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Decorative Wall Trim and Moulding Ideas (And Shiplap Alternatives!)

by - Wednesday, July 03, 2019

One look at my home and you can probably guess one thing I am obsessed with: trim and wall moulding.

Nothing can elevate a room more, and take walls from plain and boring to special and interesting, than moulding. And the fact that installing mouldings is easy to do for even a beginner DIYer makes it one of my most favourite decorating elements. Shiplap continues to the most popular wall treatment style, but there are many diverse applications and shiplap alternatives.

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I've partnered with Metrie for many of the trim and moulding projects in my home, like our living room, our master bedroom, and our craft room. Over the last six Fridays, I've had the chance to take over Metrie's Instagram stories and share some of my best trim and moulding tips. You've probably heard of shiplap but there are so many other wall treatment styles out there! You can catch all six episodes in Metrie's MASTERS Highlights but I thought I would recap some of the top lessons and decorative wall trim and moulding ideas.

What is moulding?


Moulding is a piece of material that can be made out of MDF, wood, plaster or stone and is used to either decorate a surface or cover the transition between surfaces.

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In most of our projects, we've used MDF moulding with a traditional profile but moulding comes in many different styles. Rustic luxury, Urban country, and Minimal opulence are just a few of the design trends you can achieve.

How do you choose trim and moulding?

When you select trim, keep in mind three elements: materials, profile or style, and proportion. Use the materials that provide the durability and look you need for your project. MDF is cost effective and paints easily. Use a hardwood like poplar or oak when you want a visible grain that you can bring out with stain.

Once you've selected your material, choose a style of moulding suited to your taste. Metrie's Option M eliminates the guesswork by offering collections of interior moulding and doors that will work together and create a cohesive look. Keep in mind size and scale of your room as well. Generally, the larger the room, the larger your mouldings. Look for the "9'+" symbol on the Metrie site to see which mouldings are suited for rooms with taller ceilings.

What kinds of wall treatments can you create with moulding?

You can create many different looks with trim and moulding. Here are a few examples from our home:

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Traditional wall moulding

Simple door casing
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Shiplap accent wall
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Dining room wainscotting
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Vertical plank wall
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Small bathroom wainscotting
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Bifold doors and entryway wainscotting
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Bathroom wall panelling

If you're just starting to work with trim, try an easy project like installing window casing. With more experience, try wainscotting in your dining room or entry way. If you prefer a casual or coastal look, create a shiplap wall.

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How to Install Moulding

Installing trim and moulding requires just a few tools. Here's a simple tutorial we created years ago on how we installed the wall panelling accent wall in our master bedroom.

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To make your project look professional, pay attention to the finishing details. Take the time to caulk and sand all of the moulding seams and gaps before you paint. Think about joints and how your trim pieces intersect, and use mitred ends or mitred returns to create a high quality look.

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A room with trim and moulding alone can look beautiful, but you can enhance the look using decor.

  • Use window coverings to enhance or minimize your mouldings. Consider an inside mount roman blind if you want to showcase your window casing
  • Layer your artwork on top of your moulding for a bold and modern look. Or, for a gallery effect, treat your panel moulding like a frame and place your artwork within the panel
  • Using different paint colours or sheens can bring attention to your trim. Paint everything the same shade for a calm and cohesive feeling. If you prefer contrast, paint your trim a different colour than your walls. This will highlight the architectural details
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In short, moulding is one my essential elements in creating a beautifully decorated space. From bedroom to bathroom, cottage to city home, it's a must have.

What do you think... are you inspired to use trim and moulding in your home? Show me your trim projects. I'd love to see them!

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Disclosure: This conversation is sponsored by Metrie. Thank you for supporting the brands whose quality products I use and bring in my own home.



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