Yes, it is possible to be happy with the wood trim in your home. And yes, I'm still the paint-everything-white-freak. However, I do appreciate the richness of wood trim, especially in heritage homes with fine craftsmanship. I understand that many home owners would never paint out their wood trim, nor would I suggest that they do. But that doesn't mean that their homes have to be dark or dated. Here are some examples of homes with wood trim that are modern and downright awesome.
There are many paint colour choices that work with wood trim. Of course, since I love white, I recommend having white in the room to keep things light and modern. A light neutral gray will also work. However, another great option if you're not digging white walls is to go for dark and dramatic with black or dark slate or midnight blue. Then get lightness into the room in other ways, for instance though light and neutral window dressings, furniture and artwork.
PS - You can download my FREE colour workbook that will help you choose the right colours for your walls, even if you have wood trim!
Have a peek at a few great examples of modern rooms with wood trim (click photos for sources).
I have clients right now that have wood trim and want to update their living room but keep their trim as is. They want something light, fun and comfy for a family of five. I've created this e-design board for them that includes their current furniture that they want to keep. It plays up the warmth of the wood with off-white creamy walls that will brighten the room and modernize it. Colourful accents like curtains and pillows keep things fun, and more natural materials like their wood coffee table and natural baskets help pull the space together cohesively with the wood trim.
Look, we all want updated homes that are warm, peaceful and inviting, but also light and happy. Having wood trim just means getting a little more creative. Don't reach for that can of white paint just yet.