Den-ovation: Moldings and Paint!

There are several different molding treatments in my house, and—like many old houses—they follow a formal hierarchy between rooms. Basically the fancy rooms have the most ornate moldings, and the less fancy places have more modest ones. When renovating, I try to be very careful about this stuff, because even if everything is new and looks great it should still be appropriate to each individual space!

For instance! This is a decent view of the moldings in that funny upstairs room I turned into a little home office, where you might be able to tell that the baseboards are a very simple profile and the window is cased out with a stool and an apron rather than the panel molding, like you find below the windows in my bedroom. The piece that makes up the foundation of the window molding is actually slightly different and narrower, too. The baseboard is similar to what’s in the den, except the den has a more decorative cap piece on top. Essentially, the moldings in the den are more formal than this little room, but less formal than my bedroom.

Which, for me, begged the question (for months): what do I do with this new window?? A stool (just FYI, because I only learned this recently: a sill is on the exterior, and a stool is on the interior. Both are often called “sills” but now you know better and can be annoying, too!) would be easier to execute, and might look more natural in terms of matching what’s in the adjacent room? But maybe this room would have had a panel, like the bedroom, because it is a more formal space than the little office?


I went with panel. I think I made the right call. Someone once told me that when making decisions like this in an old house, don’t be afraid of going too formal. I try to renovate more or less like a purist and decorate like a lunatic, so formal it is!

Naturally, this had to start with cutting out the brand new drywall work right below the window—oh well! It’s just a couple of feet and with the help of my oscillating saw, I didn’t damage any of the surrounding new drywall work while removing what was in the way.

I always have a hard time stopping to remember to take progress shots, but here’s the basic framework of it all! I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of complicated. The back part of the panel below the window sits recessed from even the framing, so I also had to use my oscillating saw to cut that framing down a bit. It would have been better to have done this before installing the framing in the first place, but at the time I thought this window would be getting a sill and it wouldn’t matter!

As usual, this is all salvaged wood! I like using salvage for a couple reasons:

  1. Captain Planet would be proud.
  2. I have so much of it.
  3. I think the most effective way to make something look old (even—perhaps especially!—a surface that’s getting painted) is to use old wood! This wood has little dents and dings and holes from old nails that are just marks of age from its previous life serving as something else, and I don’t worry much about trying to fill in every little thing. Trying to age new material by throwing chains at it and hammering screws into it and stuff is a tricky thing to pull off without it looking overly intentional, but this feels just right.

Even though the individual pieces are fairly simple, there are a lot of pieces! And trying to match new to old takes some serious head-scratching. I have a router and some bits, though, so milling my own simple profiles isn’t such a big deal. Here I had to use the router to create the cove effect on the flat boards, and then I used a large 1/2″ bead bit (I have this set!) to create the rounded profile that kind of fakes a window stop. Then I run it through the table saw to get a 1/2″ thickness, and then it gets tacked to the existing stop that’s part of the window jamb on these new windows. It’s tricky!

The only piece that I can’t really replicate myself (YET!) is the simple-ish but fancy molding that creates the transition between the flat boards and the deep ones that sit perpendicular to them. This is what’s left of my entire supply! Especially when I have precious few pieces to work with, I like to lay them all out on a flat surface in size order, so I always choose the shortest available piece for the run I need. This of course minimizes waste, but also allows me to maintain as much old stock as I can.

There’s a stock molding profile at Lowe’s that’s very similar to this, and I can’t decide whether that’s good enough for the kitchen or if I should get this profile replicated. I mean, I know the answer, but…money.

But there it is, installed! Again, I want it to look original so no need to strip all the paint. I do a little scraping and sanding and then up they go to get caulked, primed, and repainted.

See that dark piece of wood on the innermost part of the casing? That’s an actual window stop, which has been used for the past 150 years as a shim for the lath on the ceiling of my kitchen! Now for the first time, it’s serving the purpose it was milled for. Fun, right? Maybe only for me. I need more stimuli clearly.

Because this room was short on electrical, I added a few baseboard outlets to the new baseboards and the existing ones. Rather than removing the whole baseboard, it’s pretty simple to trace the electrical box and cut it out with an oscillating saw. Then just drive a drywall screw into the center and use a hammer to pry out the cut-out! Then you can insert your box and pull the wires through. For the new baseboards, it’s easier to mark my location, make my cutout with a jigsaw, and then install the baseboard like that—being careful to pull my wires through the hole before attaching the baseboards to the wall.

