Debates about color paint are always interesting for two reasons:

First, the consequences of color choices are dramatic. Choosing a color palette or a hue is a major step in the roadmap for designing a space.

Second, it’s usually budget friendly because you can always DIY anything that has to do with colors and achieve the desired result (when choosing the right one).

The act of the window trims is a very good example for both because they have a major visual impact, and it’s very easy to dye them yourself, using a trim paint.

This article will demonstrate the different effects of white trims and black trims (or bright and dark in general).

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Black window trims

Black window trims are definitely the cool new kid in school, we all want him in our life because he makes us look good.

Without any exception, black window trims bring this trendy edge to any space you’ll install them, and adapt themselves to its style whatever it may be.

It actually makes a lot of sense. Just like with black clothing, black window trims match with any shape and current vibe, by adding an elegant punch.

But there’s an even greater effect.

When walking into a bright room with black window trims, our eyes will rest on the dark areas and will find it easier to capture the outside view. The items inside the room are not as bold as with white window trims.

This is something that Eve Ashcraft discusses in her book The right color, which we’ve mentioned here in another context.

For those of you who haven’t heard her name, Eve is a color consultant. Throughout her career, she has consulted for many companies including Godiva chocolate, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Nordstrom. To learn more about Eve’s interesting and fascinating career, you should definitely read this article written about her in the NY Times.

In her book, Eve talks about dark window trims in the context of a sunroom: “I’ve found that black window frames allow our eyes to travel to the outside more easily than white frames do. I’m always asked if black will confine, shrink or overpower a room. For many people, the very idea of black window frames runs counter to everything they think of when it comes to a sunroom. But in fact, dark frames are great for bright rooms because they recede and demand little attention from our eyes as we take in the room and view.”

Dark frames are great for bright rooms because they recede and demand little attention from our eyes as we take in the room and view.

As you can see in the picture below, the black trims are taking away a significant amount of attention from the white kitchen cabinets.

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Another important effect that needs to be taken into consideration, is the height of the ceiling.

When the windows are covering the entire wall, black trims will enhance the height of the ceiling, the same is true for a gallery wall that is hung from the ceiling to the floor (a thing which we discussed here before in detail).

black window trims dining room
Image: Blair Harris Interior Design



White window trims

White window trims are ageless. They were never a trend, they are more like a style and you can basically find them in many different times and shapes.

Now let’s talk about their effect. In general, the effects made by white trims are the exact opposite of the black trims (which kinda make sense, right?)

Check out the following pic:

Here, the white trims highlight the items inside the room, and our eyes only rest on the darker areas of the space.

That’s why choosing white window trims instead of black window trims requires you consider the colors of the wall and of the items you’re planning to place in the space.

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Eve’s scholarly opinion on white trims in the context of a sunroom was this: “White window sunrooms feel and look fresh and bright. Light window frames actually slow your eye way down and keep your focus on the things in the room longer. This might be just the trick if your room is less than perfect. And even if your view is spectacular, sometimes it’s nice to feel the boundaries of a beautiful room, especially if it’s cold outside”.

Light window frames actually slow your eye way down and keep your focus on the things in the room longer.

OK, so let’s really think about the process of choosing the trim color for your space.

More than anything else, the guiding question and the conclusive answer to the trims’ color should be based upon the color of the walls.

Of course, there’s also the colors of the furniture and additional items, but because the walls are such a significant part of the space and are in direct contact with the window trims, the color you choose to paint them will affect on the color you choose for your trims.

And another basic rule is that the brighter and whiter the space, the greater the effect created by the dark trims which subsequently will function as a main design feature of the space.

work room with black window trims
Image: Belathee photography


In the following pic, the black trims are essential, because the entire wall and its surroundings are completely white, and the kitchen counter is very dark, requiring a mitigator.

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However, there are numerous cases where the walls and the trims are both dark and it works perfectly:

With white trims and walls, it’s highly important to put dark elements (big or small) in the room:


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