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September 19, 2022

How to Spice Up Your Renovation with Molding Styles

Molding is an essential part of any home renovation. It can add character and class to any area and is a relatively simple way to make a significant impact. But with so many different molding styles available, it can be challenging to know where to start.

molding styles

What Is Molding?

Molding is trim that’s used to cover the joints and seams between walls, ceilings, and floors. It also comes in various styles, which means you can choose the one that best suits your renovation. It’s a way to add a flourish to any room within your home and a detail that although small, can make such a huge impact.

When choosing the right type of molding style for your home, it’s essential to keep in mind the overall feel of your renovation. 

If you’re going for a rustic look, then shiplap, or board and batten would be a good choice for your molding style. If you want something more elegant, original wainscoting or coffered ceilings would be a better option (don’t worry, you’ll get a peek at what those are in a second). And if you’re looking to add some character to your space, bead groove might be the way to go. No matter your preference, molding is a great way to add style and character to your home and something ReVision is fully behind.

Here’s an overview of some of the most popular molding styles we’ve introduced into our Charlotte renovations over the years. Hopefully these breakdowns help you choose the right molding style for your Queen City residence.


Original Wainscoting

molding styles original wainscoting

Original wainscoting is a classic molding style that dates back to the 16th century. This look features wood paneling installed along the lower 32 inches of a wall. These panels are raised and sit flush. Once upon a time, it used to be the “Band-aid” for unwanted dampness (yep!) but it has since evolved, as has insulation, into a molding style much more elegant. Wall candy, if you will. 

As mentioned above, this molding style was initially used to protect walls, but it’s now purely decorative, adding a clean yet impressive look to any room. In addition to wood, modern installations often employ plastic, vinyl, and MDF. Wainscoting is often used in hallways and stairwells to add character and style.

As an aside, you can always paint or stain your wainscoting to match any wall but if you do so, make sure an expert is a part of the process as certain stains can leave this molding style looking patchy, and we certainly don’t want that.



molding styles shiplap

Shiplap is a style first seen on Viking ships, which used interlocking boards to prevent water from entering the boats. This waterproofing technique was so effective that people began using it in buildings. Chances are you’ve heard of it by now if you watched even a minute or two “Fixer Upper” on HGTV and our bet is you’ve seen it in plenty of homes, even if you weren’t looking for it. We, at ReVision, have been nursing a healthy obsession for it over the years and are pleased to see that this molding style of sorts is still as popular as ever. 

As our senior designer, Jeremy, puts it, “Shiplap is a classic design staple like subway tile, white kitchens, or wallpaper – it’s just about using it in a fresh way!”

Like wainscoting, shiplap is purely decorative in modern homes, usually composed of long wood planks set horizontally and painted white. A small space is left between planks to recreate the look of actual shiplap.

Pro tip: if installed vertically, it can make a tiny room look a whole lot bigger!


Bead Groove

molding styles bead groove

Bead groove molding is a more ornate style that features small grooves on a flat panel surface to mimic the look of beads from beadboard. These add texture and interest to the molding and can be used to create patterns and designs. This is similar to the beadboard molding style but it’s a much less expensive alternative, and great for large expanses of walls or ceilings.

This technique adds extra detail to your renovation with a raised border around the edge, and you can use it to accent walls, ceilings, and floors. It’s a subtle molding style but can make all the difference in your Charlotte home (or mudroom, as evidenced here.)


Applied Molding

molding styles applied molding

Applied molding is another type of ornate trim that traditionally features a chair rail placed halfway up a wall, with smaller rails or panels below it. Today, the rails are placed anywhere on walls and ceilings. And if you’re wondering what “chair rail” is, that’s a good question. It’s horizontal molding on a wall that at chair height, thought to have been first introduced to keep actual chairs from rubbing up against walls and scuffing them. Imagine that! So much history in a molding style that you never even knew was there!

Coffered Ceilings

molding styles coffered ceilings

A classic Roman look, this molding is installed on the ceiling to create a box-like effect, often featured in formal areas like living rooms and dining rooms. The word “coffer” means “indentation.” These ceilings are recessed panels set in a grid pattern. If you’re searching for a dramatic look, you may want to consider coffered ceilings accompanied by stunning light fixtures

The finished product of coffered ceilings (your reminder to always look up), is three-dimensional sunken panels akin to a grooved checkerboard, which we think is a fun way to look at. It’s almost like a game board, upside down. They are a pretty stunning feature in any room with a ceiling height of nine feet or higher.

Board and Batten

molding styles board and batten
molding styles board and batten

Board and batten is a molding type similar to shiplap, but utilizes wider boards with a groove in the middle. This groove interlocks the boards, making them sturdy and durable. Board and batten can be installed horizontally or vertically and is one of our go-to designs with molding styles.

The batten is a smaller piece of wood that hides the seam where the boards meet. If you want to create a rustic charm with your renovation, you may want to consider using board and batten.

Breathe New Life into Your Home with Molding

Molding is an excellent choice to add style and interest to any room in your home and a great way to add detail or a touch of luxury. We could talk on this topic for hours but we are thinking this is plenty of information to get those design and renovation rims turning.

With so many different varieties, you’re sure to find the best option for your space — no matter your renovation goals, you can find the perfect style to help you achieve them. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various molding styles to create your desired feel. Just make sure to consult with your designer to know which styles would be most appropriate for the age and aesthetic of your home

If you’re thinking about remodeling your home in the Charlotte, NC, area, contact ReVision Design today, to talk to an expert about how to get started. We’d love to help and discuss even MORE options available to you.