Inside Trim Work – Tips and Thoughts

Inside trim is going up this week and the exterior siding should begin next week. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the inside trim. For me, trim/millwork is like jewelry. It completes a room.

I shared a step-by-step guide to building a new house when I shared my favorite dining room chandeliers. According to the guide, we are a little more than halfway finished.

Is the end in sight? I sure hope so! We broke ground on December 7. Today is August 5th. Of course, it rained the entire month of December and January. Okay – not every day, but just about. I’m not kidding.

Interior Trim

When we embarked on this crazy journey of building a new home, I didn’t fully realize how many items I’d have to pick out.

I knew all about the important things like cabinets and lighting. But, I never gave much thought about having to choose trim, crown, and baseboard.

Our inside trim guy is the bomb dot com. He arrives every morning at 7 AM and doesn’t leave until 6 PM. And his work is excellent.

He’ll be trimming out the windows and adding the baseboards and crown molding. He’ll also do the millwork and both sets of stairs.

Inside Trim Work - Crew putting up crown molding in a living room

To Crown Or Not To Crown?

This is a biggie. I’m a member of Team Crown! It’s a personal preference but for me, crown molding gives a finished look.

I generally like simple, clean lines. When the workers suggest I frou-frou something up, I have to remind them that I like clean lines. Shaker cabinets. Shaker interior doors. Clean, simple lines.

Now, I am all about that millwork, especially on the stairs. Even when I plan to add more (like in my dining room) I still like classic clean lines when it comes to inside trim work.

Coffered And Vaulted Ceilings

Our great room will have a coffered ceiling. A coffered ceiling is an architectural detail that has many recesses. To me, most of them look like a giant tic tac toe board and I love them.

My ceiling will be all white. The photo below is just a sample of what a coffered ceiling looks like.

This is something that I added to my house plans simply because I love how they cozy up the room.

The study, owner’s bedroom, and bathroom are all vaulted. We won’t add crown molding to the vaulted ceilings. I just don’t think it looks good.

Dining Room Tray Ceiling That Didn’t get Trayed

In our house plans, the dining room has a tray ceiling. Somehow, the framing crew missed that tray. Instead of the dining room ceiling being a 10-foot/12-foot tray, it’s just a 12-foot flat ceiling.

In case you don’t know, a tray ceiling (sometimes called inverted or recessed) features a center ceiling section that is higher than the perimeter of the ceiling.

Am I upset? Not really. Tray ceilings are not really a favorite of mine anyway so it’s not a big deal.

So, I’m thinking of doing a heavy crown on the dining room so that it adds a little drama to that room. The trim guy and I are working together to come up with something that’s stunning. I’ll keep you posted.

Also, I’m thinking about painting the dining room ceiling Naval by Sherwin Williams. I know! Crazy! I think it will look awesome with the white crown/white walls.

This idea is totally out of my comfort zone so I’m mulling over it and I’ll let you know what I decide to do. It’s just paint, right?

Window Casing

The windows in my great room are definitely a focal point so I really want the window casing to shine. Since the crown molding is a simple cove and the baseboard is a simple 8″ plain board, I decided to dress up all the windows on the main floor and make them a focal point.

Pro Tip: When it comes to the inside trim, different rooms can have different finishes. I’ll have the same 8″ tall baseboard throughout the house.  The window casings upstairs will be a picture frame type casing. And it’s totally fine.

Tips on Choosing Crown Molding and Baseboards

The height of the molding is determined by the height of the ceiling.

For an 8 foot ceiling, the suggested molding height is 2-1/2″ to 6″ tall.

Ceilings that are 9′ and up can handle a larger crown.

Also, remember to keep the crown molding in proportion to the baseboards. The general rule of thumb is the taller the baseboard, the taller the crown.

Use Photos To Show The Subs What You Like

Communication is key when it comes to letting the trim guy (or whatever subcontractor you’re working with) know exactly what you want.

I find photos of what I want so that I can show the subs. It sure beats trying to describe the look I’m going for. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

For instance, there are many different types of coffered ceilings. A photo of the look you want leaves no room for error.

After I show the photo to the subcontractor, I text it to his phone so they’ll have it for reference.

What’s Next?

I made a final decision on garage doors yesterday. Of course, I picked out the most expensive garage door so I went back to the drawing board and designed one that wasn’t as expensive.

When it comes to splurging or saving, a garage door is not a place I want to go crazy with. Yes, I want a nice, insulated garage door with windows.

However, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere so I tried to stay within budget on this. (It’s about the only thing that hasn’t gone over-budget!)

Exterior siding should begin next week. The custom cabinet guy is hard at work on the cabinets and I need to choose the tile for the bathrooms, etc.

This Week I’m Crushing On . . .

Here are a few things I’m crushing on this week! As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Just click the pic to shop straight from this post!





Alli loves her southern, country lifestyle. Whether she's decorating her new modern farmhouse or cooking up a storm for her family, Alli is all about living her best life now and spoiling her grandkids! She enjoys traveling, reading, Duke basketball, photography, and all things coastal. Alli wants to be a beach bum when she grows up.

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