Painting historic homes comes with a set of challenges. In contrast to common belief, neutral colors don’t do any justice to the architectural details of old homes. On the other hand, homeowners of such historic marvels fear that intense colors will ruin the interior ambiance. And then, it’s all about what you want and what you like in terms of colors.
Sit back and relax. As you are going to find out, there are solutions for all tastes and old homes of all historic periods. With a huge color palette, myriads of possible combinations, and the right painters at your disposal, your interior can once again gain its old glory and you will love every corner of it.
Forget neutrals! Get intense colors for your old home painting
The common belief is that neutrals are the best choice for old house painting jobs. Wrong. All those beiges, whites, light greys, and baby blues will offer no interest to historic homes full of architectural interests.
Although there are variations depending on the historic period, old homes have lots of wood, moldings, high ceilings, old style fireplaces, fascinating doors, and elements not found in modern homes. The paint colors should bring these elements out – not let them disappear under layers and layers of neutrals. Even French-style homes, which would look fabulous with all-white, could use a touch of greige or navy to bring out their character. Now, if we are talking about moodier periods, like Colonial and Victorian – to bring two examples, neutrals won’t have any effect and will likely make the interior environment gloomier.
Bold colors for your historic home’s interior painting
Now that we have established that bold colors will bring out the character of the home’s historic period, make the interiors interesting and happy, and will enhance the specific architecture, let’s talk colors.
Bold colors may be as intense as yellow or as moody as navy. It all comes down to the historic period, the architectural details in the room, your preference, and the room’s height. This is the best time to also mention that the trims of most old home interiors would be best painted white. Since these homes have moldings on all forms and designs – from crown molding and baseboards to interesting window and door casings and wainscoting panels, white will help them stand out. Next to bold wall colors, white trims will make their presence noticeable and surely a statement. Speaking of trims, the more found in a room, the bolder you can go with the wall color. By having large portions of the wall covered with white, you don’t worry about the navy, yellow, or green colors making your interior gloomy. On the contrary, they will add character.
Don’t you like bold paint colors?
If you don’t like bold paint colors or just need something lighter and sweeter, there is a range of options among mint, salmon, light blue, light grey, or soft green.
Painting colors by historic period
Since the home interiors and all architectural elements vary among historic periods, let’s take a look at what colors are excellent choices for each period.
· The Colonial period architecture was characterized by asymmetry, earthy tones, and wooden trims. The best colors are dark red, ochre, and earthy green.
· The architecture during the Georgian period had symmetry – something revealed in the interior proportions of all elements. Both interior and exterior colors were quite bold and often contrasting, the trims were off-white, the doors were painted red, green, or other dark colors, and many details were made of stone. And so, Georgian home interiors would look lovely in such tones.
· Victorian homes combined three or four colors, even for the moldings. Most walls were covered with panels and the shades were mostly dark, deep, and contrasting – no whites. A combination of different greens blended with yellows and browns will do.
· Craftsman homes ask for warmer shades, like dark reds, greens, and blues and they are often combined with dark wood elements.
· Spanish style homes look great with rich blues, yellows, greiges, and reds – such colors put emphasis on the iron elements, the arches, the dark beams and all details that characterize this architecture.
· Mid-century homes love bold colors. Don’t be afraid to combine bold greens, greiges, whites, and blacks. The goal is to keep a balance between bold colors and some neutrals to create a clean look.