Decorating & Design

Beautiful Baseboards

A friend of mine is looking for a house and recently invited me to check out a potential place. It was a cute, three-bedroom Victorian with bright, spacious rooms and warm hardwood flooring, but one thing struck me as particularly strange: all the baseboards in the living and dining rooms had been removed, leaving an unsightly gap between the drywall and the floor. Basically, it looked like a face with no eyebrows — something was definitely missing. It got me thinking of the myriad ways that my friend, who doesn’t like a lot of fuss, could use baseboards to add character to the house. Here are five options:

Sometimes simple is best, like the painted white square-cut baseboards in Bonnie Brooks’ understated urban loft.

Similarly minimal but much warmer, designer Ashley Botten and her photographer husband Christopher Wahl recessed hardwood baseboards into the wall for a clean but casual look in their home. The reveal above the baseboards is particularly sharp.

The unfinished baseboards in the Georgian Bay cottage of Juli Daoust and John Baker — the couple who run Toronto’s Mjölk — have a rustic charm.

Traditional, unpainted wood mouldings will never go out of style.

Stylist Sasha Seymour faced her kitchen cabinet toekicks in brass, doubling as vintage-looking baseboards. I like how the metal shimmers against the herringbone floors.

See our Painted Trim photo gallery for even more inspiration.

Photo credits:
1. House & Home November 2011 issue, photography by Virginia Macdonald
2. House & Home June 2011 issue, photography by Christopher Wahl
3. House & Home June 2011 issue, photography by Stacey Brandford
4. House & Home May 2012 issue, photography by Angus Fergusson
5. House & Home September 2011 issue, photography by Michael Graydon