When architects talk about details, we’re referring to the way the parts and pieces of a home come together: how they’re joined, how they intersect. And because a home has lots of intersecting materials, there are many details to consider in the design process. Ideally, they all support a single design language — an aesthetic. In contemporary architecture these details can range from the sublimely simple to the preciously fussy, with equally wide-ranging costs.

The baseboard detail is one of the more prominent details to consider. Baseboard protects a highly trafficked (and abused) part of the home and covers the messy joint between the finished wall and floor. Of course, modernists have always questioned the utility and the adornment of the traditional baseboard. This collection of base details showcases the aesthetic language of modernism: functional, spare, humble, minimalist and expressive.Related: Design Workshop: The Art of Joining Materials