Molding, or moulding is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. It is traditionally made from solid milled wood, plaster, plastic or reformed wood.
“When commencing study of the classical elements, it is logical to begin with moldings. Moldings are the smallest physical units — the atoms, as it were — of classical architecture, and so are easier to understand at first than the larger, more complex members formed from their combination. Starting with moldings is also convenient because they crystallize in minute form nearly all the ideas that define classicism itself.” Donald M. Rattner is a practicing architect and Director of The Institute for the Study of Classical Architecture (ISCA) at the Real Estate Institute of New York University.
The first lesson to be drawn from moldings is that those who work in the classical manner inherit a pre-established vocabulary and grammar. With moldings, that standard alphabet is generally considered to consist of 14 varieties.
Analysis of shape is one way to classify moldings. On the most elemental level, we first distinguish between STRAIGHT and CURVED moldings.
Classical moldings, with few exceptions, are additive; that is, they usually project out from a given plane. The origins of moldings are subject to debate. Like all elements of classicism, however, it is clear that moldings perform both pragmatic and aesthetic functions.
A base molding, for example, does more than just conceal a joint; first, it serves as a visual foot to the weight of the wall that rises above it; second, it modulates the transition between the vertical and horizontal planes of wall and floor; third, it punctuates the bottom of a wall to signal it has come to an end.
The baseboard, together with the chair rail and cornice, serves the additional purpose of creating architecturally significant DIVISIONS OF SURFACE. In turn, the size and scale of these and other moldings indicate SCALE, which can be loosely defined as the relationship between the human and architectural dimension.
Moldings can help establish HIERARCHY by calling attention to prominent elements in a room, such as doors, windows, fireplace openings, and other apertures.
The impulse in classical design is to frame things, to break down a surface into regularized compartments, as reflected in paneling. There, moldings help mediate the shift from one plane to another by lining the edges of the panel. And, of course, moldings furnish surfaces for ornamental embellishment.
Let’s look at some of the issues that can guide the design of moldings for interiors.
TYPE & SPECIMEN: First, we must distinguish between a general TYPE of molding and the potentially infinite number of individual SPECIMENS of a molding type that can be created by the designer.
White River Molding has a wonderful selection of moldings and a gallery of inspiring installations using compound molding designs.
ALTERNATION & CONTRAST: Moldings are rarely used singly; most often they are combined in a series. When using them in combination, there are several strategies available to enhance visual effect, resolve architectural problems, and avoid poor design. For instance, one way to decide which moldings to use in a sequence is to seek out profiles that produce ALTERNATION and CONTRAST. The contrast may be between straight and curved. Or, the alternation could be between convex and concave profiles, e.g., a TORUS, followed by a SCOTIA, followed by another TORUS — curve and counter-curve (center). We might even get contrast from the play of large and small: large CYMA RECTA, small CYMA REVERSA, etc.
Crown Molding Combinations
Door and Header Molding Combinations
Last blog I focused on best dressed interior windows and since I am in the process of beautifying my exterior windows here are some fabulous exterior windows.
Lots of things to love on this exterior, but the windows are perfect.
Great look with embellishment variations per floor.
Am wondering if the interior is as magnificent as the exterior?
We are adding window boxes to our Gothic style windows. It is late to be planting, but I will be ready for next year with all this great inspiration and planter tips.
The more window boxes you have, the simpler the design should be.Window boxes are great but they are, as Tim Gunn would say, “a lot of look.” Keep your plant choices to complimentary colors and no more than two or three different plants and then plant every box the same.
Or just one plant. This looks beautiful.
The higher your window boxes are, the simpler, and “bigger” the look should be, like geraniums.
In any container planting, you want to mix things up (unless you are going for a very contemporary look, in which case a line of plants all the same height—grasses grown in almost a hedge look, for example—might look very cool). The tallest plant should be in the middle and things should gradually decrease in size from there. Be careful, though, to to keep scale in mind. Spillers should be consistent throughout the box.
Be warned if you use the sweet potato vine it can overwhelm all the other plants in your window box. A better alternative is one of the new sweet potato vines that are supposed to be much more well-mannered, or Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (creepy jenny), which still offers that nice color.
I am definitely going to use Creepy Jenny. I have some in my front bed and it is beautiful.
Repetition is the key to successful window box design. Pick a few plants and repeat them in your design. Whereas a patio container will look great with clumps of color, if you do that in a window box it will look off balance. Symmetry is a great thing in window boxes.
6. Keep the conditions in mind. You can push the limits on a lot of container plants moving them to get all plants in the sun, but window boxes don’t move and they live in some pretty harsh conditions. Imagine how windy it can be on the top floor of house. Also, since they can be against the side of the house, a northern exposure is going to get basically nothing in the way of light, whereas a container just a few feet from the house would at least get some light. Planters on the south side of a very reflective white house run the risk of being fried to death. I purchased window planters that have self-watering reservoirs in the box to counteract this.
Devon with corbels
Choose what you love. More care is spent picking the plants for a container than almost any other part of the garden. Each is placed purposefully in a container and because they need so much attention, they are the plants we are most likely to study every day. So if any of all of those guidelines above don’t fit with what you want to put in a window box, then ignore them! If it looks good to you, that’s all that matters. Since it is so late in the season I am basically planting what I found that I love; white mandevilla, impatiens and variegated ivy. I think I need two more ivy plants for each corner.
Love the use of succulents.