With my experience designing dozens of residential interior spaces, I work with baseboards on a regular basis. Since there are many types and styles of baseboards, I want to share my five favorite baseboard mouldings, depending on the design of your space.
Baseboards serve three purposes:
- provide a transition between the flooring and the wall
- protect the wall from damage
- offer decorative style
When choosing any moulding, it's important to consider the look and feel your space. Not only should the moulding you choose fit your preference, it should fit the style of your home. This is why I've categorized my favorite mouldings by style.
Modern or Transitional: Rectangular Baseboard
I usually specify 3/4" thick by 4" or 5" high rectangular solid wood baseboard. This baseboard can be painted or have a natural or stained wood grain finish and complements almost any space. This is my go-to baseboard for most interior spaces.
Sleek Modern: Recessed Baseboard
Much of my work and tastes lean towards modern, so another version of the rectangular base I often use consists of installing baseboard so that it is recessed, with a small "reveal" above, as the image shows. This style of baseboard provides a very clean look, but it does come with a bit more labor. Since the baseboard is aligned with the wall, this style very functional with barn doors, so the door does not have to bypass a baseboard that stands proud of the wall.
Pre-War, Transitional or Traditional: Decorative Baseboard
For pre-war, transitional or traditional styled interiors, I love to use Dykes 355 baseboard for 8' to 8.5' ceilings, or something like Walzcraft 1829 for higher spaces. The ogee (an "S" shaped profile) on top is graceful and provides attractive proportions that accent these spaces well.
Modern or Transitional: Rectangular Baseboard with a Little Flourish
One more option for rectangular baseboards, especially in traditional or modern spaces, is to include a cut-out on top for added ornamentation. This style, shown in my portfolio photo at the top of this post, uses the same 3/4" thick by 4" or 5" high rectangular solid wood baseboard but with a little cut-out on top. This feature adds a little flourish and a shadow line to the baseboards, and again, it can be painted or have a natural or stained wood grain finish.
High Ceiling Heights: Tall Rectangular Baseboard
For modern spaces with high ceilings, sometimes clients want something a little different. In these cases, a taller version of the regular rectangular baseboard does a great job of adding elegance to interior spaces. 3/4" thick by 7", 9" or higher rectangular solid wood baseboard works perfectly here. Again, baseboards can be painted or have a natural or stained wood grain finish.
What Not to Do:
Please do not use door casing, clamshell or rubber baseboard for a space that's visually important to you. While those materials do serve a purpose in spaces like a garage or closet, using them in open interior spaces is an eyesore to a designer!
Renovating or redesigning any room in your home is an exciting project, and it's easy to find inspiration and ideas for important aspects like paint colors, furniture styles, wall placements and more. Just don't forget that the small details in a room are just as important as the larger ones! Take time to plan your baseboard style and ensure that the material you want meshes well with the rest of your room. After all, you want to love everything about this space, not just the lighting and throw pillows!