Coco Chanel, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
With eyes closed, what comes to mind when you hear the words, “stained millwork.” Open your eyes and try to describe what you saw first. Was it a big, old Victorian house with heavy woodwork, dark stain, oriental rugs and a healthy fern on a high table in the corner? A’ la Downton Abbey or Glensheen? Or the decorative, honey oak, six panel doors in your childhood home? Or maybe it was an Arts & Crafts style home with high wainscoting and flat panel doors throughout?
There is a shelter industry trend that has been hanging on since our country slumped into the recession and only in the last two years have we seen it begin to turn. Step into any new or recently remodeled home and you’re likely to find white, painted millwork. This clean, bright, East Coast, Hamptons look made its way across the country and back just before the recession and then stuck around. Why? Because there are few millwork selections as cost effective as white, painted MDF.
Do you dare to be distinctive? Here are two ways for your home to be clean, bright and also unique by incorporating stained wood millwork:
- Use clear coat maple with very simple or flat millwork profiles, stainless steel hardware and matt acrylic glass panels. The result will be a clean, cool, West Coast beach feel.
- Use wide alder casing with a back band profile and our Jute or Dawn Ultra finish providing a warm, natural backdrop to an off-white or light, bright color palette and black hardware. The feel will be crisp, fresh and just right in every season of the year; reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest.
The natural warmth of wood can be a powerful element in an otherwise bright, simplified design and is the perfect contrast to cool stone and metal finishes. Painted millwork is not the only way to achieve a clean, crisp interior. The options are endless; you only need the guts to choose something different!
-Holly Bayer, ASID