Nailhead trim is becoming increasingly popular--and for good reason. Not only are nailheads a clever way to give added definition to the lines and frames of your home furnishings, they are an easy way to boost the personality of your pieces as well.

Believed to have originated in 17th century France during the Louis XIII period, nailhead trim is an enduring element in furniture design. Originally used to embellish the upholstered backs of chairs, nailhead trim has evolved into a beloved trend for everyday home decor.


Where to use it

At one time, nailheads were typically reserved for leather fabrics. That’s not the case anymore, though! Today, this trim can compliment a wide variety of areas in your home that extend well beyond fabric. Because of this, the possibilities for incorporating nailhead trim into your design is virtually endless.

Let’s take a look at both the familiar and fresher uses of nailhead trim. Perhaps you’ll find something that you’ll want to add to your home’s interior.

Enhancing the arms and legs of furniture.

Generally, nailheads are used to enhance the legs and arms of furniture, but there’s no reason you have to stick with the norm. Consider using nailhead trim exclusively along the base or even on the backs of accent or dining chairs. The trim can compliment just about any type of fabric, but will really enhance the look of two-tone colors.

Nailhead trim can also make a bland coffee table a little more interesting. If you already have a great piece with a unique shape, adding nailheads will really accentuate it. You could add trim along the legs or even along the edges of the top.

Cabinetry is another wonderful place to use nailhead trim. If you have a piece of cabinetry or a chest of drawers sitting around that could use a facelift, this is a great way to give it that boost of character. Don’t be afraid to branch out, creating a design on the front, rather than just sticking to the edges.

Highlighting a headboard.

An upholstered headboard already adds so much to a bedroom, but adding nailhead trim can make it really stand out as the focal point. Nailheads are a great way to make a headboard more appealing to both men and women.

Punching up window treatments.

Nailheads can give an extra punch to your window treatments. Try adding them to the top of a straight valance or even to the bottom of long curtains. Make sure to consider your current or future drapery hardware when choosing the color.

Defining a doorway.

Would you ever consider using nailhead trim along the edges of a doorway (or window) in your home? I’ve seen pictures of it and think it’s so unique and beautiful. I love the idea of it but I have a feeling I’d struggle with getting all the nailheads nice and straight. If your hand is steadier than mine, I say go for it!

Accenting small accessories.

Adding nailhead trim is certainly a commitment, so if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap with bigger furnishings, start small. I mentioned window treatments earlier, but they still aren’t as small of a commitment as say, a lampshade, an office memo board, or some fabric-covered baskets or trays. If you’re the type of person who prefers to dip your toes in first to test the water, then you should definitely consider starting small.

How to use it

We’ve established that nailhead trim can be used in a variety of ways but there are some factors to consider before you start adding it to the space--especially if you’re going to do the work yourself. Color is one of those factors. The color of the nailhead trim plays an important part in how you want your pieces to appear. For example, silver-colored heads can soften a piece, by making it appear more feminine, while brass-colored heads give it a masculine edge.

Another factor to consider is fabric. If you are looking for a truly updated look, you will want to select a new fabric and reupholster any furniture with fabric while you are at it. You can even try adding quilt batting and wrap a luxurious fabric around a piece of furniture that you plan to add nail trim on that previously was only wooden, such as a headboard to create a totally new look for a minimal price.

Before you get started, it is important to remember that adding nailhead trim is not for amateurs. Each nail needs to be hammered individually and perfectly spaced, so choosing a professional to do the work might be the best choice. However, if you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, you might be up for the challenge. Either way, nailhead trim will give your home that added flair it deserves.

There are several tutorials that can be found online, including this one from Better Homes and Gardens, that can help you create a new masterpiece for your home. We look forward to you stopping in at Cutting Corners Dallas to choose fabric for your new nailhead trim project!