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Let architecture stand out or recede to best advantage in home design

October 31, 2013

Hardwood FloorsJust as people see how their wall colors dovetail with other home design features, like the hickory hardwood flooring in Anderson's Mountain collection, the house trim, doors and moldings can influence how the overall color scheme will look in a house.

DIY Network advised that while some architectural features are beautiful enough to emphasize, others are purely functional and should be disguised both indoors and during an exterior makeovers.

Highlight or disguise?
To prevent architectural elements from standing out too much, interior doors and trim should be painted in the same color as the home's walls.

"Don't hesitate to paint the doors and wall trims the same color as the walls, if you don't want the extra detail or the doors and trims aren't great," design consultant Cindy Bergersen told Hamptons magazine.

On the other hand, highlighting attractive construction features within a room design can be accomplished by painting them in the same color family as the home's main hue, but in a shade that's lighter or darker. Painting with a satin or gloss finish paint will allow trim to become more prominent.

Color choices
By "browning" or "graying" down bold colors, new neutrals are created in a lightened or darkened version. That way the homeowners can be surrounded by their favorites without feeling overpowered by them.

With modern architecture, the starkness of a white ceiling is a great match for rooms in which there are few moldings and lots of angles. But with softer styles of decor, it may stand out as a bit harsh. To tone it down slightly, Bergersen recommended that homeowners mix a bit of their wall color into deep ivory to make a subtle connection to the wall shade.

In rooms with no crown molding, painting the walls and ceiling the same color eliminates the color shift from walls to ceiling. A neutral with a pale to medium tone is ideal for this purpose.

Outdoor decisions
Choosing exterior colors should be done in terms of the whole house from the roof down. Painting outdoors presents some special challenges, which is why exterior paint is meant for surfaces that must withstand the elements.

Specifically, DIY recommended that consumers consider surfaces that won't be painted - shingles, bricks, stone and tile - in conjunction with the home's main color. Taking a step back helps to picture their chosen colors with the roof, brick areas and how the house looks between the nearest neighbors' homes.