Do you ever feel like your interior design project is missing one final detail, but you can’t put your finger on what it is? If so, it’s time to take a look at your use of molding and trim. These design elements can instantly add a touch of sophistication to your home and help add a perfectly finished look to a newly remodeled room. They help soften the harsh lines between the wall and the ceiling or floor and seem to guide your eye around the room.
Here’s what you need to know in order to take full advantage of crown molding and trim in your interior designs.
Basic Types of Molding or Trim
First, let’s brush up on some vocabulary. Molding comes in all sorts of designs and silhouettes, from rich and ornate swirls to simple and clean lines. The main difference between the terms below is where the molding is located on the wall.
- Baseboards are located at the bottom of the wall and act as a visual transition between the wall and the floor. While baseboards tend to have the same basic design, decorative baseboard corner blocks are a perfect way to add subtle flair to a room.
- Quarter-rounds are commonly used in conjunction with baseboards in order to further soften the transition from baseboard to floor. As the name implies, quarter-rounds are one-quarter of a circular piece of wood, with one flat edge lying up against the baseboard and the other flat edge positioned on the floor.
- Crown molding is located at the top of the wall and softens the transition from wall to ceiling. Depending on the actual design, you may hear crown molding called cove molding or cornice molding.
- Chair rails are located several feet above the floor. Apart from providing a unique visual design, chair rails also have the practical purpose of protecting the wall from scuff marks or dents from chair backs. Therefore, they are commonly used in dining rooms and living rooms. However, chair rails can also act as a visual transition between, for example, wall paper and paint.
- Casing is used around doors and windows to cover the unsightly gap between the frame and the wall. Corner blocks can be used here as well in order to add some character to the room.
Clever Uses for Molding
Although molding is typically used in the areas described above, there are no rules. You can get creative with molding and use it wherever or however you want as part of your interior design. Here are some clever uses for molding that might spark an idea for your next project.
- Highlight part of the room. Sometimes the main attraction of a room, such as a fireplace, can be visually drowned out by other impressive design elements. To bring the eye back to the main feature, use molding to help it stand out. For example, chair rails can be used to guide the eye toward a fireplace, and the fireplace itself can be decorated with crown molding to make it more impressive.
- Accent archways. Archways and other entrances can seem a little plain without molding. You can do a simple border around the entrance using the casing that matches your windows and doorframes. Or, you can get ultra-creative and evoke the image of a Roman column at either side of the archway by using crown molding.
- Make a room feel bigger. Crown molding adds vertical interest to a room, which means that you and your guests are more likely to look up toward the ceiling. This simple act makes a room feel larger. This is particularly useful if you want to use a darker color scheme in the room, as darker colors tend to make a room feel smaller, and so you can offset that feeling with vertical interest.
- Create an intricate ceiling. Do you love the look of a coffered ceiling? It is pretty simple to create one without having to demolish your current ceiling and start from scratch. You can add wooden panels to simulate exposed beams in a crisscross pattern, and then use molding between the panels and the ceiling to create a stylish network of recessed squares.
Remember that you don’t need to use the same style of molding throughout your home. Different designs will suit different rooms. And although most pictures of molding that you’ll see will be white, there is no reason why you can’t paint the molding in another accent color. Wood-stained moldings look exceptionally gorgeous against hardwood floor.
While molding often looks traditional in a home, there are no rules you have to follow when incorporating molding into your interior designs. Molding acts like a finishing touch, and since it wraps around the entire room, it helps unify all of the other details. Keep this in mind when you experiment with molding, and you’re sure to be successful.
Guest post by Cathy Habas with special thanks to Everhart Construction. Cathy is a professional writer based in Kentucky. She specializes in writing about home improvement and gardening, which are her main hobbies.