86 Exterior Window Trim Ideas
Add some new style to your home’s exterior with these exterior window trim ideas.
Just as the perfect pair of glasses adds character to a face, the perfect window trim style adds character to your home. Windows are the eyes in and out of your dwelling and deserve a finishing treatment that makes them look their best. The way you execute your exterior window trim ideas will determine how polished your home’s exterior appears to everyone who visits.
As with eyeglasses, you may be one who prefers accessories to fade into the background. You may conversely prefer to make a loud statement with ornate embellishments. The same is true for your home. Study these exterior window trim ideas and decide which option best reflects your personality and the overall feel of your home.
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1. Wooden Wonders
If you’re looking for the perfect material to bring your exterior window trim ideas to life, you cannot go wrong with wood. Home windows encased with wood window trim go well on traditional, Craftsman, and contemporary homes and cottages. From plain wood boards to elaborately carved exterior window molding, wood has a timeless appeal.
Add a splash of color to rustic wood siding by painting narrow window grilles white, then hang a wide frame painted red, green, or another accent color. While using two colors for this method looks nice, you can also paint the grilles and sashes the same color as the window frame or make them match the siding. Celebrate creativity by combining several colors of molding, such as two shades of pink, blue, and green, surrounding a white inner frame.
If you have a Tudor-style home with white walls and black exterior trim, paint the sashes and muntins a warm, earthy red to add warmth to your black-and-white color scheme. Flower boxes are a beautiful embellishment on Tudor homes, cottages, and other traditional-style architecture. Your flowerboxes can match the window casing’s color or be painted an entirely different color for a more eclectic appearance.
2. White Goes With Everything
Across all home design styles, the most popular exterior window trim ideas utilize white for its simple, clean beauty. White trim is classic and looks fantastic next to virtually anything, including off-white or cream. White trim ideas can carry across the exterior of your home for a sense of continuity. Use white for doors, porches, columns, and gingerbread trim.
If your white-trimmed windows are framed with shutters, you aren’t required to paint the shutters in a boldly contrasting color. Consider a pale shade of blue or green, for a muted effect. A timeless exterior color combination is gray siding, black shutters, and white wood trim.
If you have a particularly stunning set of natural wood front doors, a wide white doorframe and window trim helps draw the eye toward your exterior’s focal point. Brightly-colored homes in tropical environments also fare well using white as a trim color. Its clean brightness contrasts well against siding in brilliant hues of yellow, turquoise, or purple.
3. Black Is Back
They say that black goes with anything, and this is true for exterior window trim ideas, too. If basic white won’t work with your design, black almost certainly will. Its ability to fade into the background or make a bold statement cannot be underestimated. Black exterior window trim can be made from wood, metal, fiberglass, vinyl, or other materials.
Matching black window frames with a black front door makes the beauty of natural wood siding shine. Black is also a great anchoring color for exteriors featuring natural stone in various shades of gray. A bright yellow cottage with black-framed white window molding and black shutters looks especially inviting.
Modern and contemporary homes wear black window molding exceptionally well, but traditional exteriors can also benefit from small touches of black. If you have some DIY skills, you can replace or update your exterior window trim yourself. Watch the video below for exterior window trim ideas and tips.
4. Modern Suggestions
Modern exterior window trim ideas should honor the minimalist simplicity of modern design. Depending on your personal preferences, your modern exterior windows can be framed to blend in or stand out from the rest of your home’s exterior. The size, color, and material used in manufacturing should all play a part in modern window design.
Bare metal finishes such as aluminum, stainless steel, and copper add interest to the lines and angles found in a contemporary home. Metal can also be powder coated in nearly any color imaginable, allowing your modern home to feature the sleekness of a metal finish while adding a splash of color around each window. Use plain flat trim around windows and exterior doors, then choose an earth-toned paint color palette for a modern, desert exterior.
5. Vinyl Siding Ideas
Vinyl siding is an affordable, durable siding material that mimics the look of real wood siding. It can be found in a variety of planks and textures, including shingled wall finishes. You can also purchase vinyl molding to go around your windows, vinyl crown molding for decorative accents, and even vinyl shutters. All of these vinyl products come in a wide array of colors and eliminate the need for choosing exterior paint options.
Make your windows stand out against gray vinyl siding by painting your front exterior door a deep barn red. Use the same color on your window grilles, then frame each opening with white window molding. Make the window sill a little wider than the rest of the window frame. If you prefer shades of tan or brown, pair a light vinyl siding with a matching soffit and make each window trim piece a darker shade of brown.
Remember that interior window trim can also add or detract from how nice your home looks from the street. If you don’t wish to add shutters to your vinyl-sided home, consider using half-height wooden shutters instead of curtains or blinds inside. These will add the warmth of real wood without exposing it to the elements.
