17 Types of Window Trim Styles
- Prairie Style Window Trim
- Craftsman Style Window Trim
- Arts and Crafts Style Window Trim
- Casement Window Trim
- Rosette Window Trim
- Highlands Window Trim
- Coastal Window Trim
- Flat Window Trim
- Bold Window Trim
- Layered Window Trim
- Modern Window Trim
- Farmhouse Window Trim
- Simple Window Trim
- Stucco Window Trim
- Wooden Window Trim
- Metal Window Trim
- Vinyl Window Trim
Window trim is one of those details you might not first consider when designing a new home. However, window trim is a critical piece of a home’s exterior and interior design, as it helps shape the character of the architecture. Because of its importance, you’ll want to choose a style that matches your design goals.
What is Window Trim?Before diving into the many different window trim styles, it’s essential to understand what window trim is and how it compares to casing and molding.
Window trim is the material that surrounds a window frame. It is for both functional and decorative purposes. Its main function is to seal the gap between the window frame and the wall and to cover the caulk. This has the benefit of increasing your home’s insulation, prohibiting bugs from crawling through, and preventing air drafts.
What’s the Difference Between a Window Frame and a Window Trim?There’s a major distinction between the window frame and the window trim, as they are two different parts of a window. When you have a replacement window and remove the old window, the trim stays attached to the wall and surrounds the window opening.
Window seals the window and wall together on both the interior and exterior of a home or building. However, exterior window trim is often made with a different material than interior window trim. This is because outside window trim has to withstand the elements, so it needs to be a durable, strong, and long-lasting—common exterior trim material includes solid wood, vinyl, metal, or stucco. Interior window trim, on the other hand, can be made with different materials that don’t need to withstand the elements, such as composite, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), or wood.
Aesthetically, window trim is a beautiful aspect of a home’s interior and exterior design, and serves as a key element to the overall character and style of the architecture. Many window trim styles exist—each with its own unique characteristics.
What is the Difference Between Molding and Trim?Trim isn’t just about adorning window openings—it can also frame door openings, serve as baseboards, or create a decorative finish between the ceiling and the wall. Trim can also be referred to as molding. And while many use the terms interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two.
Molding is a type of trim that describes a trim that is more elaborate and ornamental in appearance. It is often wider and has a pronounced profile. Molding is more often used to describe the trim bordering the wall and ceiling (such as crown molding) or an elaborate baseboard, and isn’t often used to describe the window trim.
For example, you probably won’t come across the term window molding unless the window trim is especially large and artistic. Window trim and window casing is more commonly used to describe the material framing the window opening.
Either way, when speaking with a window manufacturer or home builder, they’ll understand what you mean if you use either of these terms.
What is the Difference Between Window Casing and Trim?Casing is another term you’ll often hear used interchangeably with trim. In fact, it’s more likely for you to hear window casing than window molding, as we mentioned above. This is because casing is a type of trim, much like molding, but it is used to describe the trim around window and door openings.
In this way, trim and casing are essentially the same thing; casing is simply more descriptive and specific to a type of trim. You can use these words interchangeably, but again, window trim or even door trim are the more common terms.
17 Types of Window Trim StylesNow that we’ve covered what window trim is and its functional purpose, let’s talk about the different styles you can choose to customize the design of your home.
1. Prairie Style Window TrimOne aspect of prairie-style architecture is the beautiful horizontal lines of windows. The trim that surrounds these windows is typically wide and pronounced. It may feature a rounded edge that curves out from the trim or overlapping lines. The vertical window trim may or may not be thinner than the horizontal trim, however it is common for the horizontal beams to be wider and more elaborate than the vertical trim.
Prairie style windows are almost always wood for both exterior window trim and interior wood trim. They are a great example of beautiful wood windows that highlight the natural beauty of the wood grain. The trim on the interior is usually stained to complement the intrinsic figure of the wood, whereas exterior prairie style window trim is often painted a color that contrasts and complements the home’s exterior design. These colors are often neutral, such as dark green, brown, or grey tones, and they add an appealing touch to the windows.
If you want window trim that will stand out with pronounced artistic details, then prairie style window trim may be perfect for your home. It isn’t just for prairie style homes, either—it also works well with rustic, farmhouse, western, ranch, and traditional style homes.
2. Craftsman Style Window TrimCraftsman style window trim can vary in appearance and interior design style. No matter the finished look of the trim, the craftsman style is defined by a thick and noticeable trim around the window. If you need window trim ideas, several different craftsman style window trim designs may inspire your next project.
