You’ve probably heard of the old saying “The devil is in the details,” and this is especially true when it comes to trim work. As you well know, the main job of interior trim is to provide an aesthetically appealing “cover” for various intersection points where different surfaces and materials meet, but if a builder or contractor performs shoddy trim work, it can really put a damper on the visual appeal of the room. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to adhere to a basic set of interior trim guidelines so that you won’t accidentally forget an important detail while you’re installing trim. Below is a simple checklist of important trim work best practices that will help you stay on point.
- Trim Should Be Visually Consistent
A home’s interior will really “pop” when all of the trim generally conforms to a consistent architectural theme or style. While some rooms will typically merit more trim work than others–e.g., living rooms often feature chair rails, wall paneling, etc. that you may not find in bedrooms–all of the trim work should be visually consistent.
In addition, make sure that you’re not overpowering a room with too much trim; it’s designed to be more of a graceful accent than the center of attention, and if you go overboard, you’ll more than likely detract from the other important elements of the room’s interior.
- All Trim Elements Should Be Suited to One Another
One of the cardinal sins of interior trim work is to have mismatching dimensions where trim pieces intersect. For example, if your baseboard is significantly thicker than your door casings where they meet, you’re going to have an ugly “lip” sticking out, which looks unprofessional. For any place where vertical and horizontal pieces abut, they should be of equal thickness so that you won’t have visually jarring meeting points for your trim pieces.
- Trim Size Should Be Kept to Scale
When installing trim and moldings, make sure that the size of the various pieces remain in proper proportion to the size of the room and its features. For example, you should avoid choosing baseboard or crown molding that is too tall for the room size, or an entablature that visually dominates the door below it. The size of the crown molding and baseboard should be in balanced proportion so that one doesn’t aesthetically overpower the other.
A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the higher the ceilings are, the more size you can afford with the trim work. Rooms with exceptionally high ceilings but standard sized doors can be visually balanced out by installing wider door and window casings as needed, as well as taller crown molding and baseboard (e.g., more than 6 inches in height). The important thing to remember is that you’ll have to maintain a feel for proper scale and proportion in order to bring a sense of balance and visual harmony to a space with your trim work.
- Install Trim Materials That Make Sense for the Room
This isn’t something that can necessarily be standardized for every house you work on, but the point is that although there are several different types of interior trim pieces you can use for your projects, don’t force things by adopting an “everything including the kitchen sink” philosophy with your trim work. Keep it tasteful and avoid gaudiness by being judicious with your selection of trim pieces for each room.
No matter what type of interior trim project you may be working on, Nisbet Brower offers an expansive variety of trim options for builders and contractors, including door and window casings, crown molding, base molding, fireplace surrounds, chair rails, picture molding, window surrounds, columns and much more. We have a vast selection of in-stock trim designs, but we also excel in custom millwork if your project requires it. Contact us today to see how we can help you bring your next interior trim project to life.