19 Different Ways to add Moldings & Trim to Your Walls

August 11, 2021

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We inherited some amazing trim work with the 90s colonial we bought just a few months ago, and I have been saving images and studying ways to add even more to our spaces as we tackle each room in the coming months and years. I’m convinced that adding trim and moldings to your walls and ceilings is the fastest way to add character to your home. A room that feels like a plain box can feel special and interesting when you layer in trim. And it can go beyond baseboards and crown molding.

Of course there are HUNDREDS of ways to add trim to your spaces, but these are 19 images that are inspiring me in our home right now:

1. via Anthropologie stacks on stacks on stacks of crown with a simple picture rail and extra tall base. Also noting the incredible door trim and how the crown and door trim and contrasting the walls, base and chair rail!

2. Lonny bringing the gilded accent lines within trim.

3. Studia 54 Okay, this ornate trim requires special architecture I think–I mean, that crown!! But the layered box trim is doable!

4. Photo by Alan Metheringham dividing the room into magical thirds with this special wall trim. Really smart for super tall ceilings.

5. Rejuvenation This is something that would look good in ANY home. I love it in a dark navy, too!

6. Perigold Wide vertical planking with a shaker chair rail is so cute in this farmhouse!

7. Tim Barber Architects Imagine this bathroom without any added wall trim for one moment. It’s difficult because it IS the bathroom. Simplistic and impactful.

8. @houseofbrinson Bringing the drama in this bathroom with this layered board and batten that’s just the right scale.

9. Studio McGee Wide beadboard topped with a really wide board and simple 1×2 creates such a moment here.

10. Here’s another way to do headboard (a little thinner) with a chair rail on top for a more traditional vibe.

11. @the_fox_group floor to ceiling (truly!) paneling with all the trimmings is striking here!

12. Benjamin Moore This photo has it all–raised box wainscoting on the landing and chair rail below that’s more impactful with everything below it painted as well.

13. Garden Trading Fluted trim forever!

14. Cartelle Design shows how trim leaves the need for very little else on the walls. It is the art. This would be simple to get this look!

15. Amandine & Jules This trim is a lot more involved. I would love to line the hallways with this!

16. Molly Culver Photography or this!

17. @the_girl_with_the_green_sofa This straightforward board and batten can be achieved with minimal supplies, a few boards all the same width and paint!

18. @millcreek.manor I am so inspired by the millwork here. The mix of lines and distances and shapes is so interesting!

19. @nataliehaegemaninteriors This feels so casual and cozy–perfect for a bonus or family room.





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What do you think?

  1. Jamie says:

    What an exceptional round-up! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Lorna R Woods-Johns says:

    Well, I guess my dream in life has always been to be a moulding maker. I absolutely LOVE the stuff, I have a house with a fair amount of wainscot over beadboard that is painted,crown and tray ceilings with trim, and I’m here to tell ya, you need a GOOD filtration system installed in your home! (OR, you need to LOVE to dust!) Thanks Julia for the fabulous inspiration!

  3. Veronica says:

    I absolutely love this look but I get nervous that if I do it in one room then I have to do it in every room, I feel like it would be too much! But then it would also look weird if it’s just one room…so confused! Are you planning on doing molding in every room?

  4. Victoria says:

    This just solved all of my problems, well all of my molding ones anyway 😃!! After seeing this I got up and finally made a choice on which molding to use in my bathroom and put it up. It had been sitting there for 3 months.. I really needed to see this today.. Thank you for inspiring me.

  5. Stacey says:

    This has me wanting to add molding everywhere. Any suggestions on how to add molding to a sloped ceiling ( one side high, other side lower). Thanks for the inspo!

    • Julia says:

      We added paneling to my daughter, Faye’s ceiling (used tongue and groove) and it had all sorts of angles! We just added flat trim of the angled corners.

  6. Katie says:

    Thank you for this awesome round-up! We are adding some trim to a small powder room that’s adjacent to our dining room. The dining room already has some box trim similar to picture #5. We want to some some entry-level DIY, but are there rules to mixing and matching this sort of thing in a house? Could I get away with bead board in a room next door to box trim? Help!

  7. Kimberly says:

    Love this inspo! Any advice on what to do with conflicting styles of trim throughout a home? We recently bought a 1930’s Tudor-style home with mismatched moulding, casings, and trim work throughout. The styles vary from colonial to Greek revival to craftsman. Some ornate and decorative, some simple and traditional. Some with fluting, some without. Hodge podge! It’s not in our budget right now to replace. Wondering if you have any advice on how to minimize the styles we don’t love and draw more attention to those that we do.

    • Julia says:

      I’ve lived through this and spent 6 years slowly updating all of the trim room by room to a style we liked. That’s what I would recommend!

  8. Sara says:

    I’d love to know your take on mixing different types of trim in one home. Should one try to stick to a few profiles or can you do board and batten in the mud room and a more traditional picture frame box in another room? Maybe stick with the same profiles, but do picture frame boxes in one room and then just a chair rail in the next?

    • Julia says:

      I think mixing styles makes so much sense as long as some profiles are repeated throughout. box frame trim feels formal for a living room, but beadboard is perfectly suited for a more casual space elsewhere.

  9. Noreen Carlson says:

    Thank you for a beautiful collection to use on projects!!

  10. Avni says:

    These are beautiful inspirational images. loving #18 for our home. Would the wall and trim be painted the same finish? And what is the best finish to use?

    • Julia says:

      I’ve seen it both ways–where the walls and trim are both painted in the same sheen–whether matte or glossy. I’ve also seen where the walls are a matte or eggshell and the trim is in a semigloss to pop!

  11. Lee Harrison says:

    What a gold mine you’ve put together! I love looking at all these.

  12. Christina says:

    I think this is your most classically style house that you’ve lived in, so I would 100% recommend the book Get Your House Right. It will be so helpful if you’re looking to help create these kinds of details that feels timeless

  13. Leslie from The Enchanted Company says:

    Love this post so much!!! Trim is one of my absolute favorite home design elements. Thank you for the round up!

  14. Sandy says:

    Perfect timing over here too – making decisions on trimwork today for our master bath and you’ve just provided me the perfect inspiration pic for the contractor. Thank you, as always! :)

  15. Heather says:

    Thanks for the images. Do you feel it’s ok to do different trim styles in different rooms? I know it needs to be cohesive but we’re restoring a home and i love the formal looks for the bedroom and dinning room but love the beadboard for the mudroom and hallways. Worried I’m all over the place.

    • Julia says:

      Absolutely!!! I think as long as the styles align or there’s something cohesive–like crown or base–different kinds of trim work throughout the house keeps things interesting!

  16. Elaine says:

    What wonderful examples – and perfect timing. I’m about to start the trim design for our principle bedroom. Thank you!

  17. Jan Abbott says:

    Thank you! This came at a perfect time for me, as I have been planning on adding trim throughout my house. Lots of ideas now!

  18. Rendi says:

    So much inspiration here. I have a millwork design in mind I plan to use in our garden shed that I can’t wait to install, and these just helped me elevate it even more.

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Our bedroom changed a lot when we painted it and added trim, but not everyone can make big changes to their rooms. I wanted to put together a quick reference tool for when you’re in a busy season of life and want an easy update. Or perhaps your landlord isn’t keen on paint rollers! Here […]

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