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10 Light Walls With Dark Trim Ideas We Love

10 Light Walls With Dark Trim Ideas We Love

Changing your wall color is one of the most cost-effective and simple décor projects you can use to update your home.

When it’s time to make a change, the variety of options can be overwhelming.

If you’re looking to add a bit of drama to your décor, you might want to consider on-trend light walls with dark trim to make your spaces pop.

10 Light Walls With Dark Trim Ideas

A monochromatic color scheme can make a room feel tired and unimaginative, especially when using neutrals.

Incorporating contrasting dark trim colors with light-colored walls adds definition and style to a room without breaking the bank.

It’s even an option to go with dark-stained wood trim to create the same effect. These ten design inspirations will have you ordering paint and trim samples to get started on your next interior update project.

Contrasting Dark Stained Wood Trim

White walls with dark brown trim idea


This crisp combination of white walls with darker mid-tone baseboards and door frames goes beautifully with the wood flooring and banister accent.

In this example, the doors are also white, which keeps the space bright and airy with a spot of definition.

Dark Wainscoting

Grey walls with black trim idea

Sheila Say/Shutterstock

Bring on the drama with a beautiful light grey wallcovering complemented by deep grey wainscoting. The subtle pattern in the wallpaper is a stunning complement to the creamy smoothness of the painted trim.

This combination lends an air of luxury to any space with sharply contrasting textures and attention to detail.

Dark Window Frames

Grey walls with dark black trim and window frames


If you don’t want to go all-in with dark trim, consider installing windows with dark frames. This option highlights the windows as focal points and gives the room some definition.

It does this without overwhelming a smaller space with dark colors. Go one step further and paint the window trim in a matching hue.

Color-Coordinated Doors and Trim

Grey walls with brown trim and doors


Matching the doors to the trim gives an interior a classically sophisticated look when used in contrast against lighter grey walls.

You could choose to go with stained wood or select a darker paint for a similar effect. Either finish will bring sophistication to your space.

Dark Built-Ins

Grey-brown walls with dark brown trim and black built-ins

Stelmakh Oxana/Shutterstock

Keeping the dark trim to the built-ins and ceiling-level accents gives this room a unique balance. The window between the built-ins keeps the room from getting lost in darkness and makes an eye-catching focal point.

Try refreshing your incorporated elements with a deeper hue for a modern look.

Tiled Walls With Dark Painted Trim 

Tiled grey walls with black trim

Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock

Dark trim can be utilized no matter the wall finish. This bathroom incorporates a lighter grey tiled wall with dramatic black-painted accents.

The imposing black door anchors the space and gives the room some pop by breaking up the primarily monochromatic color scheme. The flat trim finish is a nice counterpoint to the pattern of the tile.

Dark Trim As a Frame

Dark brown trim with greige walls


In this room, the contrasting dark trim is used in several areas as a unique way to highlight features. The trim around the built-in cabinet wall acts as a frame to make this area a focal point.

This effect is repeated in the light fixtures, where it carries the eye upward, adding interest to the white coffered ceiling. Get creative with dark trim to give your room a style update and see where your imagination takes you.

Dark Trim As an Artistic Element

Grey walls with dark grey and black trim and accents


Here, dark trim is used as an artistic element. Going beyond simple baseboards and chair rails, the contrasting trim color is carried into the detailed crown molding.

And the beautiful artistic details of the wall panels also carry through for a truly elegant custom look. Play with different decorative wall treatments with dark trim and accents to take your project to the next level.

Tonal Trim Accents

Grey walls with black trim


For a more subtle application of dark trim, try a tone-on-tone approach. In this example, the arch has a darker grey-toned trim that is in the same color family as the walls.

This look has a calm and sophisticated feel that works well with more modern room styles. It’s also less stark, so it will retain the open feel of your space.

Overhead Inspiration

Grey walls with dark brown trim idea


Dramatic use of dark trim draws focuses exclusively on the ceiling.

Using a lighter wall color, such as grey or white, with a dark trim treatment on ceiling beams or paneling adds depth without overly darkening the space.

It can bring in an extremely high ceiling to make a space feel more intimate.

Things to Consider

With any wall update adventure, there are several things to keep in mind when planning your project:

  • Decide on your budget. Know how much you want to spend on your project before getting started. This will inform your scope and give you some parameters to consider when choosing materials and planning for labor costs.
  • Define your scope. Plan out how much of your trim you plan to paint or stain a dark color. Will you be painting existing walls and trim only, or will you add elements such as crown molding? Will walls need to be refinished or repaired before applying color?
  • Be realistic. Don’t get carried away with adding too many elements to a single room. Consider the design and decor of your home as well as your budget to choose trim elements and color schemes that make sense in the context of the rest of your home.
  • Test your color scheme. It’s a good idea to paint a test patch in the room to see how it works with the lighting and whether you want to see it day after day. What looks good on Pinterest may not be as attractive in your home.
  • Determine who will do the work. This is the time to be honest with yourself about your skill level and time commitment. Are you willing and able to do the work yourself to the standard you expect, or do you need to call in a professional?

Frequently Asked Questions

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing the right trim for your walls. Here are some frequently asked questions to spark some inspiration for your next redesign.

Should you paint the walls or trim first?

This is a situation where there are no hard and fast rules. It’s a matter of preference. Most professionals paint the trim first, then move to the ceilings before painting the walls.

While this may work if you are a very experienced painter, most do-it-yourselfers start with the walls and then move to the trim. That way, they can easily cover up any drips or splatters on the trim when they paint it.

Does trim always have to be white?

While white is the most used trim color, it most certainly isn’t the only option. Contrasting trim is very on-trend at the moment, so don’t feel limited by traditional design choices.

While white can be used to contrast with colored walls, darker trim can work in many color schemes for a stunning effect.

Should the trim be lighter or darker than the walls?

It depends on the look you are going for. When the objective is to make the wall color pop, it works best to have a lighter trim color.

If you’re looking to highlight architectural elements such as windows and doors, a darker trim color than the walls is a better option. In both cases, you’ll be adding some pop to your space, so choose the combination that reflects your personal style.

Is dark trim a good idea?

Dark trim is a dramatic look that can give big personality to a room and make it a standout. Dark trim is a simple and cost-effective way to achieve that type of drama if you want a room with some added visual interest.

The beauty of trim is that it is easy to change, even if the color of the walls remains the same. Why not take a chance on a distinctive on-trend look?

Does dark trim make a room look smaller?

Contrasting trim can make a room look smaller because it breaks up the visual lines of the area. Used thoughtfully, it can bring coziness to the otherwise overwhelming space of a large room.

Used sparingly, it can add punch without visually shrinking a smaller area. Consider your space when deciding whether to add dark trim.

What’s Your Favorite Light Walls Dark Trim Idea?

With so many options to incorporate light walls with dark trim into your space, the world is your oyster.

Whether you change the color of existing walls and trim or add new elements such as wainscoting or crown molding, your next wall color project can become a striking transformation that will make your room seem like an entirely new space.

So, what are you waiting for? Take these design suggestions and makeover your space with this on-trend technique.