Honor Roll

Honor Roll

Honor Roll

Let’s start with a before and after. The renovated ‘after’ is up first.

L.A. Mansion Entry, After

L.A. Mansion Entry, Before

Another before and after.

L.A. Mansion Dining, Before

L.A. Mansion Dining, After

And I would love to hear your thoughts on the minimal changes in the butler’s pantry. (I’m not in love with the sink choice, but the faucet, flooring and countertops are an improvement in keeping with the house.)

L.A. Mansion Butler's Pantry, Before

L.A. Mansion Butler's Pantry, After

OK, one more. I photoshopped the unpainted wood trim back in. How much do you think your initial reaction to the renovation was based on furnishings and styling, and how much was based on the paint?

Unpainted woodwork, Photoshopped back in.

IMAGES: Planomatic and Zillow, via Pricey Pads • Renovation by Bowery Design Group

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  • Danielle
    December 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Wow! Such great links! As much as I love the unpainted wood trim in your house (and others), I have to say that transformation of the LA mansion is stunning! I’m by no means an anti-painter, btw – it definitely depends on the space and like you mentioned, the furnishings.

    And the art in that London home was hilarious! Not sure I could live with it every day, but a fun place to visit.

    Thanks, too, for the Jenna Lyons link! I read the article in the Times Style magazine and have been meaning to check out the online tour since they didn’t include pics of the kitchen. Gah! It’s all so gorgeous!

  • Kristin
    December 8, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I love the wood painted, but I wonder if it looks as good in person as it does in photos. We had our woodwork painted and I’ve found it difficult to hide blemishes and marks. Maybe I need to get rid of the kids and the dog?

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Pesky family. ;)

      I wonder why yours isn’t holding up though. We’ve painted the trim on the second floor here and it has held up fine, though I guess it’s only been a year and a half so far.

  • Sara
    December 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Love the painted wood, but hate the light fixture choices they made!

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Yeah, someone there super loves rectangular prisms.

  • Gina
    December 8, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Is it just me or are the before an after images of the LA house not matching up? Do you see how the molding on the bottom of the staircase wall flattens out in the before image but not in the after? The landing also seems much larger in the before shot (near the bottom of the banister). Maybe it is just the angle, but…..not sure this is the same house?

    • karenebrown
      December 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      The before picture is just a lot closer to the stairs, and if you look through the plant leaves, that horizontal portion of the wall molding is barely visible.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Definitely the same house, just a slightly cropped shot compared to the before.

  • Liz
    December 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    My first reaction was, “OMG. They painted all of that woodwork.” ::shocked disbelief:: I’m on the do-what-you-want-with-your-own-house train, but man, I can’t help but think of what a loss it is (despite how great it looks afterwards!). And I agree, styling plays a large role in the “after” picture.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:04 am

      My first reaction was that it looked great! Ha. But I think it could have been equally great with the wood and a big boost from styling.

  • Sarah
    December 8, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    If the owners had bought the house, painted the woodwork and lived in it for the next 20 years, then it wouldn’t be so bad. Why live for a long time with a detail you hate? But to go into a house with that level of crazy, beautiful woodwork with the intent to turn around and sell it after “updating” to today’s taste is a crime. They even took out the original (or at least original looking) subway tile in the butler’s pantry. I don’t get it.

    • Amanda
      December 8, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      I am totally with you there!
      Don’t we all update before we move? It’s stupid psychology at it’s finest.
      My question is: what did they do with the furniture they replaced?

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:07 am

      I wish I had painted the trim in our first home sooner. I didn’t hesitate to start painting the second floor here and I LOVE it. The hallway with its wallpaper, white trim, and black doors looks exactly as I’d hoped, and we get to enjoy it everyday. But it’s for us, and we don’t have plans to move — it is a strange thing to do for resell, but I suppose the market bears that.

  • Natalie
    December 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Oof. That woodwork was so beautiful. The last photo that you photoshopped clinched it for me. I think the more modern styling works, and it would have worked without all that paint, imo.

    • Miranda
      December 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Same here. I loved the woodwork the way it was, and think that the bland, typical, white paint just ruined it. The furnishings definitely still worked with the woodwork in my opinion, it provided my contrast and character. I’m not anti-paint, but this just breaks my heart. I think paint was the wrong choice for it.

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

      I think the styling actually looks cheap against the wood — it works with white because everything is white and it looks expansive. The effect would be ruined with colorful pieces, but they could sing against the wood.

  • shannon
    December 8, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’m appalled at the painted woodwork. We have a 1914 home that we bought in large part because of the amount of untouched woodwork, so I’m obviously biased…BUT they truly do not make it like that any more (due to lack of availability of old-growth wood, etc.). To paint all of it ruins something that cannot be re-created.

