Revealing Our New Black Interior Trim & Windows

April 22, 2024

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Even when we moved into our home three years ago we knew we would have to replace our windows. The seals had been broken on some of them, and they were fogging up. It took us a while to get to that project on our list (plus we knew we had to budget for it), but I always thought that having black on the interiors would be the perfect look for our moody modern traditional home.

I was so in love with the idea of that dark outline that we even painted the interior trim of the primary bedroom & the guest house black and the interior trim of the bonus room navy before we replaced the windows. I just felt like it was more me.

Chris Loves Julia | Man standing on a ladder in an entryway replacing an arched window

Chandelier | Sconces

When we selected Sierra Pacific as our window vendor, we were thrilled to find that they had an option to do a paintable exterior trim (so I could choose a custom color — which we just revealed on Instagram!) and a black interior window trim. After months of them being on order, we finally got them installed last week. Installation was actually remarkably quick! In our last house when we got new windows, we actually had to move out for a week. It was in Idaho and it was cold, so that makes sense. But here we had five guys and they knocked it out in two days with little disruption.

And let me tell you, these new black windows took my breath away!

Chris Loves Julia | View of the kitchen desk of new windows with black interior trim

Desk (similar) | Step Stool Chair (similar) | Table Lamp | Marble Bowl | Vase (similar) | Faux Hydrangeas | Candle | Lidded Boxes | Leather Desk Mat | Acrylic Scissors | Acrylic Tape Dispenser | Acrylic Stapler | Wicker Hamper (similar)

I just love the historic vibe that this adds to the kitchen desk view from the kitchen. I was actually a little worried about this room. They’re the only windows in the kitchen and I thought it might be seem distracting, but it’s like adding a picture frame to the scene. (You can see in the photo above that the window panes have been masked for when they paint the exterior trim this week. We’ve used that same window painting technique in the past — it’s really helpful as the film just peels right off when it’s done.)

Now on to the living room, one of the real showstoppers. Here’s the before photo:

Chris Loves Julia | The living room with original white arched windows flanking the fireplace

And here’s the after photo:

Chris Loves Julia | The living room with new black arched windows flanking the fireplace
Shop The Living Room

I mean, jaw drop, right?? Not only does it add so much more drama, look at the difference in clarity! I seriously can’t believe how much more light it lets in. How were we living in that fog for so long?!

I read once that if outside is not the best view, use white curtains. And if what’s outside is a pretty view, use dark curtains. (I can’t find the source, so someone let me know in the comments if you know!) Using that analogy on window trim seems to have the same effect. I can’t believe how much the windows magnify the beautiful greenery outside of our house.

Here’s a look at the new black windows in Polly’s room. This was another room I was little hesitant about — it’s just such a sweet room that I wondered if I should keep them white. But I should have known better, because every room needs a little bit of black. That’s been my theory ever since I can remember. I love how they provide a grounding tone against the white shutters and the more whimsical wallpaper.

Chris Loves Julia | Polly's room with black interior window trim and white shutters

Wallpaper | Blue Velvet Bed | CLJ x Loloi Judy Natural/Ivory Rug | Plush Bunny | Boucle Throw | Bunny Wall Decor | Dollhouse Bookshelf | Lidded Hamper (similar)

Meanwhile, we had previously painted our bedroom window trim black years ago to fully color drench the room. And we painted the trim in the bonus room to match the walls. Just going from having the windows match the walls to being like this black eyeliner in the room — it pops! And the quality of the windows…whew, no more drafts.

Chris Loves Julia | Primary bedroom with black interior trimmed windows

Mirror | Floor Lamp | Polly Smoke/Sand Rug | Curtains | Motorized Blinds | CLJ x Lola Blanket | Side Table (similar) | Vase

The average cost for each of our windows, installed, was $5,182. This is higher than most homes, because many of our windows are arched which requires custom fabricating and definitely bumped that price up. Square/rectangular and standard-sized windows will be significantly cheaper.

I’m so glad we finally got to this project — it was entirely worth the wait. Black trim on our windows makes such an impact on our home’s aesthetic. Once the exterior windows are finished being painted, it’s really going to feel like a brand new house!

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What do you think?

  1. Maggie M says:

    This is beautiful. Love how you always take an average looking window and make it look intentional and hip.

