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  • Writer's pictureTyler Kirk

What Your Trim Can Say About Your House: Casing

Does your trim really matter? After all, isn't it simply there to bridge the gaps in the drywall?

Your trim ABSOLUTELY makes a HUGE difference in the aesthetics and value in your home! Trim that is poorly installed, worn down, or out of date, can cheapen a space, and end up making your home look more like a motel, than the beautiful living space of your dreams. So, what are some things that can be done with your trim to increase the value of your home, and make it truly stand out?

First off, let's look at the basics. What are the different types of trim you may use in your home? And what order should they be installed in? (Yes it does matter!) Then we'll look at how to pick the right trim for your unique house.

There are 5 basic types of interior trim that we will focus on; Casing, baseboard, crown, chair rail and wainscoting. Each of them serves a unique and valuable purpose both functionally, and aesthetically. It is also important to note, that whatever style you go with for your home, should be consistent. You want all the types of trim you use, to be of the same style. Otherwise your house might start to look like a museum of architecture!

We will cover each type, in depth over the next few blog posts, so stay tuned!

In this post we will look at the first type of trim that is usually installed in most homes.


Casing is the trim that goes around your windows and doors. Its function is to bridge the unfinished space between the door/window jamb and the finished drywall, and it is usually the first type of trim to be installed in a home. This is because on doors, the casing goes right to the floor, and the baseboard butts up to it. (More on that later.)

There are several different styles of casing that can be used. Depending on the era of your home, your casing may differ even with other homes in your neighborhood.

One style, pictured here involves rosettes (The circle pieces on the top corners.) and plinth blocks. (The feet at the bottom between the casing and the floor.) This type of style is commonly found in homes built in the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Another similar style involves a more classical entablature on the horizontal part of the door casing, rather than casing and rosettes. This is typically found more in homes built in the early 1800's. This style is often, but not always, found with plinth blocks as well.

Typically, when using casing of the above styles in a home, you will see the windows being trimmed with a sill and apron along the bottom, instead of regular casing. The sill and apron style below windows is usually used whether the top has an entablature or rosettes.

Colonial Revival style casing has roots in the 1500-1600's. It has, however, seen a more modern revival and is probably the most commonly seen style from the past few decades. Granted, the colonial revival trim we see nowadays is not nearly as intricate as it was back in the colonial era. (The White House is an example of colonial architecture.)

Modern colonial trim is far less intricate than the rosettes, entablature, plinth based casing that we previously discussed. It features the same material all the way around the door or window and has a "ripple" type of look to it. It can vary in width. Often, with colonial revival casing, the wider the casing (to an extent), the the more ornate your room will look!

Modern style casing tends to be much simpler than the rest. The focus of this era seems to be on sharp lines and square corners. There is, however variation within that square modern box, so to speak. As seen below, slightly different profiles, and installation methods can offer a unique look.

Casing is often the most important aspect of your trim aesthetically. It is typically right at eye level, and it is the first thing you see whenever you enter or exit a room. It is also important that this type of trim be installed before all others, as it helps set the boundaries of where the other trim types will line up. There are many other styles and variances within these styles, but in this post we've covered the main ones.

Our next post will focus on the type that is usually installed second; Baseboard.

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