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  • Writer's pictureHeather Holcombe

Creative Interest with Trim Moldings

As a Triangle interior designer, I love working with homeowners to find ways to add creative interest to their home. You can use furniture, accessories, paint, wallpaper, or trim moldings for architectural interest. Let's look at ways to use trim moldings because a little molding can go a long way toward transforming a room and your home!

Defining Trim Molding:

So, what exactly is trim molding? It is a piece of wood or other material used as a transition between surfaces such as floor and wall (baseboards) or ceiling and wall (crown molding). But you can also use trim molding for decorative purposes.


What's the Best Molding for Your Home: 

I typically tell clients to consider the architectural style of their home when selecting molding. If you live in a Victorian farmhouse, for example, it's not likely you'd add trim which looks ultra-modern unless you've completely remodeled the inside to a modern style. If you live in a more transitional-style house, almost any molding style should work, and you'd look to coordinate the trim with your decorating style. 

Types of Moldings:

Trim moldings go by various names. They're known as trim molding, architectural moldings, or even specialty moldings. They should be crafted, cut, and installed by someone with experience. Moldings typically come in various types and styles and range in pricing and installation costs. Here's a great Elle Decor article where you can read more about moldings.

Chair Rails:

One of the easiest to install and most commonly found is the chair rail molding.  Their history is one steeped in practicality.  In once smaller dining rooms, chair rails were installed to protect walls from the backs of chairs. Thus, the name! They should be placed about ⅓ of the wall height from the floor. They're also used to top off wainscoting. You can paint the wall above or below your chair rail in contrasting colors for added interest.


Most people associate wainscoting with traditional style. However, wainscoting can be designed around a room's specific style, be it modern or traditional. This wall molding can add a lot of visual interest and has become very popular in the last few years - just turn on any HGTV design show for evidence of its popularity! 

Crown Molding:

This type of trim crowns your room where your wall and ceiling meet. It's the most popular and adds elegance to any space. It's typically considered a traditional molding. 

Picture Rails:

Picture rails date back to Victorian times. Instead of putting nails into your walls, you can hang pictures from rails installed near the wall and ceiling joint. Most picture rails often blending seamlessly with the crown molding.

Whatever trim molding you opt for in your home, you should work with some someone who has woodworking and installation experience. I can work with you to decide what type of trim molding would look best in your home and where you should consider applying it. 


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