In most situations people don’t pay attention to their baseboards beyond wiping them down a few times a year. However if you’re changing the look of your home, you may want to determine whether your baseboards should be replaced.
If you want your contemporary home to take on a more old-style look, molding is one way to add architectural character without spending a lot of money. Crown molding, window and door frames and baseboards can be replaced in just a few days. The molding in this photo is common in older homes. It is about twice the height of newer baseboards and has more character along the top.
Painted molding such as this will work with virtually any floor, even wood as you can see from the photo. It’s more important that your molding is consistent throughout the house than that it matches your floors. White painted molding – generally in a glossier finish than the wall paint – has a classic look that sets off a traditional decorating style.
In modern homes, baseboards are better when they’re simpler and less noticeable. Often homes with tile floors will have baseboards actually created from the tile cut into three or four inch strips. That way the baseboard has a natural connection to the look of the floor and doesn’t demand attention. This style works well with the clean lines of modern furniture.
What look do you want your home to have? As you plan, consider details such as baseboards to ensure that your rooms are design-consistent throughout your home.