Drawing the Line: Giving definition to floors and ceilings

Go for broke

Go for broke

My mother was a Francophile and I am most certain that she passed her love of France on to me.  I am enamored with French design, fashion, and the language.  Even the mundane can be made to sound better in French, n’est pas?  I often feel that way about designers and have a great appreciation for their ability to meld the jaw dropping architectural elements of a space with über modern furnishings.  Most apartments I have found could stand a little of that je ne sais quoi, that a really wild molding can add to a space.

Add a Little to Existing

Add a Little to Existing

It’s versatility should not be overlooked.  Inexpensive, stock molding, that can be picked up at Home Depot or your local lumber yard, can not only be applied to the ceiling, but strip molding can also be applied to your wall.  A carpentry purist should stop reading at this point because I do not strictly adhere to any rules regarding baseboard, moldings, casings, half rounds, quarter rounds, etc.  If I can adapt it and I like the look of it, I use it.  However, when it comes to coping – it’s a non-negotiable.  It’s the only way to create a seamless corner, and I am pretty persnickety about things like that.  Don’t even get me started on the section of molding that stops short of its destination.  Who does that?  I cannot tolerate that kind of laziness.  It’s like a missing tooth, just staring at you all the time, begging to be filled. John Wooden said:

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

Molding 2

I couldn’t agree more and there are loads of times when my limited patience is tested and I want it to just be finished, but deep breath, that last bit of effort will save you some regret, which you can use wisely elsewhere and at your own discretion.

Whether you are looking to make a declaration, clean up and define the lines of your space, or something in between, molding most definitely presents an opportunity for you to express yourself.  If you thought we would have a discussion about molding without talking paint …. well, I don’t think you really know me at all.  It’s like asking someone to go outside without being dressed.  How declasse.

My Father and I, with whom I am blessed to have worked on many a project, had an argument centered around a particular paint scheme I was intent on carry-out.  This scheme was specifically focused on the molding.  I believe it was a nod to the grand old Louis XVI era with all its dramatic paint, gold and gilt, and its associated extravagance, but tempered to a more modern aesthetic.  He felt otherwise.  My plan was to paint the molding and walls in the following:

– Mineral Ice (gray) wall

– metallic silver half round

– thin band of matte black between the half round and the molding

– Chantilly Lace White egg and dart molding.

To say he was concerned that I would ruin all his beautiful craftsmanship with the scheme is an understatement.  It still elicits a giggle when I think of him telling me it was going to look like a “cat house”.  If you don’t know what that is – Google it.  Even Crickets had to admit that when all was said and done, it drew worthy attention to flawless woodwork.

Floor to ceiling there are so many ways to define your space.  We’ll save door casings and plinth blocks for another post.  Without question they add and complement what is being proposed here, but they are inextricably connected to other facets of your home or project.  Therefore, and sadly, they cannot be tackled in a vacuum.

I hope you’re inspired to give it a go.  If you absolutely hate it, paint it the same color as your wall or ceiling and it will virtually disappear.  No permanent damage and you’ll be a little more keyed into your personal style.  Not a bad thing.

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