Monday, March 2, 2020

Picture rail and dark gray

I am a lover of history and my current obsession is the Victorian era, during the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901, and beyond.  So many of the antiques and architectural details from the old house I have inherited are from the late 1800s in particular, so I love to read about styles, colors, etc., from that era.

My parlor has really taken on so many of the characteristics of Victorian style - dark woods, elaborate window treatments, Eastlake furniture, bold, rich colors, etc., and I have added yet one more detail to create an authentic period look - with a few modern touches of course.

After installing the trim from the old house, I didn't want my window treatments to cover the beautiful wood, so I kept them inside the window molding. With the mantel wall dark gray to the ceiling, I felt the transition to the light gray in the corner looked odd. So I added a picture rail even with the top of the window trim and painted the same light gray above. "Picture rails are 1½-inch to 2-inch strips of molding that adhere to walls and run horizontally around the room, typically at the height that aligns with the tops of any window panes or just above the full. Sometimes, however, they can almost blend in with the crown molding, placed only a few inches from the ceiling." (from Bob Vila)

I loved it instantly. It really takes the ceiling higher and makes it feel as if it disappears. Win. Win.

I loved that so much, I took it all the way around the room and painted with the Kilz Color Collection "Dark Umber" below and Colorplace "Geneva Swan Gray" above.  I had made the red velvet lambrequins a couple weeks ago love how they look with the paisley fabric and the dark gray paint color and wood.

For spring, as well as to keep things in the 21st Century, I added some kilim pillows and ruffled mustard yellow pillow covers in the mix and could not believe I had not really used the mustard color before. I love how it brightens up the dark colors and keeps the palette looking fresh.

This was such an easy update to make, or in my case "backdate," and it really changed the room. I'm not even minding the textured, white ceiling as much, which is way down on the priority list behind other projects. This is a much-used room for us as a family, and although I want my fancy parlor, it still has to function comfortably, and this room does that. You'll find us here every Sunday afternoon, and my husband has mentioned many times that his pay for all the hard work he does is getting to relax right here in his leather chair. 

That's just one of the things that makes our house a home❤️

Be sure to follow @whispering.pines.homestead on instagram for daily updates and behind the scenes videos, etc. 

I'll be joining:


  1. beautiful Anita your home look so pretty and so Victorian
    have blessing day

  2. I absolutely adore the styling and colors that you have used in your parlor!! The molding and window treatments look fantastic and so elegant!! I am a Victorian Era lover and this is right up my alley, so to speak!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  3. just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your blog...your home is so refreshingly lovely and there are very few historic homes like ours that treasure the past...not all of us are white farmhouse! thank you for sharing your sweet home ! blessings always, Alda

  4. Anita, Your home is so gorgeous. Your color scheme is vibrant and so inviting. I'd love to curl up on your settee with a good book. I also love that you incorporate family treasures in your decor. I learned a new word today too: lambrequin!

  5. Anita, your home is so lovely and warm. Love your lambrequins you made, did you have a pattern or free hand them? Also, I love, love love your rug, would love to know where you purchased it and/or what the pattern is. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us.