  2. Sharon Fox says:

    We painted ours black inside and love them too! Now moving to a place that will only have white.

    Question though after watching your new video.
    Can you tell me where I can find the candle sconces on round mirrors you have above your stove in your kitchen? I need them!!!’

  3. Christin says:

    Question on install- were the installers able to leave your interior trim on your windows? I need to replace mine, but don’t want to go thru re-trimming the windows!

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Yes for many of them! Four windows like the arched windows in the blue room had to have the trim removed, but the rest we were able to do sash kits.

  4. Heidi says:

    Do these new windows have screens in them? So torn with screens love the idea of an open window in spring hate the look of screens !

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      They don’t have screens, but that is something I’d like to consider adding in the future, because we do have some beautiful months here where it would make sense to have the windows open.

    • Joanna says:

      I guess I’m a standalone. While the black windows are striking, I find the white calming. The black windows scream “look at me”. I’ve looked back and forth between the before and after and definitely prefer the before. I’m glad you are happy with your choice. We all have to do what makes us happy with and in our homes.

  5. Kristi Maier says:

    What type material is the outside of the window? Aluminum? We painted over clad and we love the newly black trim. I just am concerned about keeping it clean. Clad was easier but this paint doesn’t have the slickness so dust and pollen are real! I’m wondering what to do when we do need to replace our 18 year old windows.

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Ours are wood, and they were primed for painting. The company recommends that we add a second coat one or two years after painting it, but then it should last for 8 years. You can find aluminum in different colors, but just be warned that painting aluminum can sometimes void the warranty, so just check with the manufacturer if you go that direction.

  6. Franceil Parde says:

    Luv, luv, ❤️!!! We did same thing…ours have mullions, so I painted inside rims w/metallic bronze…Now it’s a Picture Frame!! All LOOKS GREAT (we’re 30 years with & still ❤️!!! franki

  7. Carissa says:

    I’m deffo not Julia but I had the same pause with black=historic and wondered if it’s more of a NYC Art Deco historic. I was in Essex for a while and like you, can’t remember a single historic black window. But remember it on casement windows in the city

  8. Molly says:

    So, so beautiful!

  9. Suzanne says:

    I personally like the black interior a lot! However, the term “historic” should not be used in combination with black interiors or exteriors. I live in Essex MA and I work with our community on historic colors. Black is not something that was seen associated with colonial windows. On a separate front, I would love a budget post talking about how you made the choice to spend 50K to very subtle change the look, but not function, of your stairway right away, but needed to wait 3 years to save and install badly needed windows? I think is hard for homeowners to make these kinds of decisions and would love to hear your pathway! Thanks!

    • Esther says:

      This is really interesting to me, because I love in a home built in 1909 (not colonial, obviously, but definitely still “historic”) and by all indications our windows – we still have several originals, including some stained glass – were originally black on the exterior and finished wood on the interior.
      I wonder when that change occurred? Or if it was more regional?

  10. Linda says:

    I love it! PLEASE reconsider your decision to straighten that arched window above your porch and KEEP IT! Don’t straighten it. The arch is stunning, adds character and gives a nod to the arches in your home.

  11. Aimee Hirata says:

    Wow, just wow. Amazing transformation. What stands out to me the most is how in the living room the windows now bring out the dark edge of the coffee table as well as the chandelier. It is as if you turned up the brilliance of the overall room 100x! Congrats!

  12. Clementine says:

    Such a beautiful contrast. The black windows are so much better. Can I ask what black paint color you used to paint them before you replaced them? We have bronze/black aluminum windows that need a freshen up!

  13. Lee Ann says:

    Those windows on either side of the fireplace are AMAZING with the black trim! Wow! Who knew it would make that kind of difference!

  14. Jocelyn says:

    They look beautiful. How do you decide if white or black will look better? It isn’t something you want to experiment with so what are the considerations with choosing?

    • Lourdes Diamond says:

      As someone mentioned earlier, please don’t straighten out the arched window above your door. I was on a tour in Charlestown recently, and they said what preserved this beautiful city was that there was no money to remodel. I sometimes feel that our generation is destroying the housing stock by doing such things as opening floor plans that should have been left alone. Sometimes the architect had it right the first time.

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