An essential element of the craftsman style is a look that stands out, therefore, it’s common for the window trim to be painted on the interior and exterior. Compared to the prairie style, which is more neutral, the craftsman style window trim can be bold in color—no matter whether you want black windows, traditional white trim, or a dark blue window trim. Another common aspect of craftsman style window trim is an elaborate header that is thicker and more pronounced than the rest of the window trim.
As you can see, there is variance and flexibility with this style, making it a great choice no matter your interior or architectural design style.
3. Arts and Crafts Style Window TrimThe arts and crafts style is quite similar to craftsman style, and they share many similar characteristics, such as a belief in quality craftsmanship and honoring the inherent beauty of the material. Because of the focus on craftsmanship, there is more opportunity for unique creative expression in the trim work.
The difference between the two is that the arts and crafts style window trim is gentler and simpler than the craftsman style. It often features a subtle lip at the top of the header, on the edges of the vertical frame, and another lip where the trim meets the window frame all around the window opening.
This trim style is quite popular, and is found in traditional style homes, as well as contemporary and mid-century style homes. That said, its simple elegance fits well with a variety of interior and architectural design styles.
4. Casement Window TrimA casement window differs from traditional windows that open via the sash moving up or down. Instead, it opens outward and away from the house. Casement windows are hinged on one side and feature a crank or handle that you turn to open the window.
Because of their unique design, casement windows a specific window trim to operate properly. This makes the casement window trim less of a style and more of a functional trim used for casement windows. It is typically thinner and less decorative than other window trim styles, most noticeably on the bottom rail where the handle is positioned. Though the header may be large and more decorative.
5. Rosette Window TrimThe rosette window trim style is an historic and traditional design often found in the interior of older Victorian homes. It features a wide and pronounced wood trim that highlights natural wood grains. That said, the trim colors for this style can vary, as you can have traditional white trim or elegant dark blue trim. However, the most distinctive element of this style is the rosette shapes in the corners of the window trim.
This shape is an indented or protruding circle with two smaller indented circles in its middle. It perfectly resembles the ripples caused by a raindrop hitting a puddle of water.
As a beautiful, historic, and elegant design, the rosette window trim style is perfect for traditional, shabby chic, English countryside, Victorian, and cottagecore interior design styles.
6. Highlands Window TrimThe highlands window trim is an interior window design with a focus on the header. As a whole, the window trim features simple with clean lines, while the vertical trim and bottom rail are thin and unobtrusive.
Highlands window trim headers are wider and more elaborate than the rest of the trim. It flares out on the top edges, making the top of the header vertically longer than the bottom rail. In other words, the top of the header juts outs and is then cut on a diagonal down toward the window opening, which creates a subtle and intricate design element.
The highlands window style is often a white trim, and is commonly found in farmhouses or traditional-style homes. Its simple and natural beauty makes it a great fit for rustic, modern farmhouse, shabby chic, and cottagecore style homes.
7. Coastal Window TrimThe coastal style is all about enhancing the elements of the sea, often using beige tones, home decor from the beach, and wooden furnishings. The coastal style seeks to create a laidback and simple experience that makes you feel relaxed and appreciative of nature's beauty.
With this in mind, interior coastal window trim highlights the beauty found outside of the window. Because of this, the trim is thin and flat and doesn’t have many intricate details that could distract from the outside view. What differentiates this style from other modern styles is that the header and bottom rail are wider than the vertical trim.
The simplistic style of coastal window trim makes it a perfect choice for a variety of design styles, such as modern, minimalist, mid-century, California coastal, colonial, transitional, traditional, and more.
8. Flat Window TrimIf you’re looking for exterior window trim that is modern and simple in design, the flat window trim style may be the ideal fit for your home. As the name describes, this trim is flat without any flared or rounded edges. It features clean lines, and can be as thin or as wide as you’d like.
The flat window trim is a versatile style, and is a great starting point if you’re looking for exterior window trim ideas. There are plenty of customization with this window trim style, making it a great choice for custom windows. It is one of the most popular window trim styles for new homes, making it perfect for modern, minimalist, mid-century, contemporary, and transitional style designs.
9. Bold Window TrimNo matter the exact style of trim you choose for your exterior windows, you always have the option to make it bold. Window trim is considered “bold” when it has a bright, eye-catching paint color or features a noticeable, artistic design. It is often wide, and may have flared edges or lips. A pronounced window sill and shutters are also common additions to this look.
Bold window trim can beautifully complement and add to the architecture of your home. If you want your home to stand out, you can paint your bold window trim a color that contrasts with your home’s exterior color. For example, a white home with a dark red window trim creates a bold and impressionable look.
