Molding and Trim - Make a Big Difference

     I pressed in the code and the gate opened, inviting me into a very impressive neighborhood.  The homes were all beautiful, custom masterpieces that had spectacular water views.  My destination was at the end of the Cul de Sac down a steep driveway.  The home was large and had a commanding view of the bay.  It was a truly gorgeous site.  Upon entering the home, there was immediately the feeling that something wasn't right.  The stair case was hideous and tight.  The doors and windows were trimmed with 2 1/4" Colonial Casing.  The base molding was 2 1/2" Colonial base.  Nothing fit with the home or the setting, it was actually disturbing and unsettling.

     I sat with the owners and told them frankly what I was feeling.  They described feeling exactly the same way, every time they sat in their Living Room.
     They gave me the go ahead and I started in the downstairs family room and worked my way through the house, converting it to the Home they desired.  I apologize for not taking any before pictures, the pictures I took are of the finished product. 

     The window trim is a three piece trim that I designed using two profiles and flat stock.  I matched the profile in the arch windows over the Entry, Living Room and Master Bedroom, so that everything had continuity.  It makes the room feel warm and inviting.  The ceilings are all tall or cathedral, so it was begging for wainscot paneling.  I do not use the drywall finish and apply molding when I build wainscot panels, it really feels flat and fake.  Using a 1/4" thick paint grade panel (MDF) makes all the difference in the substantial feeling of the panels.  I also think a matching profile of panel molding adds a lot of character and depth to the stiles and rails of the paneling.

     Base molding details are critical to achieve the
right feeling.  The stairwell walls had a drywall radius bull nose. To make the wainscot and base look right I made up corners with 22 1/2 degree bevels to tie the wall, wainscot and base together.  It is a lot of cutting and fitting, but well worth the extra work.

     The stairs were carpeted plywood, so I ripped it all out and installed Oak treads.  I pre-finished the treads and added paint grade risers.  The stair handrail was a very dark purplish/black color so I stripped it down, sanded it and refinished it to match the natural color of the flooring.

      The cap detail on the windows and doors is a piece of crown molding with a 3/4" thick shelf that sticks out 3/4" past the crown.  It creates a nice finish detail and gives a rich feeling to the wide trim.  The Tuscan columns are part of the existing home and were not added by me.

     The upstairs family room adjoins the kitchen and a dining nook and are all open to each other. It forms a great room, where the family naturally tend to gravitate and gather together.  The ceiling of this large area was flat and unadorned.  I really wanted to put in a coffer beam ceiling and match the wood and finish of the kitchen cabinets.

     The owners gave me the go ahead, so I proceede.  The Maple lumber and Crown Molding were purchased from Continental Hardwoods in Kent, WA.  In my shop I fabricated the beams and pre-finished them.  Maple is a hardwood that does not accept stain like other woods, so it requires a lot more work to finish than most other hardwoods.

      I pre-sealed the Maple with a coat of water based polyurethane.  Next I mixed colors into the polyurethane until I had a good color match with the cabinets.  I brought a cabinet door to my shop to use for a color match.  It was a lot of work, but the end results were very satisfying.

     The downstairs family room is very large and has a low ceiling, so the beams were made of hemlock lumber that was pre-finished in the garage and assembled in place.  The beams are only 3" and 4" deep, so that they will not intrude into the room.  They add a lot of visual interest to an otherwise boring expanse of textured drywall, and they frame the recessed lights nicely.

1 comment:

Darla Hemphill said...

Thank you for detailing all of this out. I'm getting ready to try my hand at some moulding and this was exactly the info I needed!

Wood columns