I’m Dreaming of a White (Trim!) Christmas . . .

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If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me absolutely freaking out (in an excited way) over our biggest project to date at The Lighthouse – banishing oak forever in our main living areas. And I am talking banishing. All trim, all doors, all stairwell railings and steps… let the light in! Time to whiten and brighten this place up for good.

Thankfully, I snapped a few before pictures before we closed on our home last spring. Feast your eyes.


But now, after living here for seven months and having painters kicking paint cans and taking names for two weeks, the foyer now looks like this:


The hand railing and steps were first primed and then painted black, the kickers, spindles and newels were also primed and then painted white. It was a tedious process but oh so worth it! (And of course, I’m already decorating for Christmas. Who could resist decking out this stairwell with burlap and garland? I certainly couldn’t!)

The next before picture is of the oak fireplace and the light-filled two story great room that greets our guests when they stand at the foot of these (now gorgeous!) stairs.

Here’s what it looked like when we bought it:


And here is what she looks like now after a lot of white paint, a new set of burlap Roman shades and a whole lot of Christmas:


Of course – this project is close but not quite finished. We have a very Fixer Upper style chandelier on its way to replace the brass fan in this room and the massive mirror will also be history after Christmas. Cowboy will replace the mantel with this fantastic rustic beam we found (see below – it is leaning in the corner now) as well as install shiplap framed by reclaimed wood where the mirror once was.


Another room that received the white trim treatment was the parlor that anchors our dining room and home office. Here’s a quick little naked before pic:


And a few shots of her now all furnished, styled and sporting her new white trim windows:


Last but not least – Cowboy replaced the cheap standard hollow golden oak doors (complete with 1990’s brass hinges and handles) with solid oak mission style three paneled doors and new oil rubbed bronze handle and hinges. He stained and installed them all on his own. The guy is a machine! I don’t really have a before picture (I must not have thought the hallway was before pic worthy at the time) but if you scroll back up to the first photo of the oak stairs in their before state, you can get a little peek of one of the “before” doors.

Here they are now, all solid and stately complete with their white trim:


This house is almost 25 years old. Although we love the floor plan and the fact that it is so well built, the finishes were all very outdated and very “nineties”. It really is amazing the difference a little bit of paint can make!

I think one of the more dramatic views is standing in this very spot and turning back to see the main floor from a bird’s eye view. Here is a before picture I snapped the day we closed on this empty, oak, beige, brass and mint green cavern:


I could easily see past this and visualize its potential. I am so glad I did! Because now – this is home.


The formal dining room light fixture is also being replaced this week, but I couldn’t wait to post the progress to date now that this massive overhaul of the main living area is (almost) complete!


I hope you enjoyed this mini tour! May it inspire you to see the limitless potential in either your own home or a new space you are just now looking to call home.

Design Tip

When viewing an empty space, try to visualize not only your current furniture and style but the potential the space can have. After all, we usually live in our homes for years and it is always an evolution, things change.  If your home is not a new build it will reflect the taste and style of the former owners. Know that making your mark can take time but it will happen. Ignore paint colors and all finishes. Cosmetic things can always be slowly updated. And when they are – it just makes it that much more “yours” in the end.

Design Tip

We hired out the trim painting project but I know many people who’ve tackled it themselves. It can be time consuming but if you just take one bite of the elephant at a time, eventually you’ll eat the whole thing. In fact, we did not have the painters do the bedrooms or bathrooms. I plan to tackle those over long winter weekends, and I honestly have no deadline. And really, all you need is a good primer and a whole lot of time. Oak is beautiful but it tends to turn orange at it ages. And if you love orange, then you’re in luck. But if you don’t? Then you’ll either have to have it painted or sanded and re-stained, depending on your taste.

Thank you again for stopping by! I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season – may the spirit of the season bring you endless happiness.

Peace, Joy and Blessings,


“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”

Isaiah 9:6


The day after I finished this post guess what happened? Our Wayfair light fixtures were delivered! I love them so much I’ll devote my entire next post to them but thought I’d add en epilogue to this post with a picture of the room now that both the brass fan and the dated dining room chandelier are history. Here is the space now – what a difference these fixtures made!

Light Fixtures After.jpg

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @audramehl for family bloopers, Cowboy’s singing in his truck and daily updates of the transformation of our home from dated 1990’s standard build to Farmhouse Chic in both my posts and Inta Stories. Thank you for stopping by – God bless! ~ Audra


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