For the new sections of baseboard, I was really excited to find this piece of salvaged baseboard behind the wall in the upstairs kitchen (boy, we’re overdue for an update on that!), untouched probably for about a hundred years! It’s kind of dirty in this picture, but I believe that’s the original paint color for a lot of moldings in the house, which is kind of a muddy yellow-greige. I kept a small off-cut and I want to try to get it color-matched, because I think MAYBE that’s my new kitchen cabinet color?? We shall see.

The gap between the flooring and the baseboard will get covered with base shoe molding. It would look a lot nicer to do it now, but I’d rather just live with some gaps and wait for the floors to get refinished, and then do all the base shoe at once.

Not so bad, right? I mean it took me two days but now that I’m writing this post, it doesn’t seem so bad. Haha! I think there are 28 different pieces of wood on this window casing, not including a few shims hiding behind the finished pieces here and there.

Even before painting the new moldings, I was starting to feel like the room was so much lighter and brighter than I had expected, and maybe I wanted it to stay that way? I do love a bright sunlit room! I don’t fear dark paint but I also know it’s not right for every space, and maybe I was trying to force it?

I painted a sample. The sample got me excited. Full disclosure: I chose this color solely because I had two leftover gallons from another project, and I liked it in that room, and it was free, and I like free, so there ya go. It’s a Benjamin Moore color called Flint, which was color-matched with Valspar Reserve paint. It’s a really deep inky blue-black-charcoal—very rich but doesn’t really read as black in the space, especially next to black-black.

Then one thing led to another! Ohhhhh shit!

No lie, it was not exactly love at first sight. Painting something a dramatic color is always exciting, but I still wasn’t sold.

I went downstairs to grab something and walking back up the stairs, I was sold! This door is almost always open, and that peek of a really dark room at the top of the stairs is just so nice! Make me wanna go cuddle up to a dog or two. The unevenness is just the paint still drying, don’t worry.

Ahhhhh, yeah. I’m about it! The dark walls DO swallow up a ton of natural light, but in a good way. It feels so cozy! I wanted cozy! This also means this room needs a fair amount of supplementary lighting, which as a serial hoarder of lamps I find appealing.

Circling back to the moldings, all that pink filler is my BFF, Bondo! I’ve never had an issue with Bondo separating or cracking when used on an interior surface, but I wouldn’t recommend it for exterior. Bondo can’t make up for really lousy workmanship, but it can compensate for a lot. It also does a nice job of filling in grain, which makes the wood look like it has more paint on it than it does, which keeps all the moldings looking uniformly imperfect, if that makes sense.

Before moldings ever get a lick of paint, they go through a little rehab. The first step is cleaning: I like to use TSP substitute, following the dilution instructions on the package. These moldings were especially dirty from all the demo work that this room endured.

Then I use my palm sander to knock down any lumps and bumps, then a filler and/or caulk where needed. After the filler is sanded down, everything gets wiped down again and THEN it’s paint time. I tend to favor a 2″ angle brush for cutting in on the walls and painting moldings.

Yes! In this picture, the new casing and baseboards just have primer on them, and the rest of the moldings still need paint, but you can get a sense of how the room is going to look! I’m really happy with it. I also put up a ceiling medallion (the same one I used in my bedroom) and the light fixture, although the shades aren’t up so don’t judge yet! The pink glass shades really make the fixture.

It’s going to be way cute. I know because the room is basically done now! It came together so fast, at least given how long it usually takes me! These photos are a few weeks old so the room has furniture, art on the walls, a working television set, and now it’s my new favorite room in the house! I have to photograph it and then I’ll show you the whole thing soon! Eek!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 5.8.17
    debbie in toronto said:

    I’m thinking that the ceiling medallion needs to be white…..thoughts?
    But I do love the colour….like a womb.

    • 5.8.17
      Alexis said:

      Ooooh, I think the black medallion totally makes it. It’s just a subtle change in the shape surrounding the light, I think painting it white would make for too much contrast.

    • 5.8.17
      JHunt said:

      I was thinking the same as Debbie, that the medallion should be another color. Give it some pop/separation from the dark abyss around it, haha.

