9 Unique Ways To Add Stylish Architectural Details To Your Home

From beadboard to bespoke built-in bookcases, architectural details can create a dramatic change and transform the look of any room.

There’s something quite magic about old homes, isn’t it? I’ve written an entire article about it (Read it HERE!)

Often, that alluring character high-end and old homes have is missing from modern ones. And we can generally pinpoint the cause of why this is: a lack of architectural details!

Traditional hallway cottage inspired architectural details
via @housebeautiful

In this article, I want to show you some of the many possibilities interior design offers to add those architectural details. No matter your home decor style!

We’ll go over how to add architectural details to the interior of your home and achieve that elevated aesthetic.

Get ready to be inspired by these interior design ideas!

How To Add Architectural Details To The Interior Of Your Home

Built-In Bookshelves

Faux your way into having an old-world library feel in your home by building a bespoke built-in bookcase!

For modern homes especially, built-in bookcases, add an element of sophistication and intentional design that you just can’t get with regular freestanding units. They cleverly transform those awkward niche spaces into beautiful focal points while providing tons of useful storage and display area.

Traditional study featuring architectural details built in bookcase
via @digsdesignco

Plus, the beauty of built-ins is that they can blend in with any style – from sleek and minimalist to traditional and coastal. 

I’m a big fan of built-ins that stretch from floor to ceiling to really maximize every square inch. But they also work as lower bookcases incorporated under windows or staircases. 

Traditional study featuring architectural details built in bookcase
via @megmcsherryinteriors

You can take an extra step and add a window seat to create a new structural detail or even add a sliding ladder for a whimsy touch! 

Picture Frame Molding

Picture frame molding has been a favorite of interior designers for ages and it’s trending once again. 

Elegant room featuring architectural details like picture frame molding
via Room For Tuesday

Creating the illusion of paneled walls without the structural addition of raised or recessed panels, picture frame moldings feature trim pieces arranged on a wall in a rectangular frame design. 

This architectural detail is a subtle yet impactful way to add character to your walls. 

Sincerely Marie Designs

When installed with precision, this elegant architectural detail can elevate even the most ordinary spaces into elevated interiors. 

Board and Batten

Rooted in functionality, board and batten is a wall treatment that features vertical wooden boards mounted over the seams of wooden planks.

Bedroom featuring architectural details neutral board and batten
via Babiteixeira

Delightfully rustic yet chic, this architectural detail is adaptable to suit many design styles, from farmhouse to contemporary. Wide, narrow, square grid and half wall are some styles you can choose from.   

Traditional coastal bedroom with architectural details in blue
via The House Of Hood Blog

It’s a fabulous option as it adds depth and texture to otherwise plain walls. It also helps to create an illusion of taller walls in rooms with low ceilings!

An accent wall clad in board and batten makes an eye-catching focal point with all those rugged lines and grooves. You can keep it simple in one tone for a neutral textured look. For a more daring look, go bold by using vibrant colors. 

Door Trims 

Adding trim to all your doors, cabinets, and openings is an easy way to elevate the architectural detail in a modern home. At first glance, trims might seem like a minor detail. 

Elegant dark door featuring architectural details in trims
via Rebecca And Genevieve

But adding trim work to even the most basic doors is an absolute game-changer for any space. Even simple trim styles bring texture and depth, making modern spaces look intentionally designed rather than standard builder-grade.

It’s a budget-friendly option that mimics thoughtful craftsmanship and is a hallmark of high-end construction.

Wainscoting & Wallpaper

Similar to board and batten, wainscoting is a wall treatment that uses wood paneling and trim to cover walls, but with a more formal aesthetic, as it often focuses on the lower half. 

Capping classic wainscoting with a pretty wallpaper pattern above the chair rail can transform a room. It’s ideal if you want that elegant classic European vibe!

Elegant entryway featuring architectural details wallpaper and wainscoting
via Prescott Design

The millwork anchors the space while the wallpaper adds a pop of color and a modern twist, blending old and new beautifully. 

Window Cornices

For those seeking to blend traditional and contemporary aesthetics, window cornices are a fantastic idea.

Framing your windows with a well-designed cornice is a stunning way to add architectural details without overwhelming the space with faux ornaments.

Living room featuring architectural details curtains and window cornice
via Houzz/Caitlin Wilson Design

If your home is modern and feels a bit too flat, window cornices can add a sophisticated flair to your space. There are so many styles available, too! You can buy something already made or build something custom to fit your home. 

A floating cornice works perfectly for a sleek and modern aesthetic and, when flushed against the ceiling, will create an illusion of height.

Brass light switch and plates in white kitchen featuring as architectural details
via Houzz/Fabriq

There are more detailed options, from scalloped cornices to box pelmets. So much space for creativity!

False Ceilings & Moldings

False ceiling designs are a clever way to add visual interest and dimension overhead. By introducing recessed sections, levels, and geometric shapes, you can transform an otherwise flat ceiling into a chic architectural detail.

For traditional spaces, try ceilings with ornate moldings, cove lighting, or high-gloss tongue-and-groove paneling for something more coastal-inspired. If you like styles a touch more rustic, go for exposed wooden decorative beams. 

via AD

Contemporary designs are also a great idea. They offer clean grids, coffers, and inverted levels to achieve that sleek and modern look.

Painting the ceiling in a different color or adding crown molding in a contrasting hue can also work as easy and less time-consuming options.

If a faux crown ceiling or molding is too much of a project to take on right now, consider wallpaper trims!

Kitchen featuring architectural details wallpaper trims
via Domino

This option is easy, affordable, and absolutely stunning. It’s such a little detail, but it changes the whole vibe of a space and allows you to get creative.

Small Architectural Details

We often overlook the little details when renovating our home. But updating these little pieces to a more elevated style makes for an impressive way to add architectural details and character!

Traditional kitchen with architectural details in blue and wallpaper
via @whitneysturgeinteriors

Think about switching your old and cookie-cutter sockets, plates, light switches, and hardware to a more sophisticated version.

Brass light switches, socket plates with intrinsic designs, vintage-inspired pulls and knobs, and more!

kitchen featuring architectural details brass hardware
via @belwithkeeler

While minor, these architectural details create a dramatic change throughout the home.

Glass Window Accents

Another lovely way to trick the eye is to focus on the glass windows and give them an original take.

via The Nordroom

Create unique designs by applying stained glass window film to your regular windows if you like the antique colorful look.


For a more conservative approach, apply something like a fluted privacy film or lattice window film. As a result, the whole space will appear to have unique architectural details and a one-of-a-kind look.

Just try to stick to one style of glass film to keep a cohesive feel throughout the home!

I hope you find inspiration to spark your home decor creativity and add some interesting architectural details to your own home.
What was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Linda Charlton says:

    My Personal favorites are the built-in bookcases and the window film. We have window film on our window in the bathroom for privacy but the film in the photo that resembles beveled glass is something I would like for my own home.I would like the source.

    1. Not sure of the source Linda, but I recently posted a fabulous vintage style reeded film that I used on my kitchen pantry door. Find it here: https://amzn.to/3SjXNkw

  2. Thank you for tracking down all of these wonderful ideas! You included a few that I’ve never seen before.

    1. Glad that you enjoyed the post Susan! ❤️