Dos & Don'ts

How to Outline Your Walls With Trim

When a design needs just one more finishing touch, trims get the job done. Trims often graze the border of window treatments, but they can be used for so much more, including one of our favorite techniques: outlining a room. Here are tips for utilizing tape and trim to line the various corners of your living space.

1. Play With Texture

Madrid Home of Carolina Herrera de Baez - William Waldron/OTTO
William Waldron/OTTO

Textured tape trim accented with nail heads frames a gracious entryway in the Madrid home of Carolina Herrera de Baez. The neutral beige tone brings a touch of reserve to a bright pink wall, and pairs with the neutral accents in the adjacent room.

Pro tip: When playing with textured trim, look for options that don’t compete with the casings and moldings. Too much detail can overshadow significant architectural elements.

2. Commit to Completeness

Stephan Julliard
Stephan Julliard

Putting the same trim to multiple uses can give depth to a monochrome space and make it feel pleasingly complete. In this glamorous suite at the Saint James Paris, designer Bambi Sloan riffs on legendary French decorator Madeleine Castaing, installing leopard carpet underfoot and repeating an elegant trim on the wall panels, curtains and tie backs.

Pro tip: Trimming the perimeter of a room is lovely, but outlining every wall panel, window and baseboard amplifies the impact.

3. Think Architecturally

Office with Tape Trim Border
Francesco Lagnese

Running just under the crown and above the baseboard in this office by Gen Sohr of Pencil and Paper Co., a bold Greek key border (in the form of Schumacher’s Matrix Tape) has the effect of a stately architectural element.

Pro Tip: Precise application helps sell the architectural effect. Here, the tape has been carefully trimmed to run continuously in the narrow space between the top of the window and the crown molding.

4. Try a Layered Look

Wall with Colorful Tape Trim
Stephan Julliard

At her newly opened Paris gallery, designer Laura Gonzalez layered Jacobsen Tape with Tarnby Stripe woven fabric on the walls for maximum pattern-on-pattern impact. The chair features Schumacher’s The Wave Velvet.

Pro Tip: Apply tape trim over wallpaper (or a paper-backed fabric) to give any room an added touch of customization. Where a solid grosgrain tape would lend a tailored feel, a patterned tape can take a scheme delightfully over the top.

Schumacher offers a variety of trims—available in dozens of patterns, textures and scales—to satisfy any design need.

Shop our full selection of trims and tapes >

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