      I’m curious how it ends up looking with furniture and such!

    • 5.8.17
      Alma Miranda said:

      I think the black medallion rocks.

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha! CONTROVERSY! ;)

      I think for me the room doesn’t need it! I think it’d be too busy in here, once it’s furnished and art’d up. Also, this is just a foam medallion on a new ceiling…I kind of like that you don’t fixate on the new work too much, ya know? I think you might like it more with the light fixture fully assembled! But it’s only paint. :)

    • 5.8.17
      Becky said:

      Agreed. Black medallion or nothing!

    • 5.8.17
      Jaimie said:

      Noooo, I’m totally on the “love the black medallion” train. Especially if you’re going for a cozy opium den vibe. LOL.

    • 5.8.17
      Michelle said:

      OOOOOH so much dark wall love going on here. I just want to curl up in that room and read books. I’m digging the ceiling/wall/medallion one-ness. I think the shadow of the medallion add just enough visual texture to the ceiling without overstating it. It’s absolute perfection and I wouldn’t change a thing! The resolution on that ceiling fixture isn’t great so I can’t tell but I’m sort of loving the lack of shades on it. Kind of sputnik-esque. I could also see this bad boy hanging in there ( Love me some Arteriors but….money. Ooooh, or this one ( Or this one ( Don’t mind me. Just moving into your house in my head.

    • 5.8.17
      Michelle said:

      Just realized that sounded like I was encouraging a change, which I was not at all. Just wishing myself into your space! Can’t wait to see what YOU did with it.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha! Stop linking to more light fixtures!! I can’t buy more light fixtures!!! ;)

    • 5.9.17
      Michelle said:

      Totally feeling your pain. It’s a problem. I’m owning it.

  2. 5.8.17
    Rachel M said:

    Loving it!! Can’t wait to see the pink shades and the whole room put together. I’m a sucker for a dark room and it will be a perfect hangout room!

  3. 5.8.17
    Kat said:

    I love it! I can’t wait to see the reveal!

  4. 5.8.17
    Kate M said:

    So very cozy. The last photo is absolutely amazing! I love the dark medallion and the dark light fixture together with the painted ceiling. Can’t wait to see it with furniture!!

  5. 5.8.17
    Molly said:

    The black medallion is fantastic!

  6. 5.8.17
    Kelly said:

    INSANE. This is so gorgeous and I do NOT miss that box bay AT ALL.

    Yellowy-greige for the kitchen cabinets?!?! Be still my heart!

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      Ah, I’m glad to hear you say that, thank you! I really do think the room looks and feels so much better with out it. It was cool, just not for where it was on this house!

  7. 5.8.17
    Kris said:

    Moody, dark, and elegant, I’m sold!

  8. 5.8.17
    Amanda said:

    Currently my fave room in your beautiful home is the downstairs small living room? Library? with the black fireplace and book shelves . I have a feeling this room is about to move into first place. I Love that dark paint against the white mouldings and I know the pink light shades are going to look amazing. Excited for the reveal!

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      I think it might! That room definitely used to be home base, but I’ve been spending all my time in this one!

    • 5.9.17
      Bernadette said:

      Hmmmm, can all those books move in here? Full on [tiny] Beauty and the Beast style library, complete with a rolling ladder?

  9. 5.8.17
    Alexis said:

    Phoar, just wow.

  10. 5.8.17
    Amanda Taylor said:

    So rich and dreamy. I’d stay there all day! Also, totally re-using that decorate like a lunatic line. Love it.

  11. 5.8.17
    Adrien said:


    A bold choice on the paint that works: perfectly masculine (as much as I hate that notion per se). Looks great :)

  12. 5.8.17
    Andrea said:

    LOVE IT! It’s so cozy and romantic and perfect. Can’t wait to see the final version, but this sneak peek is enough to get the senses tingling. :-)

  13. 5.8.17
    Ali said:

    Oh man! This is AMAZING!! That was brave move painting everything black! It make the whole house more dramatic and add excitement when you or guests walk around the house and seeing every room has it own style and purpose. Look forward to next post! :)

  14. 5.8.17


    I so envy you right now and you have WAY more rooms that I do, but you’ve also had way more time in your house than I have. I’ve only been in here not quite a year and have 7 rooms and a small hall in my more modest, but still old house.

