The entry and front living room aren't receiving the same 'gut it' treatment as the rest of the house, merely some un-wallpapering, paint, new floors, and lighting. I've changed my 'tear them out' opinion on these shelves, to let's just spruce them up with paint. But I can't decide exactly how to spruce them up.
Paint them entirely white like the trim? Paint them the wall color or just a shade different than the wall color? Paint them white with the back painted the new wall color? Or leave the shelves wood and paint just the back. Although either of the last two sound like a lot of edging.
The wall color, by the way, is Benjamin Moore's Thousand Islands, a neutral light brown a couple shades lighter than the Wild Mushrooms going up in the living room beside it. I know, beige is boring, but these rooms open up into three other spaces so neutral was important.
What would you do with these shelves?