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!
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.
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!
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!
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 Pennies, where 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.
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…
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.
Her original, unpainted trim and woodwork is truly a treasure!
So much character!
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!
Jennifer @thewillowfarmhouse IG has an authentic farmhouse decorated with the coolest accessories and vintage pieces.
Her original unpainted woodwork adds to the authenticity of the farmhouse. The stained trim provides so much character and warmth in her welcoming home.
I fell in love with Jennifer’s dark woodwork on her stairs and foyer when I first discovered her IG account, thewillowfarmhouse. I think I would just want to sit in this space all the time!
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!
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.
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 Surroundings. Once you see her photos you will be so glad she decided to preserve the woodwork in her historic home too!
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.
Rust, roses and original woodwork? Yes please!
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!
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.
I love how she uses different wood tones in her home to add warmth and interest.
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 @thehomemakingmomma. You can see more of her original woodwork and perfectly styled rooms on her blog. Be sure to check it out!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Co. Lots of great before and afters for inspiration there!
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!
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?
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?