    That said, I can’t wait to get to a point to repaint some rooms, especially the hall and living room and parts of the kitchen as well as the cabinets, which are around 92 years old and not in the best shape need paint badly as what’s on there is in bad shape.

    Right now, I have this “Cucumber Green” paint in my living room and hall, “Latte” for my bedroom and both are not me, but I live with ’em for now. It doesn’t help that I have hideous texturing in the living room on the walls that the green is not helping matters and thus the room looks old and tired even though it’s in decent enough shape as is.

    As to this room, I like where you are going with it and can definitely see it working and being a cozy spot to watch TV and such as one needs a room like that, just for relaxing and lounging if nothing else.

    Keep it up and I can’t wait for the reveal!

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      You’ll get there! This room just made it under the four year mark! It’s a slog, but a gratifying one. :)

  15. 5.8.17
    Erica W. said:

    Oh how I love a dark ceiling. Great choice to go with the same color when there’s no ceiling molding. Love the panel tutorial. Looks so great and like it’s always been there.

  16. 5.8.17

    Wow. When I saw the black-ish walls I thought, no, not going to work. But that last shot has me in love. And I do like the medallion dark. The light fixture is fantastic–upside-down “flames”–how perfect!
    I can’t believe you have time to work on your house, because with the level of quality you do I would think you’d be working 24/7 on other people’s restorations.
    Your first shots, of the outlets reminds me that double electric outlets are possibly the thing I miss most about the U.S., after Mexican food. Something so simple, so useful, yet that few other countries replicate (even when the electrician has been ordered to install double outlets everywhere).

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      Yay! Glad you dig it!

      I’ve actually taken a small step back from working on other properties! There are a couple ongoing projects, but mainly I needed to get back to my own TWO before totally over-committing again. And it’s been a great learning experience in itself! A few months ago I wouldn’t have done two layer drywall + skim coat or felt capable of matching the window moldings to the originals, and it can be difficult to test those kinds of things on a client’s property if you’re not sure how they’ll pan out. And soon, plaster! So giving myself a little space to be creative and mess around in a situation where I’m the client I think has been great for future projects. My own houses are finally getting some much needed attention!

      I never really thought about the outlets! Except that I am rather fond of the American ones, particularly grounded outlets because they look like little surprised faces.

    • 5.9.17

      You could be the American version of this guy (and, like him, don’t do all the work single-handed):

  17. 5.8.17
    Alma Miranda said:

    Flint! The color of my living room. Great minds think alike! lol

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      Ah! Nice!

  18. 5.8.17
    Sterling said:

    Very Restoration Hardware. Painting the cabinets that “muddy” (your words! your words!) color, though…guess we’ll see, won’t we?

    • 5.8.17
      Daniel said:

      Anything could happen! Wild times!

  19. 5.8.17
    KLM said:

    Can’t wait to see it!
    I used to be embarrassed/worried about my lamp hoarding habit…but have realized that it always comes in handy! It will be interesting to see what lighting feels right to you in your den given its small size and the dark walls. Loving seeing your house again.

  20. 5.8.17
    Heather Bond said:

    This room! I want to marry it and have it’s babies! I’m with Amanda, “rich and dreamy” and pink shades on the light?! I can’t stop with the exclamation points! You just keep knocking it out of the park.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you so much Heather! :)

  21. 5.8.17
    Gillianne said:

    Lamp hoarder, meet rug junkie. (Couldn’t resist a smallish hand-knotted beauty I don’t need at an estate sale last weekend.)

    Anyway… any chance you might manage a full den-ovation reveal for this Wednesday, which happens to be reveal day for the current One Room Challenge?

