Architectural Details That Revive a Room
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Are you bored with your house? The fault could lie in the lack of architectural detail in your home. Four walls and a floor make a room, but it’s the details that make it inviting. With some basic carpentry skills and tools (or a skilled hired carpenter) you can add a little Wow! to your home with these ideas.
Survey your rooms: how tall is the baseboard? What kind of trim is around windows or doorways? How wide is it, and do you like the molding detail (if any)? Now imagine the room with trim around windows and doors where there is none, added window sills, or wider, more intricate trim. This could be a very simple project: visit a home improvement store and you’ll see a wide range of trims. You can even buy corner pieces for the baseboard so you won’t have to miter anything.
Add Crown Molding
Crown molding is missing from many modern homes. Some homes are fine without it, and others are built in a style that wouldn’t mesh with crown molding very well. Otherwise, crown molding can be that missing element a room needs to make it look complete, like the top piece of a frame. It will not make the ceiling appear lower than it already is, as some may fear, but if you have low ceilings (7-8 feet) choose 3-5 inch molding. Higher ceilings can accommodate up to 7-inch molding, depending on your taste and furnishings. Crown molding can also dress up plain kitchen wall cabinets.
Shorter ceiling heights can support wainscoting well. If you don’t like the country casual of bead board wainscoting, try the classic look of raised wood panels. Or consider the simple addition of a narrow strip of trim placed about 12 inches from the ceiling. Dividing the room up into sections opens up the options for your color palette as well.
Replace the Fireplace Mantelpiece
The style of a mantelpiece should match your home and furnishings, but you can jazz up any room with a new mantel shelf, entire mantelpiece, or just the surrounds. Maybe all you need is a coat of white paint splashed over dreary brick. A new mantelpiece or shelf can add some serious dramatic appeal as a new, riveting focal point.
Define Areas with Open Shelving
Build an entire wall of open shelving and you have a practical way to increase the attraction of that room. A wall of open shelves works well at one end of a very long living area, or consider installing a unit between two open areas to preserve the feeling of space yet promote areas of intimacy. Shelving units can also help define other details, such as when they surround a window, creating the opportunity for a window seat.
Install Wood Floors, Walls, or Ceilings
The richness of wood is always welcome in a room, though the original design dictates how much and what style. Wood paneling is perfect for a home office, and a wood bat-and-board ceiling looks a little Scandinavian and adds a cottage feel to a sitting room or all-season porch. Installing wood floors, walls or ceilings is an expensive option, yet wise choices as these will last your lifetime, if properly cared for.
Expose or Add Ceiling Beams
It might sound a little scary, but it can be done: rip out a sheet-rock or plaster ceiling to heighten the space in a room and make it feel a bit more like a cottage by the beach. Blasted with a whitewash, the exposed ceiling joists add a subtle yet valuable architectural feature. Before you take a crowbar to the ceiling, you’ll want to verify your home has the right “bones”. Will you jeopardize the energy efficiency of your home (it’s better if there is a 2nd floor above to prevent losing heat), and do you know what ducts and electrical work run through that area? You should also have a new plan for lighting in that room, if a ceiling fixture proves impractical. Adding rough beams to a ceiling is a good option for bringing in rustic charm. You may also mimic the look of a solid beam with a construction of 1x4s or 1x6s in the form of a beam. Add some trim and paint for a classy finish.
The above projects range from simple to time-consuming, and prices will depend on the grade of wood you buy. (Hint – buy cheaper wood for painting, and stain grade wood for staining.) Give some thought to which features would best compliment your home. If you account for the integrity and spirit of your home’s design, a few well-placed architectural features will breathe new life and grace within its walls.
Are you planning your upcoming renovation and need a skilled team to build your design, we’re the team to make it happened.
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