Published on April 13, 2020

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Photography by Julien Oppenheim; Design by Pierre Yovanovitch

So you want to do some painting around the house. Just pick up a gallon or two of paint, roll up your sleeves, and get to work. Easy. Or is it? When you’re dealing with a bigger-than-usual space, slapping on that third coat isn’t so effortless, even with all the extra free hours on our weekends these days.

Luckily, there’s another way to give your space a lick of color without having to cover a surface equivalent to what feels like a football field: Focus on the trim and moldings. You’d be surprised how great a canary yellow doorframe or cobalt blue windowsill looks against your crisp white walls. Better yet, this is the type of activity you can tackle in an afternoon (and with much fewer cans). Here are a few fresh ideas to get you started.

Frame Your Views

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

In her Los Angeles kitchen, Heather Taylor picked up the cobalt hue in her floor tile and applied it to the window frame above the sink to make the all-white cabinetry pop. 

Highlight an Easily Overlooked Passageway

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Photography by Stephen Johnson; Design by Studio Giancarlo Valle

Architect Giancarlo Valle used a subtle shade of sage green in a recent project to draw the eye into the next room—and away from the fact that you’re crossing through a mini hallway of closets. 

Link Two Spaces Together

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Courtesy of Proper Hotel

At the Santa Monica Proper, designer Kelly Wearstler connected the guest rooms to their ensuite baths with a simple salmon-hued door and trim that runs along both areas. The moody color picks up the shower tile as much as the arched headboard.

Give Your House Some Curb Appeal

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Courtesy of Studio DB

If you’ve always wanted a vibrant facade but your architecture doesn’t quite allow it, do as Britt Zunino of Studio DB did in her upstate New York house and paint the front door trim a deep navy hue. It makes this minimalist glass design stand out even more. 

Create Moldings Out of Thin Air

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Photography by Julien Oppenheim; Design by Pierre Yovanovitch

No moldings? No problem. Interior architect Pierre Yovanovitch found the perfect solution: framing a doorway in free-form yellow waves that create a kind of trompe l’oeil effect, not to mention visual interest. It’s an ideal project for a white-box apartment in need of some sunshine. 

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