The Basic Types of Crossheads to Know

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Planning an exterior design for your home is a lot more than choosing colors and landscaping. Acquaint yourself with the finer details early so you know what to look for! Windows and doors naturally draw attention, but you can give them architectural flair and set the tone for a façade with your choice of trim. The crosshead, which sits on top, gives you the most to work with in terms of style, so here are some types to consider.

Fypon Simple Surround

Many Mediterranean and Southwestern houses forgo aperture embellishments, so this home has an understated door surround with flat trim and a header in a rough sawn texture. Stained to match the entry, it pops against the white walls and adds just a bit of extra structure to the façade.

Sleek and Simple

Almost every style of house needs some kind of trim around the windows and doors, but that doesn’t mean it has to be fancy or stand out. Instead of an elaborate crosshead, you might prefer a basic header. Depending on your color scheme and design goals, you can let it pop or play it down. In any case, the crosshead itself could be as simple as a piece of flat trim—just enough to add emphasis to the door and dimension to the whole picture.

Homes in very sunny areas often go without crossheads, because their windows and doors are already defined with a variety of built-in shade mechanisms. From exterior shutter blinds to trellises, there are plenty of ways to add function along with style, and adding showy millwork usually creates imbalance. So, if you aren’t sure that you need a dressy crosshead, you could be right!

Fypon Traditional Crosshead

Even from the street, you can’t help but notice this striking entrance topped by a traditional capped crosshead with keystone detail. Such a decorated exterior calls for an attention-grabbing front door to draw the eye and pull it all together, and this is the perfect way to do it.

Ornate and Traditional

On the other hand, most homes rely on millwork, and especially crossheads, to create curb appeal. From formal classical architecture to whimsical Victorian style, you’ll find complementary crossheads that tie the whole look together. It’s worth the time to do some research, because the options are diverse and there’s plenty of history behind each one. If you stray too far from the prescribed style for your home, you’ll end up with an eclectic result that doesn’t look quite right.

Consider the variables. The height or thickness of a crosshead correlates positively to its stateliness—that is, the thicker it is, the more appropriate it is for a grander design. Traditional crossheads often feature a blocky lower portion and a piece on top that flares out to the sides, and all sorts of shapes are available. Some have simple smooth lines—easy to adapt—while others feature patterns like dentil cutouts tailored to a specific style. Consider a crosshead with a keystone if you want a definite focal point that pulls attention toward the door/windows. With so many possibilities, don’t rush making your selection!

Fypon Craftsman Cove

Shown here over the door and window, the Craftsman Cove crosshead has a distinctly straightforward style, ideal for homes that call for more rustic ornamentation. With the look of a built-up wood piece, it provides the handcrafted aesthetic so many want.

Clean and Rustic

Some of today’s most popular home styles put a focus on organic and handcrafted elements. That means lots of wood looks shaped by artisans, and nothing too ostentatious. You can find the perfect crosshead for a Craftsman, bungalow, or even a country home by looking for something simple at first glance—perhaps primarily composed of right angles—that shows its finer points of construction when you get up close. Fine routed edges, for instance, add charm subtly. If you want even more rustic simplicity, you might prefer a crosshead that appears to be made from multiple parts glued and nailed together. Again, there are plenty of options.

No matter the crosshead style you’re after, Fypon® has a huge catalog to serve your needs. The durable polyurethane construction of their products makes them ideal for all environments, and you won’t have to worry about moisture or insect damage. They also have door surround kits if you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, and their takeoff service can create custom pieces for those who want something truly one-of-a-kind. Find a local dealer to start the conversation!

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