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Gewgaw? Or nah?


AmandafireplaceafterGew·gaw [gyoo-gaw]–noun: something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble. (

Every now and again, we’re faced with a wrenching dilemma: Do we retain the gaudy, ornate, distracting look of woodwork installed by a previous owner of our home?

Or do we paint over it, tone it down, bring it up to this decade’s sensibility?

The new owners of this 1940s Sherman Oaks home were faced with this quandary when they encountered this immense fireplace (left). While I might have struggled over painting stained wood, these owners did not. “It’s just plywood,” one said. Not long after the paint job, they sold the house.

How about you? Have you ever struggled with the decision to paint over previously unpainted wood trim or ornamentation in your home? Did these homeowners do the right thing?

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