How To Use Decorative Mouldings in Your Home – Top Tips

Have you been looking for a subtle, cost-effective way to “lift” a home interior or exterior design project? Decorative mouldings have been used for centuries to revamp architectural designs and you might be surprised by how much this form of architectural art can improve the visual appeal of a property. There’s a wide choice of decorative mouldings, from simple ogee through to double astragal, and they can subtly re-enforce the look you want to achieve – whether that’s a period vibe or a modern sleek aesthetic.

We supply a wide range of Wood Mouldings to merchants, joiners, furniture makers and set-designers – all of whom work with wood mouldings on a regular basis.

But if you’re a DIY enthusiast or simply interested in ideas for your home, then this guide offers some insights into how to choose the right decorative mouldings and how they can transform a space. Let’s start with the basics…

What are Decorative Mouldings?

Decorative mouldings are transitional architectural elements that enhance a room’s aesthetics. The features are traditionally based on ancient art however there are plenty of popular modern products available now too. Timber mouldings can transform a room that feels like one vast empty expanse of ceilings and walls into an appealing, well-defined and attractive space.

Decorative Mouldings can also have a functional purpose and are often used as a way to conceal wall joinery or protect walls from spalling. Wood mouldings can also aesthetically cover and disguise wall flaws or cover gaps between walls, windows and doors, whilst also adding to the aesthetic; perhaps evoking a period in time, or helping to establish a thematic look.

Types of Decorative Mouldings that Wood Mouldings Provide

You can complement a spaces décor with many different types of wood mouldings. Let’s take a look at the main options and how they can be used to boost the design of your next project:

1.      Barrell

If you are looking for a traditional style, Barrell moulding is the right choice. The moulding can be varnished or stained, and it can be used to decorate ceilings, walls, and doors. Fitting easily into right angle spaces with its 90 degree back and small triple curved profile, you can enhance a space with quality finishes and traditional styled décor.

2.      Picture Rails

Picture Rails offer a dual purpose both in boosting the aesthetic appeal of a room and keeping the wall intact by avoiding the need to drill holes for pictures. They are affixed horizontally on the wall, close to the ceiling, and are used to hang pictures in a very attractive, traditional way.



3.      Dado Rails (Chair Rails)

Dado rails protect walls from scratches caused by movable furniture. This is a stylish solution to help minimize typical scuffs and wear and tear. In a decorative sense, dado can be used to split a wall horizontally allowing the homeowner to decorate with different finishes above and below the dado line.



4.      Base

Base is a simple, traditional, right angled moulding. Similar, but smaller than Barrell, it fits easily into corners or can be used in conjunction with other mouldings to build up a larger decorative effect. Manufactured in whitewood, Base mouldings can be painted to match your décor and are light and easy to work with.



5.      Casing

Casing is a US word to describe a moulding that seals gaps between doors or windows and walls. It is also known as architrave and is commonly attached over the frame of a window or door to hide the line where the plasterwork meets the wooden frame. Wood Mouldings’ casing is smaller than a traditional architrave and so can be used where a narrow frame is required or simply to enhance the aesthetic of any part of your room project.



Where Are Decorative Mouldings Used?

Now that we have covered the main types of decorative mouldings, let’s take a look at some of the popular applications. Most mouldings were originally designed with a practical function in mind, from wall protection to draft exclusion. Nowadays however, it is mainly the aesthetic tradition that remains, though not in every case.

1.      Around Windows

Framing a window requires a seamless transition between wall and window frame and casings are used to hide gaps as well as look beautiful. Glass beads, which hold the glass in place, can also be decorative as well as functional and add to the beauty of a window whether you style is traditional or modern.

2.      On/Around a Door

Decorative mouldings can be installed on plain, flat doors to create a paneled effect. They provide a simple transformation that’s budget friendly and can be glued and painted to match the door’s finish. Practically, casings are installed around the door frame to cover crevices between the frame of the door and the wall plaster. Other mouldings, such as astragal, can also be implemented to create decorative effect as well as functionality in both traditional and modern furniture and joinery.

3.      Along/On a Wall

Dado rails are decorative mouldings installed over a wall to safeguard it from damage caused by contact with furniture. Mainly however, mouldings are crafted and arranged to create a feature wall or frame specific parts of a wall. For example, separating the top of the wall from the lower part, concealing the edge of wallpaper or wainscoting. Mouldings can also form decorative panels of varying size and design. The moulding and the inner sections can then either be painted the same color for subtlety or different shades can be used to create impact and highlight this as a feature of the room.

4.      Framing a Bookcase

Wood mouldings can revolutionize the look and feel of a bookcase. A plain bookcase can be upgraded and easily made to look like a sophisticated piece of crafted furniture, using crown mouldings.  


5.      Bespoke Mouldings

You don’t have to work existing moulding products around your requirements, Wood Mouldings can produce bespoke mouldings to your exact specifications. This can save a lot of time and also give a better finish to your project.

Final Words

Investing in decorative mouldings is a budget friendly way to uplift the aesthetic of a home interior or exterior project. We hope this guide has given you some ideas and has helped you to identify the right  decorative mouldings for your next project.

If you would like help or advice in this context, then please do get in touch with us to discuss your projects needs.