One of the easiest ways to make a big impact in your home is with the installation of trim (or mouldings).  It can take a room from bland and boring to polished and finished!  The trim doesn’t have to be elaborate or multi-layered, and even the basic patterns can have a really nice impact.  Contemporary homes look great with trim too, though you should opt for less ornate patterns.  If you use color in your rooms with paint on the walls, it gives you a nice contrast and makes the trim a real focal point.

BASES-BASE-CAPS-011012-1Today’s blog was inspired by my own home, but not in a good way!  Actually it’s the really shoddy job that the previous owners did on our baseboards, and every time I see them they drive me nuts.  I like things done the right way, with no cutting corners, and that’s just the way my dad taught me to do things, okay? : )  So when I look around at my baseboards and see the really bad joints like the one in the pic below, it just annoys me that someone didn’t take the time to do it right.  So, here’s how you measure for your trim so you won’t end up with a mess like I have!

When installing trim in your home (and I’m focusing on baseboards and crown moulding here), it’s best to have as few joints as possible in the middle of the moulding (i.e. not the corners).  So, when you measure your walls to determine the material you’ll need, account for any walls that are longer than 8′ and buy the appropriate length of material for that wall so you won’t have a joint.  You might not find these longer lengths at a home improvement store, so will need to shop at a source like The Moulding Company, but you’ll get a much more professional looking job.  Many DIYers simply measure the amount of lineal feet per wall, add it all up, and divide by 8′ because 8′ lengths of material is what’s readily available.  We all know that many walls are longer than 8′, and that’s why I have so many (very badly done) joints in my house.  Those are SO coming out, and I tackle them as I repaint each room.  The really sad thing abBotched baseboardout this pic though, is that this wall is only 6 feet!  They clearly just used left over cuts to trim out this wall, and there’s no excuse for that in my book (did I mention cutting corners?).  This spot is in my hallway, so right there for everyone to see.

So, that’s the right way to measure for your trim, and if you hire an installer to do your trim work for you, it’s a quick question to ask them about how they purchase their material, and it assures you get the best looking result possible.  Of course, there are going to be walls that are just too long to accommodate the lengths of material available, so a joint is inevitable, but with a professional installer, I would expect that you’d get a much cleaner joint than the botched up putty job that I have.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and remember, I’m not just a pillow tosser! : )  I been around construction and home improvement my whole life, and assist my clients with much more than decorating their homes.  You can read a little more about me here, and my Designer Download® session is always a great way to meet and review questions you have about making improvements to your home.  It’s one session, with lots of answers, at one affordable price.

Design should be fun, not stressful!

~ Kathy