Architectural Trim and Moldings in Dollhouses

Architectural trim or molding not only hides gaps and dresses up corners, it is often the backbone of a room design. The types of baseboard, crown molding, chair rail molding, and window and door trim you select helps define the character of a room and set the stage for the entire décor. The following will arm you with knowledge and help you choose molding that is right for you and your dollhouse or roombox:

Cornice molding is placed on the top, where the wall meets the ceiling. Even a single piece of cornice molding will add an entirely new dimension to a room. Cornice molding creates a decorative transition between walls and ceiling and works especially well in a rooms with high ceilings.

The term "cornice" describes one-piece molding installed along the top of the wall or above the window. The same treatment made from multiple pieces of molding is called a build-up cornice. Moldings for cornice come in two main types. Dramatic crown molding that is frequently combined with other molding styles for an opulent look.

Crown molding and cornices have adorned interiors for centuries. By counseling and dressing up the joint where wall meets ceiling, these moldings do more than any other to eliminate boxiness in an untrimmed room.

Crown Molding is the most popular type of cornice molding. Crown generally refers to the types of single-piece moldings that are installed on the angle to their adjoining surface. Crown moldings have a profiles that project out on the ceiling and down on the wall and gives a rich appearance to a room.

As its name suggests, crown molding serves as an ornamental capping to walls, cabinets, and built-in furniture. Crown molding is also used as a decorative support for horizontal architectural elements like decorative ledges and shelves. Adding decorative crown molding to relatively simple room provides a certain character that the room would not have otherwise. Many complex looking crown molding profiles consist of the series of simple moldings installed together to achieve a finished appearance. Crown moldings are also used in combination with other moldings to add details to fireplace mantels and shelves.

Cove Molding is very similar to crown molding. The application and function of cove molding are identical to the crown molding. The difference between the two is in the profile. Cove molding has a concave profile (bended inwards), while the line of the crown molding profiles bends outwards.

Sophisticated cove molding eliminates the ceiling line by creating a curved transition. A wonderful selection of decorative cove molding is available in a variety of styles and sizes for installation in the rooms with high as well as with low ceilings. Traditionally, cove and crown molding reflected the type and functional use of the rooms they decorated.

Entries, formal living rooms, and master bedrooms usually received moldings with ornate patterns, while kitchens and other more functional areas of the home had moldings with more simple design. Over the years coves and crowns have become much smaller, but most still bear the shapes and styles of their Greco-Roman origins.

Chair Rail Molding divides a wall horizontally, usually about three feet above the floor. Chair rails, which protect walls in areas subject to damage by chair backs, have nosing that give way to curved and beveled surfaces that taper back to the wall.

Chair rail molding was originally designed to prevent the tops of the chair backs from denting or marring the wall and was used to protect walls from damage. For this reason chair-rail molding traditionally located about 30 to 33 inches (2-1/2" to 2-3/4" for a 1" scale dollhouse) above the floor and wrap around the perimeter of the room.

Today chair rail molding remains a common detail in traditional interiors. Traditional chair rails offer the decorating effect of unifying the various architectural details of the room, such as door and window trim, fireplace surround, etc.

Decorative chair rail molding often serves as a cap for a wainscoting or wood paneling. Considered decorative by today's standards, chair rail molding adds a feeling of detail and charm to the walls and lends continuality to a room by unifying it.

Panel Molding, commonly called picture-frame molding, looks like a large empty frame, and it is similar to designs on the walls of old colonial and Georgian homes.

The placement of the picture-frame molding should be above chair rail height and about 10 to 12 inches (3/4" to 1" in a 1" scale dollhouse) down from the ceiling, depending upon the height of your walls. Picture frame molding is delicate in design. This molding measures from 1 to 3 inches in width in full scale (or about 3/16" to 1/4" for a 1" scale dollhouse). Like chair rail molding, picture molding adds a feeling of charm and delicate details to the room. Wall framing appeared at the beginning of the Georgian period, when plaster began to replace wood panels on the walls. Wall panels provided an elegant accent for large expanses of the walls and helped popularize contrasting color schemes. Paneling on the walls enhances a room's sense of space. During the past century wall paneling became standard in European homes. Panel molding divided walls into large, aesthetically pleasing units.

Wall frames making a stronger statement than you can make with paint or wall paper alone. You can design and install wall-panel treatment using just a panel molding, or for more graceful effect you can use combination of panel molding and decorative panel molding corners made to fit perfectly with certain panel moldings designs. Usually panels installed just below a chair rail or both - above and below it.

The panels above chair rail maintain the same width and the same spacing as those below. Panel molding is often used to create wall frames, a popular treatment for the lower part of the wall below the chair rail. Wall frames (or panels) look like a series of empty picture frames running along a wall.

When moldings are painted in the same color as the surrounded walls, they lend a sculptural quality to a wall surface, adding texture and shadows. If moldings are painted to contrast with surrounding wall, they can create a striking three dimensional appearance of varying depth and dimensions. This type of wall treatment is very popular for staircases and entries.

Baseboard Molding is intended to protect the bottom of the wall from wear and tear and hide irregularities where the wall and floor meet. The area between the chair rail molding and the base molding is called the dado. Baseboard molding gives the floor line a higher profile and can be as elaborate or simple as you like.

A shoe molding is installed along the bottom front edge of the baseboard molding to hide unevenness in the flooring and gives the baseboard a finished look. Shoe molding is typically only installed over hardwood floors, not carpeted floors.

Frieze Molding is one of several other types of molding that are especially effective in enhancing the look of your walls. Chair rail, picture rail and frieze moldings are horizontal wall moldings that, while less common than baseboard and crown molding, have been popular features of many house styles and have rather interesting origins and functions. Perhaps your room longs for decorative frieze molding.

The Frieze molding is a wide band, often ornamented with beautiful motifs, that runs under the cornice or crown molding. Usually, frieze molding installed about 1/3 or 1/2 of the way down a wall from ceiling. Frieze molding has a wide flat profile with decorative relief design on the front. Decorative frieze molding are most common in the homes that follow neoclassical architecture or decorating style.

When run around the perimeter of the room, these moldings create a space above known as frieze. Frieze often decorated in a different manner from the wall space below. If you have a very high ceilings it is a good idea to paint frieze molding, frieze and crown molding altogether in a same color. It helps visually bring ceiling down and makes room upper cozier. A frieze molding can enliven your space with a signature theme.

Molding comes in a variety styles and shapes. Ornate moldings add a feeling of dignity and grandeur. Ornate moldings command more attention when incorporated into a design and should suit the overall décor. From the ceiling to the floor moldings are used on most parts of the wall.

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