Let’s talk moldings. When pursuing a home renovation project, deciding which types of moldings to use is not always a simple decision. Should you accent your walls with a chair rail or wainscoting? What look and width of window and door casing would look best? And what about crown molding?
Everything about moldings, even the standards such as baseboards and door/window trim, is personal preference. It all depends on the look and feel you’re going for in your renovated space. Below, we’ll explore the different types of moldings so you can decide which one is right for you.
Baseboard molding is used at the bottom of a wall where the wall meets the floor. Having some type of baseboard is standard for most rooms, but the width and style varies. It’s recommended that if you have baseboards in one room of your home, you also have them in the rest of your home, as well. This creates a more consistent flow.
Most often baseboards measure three to five inches wide and are accompanied by a small piece of quarter-round (semi-rounded trim) at the bottom.
You can set your baseboard apart by opting for a larger width, choosing a style that’s flat and modern, or choosing a style with more rounded edges. The possibilities are endless.
Another essential type of molding is casing. This wood trim covers the gaps between walls and door or window frames. It goes around doors and windows, and can vary in width and style (similar to baseboard molding).
When choosing a casing, try to keep in mind the style of your baseboards. You’ll want your casing to match and flow with the baseboard molding. For example, if you choose a flat, modern baseboard, you’ll probably want to also choose a sleek, simple casing.
If you want to add optional flair to your room, crown molding is a great place to start. This type of molding goes at the top of the wall where the wall meets the ceiling. It’s also called cornice moldings and it comes in a variety of widths and styles. Some of those styles include:
- Egg-and-dart molding
- Dentil molding
- Cove molding
- Bead and pearl molding
What makes crown molding so appealing is the way it “crowns” a room with architectural detail. It draws the eyes up and gives rooms an added “wow factor”. If you’re hoping to add something to your room but can’t pin down what that something should be, consider crown molding. It just might be the perfect accent to an otherwise ordinary space.
Chair Rail Molding
Did you know the primary purpose of chair rail molding is to protect walls from furniture? Despite this, it’s also used as a purely decorative feature. It’s a perfect accent if you want your room to feature two different paint colors on the same wall — you can use chair rail molding to separate the two colors. Another option is to use it to separate a painted portion of the wall from wallpaper.
While not necessarily a form of molding, this type of paneling accents the space between chair rail and baseboard moldings. It provides more texture to the wall and comes in a variety of styles, such as:
- Raised panels
- Flat panels
- Board and batten
If you still want the look of wainscoting without the textured panels, you can opt for painting the space between the moldings the same color as the baseboard and chair rail. This gives the appearance of paneling without the panels themselves.
Think about the style you’re going for in the room you’re renovating. Are you hoping for sleek and sophisticated? Luxurious and elegant? Or warm and comfortable? All of these styles can use moldings in a way that sets the room apart. Now that you know your options, it’s up to you (and your designer and/or contractor) to decide which type complements the look you’re going for.
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