Optimism + White Paint

February 21, 2012

There’s been an ongoing debate in our home for over a year about painting some dark wood cabinets in our casa.  We have dark wood cabinets in our master bathroom and dining room, dark wood countertops in our kitchen and dark wood treads on our staircase too – all of them I love and would never paint.

I love dark wood, especially juxtaposed next to crisp or warm whites – the contrast is divine.  The debate in our home has to do with the dark wood built-ins in our windowless family room, which feels like a cave much of the day. I am so drawn to the look of white built-ins in a living or family room space, especially flanking a fireplace.

See how nice they look?

white built ins bella mancini

Bella Mancini Design


white shelves living room

Globe and Mail


susan marinello interiors white built ins

Susan Marinello


white cabinets flanking mantel

Better Homes & Gardens


white built in bhg

Better Homes & Gardens


new england home mag white built ins

New England Homes Magazine


White built-ins are so clean, so fresh, so timeless – there’s something so beautiful about a clean white backdrop to showcase art or other accents. I’ve begged the mister to agree to paint our family room’s built-ins white, like the ones above, remaining eternally optimistic for over a year that he’d cave and say yes.

elsie de wolfe optimism and white paint

The good news is he finally agreed.  So the plan is to paint these family room built-ins a warm white, and I’m thinking of removing the doors too.  It will expose the television, which I hesitate to do, but also provide a great opportunity to display photographs and collectibles too.  And no, I’m not painting the wood bench seat along the bottom, just the cabinets – I think it will be a nice rich contrast and brighten this windowless room.

dark wood family room cabinets


Raise your hand if this same debate about painting dark wood cabinets is one going on in your home too?   How have you convinced (or maybe not yet convinced) your mate to paint your dark wood cabinets white?



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