Trim - Evolving Tastes

oldbat2beApril 11, 2014

Our home was built in the mid 60s and we're slowly updating it, room by room. We renovated the right side of the downstairs a few years ago, and selected a rather formal trim with which I'm overall quite pleased. I applied that same trim to our family room and was less pleased (I have the tech lighting Kable Lite system in here and think the trim is too formal). We just re-trimmed the linen closet area with a totally different, very simple trim, which is perfect I think for the area.

My question involves what to do in the bedrooms (left side of the downstairs). I now have a mix of original, formal trim and various new trims. I'm considering using the new 'simple' trim in the bedrooms and hallway. Before I have DH do any more work/re-work (sigh), I'd like to have a plan in place.

Ceilings are 8' tall. What do you think? Please post any pictures of trim you particularly like and think would be appropriate.

The picture shows the formal trim in the family room, looking into the bathroom, showing the simple trim which I like in the nook where we added the linen closet.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

Here's DD's bedroom. We're slowly removing the beadboard which has been in place for ~10 years. Both windows are relatively new, hence the different trim work.

With all beadboard gone, what kind of trim would you recommend for the windows and floor?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tibbrix

I like the formal trim. I think it gives the house a look of more architectural depth, like houses used to be built.

I also believe that, for the most part, trim should be consistent throughout a house.

Mainly, though, I'd give serious thought to adding crown moulding, which, to me, gives rooms/houses a finished look, makes painted walls look a million times better, etc. It drives me nuts that new houses are not finished with crown moulding.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kswl2

Agree with Tib that trim should be consistent throughout any house. And formal trim sets a stage that can be populated with any style very successfully; casual furniture with formal trim looks great. It is less successful going the other way-- formal furniture against very plain trim can look out of place.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

I have to agree with Tib and KSWL. I love the formal trim. We have stained trim that is like your original trim throughout our primary home and I have hated it from day one. I love the elegance that the formal trim adds.

I also like the simple trim that you posted quite a lot but again agree with KSWL that the formal trim would be more flexible. The simple trim has a very Shaker vibe to it. I truly think it's lovely but would look best in a modern farmhouse or more rustic type home. Wtbs, you have a wonderful eye so go with what makes your heart sing but be consistent throughout.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deee_gw

The simple trim you have is trending here in newly built cottage style and beach homes. These home are not inexpensive. The houses have metal roofs, ship lap paneling, old brick, etc. I like both trim styles but I think it should be consistent.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tibbrix

The irony here is that, that "formal trim" is what would have, at one time, been the casual trim!

So I think her formal trim IS casual enough to handle anything, but not so plain as to look lightweight or cheaply chosen, but not ornate and too heavy for the house.

It's a perfect medium, IMO; strikes just the right cord.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
crl_

I remember a long ago pal post on different trims within a home and a hierarchy to using them. I'm sorry I don't have time to search, not do I remember more than that, but maybe you can find that thread if you are interested.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
awm03

In the old days fancier trim was used for the "public" rooms and plainer trim for the private areas of the home: You wanted to save the good stuff for company, much like china & servingware. You'll notice this in historical homes. I followed the old tradition: more ornate moulding in the lr & dr, plain trim in the halls, bedrooms, kitchen, baths, & fr. I just have a 70s tract home w/ 8 ft. ceilings, but it's a nod to tradition in my area of old colonial homes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
awm03

In the old days fancier trim was used for the "public" rooms and plainer trim for the private areas of the home: You wanted to save the good stuff for company, much like china & servingware. You'll notice this in historical homes. I followed the old tradition: more ornate moulding in the lr & dr, plain trim in the halls, bedrooms, kitchen, baths, & fr. I just have a 70s tract home w/ 8 ft. ceilings, but it's a nod to tradition in my area of old colonial homes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tibbrix

True, and good point, awm.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
barb5

A book I have found to be very helpful with all things trim is "Decorating with Architectural Trimwook" by Jay Silber. It has a lot of very nice pictures and good explanations.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kswl2

Varied trim level of the same type is one thing, but two completely different styles of trim--- even if the same level of cost or quality--- is the issue here. I have 12" moldings at the crown in most of our rooms, including the bedrooms and most of the bathrooms. In our laundry room we have a plain. 6" crown--- the same type, but smaller and without the corniceboard and other moldings that make up the bigger trim. Downstairs in the basement we have the plain crown as well, so we have varied the size, but not the type. IMO it would look odd to change to a different style altogether within the same house.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chispa

Can't you just do the "formal" trim without that bulky header on the bedroom doors and windows? I don't like the mix of your 2 trims in the photo of the door openings you posted.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
blfenton

double post

This post was edited by blfenton on Fri, Apr 11, 14 at 12:39

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
blfenton

Does your home have a defined design/style to it that would help you with your decision? If not, do you yourself have a more formal or informal taste.

