10 Types of Trim That Will Instantly Elevate Your Home

Learn how to use trim to accent picture frames, make a room appear bigger, and protect walls from damage.

Although it may seem like a minor detail when it comes to curating the perfect home, trim is an easy and affordable way to instantly elevate your space. Typically used to fill in gaps between two areas (like the wall and the ceiling), trim can also be highly decorative when used creatively. The material comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and is often used to frame wall art, highlight door frames, and create an accent wall. To tackle these projects, it helps to first understand the difference between popular types of trim and how to use each to create unmatched beauty in your home.

kitchen with wall trim


01 of 10

Crown Molding

painting trim crown-molding


One of the most popular types of trim, crown molding is any horizontal trim installed at the top of your interior wall near the ceiling, says Mimi Meacham, founder and principal designer, Marian Louise Designs. The molding is an effective way to draw the eye upward, which makes it appear as if the room is bigger than it is. “This is particularly beneficial in rooms with lower ceilings, as it can create the illusion of height and grandeur,” says Kerrie Kelly, creative director of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

02 of 10

Chair Rail Trim

living room of apartment interior with elegant green velvet armchair, coffee table, marble stands, gold mirror, plants and chic accessories.

Chair rail trim is a functional design element that is commonly used around an entire room at chair height. “Some people use chair rail as a protective element between the furniture and wall,” says Meacham. “It can elevate the space by creating a break in your walls visually.” Beyond how practical it is, chair rail trim is also decorative. It can be used to break up two different paint color shades or wallpaper and paint for added textural interest. 

03 of 10


painting trim casing

Sarah Millet Photography

Casing is the trim installed around doors, windows, or openings in your interior spaces. “While uncased openings can be simple and unfussy, casing adds detail, layering, and depth to your space, and marks your entrances and transitions with some decoration,” says Mindy O'Connor, the founder and principal of Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture & Interiors. “With beautiful trim framing at an opening, you can create more warmth and interest when entering a room, define different spaces, and develop a single vocabulary running through the whole house.”

04 of 10

Picture Rail Trim

Blue living room at home
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Also known as picture molding or gallery molding, picture rail trim is decorative trim that is often installed horizontally near or at ceiling level. "One of the key ways picture rail trim elevates a home is by adding versatility and flexibility to your wall décor," says Kelly. "Instead of relying solely on nails or screws to hang artwork, picture rail trim allows you to easily rearrange and rehang your pieces without damaging your walls."

05 of 10


painting trim, wainscotting


Create an accent wall with wainscoting, a wall treatment that typically consists of wooden paneling or molding installed on the lower portion of a wall. It can be capped with a chair rail or set at a taller height to take up a bigger part of the wall. “Wainscoting is lovely when you can see it with a more distanced view in a larger space, and can create a feeling of prominence or formality for the room,” says O’Connor. “It can range stylistically from beadboard to raised panel—or any combination of wood panels, boards, and rails.” 

06 of 10

Batten Trim

kitchen with batten trim

Joe Hendrickson / GETTY IMAGES

Batten trim, also known as board and batten, has become increasingly popular in recent years for both home interiors and exteriors. “Batten trim is commonly used alongside wider panels, or boards,” says Meacham. “The thinner piece is the batten, which is used to conceal the seams and joints of the boards.” It’s a great way to add texture to a blank wall and can span anywhere from the ceiling to the floor. 

07 of 10

Baseboard Trim

baseboard trim against modern wood floors and marble floor


Baseboards help give your home a complete, finished look. “Although baseboards add an aesthetic touch to the space, the main use of them is to hide the joint where the floors meet the walls,” says Meacham. Baseboards are also used to give your walls depth by creating a visual boundary that adds detail to what would’ve otherwise been a plain transition. “Baseboard trim can also help protect the walls from damage caused by furniture, vacuums, or foot traffic, making it both functional and decorative.”

08 of 10

Picture Frame Trim

picture frame molding

Different from picture rail trim, picture frame trim adds interest by creating a focal point on your walls.  “Sometimes referred to as box trim, it’s applied to the walls in a box shape resembling a picture frame,” says Meacham. Usually a series of vertical and horizontal pieces of trim, it's is used to frame artwork, mirrors, or other wall hangings. “In my design work, I often use picture frame trim to create a sense of symmetry and balance in a room,” says Kelly. “By framing artwork or mirrors with picture frame trim, I can create a harmonious and cohesive look for the space.”

09 of 10

Plate Rail Trim

plate rail trim

FollowTheFlow / GETTY IMAGES

Often installed at a height of around 32 to 36 inches from the floor, plate rail trim is typically added on top of other trim types to create a ledge. It was historically used to display decorative plates, but now serves a variety of purposes in modern interior design. “The horizontal line created by the plate rail can break up an otherwise blank wall, adding architectural detail and creating a sense of rhythm and flow,” says Kelly. “This can be especially beneficial in rooms with high ceilings or large expanses of walls that might otherwise feel monotonous or overwhelming.”

10 of 10

Corbel Trim

corbel trim

ChuckSchugPhotography / GETTY IMAGES

Corbels blend form and function in the home. The decorative brackets hang off of walls to visually (and sometimes structurally) support shelving, mantles, or ceiling overhangs at 90 degrees from the wall surface,” says O’Connor. “Corbels can add a repetitive layer of decoration to a space and even though they are not always supporting elements, they can give a feeling of security, intention and emphasis to a room.”

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