Make an Impact with Molding, Trim and Paneling

BlogAdmin2Wednesday, Jul 07, 2018

Here’s how to transform blank canvas walls and ceilings into architecturally interesting spaces.


They may be a discreet factor in your home, but baseboards act as the visual foundation for every room and are one of the easiest ways to up the design factor in a space. Getting the size and proportion correct can be tricky, however there are guidelines to striking the right balance in a room. For traditional homes, stick with a ratio of seven percent – that means you’ll want your baseboards to measure seven percent of your total ceiling height. A home with an 8-ft. ceiling should have baseboards that are around 3 to 5 in., while a home with a 10-ft. ceiling can have a baseboard height between 5 to 7 in. Paint the baseboards the same colour as your walls for a unified look.


Casings frame openings without doors, suggesting room separation and allowing the design details to flow from one space into the next. This vertical trim around doors and windows should ideally have less heft than baseboards. A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep your casings 50 percent slimmer, however choosing casings that are slightly larger than 50 percent can definitely work in a room as well and give it a grander effect.

Crown molding

Crown molding is traditionally placed at the top of the wall between the ceiling. When done right, it adds a layer of top interest that is clean-lined and sophisticated. To create the illusion of a larger space, paint your molding the same colour as your walls but choose a semi-gloss finish. A slightly glossier finish will add an elegant touch to the space and make your crown moldings pop ever so slightly. It will also help the crown molding detail to look like a natural extension of the walls and make your room feel larger. If your room’s walls are a rich, deep tone, painting your crown molding in a shade of white will give it a crisp contrast and add a lot of visual interest to your space. Another tip to keep in mind for your kitchen: if your cabinets feature crown molding, extend the same crown molding around the entire room to keep the style uniform within the space.

Wainscoting & Paneling

Paneling adds instant appeal to plain drywall and is a great way to give a new build that traditional touch seen in many historic homes. To make your room seem taller, install wainscoting one-third of the way up the wall from the floor. To give your room a cozy feel, install it two-thirds of the way up the wall from the floor. Paint your paneling white to give your room a fresh, textured look, or choose paneling in a wood finish for instant warmth. Traditionally, entry ways, dining rooms and libraries were the most common spaces to feature paneling, but in today’s modern homes, paneling such as beadboard, has been seen everywhere from bedrooms to bathrooms to give a cozy, enveloped feeling to a space. Paneling also doesn’t have to be limited to walls either. Adding paneling to your ceiling adds dimension – try painting it a bright pop of colour for a fun design twist in a kid’s room and stick with white shades for formal spaces for an elegant finish.

Coffers & Beams

The ceiling is a great opportunity to add dimension and character to a space. In formal rooms, especially if the ceiling is quite high, a coffered ceiling (also known as a sunken ceiling), with its grid of bold beams, adds drama and elegance. For a more casual and simple approach to ceiling design, consider exposed beams. Whether they’re structurally part of your home and exposed or installed as a decorative element over the ceiling, beams add a powerful look to a space and loads of visual interest.