Special attention to wood trim can take a room from ordinary and nondescript to a work of art. Home improvement stores carry a large selection of trim profiles, and specialty mill shops can custom-make anything you can't find. Use paint-grade trim if cost is a concern -- unless you are planning to stain it, paint-grade will work for most applications. When it comes to cased openings, such as archways, windows and room transitions, you're not necessarily stuck with cased trim profiles -- use a little imagination and combine several pieces of trim regardless of what they're called. The result will be a luxurious designer look without the price tag.
The most basic way to trim a cased opening is with plain flat casing trim. It doesn't provide much in the way of design, but it protects the inside portion of the casing and adds a bit of visual weight. Add a bullnose or shoe profile along the outside edges for a more finished look, or use a quarter-round or half-round for an Art Deco feel. An alternative is to use outside corner beads, which add dimension without creating too much visual bulk -- this option works well in small rooms or small openings. Picture rails and chair rails can also be co-opted for use as casing moldings, adding subtle design for small spaces.
Larger openings can handle a bulkier, more ornate look. Heavy crown molding can be installed vertically along outside or inside edges, and combined with raised or recessed panels and skinnier edging for a truly sculpted look, or add rope moldings individually or in multiples for an added design element. Home improvement stores carry molding carved with stylistic themes such as vines, scroll work and other designs, so experiment before you buy to see what combination you can put together. Put together different profiles, sizes and patterns, but don't feel limited to side-by-side installation. Molding can be installed in layers to create extra dimension.
Rosettes and Caps
Rosettes and caps add a finishing touch to the trim, and can be as elaborate or simple as you need them to be. Rosettes work well in corners, adding design without bulk. Caps are bulkier but provide a more ornate look, especially when combined with elaborate crown molding. Keys and double keys work well in the center of an archway, and can help link the trim to decor styles ranging from Art Deco to Colonial. These pieces can be costly, especially in stain-grade wood -- larger caps can cost upwards of $100 each, and you'll need at least two.
It is possible to completely transform the look of the opening through the creative use of trim. Install fluted casing molding with large caps at the top and bottom to mimic columns -- replace the caps with small pieces of crown molding for a lower profile. Crown molding can also turn an ordinary cased opening into an archway when installed on the upper inside corners, but some fluting molds look much cleaner and more elegant. Use slim bullnose, quarter-rounds or shoe pieces along the bottom to finish the look.
- Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images