In essence, this style is all about appearances and making a lasting impression. Because of this, it can fit any design style with the same goals.
10. Layered Window TrimAnother popular exterior window trim style is layered window trim, which features an overlapping design that creates edges and dimensions in the window casing. In contrast to the flat window trim, this style is edged, so there are intricate details all around the frame.
This layering creates an effect that highlights the design of the windows and home. This makes it a great style to consider if your home has unique architecture that you would like to emphasize.
As a more traditional design element, this style blends seamlessly with a variety of design styles, such as mid-century, transitional, farmhouse, cottage, rustic, and southwestern.
11. Modern Window TrimModern window trim is very similar to the flat window trim style, but is less noticeable and blends in with the design of the home. In essence, this trim doesn’t stand out, but serves to complement the simple and clean lines of a modern home.
Aspects of modern architecture are large picture windows, clean edges and straight lines. Modern window trim complements these aspects, rather than drawing attention away from them. Because of this, they are usually thin and lack intricate detail.
However, you can still make modern window trim stand out with whatever trim color you choose. For example, black windows are a modern trend that features elegant and crisp black trim to complement the minimalist style of the home.
12. Farmhouse Window TrimFarmhouse architecture emphasizes simple detailing, wrap-around porches, and open floor plans. There is quite a bit of variance in the farmhouse style, and it can range from a more traditional look to a modern design complete with large windows and clean lines.
Because of the architectural diversity, farmhouse window trim will match the style your home most leans. That said, it is often used for big windows and features wide trim that is large and noticeable. It may or may not include window shutters, which are a great addition to traditional and classic farmhouse architecture.
Because this window trim style has quite a bit of flexibility, you can customize it in both color and texture so that it perfectly matches your home’s overall design.
13. Simple Window TrimSimple trim resembles modern window trim, as it’s designed to match the home’s siding. In this, it’s hardly noticeable, which creates a simple and streamlined design. Some homeowners include modern shutters to complement the simple design and add a bit more detail to the home.
If you prefer modern architecture that highlights minimalist or industrial design styles, the simple window trim style may be the perfect addition to your modern home. Its flat and thin trim can be a shade different than the home’s exterior color, or it could be the exact color. As with anything in life, though, you can bend the “style rules” and choose to make your simple window trim a more eye-catching color, and it would still fall under the category of simple window trim.
14. Stucco Window TrimIf you want to create an elaborate exterior window trim design, you’ll be happy to hear about stucco window trim. Stucco is a material used on the exterior of a home to create grandiose design elements, such as pillars and statues.
Stucco has a Styrofoam core, and is layered with fiberglass mesh and a modified cement coating. It appears just like ornate concrete trim, but at a tenth of the price and weight. Plus, it’s an excellent exterior window trim option because it doesn’t rot, warp, or become infested like wood trim can. This means it has much less upkeep, requiring much less trim maintenance throughout the years.
Stucco window trim is perfect for a variety of architectural design styles, including French, Greek revival, Mediterranean, Spanish, Tuscan, and Victorian.
15. Wooden Window TrimWood trim is a classic window trim material for both interior window trim and exterior window trim. Wood creates a comforting and rustic feel that is perfect for rustic farmhouse, mountain, and country-style homes.
While wood is long-lasting and durable, it does require more upkeep and regular trim work than other trim materials. This is because wood is a natural resource, and will naturally start to break down and decompose. However, this is preventable by using high-quality treated wood and using a protective wood stain to seal out moisture.
Interior wood trim still requires upkeep and painting, but it is much longer lasting than exterior wood trim.
16. Metal Window TrimAluminum and steel window trim are becoming increasingly popular in modern, minimalist, and industrial-style homes. Metal window trim is more common on commercial buildings, as it adds security and durability that other materials can’t match.
Metal trim is almost always around exterior door and window openings, and isn’t often used for interior trim work.
17. Vinyl Window TrimThe majority of new homes that are not custom designed have vinyl exterior window trim, as it’s affordable, durable, and long-lasting. It can withstand the elements, and requires less upkeep than wood.
That said, there is less flexibility in the design of vinyl window trim, as it has fewer customization options. It is almost always white trim, so there are fewer color options. Moreover, vinyl is difficult to paint, so you can’t change the trim colors as easily as you can with wood or metal.
Customize Your Window Trim with Rustica Today!Designing custom windows is an exciting and creative process. One aspect to consider with your custom windows is the existing trim style, as you’ll want to make sure your window frame matches the trim.
With Rustica’s in-depth customization options, it will be easy to design your new or replacement windows to match your home’s trim. If you’re ready to create your custom windows, contact Rustica’s design team today to get started!