In my home with my taste the more formal trim would be out of place. And with our vaulted ceilings crown molding is a non-starter.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patty_cakes

Why have ordinary when you can have extraordinary? Even though it may be looked at as being more 'formal', it once was standard trim in homes of a certain price point, along with 6 panel doors.

IMO, I see nothing wrong with wanting to kick it up a notch with a more upscaled trim.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 12:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloenkitty

Love the formal as well

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jrueter

I think kswl hit it on the head, as usual. It is the change in style that sets the "simple" apart from the "formal" in a not so good way. If you want something less ornate, I would suggest a smaller version of your "formal" trim.

Maybe something like this?

Contemporary Kids by San Francisco Architects & Designers Winder Gibson Architects

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

Thank you all for the feedback. It's very helpful when the opinions are unanimous and I'm encouraged to continue with the formal trim (but will perhaps make a few tweaks).

Tibbrix - thank you for the suggestion to add crown moulding. I had not thought of this. It may not work in all rooms - kitchen, below, and family room (which have raised ceilings), but would be good for the bedrooms.

kswl - Always good to hear from you! I take the point about varying the same trim.

holly-kay - It's amazing how much better the house has looked, in the areas where we've updated from the original trim. The really short trim makes the ceilings look lower IMO.

crl_ - I searched for Pal's post and found several of interest, thanks.

awm03 - I like the idea of different trims (slight variety), good point.

barb5 - Thanks for the book suggestion. My local library doesn't have it, but they do have '1001 ideas for trimwork' which would be worth looking at.

deee - Here was my inspiration for the simple trim:

Farmhouse Hall by Norwich Architects & Designers Smith & Vansant Architects PC

I put the 'simple trim' in the landing area/linen closet area, because the formal trim just didn't look right with the linen closet, which is a shaker style cabinet.

Here's how the 'formal trim' looked in the small place - too busy. (This was before the linen closet went in)

Chispa, I really your idea of continuing the formal trim but without the bulky header in the bedrooms. Jreuter - thank you for the link and idea. That lighter header is a idea, but I could also do a flat header.

I do agree that there is a clash between the simple and formal, looking both ways, as it is currently. I can also update the header in the family room with a flatter one, which I think would go better in this room. I just don't feel the trim works with the light, airy feeling of the lights.

Here's an older picture of the family room (pre linen closet).

blfenton - The house is a Cape and the style is still evolving. I have ideas, DH installs them, and then I figure out how to fix/recover from them....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Gooster

oldbat2be: It is so great to see the pictures from your lovely home and how some of the projects you posted are turning out -- I remember when that linen closet was just an empty nook! (I think I missed the pictures of the outcome)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patty_cakes

Loved seeing other rooms.i think what you're choosing to do is totally appropriate for the house, and a cute house it is. ;)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 6:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
camlan

My vote would be to keep the trim consistent throughout the house. But there are ways to scale down the trim in some areas and still keep the same basic look.

My parents' house was an 1880s Victorian. On the first floor, there were tall baseboards, with an large flat portion from the floor up to about 8 inches, and then some varied molding. On the second floor, the flat portion was about 6 inches, and had some of the same molding on top, but one less layer. Then, in the attic, which had rooms for the long-gone live-in servants, the flat portion was about 4 inches and had a much simpler, but still consistent molding on top.

The brass door knobs had a very large, very elaborately engraved brass plate behind them on the first floor, a smaller version with the same design on the second floor, and in the attic, the door plates were the same size as the second floor, but with a simpler version of the same pattern.

As other posters have said, the public rooms get the big, fancy version, the private rooms get a similar, but lesser version of the same thing.

Can you put your finger on why you don't like the more formal trim in your house? It certainly looks appropriate to your home, and in your daughter's room, it compliments the style of furniture.

Whatever you decide, I think you should pick either one of the current trims in your house, the formal or the plain, or a variation of one of them. I wouldn't introduce a third type of trim in the same house. Like too many different types of flooring visible from the same spot, it will look a bit chaotic.