    Just a thought. More like a wish, actually. :D

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Never pass up a good rug!!! They roll up small enough to store as many as you damn well please. Those are the words I live by, anyway. :)

      HAHA, I’m so outta the loop with the One Room Challenge! I gotta pay attention! I’m thinking Thursday. :)

    • 5.9.17
      NestFan said:

      I’ve decided that I should sell unused wool rugs rather than store them anymore, due to a carpet beetle infestation that I found had eaten up some rugs I had rolled up (tied in the paper they came back from the rug cleaners in) in a bedroom closet that I used as a storage in my last place – which I discovered when I was moving out. No great loss – they were older and cheaper ones that I wasn’t using any more, since this rug junkie had gotten new ones over the decades – no persians in there, just a few inexpensive kilims with large coffee stains I hadn’t yet figured out how to remove (the persian rug cleaners failed to get them out, but I thought I should at least have a try before throwing in the towel), and a cheap off-white Ikea rug that I had spent more to have cleaned after my last move than the rug had cost to begin with (but I liked it, and try to use stuff as long as possible before trashing it, so I figured at the time that the cost was worth it.)

      I think I’ve learned my lesson about trying to store wool rugs – better I get rid of some stuff and not packrat everything – I tend to save old furniture and rugs when I have the space to do so, as sometimes what I can’t use in one home I can use in the next, and I’ve been thinking if I ever get a country place I can use all my old stuff that I like to furnish it, but I should get rid of more in my next move, as a vacation place is not likely to happen any time in the foreseeable future.

  22. 5.8.17
    Devyn said:

    Daniel, I love your devotion to details! The moldings in big box stores are usually woefully under-scaled or oddly shaped, so I think it’s great to pull out the router and just make your own trim (I did the same thing with poplar in my kitchen renovation).

    Question… Now that you have lived through a winter with your new Brosco windows, are you still happy? I am thinking about using them on a project and was wondering how you felt about them. Cheers!

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      AH, I wish I could give you an honest review, but I really can’t! The Brosco windows are single glaze, so they really should have some kind of storm window, and I haven’t done that yet. This winter the house had quite a lot of gutted/uninsulated spaces, so it was difficult to really judge heat loss…I will say that the windows themselves have held up just fine, and I’m still very happy with how well they match the originals especially given their cost, but that’s about all I can accurately share! Ask me again in a year!!

  23. 5.8.17
    C. said:

    Oh, Daniel, that color is SO gorgeous! I had doubts about going so dark, but no. This seems like living among beautiful old chalkboards. And with that elegant woodwork? Oh my. The carpentry you did here is way beyond me, but truly impressive. And thanks for the correct use of “stool”–always nice to have a new way to annoy. Can’t wait to see the finished room–especially the pink lampshades! (What vintage is that lighting fixture, do you know?)

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you C! The light fixture appears to be from the 1950s. I bought it at a flea market when I was in Berlin in September, and then had to get it home! I do stupid things on vacation. :)

  24. 5.8.17
    Wendy said:

    Love the colour – even on the medallion. Are you painting the doors the same colour as your trim? I don’t see a radiator in your photos but would you paint it the trim colour too or black like the others? I really like your progress shots – it makes it very easy to follow your work. All the best!

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you Wendy! I think doors in this room will be the trim color (I haven’t painted them yet!) and radiator got painted gloss black just like the one in the bedroom! I actually made a feeble attempt at “antique bronze” finish spray paint, but that was not cute so black it was!

  25. 5.8.17
    Kristin said:

    Oh sweet jebus that is gorgeous! I picked up the same ceiling medalion several months ago for our bedroom restoration, and you now have me pondering bringing the paint up onto the ceiling and the medalion. Great work!

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Oh nice! I’ve been having the same thoughts…all my other ceilings are the white of the trim (BM simply white) and I’m kind of wondering why I didn’t bring the wall color all the way up?? Maybe that’s the answer?? Or maybe not?? This is where a pinterest account might actually come in handy…

    • 5.9.17
      NestFan said:

      I think having the medallion black like the ceiling works best here because the room is small – I’d only paint it white if the ceiling was white, too (which I actually prefer, even with dark walls.)

  26. 5.8.17
    Priya said:

    OMG, love how this room is turning out!! I love the dark paint and it definitely works with you wanting to have a cozy feel. You did an outstanding job on the molding and I love how you are trying to stay so true to the original.

  27. 5.8.17
    Sara L. said:

    Oh. My. Gosh. That black medallion! I actually said “Oooooo!” out loud when it scrolled into view. I admit, I was a little trepidatious when I saw that dark paint creeping up onto the ceiling, but shut my mouth. That is gorgeous. And the light fixture! Can’t wait to see this room all dolled up. And now I am itching to repaint a room in my house that gorgeous color, although it won’t work nearly as well in a crappy 20-year-old “new” build with popcorn ceilings. Ah well. A girl can dream.

