Don’t be afraid of…skimpy trim moldings

As I have mentioned several times in past posts, our house was just a “masterpiece waiting for its artist” (here, here, here and here.) It’s funny, while very solidly constructed with many lasting and gracious elements, our house had the paltriest moldings you’d ever want to see. In the ’50s, trim as a design element wasn’t even considered.

Trim is also one of those elements that you just don’t notice. When moldings are generous and beautiful, it dramatically adds to a room, but largely goes undetected or noticed. If someone asked you what you like about a room, you probably wouldn’t even mention it. Conversely, when trim is skimpy and lacking, it detracts from a room, but again largely goes undetected or noticed. It was my savvy husband who made that call in our house [one of the many reasons I married him]. We had that typical, nondescript, skimpy 3″ trim throughout the house. He was the one that realized we needed to replace it.

Sounds easy, right? It was, but it was also costlier than I had ever imagined it would be. I assumed a few mitre cuts by the contractor and we’d be in crown molding fat city. Not so much. Seems removing all the old molding, cutting, fitting and installing the new, bigger molding and then preparing it all for painting is a pretty labor-intensive undertaking. That was one pre-work estimate that made me catch my breath. At that point in time, my husband and I just weren’t in a position to take it on ourselves, which in retrospect, we probably could have done.

All that said, I would most certainly do it all over again…yup…even at twice the price. It made THAT much of a difference in the look, feel and presentation of our house. I don’t think the picture below [taken with my iphone] actually captures the drastic-ness of the change, but you get the idea.

If you are house shopping and there is something about a house’s that is lacking for you, check out the moldings. Swapping 3″ moldings for 6″ molding can really make a big difference in the overall “fit and finish” of a home.

Here’s a handy ideabook from Houzz that discusses selecting the correct trim size.


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