    There are plenty of other properties out there that would be better-suited to your tastes if the “after” look is what you’re going for. If you don’t like this kind of woodwork, don’t buy a property like this. Simple as that.

    OK, rant over :)

    • Making it Lovely
      December 13, 2017 at 10:12 am

      I’m not so sure it’s as simple as ‘don’t buy a house with natural wood’ if you don’t like that look though. Location, size, and layout are higher up on my list than the trim finish, and that’s likely true for a lot of people.

      And trim *can* be brought back after being painted! My home, and many others around here, have had their woodwork stripped and restained and if nobody told you, you would never guess it. It comes at a price though, either labor/time, and the mess of the job itself.

  • RachelA
    December 8, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    i absolutely prefer painted woodwork, even if the wood is in good shape. unless it’s some really interesting maple that has only a light matte topcoat, i don’t really like unpainted wood trim.

    my house is 115 years old, and i was thrilled that the previous owners had painted almost all of the woodwork already. i repainted it a different color, but i didn’t have to do all the prep work that painting wood requires.

    i often go on zillow or trulia and look at houses similar to mine in my neighborhood, and many of them have the same trim patterns so i get to see what my house would look like if it was unpainted.

  • LP
    December 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    They went way overboard painting the wood and it’s not a look that will age well. The excessive use of white is already going out of style and screams “flip!”

  • Van Winkle Home
    December 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    haha love that last pic- I had immediately saved the before photo to do the same thing! I definitely prefer yours!

  • Khb
    December 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I actually love the sink, but I love a touch of modern amidst the traditional. I think the metal brings out the veins in your marble.

  • Liz
    December 8, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Yeah the photoshop one is my favorite one – with the updated furniture/fixtures without painting all the wood. Changes to the kitchen are nice.

  • Karen
    December 9, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I’m so glad you posted the photoshopped picture as it solves the dilemma I was wrestling with over the house I bought. I love the original woodwork in it but the interior looks so dark. Seeing the light paint and woodwork in the photoshop helped me see I can keep the original woodwork and still get a lighter feeling interior. Thanks again

  • Michelle
    December 9, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Unpainted all the way. So rich and awe inspiring. The paint cheapens it for me. Thank you for taking the time to photoshop the updated room with the unpainted wood. It proves the point. I feel that new choice of rugs throughout are way too small though.

  • Bri
    December 9, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I actually think the styling is what is ruining it for me. I think if they had mixed modern pieces while keeping vintage and traditional pieces I wouldn’t mind the paint so much. But it’s like they painted the wood and then tried to pretend the home didn’t have a rich history. Keep some of those beautiful Persian rugs! And add pieces with character and I could maybe get on board with some of the paint!

  • Judy
    December 9, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I love your “Honor Roll” posts. The internet is so vast but I still manage to get in a rut returning to the same sites I always read. You take me places I’ve never gone. I clicked through the pictures of Johnny Hallyday’s funeral in Paris, after looking through the wildlife photos first. It’s like taking a deep, refreshing breath. First, nature! Then, an event, though a loss, that brings so many people together to stand and sing and say goodbye, in the center of a beautiful city. Thanks for these links.

  • Ellen
    December 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Have you seen this sales video on the house? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG_zmr9Ocbo They hired a fake family to “inhabit” it. It’s pretty funny in places: why is the “husband” wearing shorts with black socks? They certainly updated the house, and I like that they kept the butler’s pantry pretty intact, but it seems pretty antiseptic, like a Restoration Hardware catalog by way of The Onion.

  • Paige
    December 10, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I’m of two minds when it comes to painted woodwork. If the wood is in bad shape or there isn’t a ton of it in every room, sure, whip out that brush! (We’ve painted baseboards and door/window trim plenty of times.) There are definitely situations when painting is the right decision. However! I have a soft spot for old homes just like you, and it makes me sad when glorious woodwork gets covered up for Style Purposes. If you aren’t into dark woodwork in most of the main living areas, then buy a different house.

  • Jamie
    December 10, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Oh, how sad. LOVED the rich wood but think many “accessory” elements made it dark…rugs, paint or wallpaper insets, etc. could have been updated to brighten and modernize without totally ravaging that beautiful wood. I have to say that so many pictures of recent mostly-white wood interiors do look beautiful…AT FIRST. I have yet to see an all-white trim and cabinets look beautiful after life happens. Ah, but wood!…it just seems to get more beautiful and treasured with years.

  • Molly
    December 11, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Oh that pains me to see the wood painted! Especially since the wood is so intricate and grand. I agree with others that the painted wood looks nice now but how will it look in 20 years? Is white trim still going to be all the rage? My husband’s grandfather removed all of the original wood trim in our farmhouse years ago and replaced it with 1980’s cheap oak trim on the lower level. The upstairs still has the original trim and I can’t see why anyone would want to rip that out.