Transform Your Home With Decorative Moldings

decorative moldingLooking for a clever way to make your home appear more “custom-made”? Many homeowners today are adding distinctive touches during their home remodeling projects with easy add-ons like decorative molding.

If you think about it, something as simple as crown molding, or a chair rail, can transform an average room into something inspirational.

Any wall molding adds charm, texture and richness to simple walls. And by combining different kinds of molding you can create unique style you can call your own.

Crown molding

A visual delight, crown molding typically attached to the wall just below the ceiling,  and is specifically designed to add a finished, elegant touch to any room.

Most crown moldings are made of wood and literally come in hundreds of variations and styles. They can be stained, painted or left in their natural state.

Many homeowners get creative when using crown molding to add a bit of magic to their rooms. Not only does it help make basic rooms seem taller, shorter and more stylish, but helps conceal the seam where walls meet ceilings and enchances cabinets and built-ins. A deep crown molding can add architecture to a room that has little, drawing the eye upward in the same way curtains hung at ceiling height do.


Wainscoting is a wall treatment that uses molding to exude a frame-like appearance, helping to break up a large wall, give it more definition and adds dimension to walls. The inside and outside of the frames can be painted, or this special modling can be used to frame around paneling or wallpaper.

Typically, if homeowners want to intall this type of molding on the lower half of their wall, we suggest they have a chair rail and base molding. And if they are applying it closer to the ceiling, we recommend crown molding, as well, for a more finished look.

Other types of molding

  • Chair rails. This type of molding can lend a polished look to a room, as well as picture moldings, where trim is used in large squares or rectangles to mimic the look of a paneled wall.
  • Baseboards. Starting at the floor, baseboards are the visual foundation for a room. In a nutshell, they are like a line drawn under everything else that goes into the room.
  • Casing. Openings in walls without doors are framed with woodwork called “casing.” This trim wraps from one side of the wall to the other, defining the opening and protecting the wall surface from scratches. 

. Sarah also likes substantial crown molding. “Good proportions are easily magnified with strong, heavy moldings,” she says. “A simple 8-foot room can become much more dynamic with a simple but strong 5-inch crown molding and 5-inch base molding. By emphasizing the base and ceiling, the room has much more character and strength.”

Finishing Touches

Since you want the crown moldings to seem like a natural extension of the wall, it can look disjointed when painted in a contrasting color. Paint moldings the same color as the wall but in a semigloss enamel finish, suggests Doug. This trick makes a room feel larger (no white outlines drawing the eye here and there) and introduces a very sleek and sophisticated touch.

In a very dark room, however, like a chocolate brown bedroom, white crown molding adds a crisp, delicious contrast, like a gift wrapped up in a pretty bow.

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