Baseboards are found in almost every house, but do you know what their purpose is? Aside from adding another aesthetic element to your home, baseboards actually serve a variety of other purposes to homeowners.
In case you weren’t aware of just how useful baseboards are, let’s go over their true purpose and look at some of the hottest baseboard design ideas for farmhouses as well.
What is a Baseboard?
A baseboard is defined as a piece of narrow wood that runs the length of the base of an interior wall. Most homes have baseboards lining the bottom of almost every single room in the home. They aren’t just there to be fancy or add stylistic depth to your home, however.
If you were to remove the baseboard in your home you would probably be greeted by an unsightly gap between the floor and the wall. This is called an expansion gap and it’s a necessary feature to include when building a home. The expansion gap allows for hardwood floors to expand and contract freely when exposed to moisture, as they so often do.
Aside from allowing hardwood floors to freely expand, the expansion gap between your floor and the walls also allows for the slightly shifting and leaning of walls that can happen if a home is built on unsteady soil. This gap is not only ugly, it traps dirt and can even be a health hazard if your child happens to catch his or her toe in it while walking. The dirt that gets trapped in the expansion gap can be very hard to get out, so that’s where baseboards come in.
Baseboards provide a stopper for dirt debris that would otherwise get packed in between your floor and the walls. It also hides the ugly expansion gap and can even make your walls appear straighter if they weren’t installed as straight as can be, a common occurrence in home construction.
Baseboard protects the bottom of the walls by lining it with a more durable material than drywall. The bottom of your walls are the most vulnerable to damage, so this is crucial to preventing damage. Without a baseboard, spills could easily seep into the drywall and spread up your walls, yet another catastrophe that baseboards help to prevent.
What Makes Farmhouse Baseboards Different?
Farmhouse baseboards differ from regular baseboards in that they are designed according to classic farmhouse decor. They all typically possess some key characteristics that one can positively identify as farmhouse style.
For starters, farmhouse decor is really basic. That’s not to say it can’t look elegant or sophisticated, but it doesn’t tend to be very intricate. Simple, clean lines are a staple, and traditional colors are usually preferred. Farmhouse baseboards might also be a bit thicker than the average baseboard.
Farmhouse Baseboards Design Ideas
Colonial or New England Colonial is one of the best choices for a farmhouse baseboard. This style draws its influence from Colonial times when certain designs were commonly used. It generally features a bottom rounded edge with a smooth middle board and some clean linework up top. Colonial-style baseboards are known for being especially simplistic in their design and look best in white or wooden color.
Modern-style farmhouse baseboards can be some of the most simplistic. As we have slowly migrated away from intricate, complex plans in interior design, we’re seeing a move back towards non-complicated designs.
Nowhere will you find a better example of this than with the modern farmhouse baseboard. Bringing a contemporary touch to a farmhouse-style home, this baseboard features no special designs or patterns, only a plain flat baseboard running the length of the interior. It works especially well with a farmhouse decor vibe.
For fans of that natural wood look, a pine baseboard is a great choice. The grain of pinewood looks great under a variety of stains and finishes. Pine baseboards can come in dark finishes or lighter ones, all of which look excellent in a farmhouse.
4. Country Home
While a farmhouse and a country home are similar, a farm is involved with animals or produce which adds a different energy to a home than simply being located in the countryside. If you want to opt for the country home aesthetic with your farmhouse baseboard, you can try pairing any wooden floors with a simple white baseboard, low-set and devoid of any markings or indentations.
Farms and space usually don’t go together, except here. Try a futuristic combination of a baseboard with vents built in, paired with a dark, dramatic color.
6. The Gentleman’s Choice
If you want a more classy, sophisticated option, try the gentleman’s choice. This baseboard style consists of a taller baseboard, usually of a mild, neutral color. It also features a neat indentation running along the top.
7. Intricate Detail
You don’t always have to go totally basic for a farmhouse baseboard. Sometimes an intricate, symmetrical pattern can look great, especially with darker wood floors.
8. The Double Decker
When one thick indentation at the top of your baseboard isn’t enough, you can always add another on top. The layered look meshes really well with farmhouse decor.
9. Stepped Trim
If you’re looking for a more humble approach to farmhouse baseboard design, look no further than the stepped trim look. It features a basic baseboard that tapers back into the wall near the top, creating a rounded effect resembling an ancient Roman aesthetic that looks right at home in a farmhouse.