Do Interior Doors and Trim Have to Match?

April 12, 2021

By: The Finished Space

It’s a common question, “Do interior doors and trim have to match?” The short answer is no. The doors and trim can be whatever style and color you want them to be. Your home’s design is entirely up to you.

But that isn’t the answer you’re looking for, is it? The real question is, should the trim and doors match? When it comes to design rules and best practices, the answers are never that straightforward.

What do the experts have to say? What looks best? Let’s break down this question.

Should Doors Be Painted the Same Color as the Trim?

Ask any respectable designer, and they’ll tell you that there are no hard and fast rules for interior design. There are only guidelines, and those are mostly based on personal preferences. It’s really about what you find the most aesthetically pleasing.

Here are a few options for door and trim colors, you can:

  • Paint the door and trim the same color.

  • Paint the trim and door complementary colors.

  • Paint the door and trim contrasting colors.  

There are advantages to each of these options.

The Same Color

If you want to play it safe and rest easy knowing that everything will look fantastic, then matching your door and trim colors is the way to go. Trim is traditionally white or off-white, so matching your doors to the same shade will always be on-trend.

You don’t have to paint your trim white. Just be sure that if you choose a more daring color, that you actually get the effect you want. If you don’t want to go with white but are hesitant about going too far out of the box, go with lighter colors like cream, taupe, and pale hues. Then, match your door to that color!  

Contrasting Colors

If you want to be bold and make a statement, contrasting colors are the way to do it. Pair a black door with white trim or a bold red with a creamy tone. Contrasting colors are a terrific way to make a statement with your door and trim colors.

Complementary Colors

Going with complementary colors for your door and trim is the nice middle point between playing it safe with matching colors and going all the way with contrasting colors. Complimentary colors allow you to choose slightly different shades or pair nice wood grains with subdued hues.

When making your decision, you also have to consider the color of the walls. This is true whether you go with contrasting, complementary, or matching, because the color of your walls will have a significant impact on the overall look of your room and will determine whether your trim and color combination work.

For instance, with a complementary color scheme, you can match the trim and door to different parts of the wallpaper. If the wallpaper is taupe, light green, and orange, you could paint the trim taupe and the door green to complement the entire room.

Once you bring the walls into the picture, there are lots of other things to consider. However, the answer about the trim and doors remains the same. You can totally paint them different colors, but you don’t have to! It’s entirely up to you.

Painting Doors and Trim Different Colors

The short and fast rule is that if you want to play it safe, match the door and trim. 

However, it’s not really a rule and might not always be the best choice for your space. Let’s look at some examples to see how these homeowners brilliantly paired different color doors and trim to create showstopping looks.

A Powder Pink Door with Bright White Trim

Pink Door and Shiplap.jpeg

Source: Lisa Canning 

Who would have thought to pair powder pink and white? This homeowner did, and look at how incredible it looks. The pink plays perfectly with the green in the room and really ties the Scandinavian motif together. The trim matches with the wall, but since shiplap was used instead of a plain wall, the colors don’t look too matchy-matchy. 

A Rustic Wood Door with White Trim

For Blog Only - McCoy Homes - Craftsman Entryway

McCoy Homes

The wood grain was the perfect choice for this sliding barn door. The trim around the door actually matches the wood grain, however the trim around the rest of the room is white, which really allows this door to steal the show. 

A Ruby Red Door with Distressed White Trim 

Ruby Red Door and Warn White Trim.jpeg

Source: House Beautiful

These color choices are amazing in this shabby chic room. The bold door matches the painting, and the distressed trim elevates the whole motif. The room’s design and door and trim colors are so daring and inspiring. Bold color exterior doors are relatively common, but this design proves interior doors can be just as vivid. The distressing on the trim also shows that trim doesn’t have to be a background design piece. In fact, it can be the piece that ties everything together.

A Light Wooden Door and Creamy White Trim 

Light Wood Door and Shiplap.jpeg

This whole look feels so coastal and perfect. The creamy shiplap and trim with the light wooden Dutch door create a beautiful combination that screams relaxation. These complementary colors for the door and trim prove that understated color combinations can sometimes make the biggest impact.

Choosing the Perfect Trim and Door Colors

Do interior doors and trim have to match? Absolutely not! They can if you want them to, but ultimately, it’s all about crafting the aesthetic you want.