One of my readers Melissa Huber asked:
"My burning question has been what to do about the interior trim around replacement windows. The replacement windows are white but our window trims match all the wood throughout the house (molding, chair railing, beams, crown molding, all kitchen and bath cabinets).
What is the best way to treat the the window trim (knowing that I would eventually like to paint our kitchen cabinets white)
(a) Leave the trim brown to match the rest of the house
(b) Paint the trim around the windows to match the windows
(c) Paint the trim around the windows and the rest of the house white to match the replacement window white
(d) paint the window trim in the warm white color we would like for the rest of the house even if it doesn't match the replacement window white?
(e) something else all together different?"
I get asked this question a lot because so many homeowners are replacing their old windows with vinyl. They are at least 30% less than wood and are virtually maintenance free.
Standard colours seem to be WHITE or beige, which I have defined as a green beige. Do not choose the beige option for your interior windows, they will forever be a colour that you either have to work with or end up ignoring. A beige window is much harder to ignore visually than a white one.
So here are my guidelines for working with interior white vinyl windows:
a) If at all possible, and your decor coordinates with an extremely white window (below), then paint your trim a white to coordinate.
b) There is way more woodwork in a house than just what's wrapped around your windows, door frames, baseboards and crown mouldings, therefore; it's much more important to choose a trim/woodwork colour that coordinates with your existing decor.
So if your house is full of earth tones and more dramatic colours, your trim colour is probably more cream than white. In this case you will will simply have to ignore your white on white vinyl windows.
c) if you have actual stained woodwork I would ignore your windows yet again unless painting them white would coordinate with your new white kitchen, for example.
Your woodwork/trim colour if it's white or cream (not yellow or beige) should be the same as your kitchen cabinets. If it's not the same it should be different enough so that it doesn't look like you tried to match it and failed.
As I just mentioned in this post, there is no such thing as one neutral colour that works across the board. White goes with grey and black, and cream goes with beige and brown.
When should your windows look special, custom and fabulous like this (below)?
If you have an unlimited budget.
I tried my best to find a picture of a window with a different trim colour that did not coordinate but of course no one would be in a hurry to post that kind of image because it's not fabulous.
However, unless you have the budget to completely re-decorate and renovate, you need to make the next best possible choice and it's more often than not, a compromise.
Do your windows match your woodwork?
Download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It's All in the Undertones to learn how to get colour to do what you want.
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