Dress Up Your Home With Interior Trim

Remodelers are using crown molding and other types of decorative trim to give rooms a finished look.

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It's not enough to keep up with the Joneses anymore. Homeowners, as well as home builders, are looking for that extra something to make their homes stand out. For many of them, the answer is in the trimmings — the interior trim details that turn basic rooms into jewel boxes.

Homeowners are choosing elaborate decorative trim packages for their remodeled or custom homes. And buyers shopping for new homes gravitate to models that builders have dressed up with door and window casing, crown molding, chair rails, ceiling medallions and other elegant trim.

To serve the diverse market, trim manufacturers offer hundreds of stock products in a wide assortment of styles and prices, as well as different materials such as engineered wood trim. Many builders and remodelers choose larger-than-standard sizes for a more substantial look. Others build up or stack stock trim pieces, or create custom trim profiles in their millwork shops. On occasion Kevin Barr of Barr Construction and Restoration in Twain Harte, Calif., goes even further: When trees need to be removed from a client's property to make way for construction, Barr uses the wood to create custom millwork for the project.

Interiors around the country are being dressed up with trim pieces such as these:

Baseboard: Protective and decorative trim where floor and wall meet. Large sizes, such as 5/8" x 5 1/4", are popular.

Casing: Decorative trim to cover the seam around doors and windows. Again, large sizes, from 3/4" to 3 1/2", make these areas look more important.

Chair rail: Molding about 32" above the floor. This can be a single band of trim or multiple pieces built up using casing or band molding.

Ceiling trim: A ceiling medallion can decorate the center of the ceiling in a formal room. Panel moldings and chair rails also are being used to outline or pattern ceilings.

Crown molding: The band of trim where ceiling and walls meet. In rooms with high ceilings, large and built-up crowns add elegance and scale.

Panel molding: Wall trim, including wainscoting. Panel molding pieces now are being used to add dimension and pattern to doors as well.

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