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6. Craftsman Style Examples
Craftsman style is the perfect marriage between cottage warmth and contemporary simplicity. Clean, simple lines are the standard for craftsman window trim, which often features wide frames surrounding multi-pane windows. In general, the eye is drawn to the tapered columns, wide porches, and earthy colors on a craftsman home, with the windows fading somewhat into the background.
White, or a lighter hue of the home’s color palette, will usually be used on exterior window trim. Those who adhere to traditional craftsman design would never imagine veering from this classic application. However, you can also add an eclectic edge to your craftsman home by painting trim a bright yellow or another favorite color–if your homeowner’s association allows it.
7. Sensational Stucco
The smooth, solid surface of a stucco home is created with a type of plaster that dries into a clay or cement-like finish. It’s commonly used in Spanish, Italian, and Mediterranean-styled homes and is popular in warmer climates throughout the United States. Stucco can be tinted virtually any color and thus opens itself to a variety of exterior and interior trim ideas.
White window trim is just as popular on stucco homes as it is with other exterior finishes. Simple white window molding paired with wooden shutters and a wrought iron flower box add old-world charm to a stucco home. Using brick or stone to frame windows is also a classic treatment on stucco exteriors, and adds a great deal of texture to these solid walls.
Stucco can also be used to create pilasters or crown molding features around your home’s windows. Painted in contrasting colors–such as blue and yellow–these features make your home stand out from the rest. A row of simple square casement windows framed in white adds a modern touch to a gray stucco wall.
8. Brick Home Options
Brick homes tend to rely less on shutters and window boxes to jazz up their windows. They turn more toward other forms of masonry to do the job. A brick home can stand up well to impressive exterior window trim ideas, such as mounting tall keystones above each window and placing coordinating stone window sills beneath. Smaller keystone features look lovely above arched windows trimmed in white and framed only by coordinating brick or stone.
If you have a traditional brick home, you cannot go wrong with using basic black or white on all your window and door frames. Feel free to add color in the form of a brightly inviting front door. If you have a more modern painted brick home, honor its simplicity by painting your window frames and grilles the same color as your exterior walls.
9. Crown Molding Solutions
Like a crown atop a monarch’s head, crown molding should be immediately noticeable and majestic. Whether you prefer simple grandeur or ornate elaboration, crown molding can be just the signature touch that your home’s exterior needs.
Lacy white gingerbread-style trim looks stunning against basic wood siding on a country cottage. If that is too fancy for your taste, consider simpler arches of white, or a routered trim piece that matches your interior crown molding pattern. Crown molding pieces can be built up to stand out far from the home’s surface, or be specially cut to frame your windows in a decorative pattern. Crown molding panels and pilasters can also be used to extend your window height, visually carrying it to the ground or ceiling line.
10. Double and Bay Window Ideas
A bay window is a beautiful feature of any home and deserves special treatment. Your exterior window trim ideas for the rest of the home will also work on your bay or double window, but you can add molding and other features to make it an architectural focal point.
Consider using copper panels to build a roof or awning over your larger picture windows. Varying window pane sizes on double windows adds interest without becoming too busy. You can use shingled or vertical siding above a large window feature, and perhaps paint it a darker shade than the rest of your exterior.
11. Ornate Options
German, Russian, and other old-world architecture often features windows framed in ornate woodwork. While this application is not cost-effective, the look can be impressive when used properly. To make the features of your ornate trim stand out, paint them white or another light color and use a medium to dark tone of paint on your exterior walls.
My closed windows and doors are very drafty around the edges, but I don’t want to replace the window trim yet. How do I fix this problem?
To complete your old-world cottage design, continue ornate trim along your roof line. Add another layer of framing by building out simple pilasters beside each window, and attaching ornate panels atop each one. Of course, you aren’t stuck to a simple color palette when using ornate trim. Dark trim on top of a lighter-colored wall looks equally stunning.
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Exterior Window Trim FAQs
Exterior window trim refers to the decorative and functional elements installed around the exterior edges of windows. It serves multiple purposes, including enhancing the aesthetics of the windows, providing a finished look, and protecting the window frames from weathering and damage.
Fiberglass is one of the strongest materials for window frames and helps to insulate your home. Fiberglass window frames are durable and require very little maintenance. Although many people prefer the look of wood, you can find fiberglass alternatives that give the same appearance as classic wood finishes.
Having air leaks around windows is a common problem in older homes. It’s fairly easy to fix this problem yourself, or you can hire a handyman to do it for you. You will need to seal the seams with clear caulk or caulk that matches your exterior trim color and repeat the process along the interior trim. Ask a more experienced DIYer for help, or watch several videos online if you are unsure how to do this yourself.