Distinctive Trimwork Ideas

Few elements signal style as surely as carefully selected trim. Show off a home's style with gorgeously layered crown molding, beautiful panels, and classic columns.

Bold Components

Dramatic or subtle? Suitable for a cottage or substantial enough for an old-world mansion? Once you decide on the look you want, the right trim helps bring it to life. In this traditional take on trim, hefty dark-stained pilasters create the illusion of outdoor columns.

Classic Shapes

Choose period trim shapes for echoes of the past, even in a newer home. Some classic traits of 18th-century Georgian design include dentil crown moldings, gilded cornices, and the broken pediment above the fireplace.

Elegant Details

To complement a diverse collection of ancient artifacts and modern furniture, this room is adorned with classic details, including raised paneling, dentil molding, and crystal sconces.

Antique Touch

Consider bringing old materials into a home to create a distinct look. To reproduce the feel of a French chateau, antiques were the perfect solution. Bringing to mind an ancient castle door, vintage carved moldings frame the stone-floor entry to the master bedroom.

Trim with a Light Touch

Trim doesn't need to be ornate to be distinctive. Simple column detailing around this entry between the living and dining rooms keeps the space open and airy, the better to show off the homeowners' refined style.

Nearly Bare

In this strikingly simple room, a plain mantle adorned with thin brass sconces and a single column in an antiqued finish are all that is needed to make a statement. Bringing outdoor elements, such as the column, indoors is characteristic of country French design.

Structural Integrity

Beams add architectural interest to a ceiling. Once painted white, these beams were restored to their original wood finish, bestowing a rustic elegance on the dining room. A Vermont fieldstone fireplace completes the impression.

Topped with Trim

Some trim is immediately indicative of a specific style. Charming crown molding enhances the cottage style in this foyer. The trim melds two patterns--a swag above a series of small medallions and darts.

Perfectly Framed

One-of-a-kind architectural fragments are a distinctive way to add detail to a home. Here, a florid swag, in gold leaf, transforms a doorway.

Accent with Color

Frequently stained or painted white, molding can attain a dramatic new look with a more sophisticated two-color palette. In this English-inspired room, painted detailing on the crown molding highlights individual dentils.

Classical Grace

Columns aren't always structural elements. In this home, a salvaged Corinthian column highlights the homeowner's style -- an eclectic blending of new and old inspired by French style.

Faux Finish

Painted trim can reveal a new look. When the new owners found this home, the living room had all-white moldings. A decorative painter added a faux-wood finish, and then painted a new surround for the fireplace to match. The stately result has all the warmth of stained wood.

Brilliant Balustrade

The balustrade offers immense opportunity for making a style statement. Here, a homeowner takes full advantage with turned spindles in white, contrasting the wood handrail and newel. Ornate tread brackets emphasize the dramatic sweep of the staircase in the entry.

Pastel Panels

Floor-to-ceiling paneling has the polished look of a three-piece suit, everything perfectly buttoned up. In this room, paneled walls painted a brilliant blue and traditional crown molding create the perfect room to show off a collection of 19th-century British heirlooms.

Color Duel

Painted molding contrasts beautifully with brightly colored walls. In this room, white beams and a beaded-board ceiling, along with sidelights surrounding the door, create visual interest in an uncluttered foyer.

Historical Heights

Historically correct moldings are key to the architectural success of this home. Several different profiles combine to make the elaborate crown molding in the public areas. The ornamental dentils provide transition from the ceiling moldings to the wall moldings, a hallmark of classic style.

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