|Add Interest With Wainscoting|
Above Eye Level
One approach for adding wood accents to your home is with ornamental moldings. Areas to use moldings are baseboards, crown mouldings, chair rails, picture rails, door and window casings. There are many styles to select from, depending upon the overall decorative style and architecture of your home. Moldings not only serve a decorative purpose, but are functional as well. Actually, the decorative aspect is an extension of their functionality. Baseboards and crown moldings hide the seam where the wall meets the floor and the wall meets the ceiling, respectively. Chair rails, originally placed about 30-36 inches from the floor, protect walls from scratching by chairs and furniture. Picture rails are used in more traditional homes to hang pictures from wires to avoid putting holes in a wall. Casings surround doors and window allow for a snug fit, keeping drafts from seeping in through seams.
|Wood Paneling Below the Chair Rail|
Following a tradition dating from the classical Greeks, Entablatures are elaborate ceiling, over door, and over window treatments. They originated as composite components for Greek and Roman columns incorporating a great deal of carved decorative details. Entablatures are comprised of three elements. An architrave: the base, being the lowest and simplest part of the structure, also used to describe a molded frame for doors and windows; a frieze: consisting of a decorative theme carved in relief; and a cornice: an elaborate moulding that meets the ceiling. Complete entablatures give a very formal appearance. Today’s crown mouldings are adapted from the entablature’s component parts. A good example of a segmented use of an entablature is dentil moulding used as crown molding. Entablatures are also used to create fireplace mantels, but we’ll address that in another article.
Chair rails: the area below the chair rail is called the dado. Dados can be treated differently from the wall above the chair rail. If the area below the chair rail is paneled with wood, the treatment is referred to as wainscoting. Wainscoting can extend to heights higher than typical chair rails, to eye level or above, and is topped with cap molding. Chair rails in their typical position can be painted any color, but I feel it chops up a room to much, and prefer keeping them the same color as the crown and base moulding. Use other colors above and below the chair rail. Cap moldings for dados extending higher up on the wall should be stained or painted a color that complements the dado treatment.
|Many Options for |
Finishing Wood Paneling
Doors are, after all, parts of a wall, and play a significant role in the overall appearance if a wall. There are many styles, and it is important to select doors in keeping with your home’s architecture and decorative style. Treatment of doors should not conflict with other wood elements in the room. If the wood in a room is painted, the doors should be painted as well. Otherwise they look out of place. A simple solution is painting them the same color as the walls. If you have a fire door, elevator entrance door, or any other awkward access, it can be faux painted to match any finishes in the surrounding area.
The moldings you select should complement the architectural and decorative style of your home. The style and color of baseboard, crown molding, door and window casings that you select for one room should be carried out throughout your home with some ornamental variation depending upon the formality and size of a room. The basic objective is to provide wall interest, yet keeping it easy on the eyes.
Example for Monochromatic Themes: If you’re using a monochromatic theme throughout your home, you can add a chair rail in one room, with the top half painted one value, and the dado another value, or create a wainscot by paneling the lower part in wood; another room can just have crown and base moldings with painted or wallpapered walls; and another room can be completely paneled (great in a library!) treated with any variety of wood finishes that complement wood finishes in other rooms. This gives a home a more traditional look
|Moldings Are Removed For A|
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