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Customize a room by adding trim from floor to ceiling

November 06, 2013

People often walk into a room and don't take notice of permanent features that may seem purely functional - doors, moldings or wall niches, to name a few. But like the classic oak wood flooring in Anderson's Sugar House collection, such elements add to the uniqueness of a well-crafted room design.

Where no interesting architectural features exist, homeowners can build their own for a customized look. Accent pieces may be made from moldings painted or stained to match hardwood floors and wood furnishings by using pre-made trim that's available at home improvement centers in a multitude of sizes and decorative styles. That allows home decorators to match their home's architectural style or to infuse a house with a style of their choice.

Choose design options
Plain walls don't have to stay unadorned when there are a host of inexpensive trims that can be used to make chair rails in dining areas and kitchens. Adding a simple rail opens up the opportunity to decorate with a dual color scheme, add wallpaper or install beadboard paneling.

Wainscoting is another option that allows homeowners to come up with a design that takes a rustic turn for country or cottage-style decorating, or may be more elaborate for a formal decorating scheme.

There's also the option to create room trim by painting it onto walls. A latticework design is appropriate to less formal decor, while trompe l'oeil - a paint technique that presents a realistic representation of an item - creates wall decor that's more intricate.

Focus on windows
Adding window shutters is like having an architectural touch and a window treatment in one. They can be painted in any color, although white, off-white and natural wood tones may fit best with country design.

Shutters that cover only the bottom half of the window can be closed to limit bright sunlight coming into the room without shutting it out altogether. They also provide some privacy at street level, while retaining a view at the tree line.

Look upward
Crown molding frames rooms where the ceilings meet the walls. Depending on what size molding is used, and whether it's painted to match the walls or the ceiling, homeowners can create the illusion of higher ceilings. If the house has high ceilings, crown molding draws the eye upward to see a decorative touch to the home design.

With so many hanging lamps and chandeliers, another embellishment to try is a ceiling medallion, which creates a centered design to offset the main lighting fixture.