  28. 5.8.17
    gretchen said:

    I’m biting my knuckles waiting to see the pink shades! Post pics soon, please!

  29. 5.8.17
    Karla said:

    How lovely! I’ve always wanted a dark room, but with the natural (fumed) oak casings in my Craftsman bungalow, I’m afraid that the combo of dark walls, dark woodwork and deep eaves would be too much of a good thing and be a cave!

    As far as the moldings go – at least in the Arts and Crafts style that I’m most familiar with, the ‘working’ spaces, like kitchens, often had less detail, harder wearing surfaces (like subway tile – it really IS classic) and less expensive materials. For instance, my working class bungalow has quarter sawn fumed oak in the living room, dining room and master bedroom. The kitchen, bath and sleeping porch/child’s bedroom have painted white oak. Simpler profile on the baseboards, too.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Karla! For what it’s worth, I think wood moldings and dark walls work together super well!! My friend Allison’s house has dark woodwork and dark, saturated walls and I love the combo!

    • 5.10.17
      Tisha said:

      You beat me to it! I love Allison’s dark woodwork/dark wall combo. It’s the best I’ve seen so far on the interwebs…

  30. 5.8.17
    Nikki said:

    I LOVE this.

    Late last year my boyfriend and I painted our basement guest room a similar color. When we told our friends about it they thought we were insane, but everyone who has seen it since has loved it. With such a good proof of concept under our belts, we didn’t hesitate to paint the boyfriend’s main-floor office the same color. Since we haven’t had a chance yet to cover the popcorn ceilings with white planked ceilings, we’re kind of doubting it. I’m excited to see how your room turns out so we can pull some inspiration from it!

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Oh nice! Hopefully it’s helpful!

  31. 5.8.17
    Christy said:

    Beautiful! The BM color reminds me of Farrow & Ball Railings, which is both moody and reserved. Re the window itself–is it new, and wood? What is the plastic-ky white stuff to each side of it, do they give wood replacement windows a vinyl support? I ask because we have vinyl windows at this time and someday when we scrape together the money or win the lottery I’d like to replace them with wood ones–but wondered if the wood replacement ones nowadays still come with vinyl bits? Thanks.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Hi Christy! Yes, the window it new and is wood—interior and exterior. I wrote a lotttttt about them (and other options that are out there) here:

      Short answer is that yes, I think the vinyl balances on either side are pretty standard, unfortunately. They’re a bummer but honestly, when everything is painted (sashes still need paint in these photos!), you really don’t notice them. One exception I know of is that Marvin does make a VERY high-end window that has actual sash pullies and chains (I’m unclear on whether this means there are actual sash weights…my instinct says no), which is a beautiful window for historic restoration projects but the cost is high—the window pictured here was about $350 dollars vs. about $1,500 for the Marvin, and this was actually a much better match to the adjacent historic windows. Trust me I know, it’s a huge challenge to figure out! For what it’s worth, a lot of companies make wood interior with either vinyl or aluminum clad exteriors on simulated divided lite insulated sashes, which really are nice if you’re going new throughout a structure. The challenge here was mostly with trying to match the rest of the windows that are 150 years old!

    • 5.9.17
      NestFan said:

      I feel like a need to take a minute to mourn the end of wooden windows with sash weights (the kind of windows I grew up with)! I guess I’ll just have to find a house with the old ones still in place to restore someday.

  32. 5.8.17
    lisaane said:

    an emphatic yes!

  33. 5.8.17
    greta said:

    I like the color. When it is dry it looks dark grey to me. Looks rich and expensive, like high quality fabric.
    The window routing is beautifully done and beautiful.

  34. 5.8.17
    jo said:

    Quick! I want the full reveal.

    Loving it.

