomma white painted furniture original woodwork

Photo: The Homemaking Momma

Even with all that wood, Bree isn’t afraid to incorporate bright white furniture and decor pieces too. The contrast here is so beautiful! She is always sharing lovely vignettes like this one on her Instagram account @thehomemakingmommaYou can see more of her original woodwork and perfectly styled rooms on her blog. Be sure to check it out!

Junk Love Sisters

farm table farmhouse chandelier junklovesisters

Photo: Junk Love Sisters

Lindsay @junklovesisters IG has the cutest fixer upper style home with lots of cool junk and farmhouse style decor. She is a loving mom and her home reflects happiness and a place for making memories and good times. I love the vintage wooden sugar mold full of crayons on the table, such a creative centerpiece! The old woodwork in Lindsay’s home adds warmth and rustic charm and ties in perfectly with her other wood pieces. The neutral paint color and furnishings she has chosen look great with the medium dark wood tones of her trim and doors.

farmhouse style church pew stained trim junklovesisters

I am totally crushin’ on Lindsay’s shabby painted church pew! In the past I felt that white and cream distressed furniture pieces only worked with white woodwork, but I have moved to the dark side! The bits of distressing on this type of furniture allow some of the original wood to come through. This makes the pieces tie in beautifully with unpainted woodwork.

farmhouse style original woodwork original door junklovesisters

This close up shot of Lindsay’s door illustrates the beauty of the wood grain. All that character and age would be gone forever with a couple of coats of paint. Instead she has retained the history and character of her home by choosing not to paint her trim and doors white. She also has a perfect backdrop for photographing some of her junk finds and projects. If you love junkin’ head on over to Lindsay’s Instagram account @junklovesisters to see some of her awesome finds and more of her adorable home.

The Definery Co.

thedefineryco shiplap farmhouse style dark woodwork unpainted trim

Photo: The Definery Co.

Megan @thedefineryco beat me to it and she gets the awesome makeover award! I thought I would be the first to use  white shiplap walls with dark trim! I had been searching high and low online and in magazines to see if ANYONE had attempted to use white shiplap or tongue and groove paneling with unpainted, dark stained woodwork but I couldn’t find any good examples. I had experimented with the idea last fall when I did a faux shiplap wall treatment in our small mud entry and hallway area, but I was unsure if you “could” use shiplap with stained trim. Anyway I realized I didn’t care if I was breaking the rules, and my husband and I decided on tongue and groove for our dining room as an upcoming summer project.

thedefineryco shiplap with dark woodwork unpainted trim dark trim

Photo: The Definery Co.

Megan posted these gorgeous photos of her newly shiplapped living room and that sealed the deal! I love how the unpainted woodwork and shiplap look together. Nothing “wrong” with this room! Of course being a music teacher I am also partial to that painted piano!

thedefineryco farmhouse stained woodwork

Photo: The Definery Co.

Megan has such a fun, modern farmhouse style. I am enjoying following her decorating journey since we are about in the same stage of renovations and redecorating, and our homes and woodwork are very similar. You can follow her along with me on Instagram @thedefineryco. or on her blog The Definery CoLots of great before and afters for inspiration there!

redbrickfarmhouse1919 original woodwork unpainted woodwork french doors stained trim

Photo: Brick Farmhouse 1919


I recently met Sarah @brickfarmhouse1919 on Instagram when I was searching galleries for stained trim and I have been stalking her feed ever since! Everything always looks so cozy and I love all her junkin’ finds!

stained woodwork original woodwork dark trim stained trim unpainted woodwork brickfarmhouse1919

Photo: Brick Farmhouse 1919


She mixes a lot of white cottage and farmhouse treasures with her original woodwork, once again proving that wood trim and white shabby decor is a winning combo.  Doesn’t it all look beautiful in this room with stained woodwork?

brickfarmhouse1919 Farmhouse Style stained woodwork stain trim unpainted woodwork unpainted trim

Photo: Brick Farmhouse 1919

If you love corbels, architectural salvage and chippy pieces as much as I do you will definitely want to follow her IG account along with me!

I have really enjoyed putting together this blog post and I would like to thank all of these wonderful homeowners who gave me permission to share their gorgeous homes today. Be sure to give each of them a visit and a follow. You won’t be disappointed!

I truly hope this post will inspire others to preserve or restore their own painted woodwork. I still love white trim and I always will, but I am really partial to unpainted woodwork now. You can see more of my living room here. I am always for preserving history whenever possible. If you have unpainted woodwork in your home I would love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on painted or unpainted trim? Do you see the trend evolving too?


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  • Reply Rebecca

    I’m so happy that you’ve addressed this! I think leaving original woodwork unpainted honors a home’s history, in a way. Even though much of my home’s first floor woodwork is faux-grained, making it tough to touch up here and there, it just works in a way that white wouldn’t. Great post!

    April 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Thank you very much! As I discussed in the post finding info and photos about original woodwork is a little harder than painted trim. I felt that more attention should be given to it and I truly have noticed more and more of the stained trim cropping up here and there. I am glad you enjoyed the post!

      April 11, 2017 at 6:55 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Amber, I am so honored to be included in your fabulous blog alongside these lovely ladies – what a blessing! I’m so excited to see the wonderful things coming your way!! Rock on, girl!?

    April 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Thank you Sarah! You are such an inspiration!

      April 12, 2017 at 1:22 am
  • Reply mary scott

    Wow – beautiful photos. I think my favorites are The Homemaking Mama’s. But, all the neutrals with pale blue accents are gorgeous. I love homes with maintained original woodwork, not slapping paint all over it. Thanks!

    April 13, 2017 at 3:18 am
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Yes she does have a beautiful home! I am starting to get “The Blues” now too! I especially love it for summer. Thank you for stopping by!

      April 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply Kathy Bruns

    Seeing the unpainted wood was nice to see. Whatever your style-embrace it. I’m very eclectic.

    April 13, 2017 at 11:29 am
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      I am glad you enjoyed the post. I totally agree, go with what makes YOU happy with your style. I am quite eclectic too!

      April 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Jean |

    I, too, am glad you didn’t rush in and paint everything white. I never concern myself with trends and have always loved old houses with stained woodwork. To me it is so wrong to cover all that history with paint. I say, if you want painted woodwork, buy a house with painted woodwork. (For the record, our house has, and always had, painted trim!)

    April 22, 2017 at 12:33 am
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      I do love white painted woodwork too! Like you said, just buy a house that already has it, don’t paint original! Thanks for stopping by!

      April 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm
  • Reply Joan

    Our Massachusetts home was built in 1912 and has all of it’s original woodwork, including wainscoting in the kitchen and in the butler’s pantry, along with ginormous pantry cupboards. It has taken a long time to appreciate it- I credit my husband’s stubbornness in not painting the woodwork. It has been difficult to find articles or blogs with ideas for decorating. Thanks for the inspiration!

    March 23, 2020 at 8:09 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Hi Joan! My husband was the same way when we bought our house and I am so glad I finally got on board. Now I absolutely love it, although it can be a lot more challenging to decorate with than white trim. Here is a link to my Pinterest board featuring homes with stained trim or original woodwork with more ideas:

      I hope you will stop back by again soon! Thanks for visiting!

      March 23, 2020 at 8:35 pm

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