Center Hall Colonials: Design Challenges & Solutions

Center hall Colonials make up the majority of Hudson homes, and they share some common design features that can be frustrating for modern homeowners. Here are some of the most common challenges my Hudson clients face, along with the real issues creating the challenges, and solutions to make your Colonial work for your family.

Challenge: You have oak woodwork throughout your home. You painted the walls gray. Now, your oak trim looks horrible. It’s even more orange than it was before. You really didn’t want to have to paint all the woodwork, but now you fear you have no other choice.

Real Issue: Cool grays do not play well with warm oak. Grays have very cool green, blue, and purple undertones. Most oaks have pink (red), orange, or yellow undertones. The cool undertones in the grays bring out the warmness of the oak, making the woodwork clash against the paint color.

Solution: To achieve an updated look, use a taupe color instead. Taupe is in between gray and beige. The warmer pink undertones in taupe complement the oak’s warmer undertones. Popular taupes are Sherwin-Williams Popular Gray and Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak, but the specific taupe right for your home depends on the undertones in your woodwork, flooring, and other fixed elements.

Challenge: Your Colonial’s kitchen was updated with brown/yellow/cream granite counters, but you still had all the original oak cabinets. It was way too dark, so you painted your cabinets bright white. The cabinets now look WAY too bright compared to the rest of the house. You fear you’ll now have to replace the counters AND paint all the oak trim.

Real Issue: True white paint is too white for cream/yellow/brown granite counters and oak woodwork. Some whites even have a blue-white tint, which clashes with the yellow/orange undertones of the granite and oak.

Solution: If you’re keeping the warm toned granite, choose an off-white color for your cabinets. Compared to the dark wood stain, the off-white will still look very bright, but it won’t make the granite counters and oak woodwork look dingy and old. Color selection is very dependent on the other fixed elements’ undertones, but some popular off-white are Sherwin-Williams Alabaster and Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.

Challenge: No one ever goes into the formal living room. It’s such a waste of a room.

The Real Issue: The formal living room doesn’t have a purpose in modern society. Lifestyles have changed, and we no longer feel obligated to entertain out of a room separated from the rest of our home.

Solution: Change the purpose of that room! What have you always wished you could do in your home, but there’s no space for it? The formal living room can be transformed into a spacious home office. It could also turn into a beautiful library, study room, or music room.

At Lindsey Putzier Design Studio, our team members also live in center hall Colonials and understand how challenging these homes can be to update. For more advice and recommendations, feel free to reach out to us any time.

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