  35. 5.8.17
    'col said:

    Me: “Oh, I don’t know about that colour, it looks so dark–” [hits last picture] “NOAP, IT’S AMAZING, FORGET I SAID ANYTHING.” Like so many other people, I think it was seeing the ceiling medallion the same colour that sold me on it. And now we’ll get to see some of your hoarded lighting!
    Daniel, I’m loving all these posts. I’m slogging through the last requirements for school, and I’m tired, and I’m crabby all the time due to Reasons, but seeing that there’s something new from you makes me happy without fail. Maybe it’s because putting some beauty back in the world gives me things to hope for and helps me remember what it’s all about? Anyway, thank you–you’re helping me.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Haha! I’m glad you like it! And thank you—good luck wrapping up school, and I’ll try to keep it coming!! :)

    • 5.12.17
      'col said:

      No pressure. For real. I just thought it might be nice to hear that you weigh in the balance of Good Things in my world, no matter what your posting schedule is.

  36. 5.8.17
    Jennifer said:

    Ho-ly shit. I can’t wait for the next post on this room. The color is awesome, the ceiling and medallion really make it!

  37. 5.8.17
    Kate said:

    Aaaaah it looks SO GOOD! I am usually skeptical about same-coloured ceilings, I think they can be hard to pull off, but this looks perfect! I am a big fan of dark colours for small spaces. My small-ish bedroom is a deep deep teal blue and I had the same thing when I was painting it – doubt, and then seeing a glimpse of it from the open door and just falling in love. It always looks so inviting, and it makes textures look so lush and luxurious. Plus I love an excuse for more lamps.

    This blog is such a reliable mood stabliser for me. There’s just something about the restoration process that is so vastly satisfying, especially when I don’t have to do any of the work! :P It’s definitely a buzz to see the end results, I love it.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Aw, thank you Katie!

  38. 5.9.17
    Leticia said:

    I love the dark color. I don’t think I would have had the guts to go all the way to the ceiling, but it’s perfect!

    The thing that gets me even more excited is seeing you restore the windows. It’s such a labor of love.
    I’ve been doing plenty around here in your antipodean location. Doing more with a jigsaw than it was ever intended to do. It’s weird how different things feel when you do them yourself. Even the imperfections are something to be proud of.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Hear, hear! (be careful with that jigsaw!)

  39. 5.9.17
    Doorot said:

    Bam. Drama. Love it!!!!

  40. 5.9.17
    Elizabeth said:

    “Captain Planet would be proud.” Best reason ever! I love the colour!
    I’m sure you’ve already heard of her, but Abigail Ahern ( has AMAZING use of dark colours and has something similar to your kitchen colour in her bathroom <3<3

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      I wasn’t familiar with her, thank you! So much pretty to look at!! :)

  41. 5.9.17
    jeannette said:

    just thinking of the daniel of 2167 renovating this house, and what a message from 1837 he would get on the lowe’s molding vs. the expensive router bit molding. no pressure. it would also give you and your grandchildren the greatest pleasure. the time capsule aspect of this house, the resurrecting of the window stop wood from your ceiling, really truly is powerful. sometimes when i get discouraged with the present scene, i think of you replaning your siding boards and feel better. i consider this work of yours part of the resistance. thanks. so enjoying frequent postings.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thanks Jeanette! I KNOW, I KNOW, you’re right about the moldings. Haha! I think I might try to the route of getting a custom router bit made, instead of a bunch of linear feet replicated. The Internet leads me to believe this is a viable option, and then I can make as much as I want on an as-needed basis! :)

    • 5.9.17
      NestFan said:

      Totally the right call to create the below window panel – the little office next door was basically a large closet to begin with, I’d say (even if actually used for a small child.) Now you have a nice focal point in this otherwise simple room. And you will see it, to, when you enter the room, as you aren’t likely to put something bulky like a sofa blocking your view of it, with the door to the office right there precluding such.

      I like the wall color – it definitely looks blue-gray, not black, even on my computer screen.

  42. 5.9.17
    Katherine said:

    I adore pink and black together so I can’t wait to see the shades! You’ve turned this stickler for original details into an unbearable snob I’m afraid. I about lose my mind when I watch TV shows and they smash the original cabinets and moldings and then put in the most basic cookie cutter replacements. Ugh! I always think how someone can use those old fixtures they’re putting into a land-fill!

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      UGH, such a pet peeve. Makes me crazy! The amount of waste that goes into ANY renovation is pretty gargantuan, so it’s such a shame to send stuff to a landfill that really doesn’t need to be there. Sigh! Whatcha gonna do.

