Home improvement, Picture Frames
Comments 10

Past Project: Pediment Picture Frames

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.

A big project: updating the foyer.

A big project: updating the foyer.

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…

Pediment picture frames in the foyer.

Pediment picture frames in the foyer.

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…

Pediment; curved and broken.

Pediment; curved and broken.

Pediment; pointed.

Pediment; pointed.

Pediment, curved.

Pediment, curved.

Pediment; pointed and broken.

Pediment; pointed and broken.

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.

* * * * *

Have a question or comment? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).


  1. I absolutely love it. I first fell in love with the trees and the character of the outside of your home and once I saw the pictures of the inside and what you’ve done to add additional character to the home, I was even more smitten. That was a wonderful idea with the picture frames so creative.

    • Thanks Dyami. A future goal I have is to update the lighting fixtures and maybe replace the ceiling with something more visually interesting.

  2. Beautiful work, Jeff. I found your Coffered Ceiling post, and have been following ever since. Can’t wait to see how the Window Seat Bookcase turns out.

  3. Michelle Morrison says

    Jeff, you have done an awesome job on your home! I absolutely love your taste and I want you to know that you have extremely great taste in your designs. I know it is a lot of work but when you complete a project I know it makes yourself very proud of what you built, etc. People, this Man has a very awesome talent. For those who have never built picture frames, etc. , it is much harder than it looks and to top off Jeff’s talent, even though a picture frame is usually complete after the four sides, Jeff adds “HIS” talent which in this case, is adding to the top of the picture frames, and they are absolutely gorgeous!!!

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