Door trim ideas – 8 ways to upgrade your home's door frames that prove attention to detail pays off

Make a statement with these door trim ideas so that this often overlooked detail can become a defining feature of your design

a dining room with chunky door trim
(Image credit: Katie Charlotte. Design: Cortney Bishop Designs)

Door trim ideas are surprisingly exciting. You might not have traditionally spent a lot of time considering how your door's architrave, trim or molding looks beyond the basic, but getting creative with this design detail can really elevate a space into something special. 

So what can you do with door trim? Whether it's for an internal door or opening, or to act as a feature closet door idea, for example, there's plenty of inspiration out there for ways to make door trims steal the scene. 

From playing with paint and color to specifying door trims using luxurious materials, let these 8 examples of inspiring door trims change how you see this element of your interior scheme. 

8 door trim ideas that are anything but ordinary 

Unless you're completely renovating your home, it's common to stick with the standard door trim you inherit. If you're lucky, this will be something you love, but that's not always the case. In new build homes, door trim can be characterless, while in period properties, you can bet even original door trims will be suffocating under layers and layers of paint. 

When it comes to attention to detail, the pay off for focusing on door trims can be great. After all, they frame the vistas throughout your home, helping entice the eye into adjoining spaces, and making your rooms feel bigger. 

1. Paint a feature door trim 

a room with a blue door and teal door trim

(Image credit: Josh Thornton. Design: Summer Thornton Design)

Your first thought for creating a feature door trim will undoubtedly be paint, but you don't have to go wild with paint effects to make a statement. Consider the range of paint ideas available to you, from using a bold contrast color to experimenting with different paint finishes.

In the design of this stylish kid's playroom created by Summer Thornton Design, a gloss door and tonal color trim creates an interesting, modern contrast for the design. 

'The sheen of gloss grabs the eye, and matte is easy on the eye,' explains Chicago-based designer Summer Thornton. 'When paired together (particularly in bold colors), it gives the eye both areas of interest and relief. I love to do boldly colorful high-gloss doors because they're so frequently interacted with. When you reach for the knob on the door, you're literally reaching out and almost touching that liquid-wet-looking gloss.' 

2. Bring back the wallpaper border 

a door with a wallpaper border

(Image credit: Susie Atkinson)

If you’d rather not pick up the paint brush, another way to decorate your trim is with a border – and interior designer Susie Atkinson’s latest launch is set to revolutionize the way you might have previously thought about borders.

‘Borders have been used for many years to elevate the simplest of rooms, adding detail and delight in an easy, affordable way,’ says Susie. ‘They are less of a commitment than wallpapering the whole room, but still bring that color and interest to walls adding an accent to contrast or compliment a room.’

Introduce this wallpaper idea around skirting boards and doorways to accentuate the effect of the trim you have in a room, or you can even use them to mimic trim by creating panels on the walls or chair rails. ‘The possibilities are endless,’ says Susie. ‘I’m excited to bring borders back!’

3. Add character with your choice 

a bedroom with a bevelled door trim

(Image credit: Max Burkhalter. Design: MKCA)

If you choose the right door trim idea, you can add character through this detail, without it overtaking the rest of the space. In decorating an apartment in New York, architect Michael K. Chen of MKCA, a bevelled trim used around the doors to add a luxe finish to the space. 

'The couple had very clear ideas about how they wanted to live, and how certain rooms should function,' explains Michael, 'but were interested in an approach and an aesthetic that was more adventurous and expressive, but not kooky.' 

4. Choose low profile trims for a minimalist look 

an internal door with a low profile trim

(Image credit: Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen. Design: Norm Architects)

Standard door trims can feel a little un-purposeful. Neither large enough to make an impact, nor thin enough to recede into the background, they're ideally for goldilocks-style homes, but not for those looking to make an impression. 

In this home by Norm Architects, narrow, floor-to-ceiling doors have been combined with fine door trims for a modern look. 

'Internal doors leading from the main living room into the bedrooms and bathrooms are designed as high slender wooden cabinet doors to take up as little space as possible in the small bedrooms,' explains Norm Architect's Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen. 'Their height visually stretches the sense of space and makes the ceiling height appear more spacious.'

5. Or go chunky with trims

a dining room with chunky door trim

(Image credit: Katie Charlotte. Design: Cortney Bishop Designs)

Alternatively, supersizing your door trim is another effective way to make it a feature of your space. 

'The trim work is a work of art in this home,' explains interior designer Cortney Bishop of Cortney Bishop Design. 'We wanted to showcase the design and craftsmanship as part of the design story.' 

In this home, the oversized trim is used throughout, including this formal dining room, and connects the separate rooms for a cohesive look, along with a shade of subtle sage green. 'The color we chose was a fundamental design decision and is used throughout the home,' says Cortney. 

6. Specify marble for a luxury look 

marble trim around a door

(Image credit: Mikhail Loskutov. Design: Tim Veresnovsky)

Marble used as trim has become a huge interior design trend for luxury properties, an opulent alternative to traditional timber trims. Marble is most spectacularly used around open doorways, as it would be trickier to hang a door on a marble-clad wall, but it serves as a way to frame the vista from one space to another and highlight the architecture of your room. 

'I love accent details,' says interior designer Tim Veresnovsky of this apartment design. 'The marble elevates what is otherwise a very simple design into something that feels very special.'

7. Use tile for a trim in the bathroom 

a bathroom with a tile trim around the door

(Image credit: Brian Ferry. Design: Home Studios)

Why not adapt the style of door trim idea you use to the room it's used in?

In the principal bathroom of this New York apartment, Home Studios used a green mosaic tile trim to outline key features of the space, including the Arabescato Classico vanity and the door, creating curved corners for a fresh take on this bathroom tile idea. The result? A space that's been given a great deal of seemingly built-in character with just a very easy design choice. 

8. Go trimless to help disguise a door 

a trimless door disguised into a wall

(Image credit: Note Design Studio)

Sometimes, the best door trim idea is not trim at all. There's a growing trend for hidden internal doors in interiors, helping to disguise the likes of hallway closets, ensuite bathrooms, or laundry rooms in kitchens, and this can be easily achieved with a flush door style. 

In this pastel apartment design, Note Design Studio incorporated a trimless hidden door into a wall paneling idea in the bedroom, streamlining the overall look so that a minimalist style of decor could be retained in the space. 

Should your trim match your doors?

The color you choose to paint your trim versus your door and walls all depends on the aim of your design scheme. 

There's a modern trend for 'color drenching' that sees all elements of a room painted the same color, which can help your door and door trim be less of a prominent design feature. 

a bedroom painted in all sage green

(Image credit: Ben Waterhouse. Design: ALL & NXTHING)

On the other hand, choosing a contrast door and trim can make this element more of a feature in your space. The trim doesn't have to be the same color as the wall either - all three can be different for more interesting color scheme. 

Luke Arthur Wells
Freelancer writer

Luke Arthur Wells is a freelance design writer, award-winning interiors blogger and stylist, known for neutral, textural spaces with a luxury twist. He's worked with some of the UK's top design brands, counting the likes of Tom Dixon Studio as regular collaborators and his work has been featured in print and online in publications ranging from Domino Magazine to The Sunday Times. He's a hands-on type of interiors expert too, contributing practical renovation advice and DIY tutorials to a number of magazines, as well as to his own readers and followers via his blog and social media. He might currently be renovating a small Victorian house in England, but he dreams of light, spacious, neutral homes on the West Coast. 

With contributions from