Finishing Touches: 5 Ways Designers Use Trim Pieces To Create Bespoke Design


Stone, glass, and ceramic trim pieces are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. At the most basic level, these pieces offer a functional way to finish the edge of a field of tile. However, in the hands of a talented designer, they can be used in a wide variety of ways to add a unique touch that will amplify the level of the décor. Read on to discover some inspiring examples:

1. Mixed-Medium Trim: Adding accents of different types of materials creates a room with subtle nuance. This technique takes its cue from fashion, where adding a piece of jewelry or a colorful pocket square can make the outfit.

In this bath design by Peter Sinnott IV in the 2015 Kips Bay Show House, a Glass Modern liner adds a playful aspect when paired with the Carrara Contemporary rail. It’s an accent that looks well thought out, but still has a natural flow. Mixing the two different materials adds depth and a designer touch to this room.

When speaking of his design, Peter notes, “The modern linear glass tile is a perfect counter-point to the timeless quality of AKDO’s marble. The horizontal detail of the blue tile draws your eyes through the space and sets your sightline at different levels. Juxtaposing marble and glass gives the tile detail added reflectivity, which your eye notices at varying heights. The linear glass band on the shower wall acts as a frame for the design of the room—creating a living piece of art.”


Design by Peter Sinnott IV in the Kips Bay Show House, featuring Carrara contemporary rail with a glass modern liner


Close up of the design by Peter Sinnott IV in the Kips Bay Show House, featuring Carrara Contemporary rail with a glass modern liner

2. Elevating Simple Material: Classics are ever-popular for a simple reason: they will always look fabulous. However many designers strive to create special spaces for their clients that go beyond the expected. Trim can add fresh interest to otherwise standard products.

This transitional shower design utilizes base moldings, narrow liners, and classic rails throughout, to elevate an otherwise simple subway tile installation. These carefully placed enhancements result in a sophisticated, distinctively tailored space.


12” Base Molding Carrara and Narrow Liner Carrara as seen in the Traditional Home Santa Barbara Showhouse designed by Ryan Brown Designs

3. To Define a Space: Open concepts are more popular than ever, but can leave a space feeling one-dimensional. Insets of trim pieces can create distinctive spaces within the open concept without the need for walls or furniture.

In the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Clive Christian used this Stripe Liner in Blue Lagos to outline the breakfast area in the dining room. The added definition helps create more of an organic flow from the dining area into the living area.


2016 Kips Bay Decorator Show House by Clive Christian, featuring the Stripe Liner in Blue Lagos

4. To Unify a Space. Bold patterns certainly help create dynamic rooms, but designers know where to create visual stimulus and when to tone it down. Using trim pieces in matching materials can help avoid introducing yet another element into an already exciting space.

In this modern bathroom, the bold mosaic wall acts as wallpaper. A Carrara liner was used to create a custom-framed mirror, which in turn gives the space a consistency while letting the graphic pattern shine.


12″ Grand Molding Carrara

5. To Add Grandeur: Small details are sometimes what make the biggest impact. Using punches of bold trim as an architectural detail can create drama and grand elegance.

Charles Pavarini V created a rich, luscious bathroom for the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. The Chocolate Glass Mosaic backsplash extends almost to the ceiling and is capped with a stack of four Narrow liners, resulting in a grand focal point. Here, the liners are an integral part of the room’s design as they act as an architectural detail, creating a striking, luxurious feel that speaks to the designer’s rich aesthetic.


Bath design by Charles Pavarini for the 2015 Kips Bay Show House, featuring AKDO’s Narrow Liners on top of Chocolate Glass Mosaic


Grand bath design created by Charles Pavarini, using a combination of Chocolate Glass Mosaic and a Narrow Liner for upscale detail, in the 2015 Kips Bay Show House

We love seeing the creative ways designers add personal touches to the spaces they design. Using stone moldings not only rounds out the look of these spaces, but also provides a touch of individuality to each. Which of these techniques would you use to create a unique room?


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