My current house has three different styles of trim, and I can't figure out what previous owners were thinking. There's a very simple trim that I think was the original (back in 1900), a slight variation on the simple trim in a few rooms that I think was added later, and a couple of rooms that had the pine floors upgraded to hardwood and a more elaborate trim installed. But they chose odd rooms--one bedroom, the living room and dining room got hardwood floors. The same bedroom, the dining room and the bathroom got the fancier trim, but not the living room. The hallway got upgraded baseboards, but not the living or dining rooms. It's a mystery.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

gooster - You're the one who came up with the idea of walling off part of the family room, so I give you full credit for the linen closet area:)

Thanks patty_cakes!

camlan - What you're describing makes perfect sense, thanks. I'm glad you asked what I don't like about the formal trim. I love it in our front hallway/kitchen/pantry/map room/fire room/mud room (rooms to the right). Perhaps different trim elements were used in the family room and bedroom I show. I should measure. I like the belly casing in some places (right side of house) and really dislike it in others (to the point where I've thought about filling the groove, sanding and painting, so it looks like a flat board).

Also, in the family room and DD's room, there is something I dislike about the top piece. That's an easy fix I think. My challenge is the family room with the lighting - I think I want trimwork which doesn't stand out.

Very much appreciated the feedback, thanks again all!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
romy718

One of the things I've always admired about your family room is the window & the formal trim around your doorway. Tne top piece above the doorway appears to match the top trim on your window, below the arch.
Off topic, did you ever choose a rug for the FR?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 11:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mtnrdredux_gw

IMHO trim has to be of a similar era but should not "match". In our reno, where we finished a lot of new space in the attic, we purposely knocked down the size and complexity of the trim vs the 2nd floor, and the 2nd floor is less ornate than the 1st floor as well, with all of it being in the same family.

BTW, your linen closet reminds me of what i am trying to do with our MBR doorway; can I ask how deep it is?

thanks

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
raee_gw

The top piece seems like that "one piece of jewelry too many" in the more casual rooms. IMHO.
I love plain, but the plain trim seems to be too plain with the formal trim.
Try to go somewhat in between. Base it on the formal trim, but with a less prominent top piece. Remember, you can create nearly any trim profile by adding/subtracting pieces and changing widths.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

Thanks chloenkitty!

romy718 - Good eye - yes, they do match. And no. we have not yet selected a rug. (Thanks for remembering!)

Hi mtnrdredux - I think of you and how many decisions you must be making for your new home - I seem to only be able to handle a few projects at the same time (and slowly, at that). The space for the linen closet is 17+ inches deep but I really wanted 15" deep drawers (so blankets and comforters for the family room could be stored), so we went a custom route.

raee - I liked your description, agree. I constantly tell myself, first, do no harm... feel as though the top piece, harms. (Thanks!). I checked out three trim books from the library and will start coming up with ideas :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
powermuffin

Your "formal" trim is almost exactly the same as the original (stained) trim in my 1908 cottage. We also have 10" carved baseboards. Nothing fancy about our home, but that trim sold me on the house. BTW, same trim is in every room including the kitchen.
Diane

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

Interesting powermuffin. My builder's crew does a lot of work in South Boston. The lead guy (in the crew) came up with the trim and I'm assuming he's seen and used it more than once. 10" carved baseboards - love it! Any pictures? What part of the country are you in? Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

http://www.thejoyofmoldings.com/architectural-subordination-moldings-trim/ has a good explanation of how to do this.

Your "simple" molding is a bit too simple for molding that is visible at the same time as that fancy one. A small crown on the header would relate it to the molding on the other door, but keep the importance levels intact.

Here is a link that might be useful: Molding heirarchy and subordination

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
motherof3sons

Hi OB2B! Your home is wonderful! Can't wait for more pictures of your changes!!!

We lived in a craftsman style home that had 7.5' ceilings on the 2nd floor and the trim was very simple. On the main floor with 9' ceilings the trim was more ornate. Both are similar to your choices.

Have a great weekend!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
TV show Perception set decor
If you haven't watched the show, it's a good one. But...
Annie Deighnaugh
Blue bedroom bedding
We are going to be painting our master bedroom 'Bleached...
hornedfrog89
Dining room chandelier selection, please help!
Hi everyone, I need to pull my dining room together...
aboxofcrayons
Update on mcm landscaping - slow but sure progress
The concrete patios are in, but still curing. They...
rockybird
Would love your input on refreshing this exterior!
Hi all, I have some ideas, but I'm not in love with...
Kristin Jennings
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™