I like architecture. When we bought our current home, it was virtually devoid of architectural elements. While nice on the outside (I love all the trees in our yard), the inside was pretty simple. In some rooms, we had large walls with an undersized baseboard and no crown molding. We did have a few nice features: large windows and solid wood, six panel doors throughout. Otherwise, the interior of our home was pretty basic.
After visiting the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, and seeing the riot of moldings, ceiling decoration, panelled walls and frequent carved wood and stone, I decided I would do something about the basic look of our home.
The first thing I did was add a lot of molding to our foyer. In the photo above, all the trim in white is new. Even the stair balusters were changed (three of the original ones were installed upside down). The oak handrail replaced a basic pine one. The poor looking parquet floor was ripped up and replaced with a nice oak floor in a herringbone pattern.
Still, the walls above the wainscoting begged for something to fill the available space. After considerable thought, I came up with four picture frame designs which incorporated historic architectural elements…
These picture frames are meant to simulate windows found on historic buildings (example here). After looking through magazines, I came up with four pediment styles…
These picture frames were made from home center pine and painted with a Rust-Oleum paint kit. I then had a framing shop complete the construction with glass and matting.
The curved pediments were tricky work. The curved components required creative use of my router for some of the moldings and the tops were created from a lamination of thin strips of wood glued together and clamped to a form.
In the end, these picture frames add a very unique look to our updated foyer. Our house is slowing transforming from a basic home to one which features a variety traditional architectural elements.
See these other home improvement projects:
- The coffered ceiling in our living room: click here.
- The custom crown molding in our dining room: click here.
- The renovation of my front porch: click here.
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