The modern free flowing open floor plan, with its soaring walls and ceilings, can bring unexpected challenges to the homeowner. If you sometimes feel that, as beautiful as your home may be, you are living in a big box, architectural trimwork can transform and warm your home. It’s a fairly easy fix; it can be affordable if done right; and if you are handy, you can do it yourself.
From Victorian to the classic Traditional, Arts and Crafts, American Country, Greek, Italian and French design, your imagination is your only limitation. Ornamental molding makes it easy to add your own personality to your home. From the formal Dining Room to the informal Great Room, from the Greek-styled Master Bath to the tasteful and traditional Powder Room, mix the present with the past and make your statement with handsome molding. Molding materials include traditional wood and plaster and easy to work with PVC, styrofoam and even molded paper.
Architectural trimwork consists of crown moldings, columns, chair rails, picture rails, plate rails, pilasters, wainscoting, and baseboard trim, among others. Whether you have 8-foot ceilings or 14-foot ceilings, if your home needs updating or lacks a “style”, architectural trimwork is a less intimidating job than new wallpaper, wall texturing or a new paint scheme.
If you have sparse trimwork in your home, consider these options:
Entryways - Look at the tallest walls. A soaring wall bearing an entry door, and maybe, a second floor window above, all without trim, will brighten and “welcome” with a few architectural elements. Both the entry door and the window may look out-of-proportion. Trimwork will bring it all together.
Stairwells - Entry walls often lead to stairwells, and today many are untrimmed. Picture rails tracking the staircase are an easy and inexpensive way to decorate a stairwell. Artwork or photographs placed inside the picture rail gains prominence and makes your personal statement.
Dining Room - A Dining Room can gain formality and harmony with a simple chair rail, or a cornice-trimmed window box, to make the window a focal point.
Family Room - A Family Room fireplace is generally a gathering place. The simple addition of dental molding to an existing mantle, or the addition of a mantle where there isn’t one, can turn a disjointed and uninviting Family Room into the everyday environment that your children remember for years to come.
Master Bedroom - Master Bedroom walls tend to be covered with furniture. The furniture and linens are usually the determining style. Builders save money by adding beautiful features that draw us to a home, but then leave them unadorned. An untrimmed “Tray” ceiling is one example. We all want attractive bedroom windows to let in good light as well as be a decorative accessory. Beautiful window trim transforms any room, and especially the bedroom. Properly “finishing off” a Master Bedroom (the home owner’s sanctuary) adds enjoyment, a feeling of peace and contentment and boosts the resale value.
Powder Room - Highlight a beautiful mirror with a picture rail; add trim to inexpensive cabinet doors or a pretty cornice to the small window.
Wainscoting - Wainscoting can reduce the formality of a room, or increase it. If your dining room embraces the formality of Queen Anne, but you moved in with French Country or Arts and Crafts, reduce the formality with bead-board wainscoting.
Baseboards - Baseboards may be only a small round of molding. If your beautiful wall descends to this insignificant and inadequate round (known as the “shoe cap”) – it’s an easy fix. The addition of baseboard trim is one of the easiest trimwork projects. Add a wider expanse of board (known as the “select” board) and cap it with another simple round known as the base cap.
Passage Ways - The addition of pilasters and caps will transform a passageway. If your home office has the look of just another bedroom, trim the doorway. A pilaster is a piece of wood from floor to ceiling, fitting flat against the wall and grooved vertically in a pattern that works with your decorating plans. The style of the caps, meeting the floor and the ceiling, further defines your style.
Existing Crown Molding - If your home’s crown molding doesn’t quite showcase the look you want, consider decorative corner blocks. If your crown is too lavish, bring it down a notch with a tailored corner block. The corner block directs the eye to it and tones-down the over-all formality, or flip this scenario and use the corner block to add a bit of frou-frou to a lackluster crown molding.
Architectural trimwork doesn’t have to be wood. Plastic molding, using today’s modern synthetics, may fit your budget better, and the real secret is, no one will be the wiser unless you tell. Plastic molding is ideal for the do-it-yourselfer. It is lightweight, easy to cut, won’t warp or shrink and is readily available at home improvement stores.
However elaborate or simple, adding some trimwork will add monetary value. Today you are the owner, tomorrow you may be a seller or a buyer. Today’s consumer looks for tasteful trimwork. It is a sign or prosperity as well as a telltale concern for detail. Your home isn’t just anyone’s home. It’s where you live your life, entertain your friends and grow your family. Trimwork brings a luxurious feeling to a simple space. It’s affordable and easy – especially if you have a handy man or woman in the family.