Using Wood Trim as a Decorative Element

Here’s one great way to add decorative and architectural interest in your home.

Updated on June 09, 2017 11:06 am

Camille Besinga

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Wood trim is usually a very traditional detail found in homes with classic, elegant style. Intricate crown moulding, dado rails, baseboards, beadboards, window panes and sills—all these add character and interest in one’s interiors, not to mention architectural detail and history.

But wood trim—despite its historic reputation—is also a unique way of making your space look more modern, or even colourful.

The best part? If your own space doesn’t already come with wood trim, it’s easy to buy ready-made mouldings, rails, and other kinds of wood trim and have them installed (or install them yourself!).

Below are some examples of how you can take advantage of wood trim as a decorative element in your home.


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A formal living room gets the ultimate in classic, traditional treatment via elaborate mouldings, ceiling beams, corbels, archways, and baseboards, all of which are stained a darker shade than its natural stain.


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The high ceiling of this Mediterranean-style living room is emphasised by darkly-stained ceiling beams and doorways.


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Too much wood going on? Painting or staining wood trim a darker colour actually lets the eye rest from too much of similar-stained wood, and makes the architecture of a room stand out.


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Powder blue walls get warmed up via wooden crown mouldings and window panes. Upholstery, rugs, and baskets mimic the natural stain of the wood.


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Steel supports painted black contrast against wood trim in a light natural stain.


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The lines in this white contemporary space looks more defined—not to mention cosy—with light wood trim.


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Walls in a tone like yellow may already look too warm with natural-stained wood trim, and painting them white cools down the room’s temperate hues.


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In this Scandi-style home, white walls and wood trim make the floor boards and artwork pop out.


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Dark walls and even darker furniture stand out against pristine white wood trim.


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Staining wood trim to match furniture gives this home study a cohesive look.


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Black trim (and some fancy light fixtures) lends the elegant touch to an otherwise ordinary dining room.

Cover photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

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