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Merry Mouldings! (Moldings?)

Happy Holidays all! Christmas chaos has officially come to an end, so I thought it was time to post an update on where we're at in our story entitled "Home Improvements That Never End." I'm lying here in my food/Prosecco coma, staring at our new mouldings in the living room, so I wanted to fill you in on what's been going on over the past month (since the fall when Dennis and I attacked our hostas).

While doing my design research, I always love coming across cool and interesting facts that I would probably never know about if I wasn't doing the research. One thing I've always wondered it moldings or mouldings?? I've seen it spelled both ways hundreds of times, so I figured both were correct, but never knew why. Now I do! So, they are in fact both technically correct. When referring to crown mouldings, or cornices, the British have always used the ou in the spelling while the American spelling remains without the u. According to Wikipedia, molding, or moulding is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. Traditionally made from solid milled wood or plaster, at their simplest, mouldings are a means of applying light and dark shaded stripes to a structural objects without having to change the material or apply pigments. The contrast of dark and light areas gives definition to the object. Both spellings are deemed acceptable in modern usage, however, I'm going to use "moulding." This version of the word is older and originated in England (also used in Australia and Canada) and is the preferred spelling used by those in the industry.

(Note: It does drive me completely bananas that my blog program recognizes it as an incorrect spelling with that irritating red line under it every time I type it. Trying to let that go...)

Okay, so now that the spelling lesson is complete, I'll move on to the updates in my home. The last room in our house to tackle was the living room. It is also my favorite space in the house, so waiting almost two years to attack it was extremely painful for me. But we did it. Well, we're doing it. The room is somewhat unique, as it moves from having 20 foot ceilings to eight foot ceilings. The area where the ceiling is lower was a very dark space, due to the dark wooden beams that line the ceiling. Because of this, I knew I needed to take drastic measures to make this space brighter. The first task to accomplish this goal: replace the dreary window mouldings. As you'll see, they were quite ratty and were a drab cream color. Yuck!

Take note of all of the chipping paint! Oy!

So I gave Cesar the specifics on how I wanted him to do the crown, and we were on our way. I knew exactly what I was looking for with regard to the window trim, so we brought Cesar in to assess the situation since he'd be doing the work (obviously!). After some chatting, it was decided that he would do the custom crown mouldings above the windows and I would purchase the side mouldings (a.k.a. window casings). I stopped by Riverhead Building Supply and grabbed their Moulding Catalog. This catalog is insane! Mouldings galore! After days of flipping though it, we decided on a 5-inch wide decorative casing. Rule of thumb is to opt for a window frame that's larger than standard dimensions. By adding thickness around your windows, your windows will make a bigger impact in the room and appear larger, therefore, making the space seem brighter.

Side and bottom casings are up!

(Again, lots of spackling to do!)

So after about a month of work, these are the after pics - new casings, custom crown moulding, spackled and sanded walls, some wood filler, and fresh paint on window trim and walls!

As you saw in the pics, Dennis and I had a great deal of scraping, spackling, and sanding to do on the walls before we painted. This is a task that we took on ourselves. Take a break, Cesar!

We also took on the back door. Clearly in terrible shape! The half moon window above the door is rotted. :( For now, we just "refurbished" it with some TLC. Those windows don't come cheap! I'm proud to say that I took this window on by myself. Ahem.



We used Benjamin Moore's Semi-Gloss Interior Paint and Primer in White for all of the trim and Paper White (paint and primer) for the walls in a matte finish (this has a very light gray tint to it).

Has anyone ever painted old colonial-style windows like these? Painting each grill is such a joy. And then scraping the paint off of each pane? Grr. 119 panes total! What's scarier is that the other half of the room is up mouldings around three sets of french doors (one with sidelights!). I'll start pouring now.

Stay tuned all! And if I don't get to you before the 1st, Happy New Year!


xo, Claudine

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