Apr 24, 2010

nice and trim: remodelaholic guest post

did you check out my post on trim
in case you missed it,
here it is!
Many of my clients feel their spaces lack character and interest. 
 While there a several strategies to create texture, enhance proportions, and build design interest for a space, one of the most effective is to 
add architectural moldings. 
Adding crown molding to a space is a classic 
and yet very simple solution.
This is the first house that my husband and I built 
for ourselves nine years ago. We added crown molding to the ceiling, 
added a smaller piece of trim about four inches down the wall, 
and then painted the wall space in between to match the trim. 
The result is a larger, 
more elaborate looking molding.
Adding molding/trim to doors or openings is an easy way to produce a high impact design feature at a minimal cost.  For instance, the total cost of the materials for this opening was around $30. We added this type of treatment over the two major openings in our first home's foyer.
A more intricate version was installed in this custom home built by my husband.
The trim here helps define the door and creates additional mass, balancing the door's "visual weight"
against the expanse of the two-story wall.

Here are some other examples:
Basic pilasters (half-columns), in another one of our custom homes, define the bathtub.

At the Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island in South Carolina,
large openings are wrapped in trim with inset louvered panels.

Another area of the Sanctuary Hotel features decorative headers which
 define the space and bring down the scale of the high ceilings which creates a more intimate environment.
In this custom home built by my husband, the 14 foot tall ceilings in the foyer would have seemed awkward with the absence of properly scaled moldings. Notice how the seven foot tall wainscoting establishes more appropriate proportions for the space.

Before remodeling, only a small piece of crown and base molding outlined the foyer of our last home. So we installed wainscoting to dress up the entry.  This also helped disguise the air return vent.  Did you notice it? If not, then we accomplished our goal!

Since the stairwell and upstairs hall were also visible from the foyer, we decided to continue the trim into these spaces.  The added trim transforms the long and ordinary hall into an appealing area for showcasing family photos.

Trim is an essential component in spaces that many people, including me, find comfortable and appealing. Whenever we remodel or build a new home, we  experiment with new treatments and applications of moldings. I am always searching for great ways to use trim. I get my ideas from past projects, magazines, as well as public spaces like restaurants, hotels and offices.  

  Installing additional trim/moldings does not have to be a complex or expensive endeavor. In fact, after painting, adding trim is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to customize any space. And, as you can see, the results can be breathtaking!


  1. Thanks for guest posting, it was perfect. You have such a good eye, and I really appreciate you sharing! Have a great spring weekend!

  2. I love molding and trim. I think it makes such a difference. We also love Kiawah Island! My family and I used to vacation there in the late 80's early 90's. My hubby and I even honeymooned there. I LOVE S.C.!

  3. Beautiful Autumn -- a definite bookmark. Would you mind if I shared this post on the Boardwalk Blotter? Also -- how can I ever thank you for talking me into the I-Phone! Do you want to play "word"? Really -- this I-Phone is one of the best things since water-based primer!

  4. Well -- I hope you don't mind because I already posted it :) If you want any changes, please let me know. You'll find it here:


    Great post, Autumn!

  5. Beautiful homes! You and your husband do amazing work :) We are in the process of putting crown molding in all of our rooms. Two more to go and the house is complete!! What a difference :)

  6. love it, love it, love it--great post. hats off to your husband--the craftsmanship looks excellent! i used to want that entry light you had in your last house sooooo bad, and i love all of the thick architectural moldings. everything looks so beautiful. can't wait to see what you do when you move.

  7. How can you be contacted via email please? Thank you.

  8. i love trim! I'm really looking forward to buying a home and adding trim and other architectural details, but do you think it can go too far?

  9. heather,

    great question!
    can adding trim and other architectural details go too far?

    yes, it can.
    i think anything done in excess can upset the balance and proportions of a space.

    i remember when i was in college, and i went through a parade of homes tour to a very large and
    lavish house.. there were CARVED CHERUBS above every door.
    i just about puked. it was truly awful. my eyeballs are still recovering...
    i guess the homeowners thought if a lot was good, then WAY TOO MUCH was even better.
    so yes, adding trim CAN go too far.

  10. dayka,
    if you have seen the original post for the entry, you know that the light fixture is the "middlebury" pendant from hudson lighting.
    what is depressing, is that i got it for about $200! only depressing because i desperately want to put that fixture in my next house, but can't find it for under $500!
    i totally should have taken it with me when i moved!