Nailhead Trim: Then and Today

Clients often express to me their interest in pieces of furniture with “pins” or “tacks”. What they are referring to are nailheads. Yet most are unaware of their original purpose.

The Historical Use of Nailhead Trim

Bradington Young FurnitureNailhead trim in furniture manufacturing served a practical purpose throughout history. The use of brass nailhead trim on furniture began in 17th Century France. Its purpose was to tighten velvets or silks on chairs and settees. It has since expanded its use to all types of furniture with various fabrics and leathers.

How Nailhead Trim is Used Today

Today, the purpose of nailhead trim is to add visual interest. Nailhead trim on furniture and accessories can be compared to women’s jewelry. It adds a touch of sophistication and elegance. It does not limit itself to a particular style or piece of furniture. We often see it today on transitional and even contemporary pieces including:

  • Sofas
  • Chairs
  • Mirrors
  • Cocktail & End tables
  • Headboards & Footboards
  • Dressers & Chests

We see such versatility due to the range of sizes and finishes that are available. Many companies provide the option of customizing the nailheads, giving you infinite possibilities in dressing up your favorite piece.

Bernhardt Furniture Bernhardt Furniture

Laura Mensch


After graduating with honors from The University of Toronto with my Bachelor of Arts in Art & Art History I began working as a Certified Home Staging Specialist and ran my own business. I started at Today’s Home in 2013 with a small hiatus to raise my son. When it comes to design I have a keen eye for color and spatial planning. I like to make decisions along side my clients so that the end result is a beautiful design that they love and is truly what they envisioned.

To schedule a free interior design consultation with me, click here or call our North Hills location at 412-364-4760.