Ways To Modernize Pine Ceilings and Walls?

Good Questions

Q: My boyfriend and I have just purchased a ski chalet in France which we're absolutely thrilled with. It's a massive project however, as the house — although charming from the outside — is lacking in charm on the inside.

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As most aspects of this house need instant readdressing (double glazing, new bathrooms, new kitchen, etc.), that will be where we put our money. There are other parts of the house we may just have to live with for sake of cost-saving, such as the pine cladding on the ceilings and walls.

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In their current state, it is a little depressing and dark-looking — especially along the main stairwell and in the attic conversion. Are there ways that I can treat the pine to make it look more attractive and less sauna-like? Should I paint the pine? If so, is white the best way to go?

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.