So You Want to Try Contrast Trim?

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This post is sponsored by Metrie. I’m sharing why you may want to consider a darker, contrasting trim color for your walls, as well as how to choose the right shade for you and your home!

unit 1 living room | entry light | plant basket | white planter

When choosing the colors for the walls and millwork in our Two Flat, I knew one thing was for sure, and it was that I wanted to incorporate contrast trim! You may recall that we were initially hoping to salvage much of the original trim in the home, and while we were able to save a lot of it, we ran into several issues when it came to stripping off the old paint. We started to think, Is all this effort worth it? Would our time be better suited elsewhere? Our answer: No and yes, respectively.

Instead, we turned our energy towards sourcing millwork that would replicate the historic charm that had us falling in love with the Two Flat in the first place, and we found everything our hearts’ desired with Metrie! We were able to use baseboards and caps to create near-identical extra tall trim, and we paired door and window casings with stops to provide additional detail. We shared more about that process in this post, but here’s a list of all the products we used throughout the home:

unit 1 living room

Why try contrast trim?

Our answer to this is simple: We wanted to show off our millwork! Rather than painting all of our trim white, we opted to find mid-toned greys that would add depth to all the Metrie millwork that was installed.

unit 2 living room + hallway

Another fun reason to choose contrast trim? Think of it as framing your view – whether it’s the window frame that overlooks your garden, or the doorway that leads into your dining room. The deeper the contrast, the more striking the color, the more bold the look!

unit 1 living room

Choosing the Perfect Shade

Did I overthink the process? Absolutely! (Hi, I’m Kim, and I overthink everything! Like, everything.) But once I was able to narrow down a color family – greige for Unit 1, cool/blue grey for Unit 2 – I could feel myself picking up steam and getting closer to the goal I had in mind. Scott and I both knew we didn’t want anything too saturated, so I was careful to stick to ‘muddier’ shades from my paint deck.

I ended up picking up 10(!) sample pots, which included a few warm whites for the walls. I painted those swatches from room to room, and I considered the light each space receives. If you look at the image of my paint deck above, I opted for the shades about a third of the way down each strip, many of which had a light reflective value (LRV) of 70-ish.

Note: I don’t want to get too in the weeds talking about LRV, but I highly recommend checking out this article! LRV is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being black and 100 being white.

And the Winners Are…

We found our perfect pairings for each unit after studying the swatches over the course of several days, at varying hours. We ultimately chose the same wall color throughout the entire home, Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070. It leans ever-so-slightly pink at certain times of day, but it also travels well from room-to-room and suited each contrasting trim color so well! Here’s where we landed:

Unit 1 | Walls: Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070, Millwork: Colonnade Gray SW 7641

Unit 2 | Walls: Sherwin-Williams Heron Plume SW 6070, Millwork: Magnetic Gray SW 7058

unit 2 living room
unit 2 living room, looking towards kitchen + hallway

If you remember, the entirety of the second floor apartment originally used contrast trim! Here’s how one of the bedrooms looked last year, before we started our renovation:

unit 2 bedroom ‘before’

And here’s how it looks today! This was such a fun way to honor the previous homeowners’ decision for contrast trim. Similarly, we knew we wanted a color with enough blue in it to make a statement, an ode to those who lived in this house before us.

unit 2 bedroom today!

We are so happy we took the plunge into the world of contrast trim, but we’re especially happy we did so in a home that was outfitted in head-to-toe Metrie trim. The subtle detailing in the millwork is a beautiful complement to the vintage doors throughout. Every length of trim, every color choice and each brass-y hinge play together in a way that feels fresh and fun, yet still traditional with a nod towards our home’s 130-year-old history.

unit 2, looking into bedroom

So tell us, are you Team Contrast Trim, too? Drop a reply in the comments below, and let us know if you’ve already used this look in your own home! If so, which colors worked for you?

PS: You can follow along with the Two Flat renovation from the very beginning right here, if you’d like, and we update this page with every new post about the renovation. Thank you for following along, and thank you for supporting the partners that support us! Find your perfect millwork with Metrie right here.

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