  43. 5.9.17
    Jen said:

    My god, I can’t get over how sexy that black medallion is. NEVER CHANGE IT. Basically, your instincts are amazing- you keep doing you, cause you’re killing it.

    • 5.9.17
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, Jen! :)

  44. 5.9.17
    Whitney Kerr said:

    Oh I love this so much. I was even willing to accept your shadeless light fixture, but I’m SO EXCITED to find out what the pink shades look like!
    Beautiful work, as always!

  45. 5.9.17
    S@sha said:

    I’m totally team black medallion. I wasn’t completely sold on the color until the shot of the room with the painted ceiling and dark ceiling medallion. It gives it a cool factor that I think will totally go with that couch you showed previously. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  46. 5.9.17
    Tina Smith-Pautler said:


  47. 5.9.17
    Jeanna said:

    I love it :) Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  48. 5.9.17
    JessZee said:

    I actually said “ohmygod I love it” when I scrolled to your photo with the dark ceiling and medallion. I’m not one to vocalize my adoration for pictures of stranger’s houses. But what you did was amazing. I love it, and cannot wait to see it all decorated. I’ve become a big fan of darker paint, its so cozy and grown up and sexy! Throw in some leather furniture and its basically Burt Reynolds in room form.
    I’m also pondering painting my ceilings, but I have a fairly open floor plan so its a big commitment. You got me thinkin tho!

  49. 5.10.17
    Teresa said:

    Love it!!!

  50. 5.10.17
    Florian said:

    So many posts in such a short time make me so happy! When I first saw the wall colour, I was like hm, but then all done with the ceiling and all, it totally works so well! Yay dark ceiling, dark medallion and white trim! Can’t wait to see the finished result! I realise I’m using a lot of exclamation marks! Anyhow, still unsure about the dark brown sofa you said you were going to put into this room. Did you really get it? Excited about the pink light. According to Dorothy Draper, it’s very becoming, all the women look well in it. Which flee market did you get it on?
    What I am most curious about however, is what your long term plans for all these lounge / den / living / drawing rooms are. When you get to the point where you’ll redo the large downstairs drawing room, you’ll have three lounging spaces. Or will the front parlour be converted into in a study when the large drawing room is usable? Actually I’m even more curious what that room looks like right now. I think I remember you wrote at some point, that you are using it as a workshop / storage? Which reminds me, that you sort of hinted, you might do a post on the current state of the garage, if we liked the cellar post… Just sayin’

  51. 5.10.17
    Gabrielle said:

    Holy crap that last picture! It’s so stunningly gorgeous. I can’t even. This room is going to be unreal I’m so excited for you. Applause for risking it and going all in with the paint.

  52. 5.10.17
    luna said:

    I LOVE it!
    I had a similar experience; After much trepidation, I started painting a small, darkish secondary dining room Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue, I had some serious doubts. After taking a bit of distance I saw the room at a distance and I LOVED it. Painting with dark colors takes balls and vision. This room is going to be fantastic, dark color makes everything else in the room look so much better.

  53. 5.11.17
    carmencatalina said:

    I’m afraid I’m solidly #TeamWhiteMedallion. But those dark grey walls are gorgeous – I think the room is going to be fabulous.

  54. 5.26.17
    Haley said:

    This looks great! I love a black room. I never knew that detail about the molding being more ornate in more important rooms. My house has different molding all over the place and I just thought the last owners were just cheaping out on some of the spots they worked on.

  55. 6.7.17
    Ragnar said:

    The room looks stunning! I can totally see the merits of a dark room (I had ultramarine blue for several years) but I might have left the ceiling white or off-white. In my case that was the original paint scheme too, dark up to the top of the door trim and white above.

    The original baseboard is neat but getting anywhere near paint matching is seriously tricky. First of all it looks quite dirty in the picture but the more serious issue is that oil and linseed oil-based paints yellow like crazy, especially in darkness. Professionals can do a whole lot of analysis but even they have to do some guesswork (read the posts on paint matching over at Restoring Ross!). My best guess is that this would originally have been a very light grey without much yellow in it. More like an off-white maybe. Prior to the discovery of titanium dioxide white pigments weren’t really white, either towards yellow or grey and light grey was a really common colour for windows and doors around 1900.

  56. 6.28.17
    Robin said:

    Though I’m not a fun of dark paint, I admit the result here looks great. Good job!