Editor's Note: This is the second in a five-part series about mouldings, taken from a whitepaper by Fair Lawn, N.J.-based Kuiken Brothers Co. Inc. titled "Using Moulding to Enhance the Beauty and Elegance of a Space and Create New Revenue Streams."
There are many reasons to use mouldings in your next remodel or whole house project. “When you see classical moulding, you’re looking at the origins of American architecture,” says Christine G.H. Franck, designer and co-author of Winterthur: Traditional American Rooms: Celebrating Style, Craftsmanship, and Historic Woodwork. “There is a whole tradition still alive and vital today. You’re celebrating something that’s uniquely American by using classical mouldings, especially Early American, Colonial, Georgian, Federal and Traditional. You’re reconnecting to our past and bringing it forward in an inventive and creative way.”
In addition to paying historical homage, the aesthetic value of mouldings is impressive. They give a room, or whole house, character and personality. They open up rooms by taking advantage of light, contrast and depth of field. They create illusions of more space. They emanate feelings of elegance, quality and richness.
According to industry champions, mouldings are design elements that can enhance a room or house at a very reasonable cost. When you consider the price of antique furniture to dictate an historic period versus mouldings, mouldings are a bargain. By using mouldings, you can also eliminate the need to modify doors, windows and walls therefore reducing remodeling costs.
Whether you’re working on new home construction or a house renovation, mouldings and millwork should be a part of the original design process. Many architecture firms offer standard services, such as conceptual sketches, schematic designs and feasibility, 3D architectural renderings, permit documentation and construction administration. Few offer architectural interior designs services.
Some homeowners opt for specialists who are not only interior designers but also project designers. These industry professionals work closely with their clients and contractors on everything from flooring to roofing. They educate and communicate with homeowners on the front end to ensure that interior trim and millwork design and detailing are considered in the beginning and not as an afterthought.
According to veteran project designer and owner of Piedmont Design Group, LTD, Caitlin Burke, moulding and millwork make a big impact on the space. “There really is a difference in a room with great mouldings and one without. They bring out a feeling and sense of quality. The use of mouldings is truly transformative.”
Burke tries to influence her clients as early as possible so they can visualize how architectural interior design can create the illusion of more space, dictate the character of the home, and perpetuate an environment of quality, luxury, and historical nostalgia.
She looks for ways to work within her clients’ budgets, and knows that there is a range of moulding options, from off-the-shelf home improvement store products, to lumberyard in-stock collections, to custom millwork. She is very aware of costs and availability, and also of the need to physically show customers what they can expect.