4 Ways to Modernize Interior Trim




The romance of a cabin in the woods has always had a certain allure to me…fresh, cool air, long range mountain views as far as the eye can see, the sunset in the colors of a subdued rainbow…the magic of it all has lured me again and again to visit cute little rustic retreats and mega mountain mansions in the sky.

The idea of a place of serenity and refuge finally became so irresistible that I dove in head first to building my own little slice of mountain paradise. But there is a catch! Due to budgetary constraints, the house plan is a traditional stick built home, not a log and timber home so I am on a mission to infuse character into every nook and cranny without breaking the bank!

One of the most important interior elements of any house is its trim – windows, doors, and moldings. In the rustic design style, it can go beautifully or look like an 80’s nightmare. Here is my point of view for a fresh and clean but rustic take on interior trim.

Avoid shades of yellow and orange wood trim. With cool wood tones like grey and taupe on the rise, warm yellowy trim feels dated and unfinished at best and a total clash at its worst.

Heavy crown molding can be impressive in a traditional home, but in a rustic home it feels out of place. For a cleaner look, consider windows with dark frames without trim or add a complimentary low profile window trim in a different stain.

Nothing says serenity better than a calm, cool color palette. Choosing a trim color that matches the walls or in one shade slightly darker or lighter is a way to keep the focus outside of the windows and out to the view.

Don’t be afraid to stain the doors and door frame trim but paint the baseboards and windows. Or choose some other interesting combination. Keep your woods at a max of 3 and keep your paint colors and wood complimentary.



This low profile window trim gives a sleek, modern look. Source: Method Homes

Gorgeous great room with no window trim. Source: Tanamera Construction 

Tone on tone trim or slight color variations make this room feel fresh. Source: Dwell Interiors KC

A well done example of mixing stain and paint. Source: Unknown


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@2015 Q. Monique Allen

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