Historic architecture is an incredible source of inspiration for the design/build industry. By paying attention to woodwork, details and color choices, we often learn lessons that help us through the modern renovation process. This is especially true for people who own a historic home or building and are planning a renovation or preservation project.

An example of these history lessons comes in the form of color. Your use of color should be used to draw attention to architectural features in your living space, such as trim work, moulding, etc. Here are a few history lessons in color we’ve learned from famous historical home designs.

Do use bold colors. If you think bold and vivid colors are a modern convention, think again! Bright and bold colors have been used for centuries in a variety of ways. Consider the vivid greens used in the dining room at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home, which complements the lush exterior landscapes visible from the large, beautifully-framed windows and intricate trim work.

Revel in the accents. Sure, striking custom moulding and trim work can stand out on its own in a solid color. But look what happens when you pay attention to the details and paint some reliefs in a contrasting color. The gold detail work in the Council Room of Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolina is certainly eye-catching.

Create contrasts. We love the contrast between the ornate white door trim and bright blue walls in the ballroom at the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Showcase the staircase. If you have a sweeping staircase in your foyer or living room, choose your paint colors wisely to show it off in better relief. A wonderful example of this technique are these goldenrod-yellow walls, richly stained wood staircase and the staircase’s exposed cream-colored underside found in the Nathaniel Russell House.

Are you ready to use color to enhance your historic home? Contact TMS Architects for your next renovation project and to discover winning color combinations that will bring your historic home to life.

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