Moldings and trim ideas and inspiration

There is one way to really make your home stand out from all the other cookie cutter homes in your neighborhood.  And that’s with moldings and wood trim.  As a native New Englander I think it’s only natural (and almost forced upon me) to love moldings.  They’re classic, timeless, and they make any home look custom.  But when I moved to San Diego, I all of a sudden entered the land of sad walls.  No moldings, woodwork, heck–our door openings and windows weren’t even framed out.  It was Sadville for sure.  

But since I love moldings I often recommend them in my client’s home and they totally love it.  I bring a little “east coast” style to my west coast designs and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So how can you add moldings and trim to your home? 

Doorways, windows and niches

Adding moldings and trim to door openings, windows and niches gives your home a fully finished look.  In the example below you can see how door moldings totally changed the space.  

Before picture of door openings without molding

Accent Walls

There are literally so many wood accent wall options you can create with moldings and trim. Just search “molding and trim accent walls” on Pinterest and you’ll be flooded with choices.  And that’s actually a good thing.  Wood walls aren’t easy to swap out so it’s good to see a variety of options and choose the one you like the most.  

The accent wall you go with will/should really depend on the size of your wall.  If you have a really large wall or a 2-story wall you’ll likely want a larger, simple pattern or else the wall could look really busy.  Also, you want the accent wall to be the main focal point.  Meaning-don’t go crazy with details or accents on the other walls.  It will look distracting.  Simple paint on the other walls will do.  

Decorative wood accent wall on stairs

The foyer example above is from my own home foyer.  Our entryway needed something as it was really so boring.  Wanna guess how much that foyer accent wall cost us?  $100.  Yep…that showstopper wall was $100 and of course some manual labor by yours truly.  Being a DIYer pays off.  (If you have questions about this wall just leave a comment.  I’ll also create a “how to” blog post about this in the coming months.)

Herringbone accent wall with moldings and trim

This wall is actually in my husband’s home office.  The 3 other walls are a rich, dark blue so we needed to lighten the space and balance out all the dark colors. We installed this ourselves as well, but did pay my painter to spray a professional finish on it.  

I put this wall in one of my client’s two story dining spaces.  The room really needed something special to stand out and this accent wall did the trick.  We went with a vertical brick pattern.  I just love the sphere lights that drip down from the ceiling. 

Decorative panel moldings

The simplest accent walls use panel moldings where you’re basically creating frames on the wall.  Panel molding is great when you want some detail but nothing too distracting or busy.  These work great on two story walls, too.

Add moldings and trim to ceilings

Crown molding is super common (especially on the east coast) and adds a finished touch to spaces.  A less common, but striking option is a decorating ceiling.  It’s a really special look and there are some gorgeous examples below.  Again-just make sure you really like it before committing to a decorative ceiling. 

Decorative ceiling moldings-master bedroom
Decorative ceiling with moldings

Moldings and trim tips

Now that you’ve seen some inspo images, here are some tips as well as dos and don’ts when it comes to moldings and trims

  • If you’re home has textured walls you’ll want to smooth the walls before adding a wood accent wall where the wall shows through.
  • Accent wall should go all the way to the floor and not the top of the baseboards.  This is especially true if you’re painting your accent wall a different color than your baseboards.  You don’t want a colored accent wall on top of white baseboards.    
  • If your room has tall ceilings (9’+) then choose taller base moldings along your floors.  The standard 3” base molding is really too small for tall rooms.  
  • A lumber yard will have a much wider selection of moldings than your local home improvement store.  The carpenters I work with get their materials from lumber and molding supply shops.
  • If you’re adding moldings, custom accent walls or trims hiring a finish carpenter to do the work is well worth it.  Mitering corners is not the easiest and they’ll do the best job creating clean corner joints.  
  • For my DIYers it’s worth the money paying the lumber yard to cut your 4×8 MDF sheets into strips to create your accent walls rather than try to cut it yourself.  They’ll cut cleaner lines.  Trust me on this one. 
Stunning 2-story accent wall

Final thoughts...

So what do you think?  Are you ready to add some wood moldings and trim to your home?  I know it’ll make your home look AMAZING.  

And of course I’d LOVE to help design your accent walls or moldings for you.  If you’re ready, head to my contact page and sign up for a free 20 minute discovery call to talk about your project.  

Oh and make sure to pin these images to save for later!

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Sally Soricelli