Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bathroom Wainscoting Beadboard Contrasting Colors

Here we have an outstanding mission style bathroom detail. The wainscoting is run horizontally, while beadboard is vertical above, a matching frame for the mirror, and free-standing vanity furniture style with a bit of rustic flavor, butt hinges, simple pulls, and vertical grooves in the inset doors. Notice also the medicine cabinets are matching the vanity on each side. A brilliant job and the contrast between the vanity and wainscot really sets it off, from It is assumed by looking in the mirror there is a shower (door right next to towel hook) on the other side with a commode in the small lighted room adjacent. A small bedmolding on the ceiling finishes it off.

There are three styles of profiles that exist. They are the cove, bead, and the ogee. However, in using them, one often attempts to add flavor into a work where flavor does not exist.

They exist as a compliment and the more I study craftmanship, the more I realize their restriction allows the artist the ability to think. Although there are many types of elaboration in architectural design far beyond these profiles, they provide the basis of milling technology.

In this particular artwork, there is a cove in the vanity legs, a small bead in the vertical woodwork, probably a cove on the raised panels in the medicine cabinet doors, and a 45 degree angle cut on the horizontal wainscoting to help the eye accept the joinery, otherwise without this small straight line profile, the eye would see variations in the gap, and the brain would not as easily accept it. By adding what is called tongue and groove to the joinery, the eye accepts it as the joinery is smoothed for the mind. The gaps in the inset doors and drawers on the vanity are made consistent otherwise the mind sees the imperfections.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Applied Wainscoting with Embossed Moldings

Here is an fantastic idea which has been installed with the right proportions and reveals. Embossed molding is pre-fabricated using many of the older traditional ideas in mind. This particular work incorporates a mirror in the extended section of the wall, done very nicely, from Pinterest. Here, we see contrasting color really is an improvement on what the eye sees and appreciates. The use of a rosette in the corners adds the flair in just the right amount to make a great wall decor.

© Pinterest

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ideas for Built-in Bookcases

I came across this bookcase built into a doorway that looks really nice. The back side is obviously closed off as a flat panel that would need painting, although that could be trimmed out in various ways. The shelves are fixed and casing is used as trim with a pediment affect. Looks really nice. This comes from

Here is another one but is called a storage unit from This is well planned out and very proportional to the eye. The horizontal divider at head height adds a nice touch to the piece, along with the drawers with the horizontal pulls. Many homes have these spaces that are not utilized as such.

The combination of painted finish and exposed woodworking may have started as the following cabinets built around a window with a seat reveal. The addition of soffit over the cabinets to incorporate lighting and duckwork compliments the work. Noticeably the cabinets are a simple design which seems to match well in the room, from

Here is great example of combining a desk setting with bookcases on each side with a contrasting idea. The shelves being long are made thicker so they do not bow down over time. Again, incorporating the cornice into the existing molding around the room with a capital affect at each pilaster. The shelves look fixed and the dark blue adds a nice contrast for the piece, from Also, using butt hinges likely ballpins or finials on each end with a unique type of pull that may be locking adds a bit of tradition to the piece.

Another example of an amazing bookcase tucked into a space with the wallpaper exposed behind the shelving to add a wonderful look to the piece. Being next to a doorway, you will notice the stop on the floor to prevent the door from banging to this beautiful craftmanship. Looking at the shelves, again one wonders if they are not also fixed, from The light fixture adds a nice touch, fluted pilasters, while the cornice trim is integrated into the existing bed molding at the ceiling edge. It may be that the wallpaper was installed after rather than before installation. This photo may have been taken before hardware if any was installed on the doors.

Bookcases and their designs are an integral part of any home, and they certainly inspire us to collect books and obviously read them, and this is in a world where book reading unfortunately has been declining.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fireplace Mantel Designs

Viewing various mantel designs helps clients get a feeling for how design and structure come together in balancing form. Most of these designs are easily built and offer a variety of approaches to acquire both traditional and conventional methods.

Here we have a traditional design, fluted pilasters, plinth blocks integrated into the baseboard, a recessed drop panel between pilasters, molding around the top, and a unique edge profile on the pediment. These are quite reasonable to build and look great when finished. This one is from

Here is a pre-fab from, a very clean design but the plinth blocks have been shortened to accommodate existing moldings, in this case, baseboards which are tall enough to reveal upon through the use of a wall banding piece which is slightly thicker than the baseboard (not shown). These designs are quite easily custom made offering additional possibilities.

Adding columns to your mantel can enhance the depth and warmth into your room as seen below from Here, the columns hold up the architrave as in an entablature, and above the frieze section with the cornice at the top. At the base of the columns is the pedestal. No particular architectural order is implemented at the capital.

Again, another super clean design that look fabulous when finished. This one comes from The matching of material such as the cornice molding and flat panels is necessary so that all the parts are made of the same wood type.

In looking at hundreds of mantel designs, many times you will find that what is missing is proportion, in many cases they are too wide, too tall, too much elaboration, too thick, etc. Simple often takes the cake and offers the eye a pleasing effect as seen below with wooden corbels holding up the pediment. This is from

A properly proportioned mantel still throws wonderful shadows, especially if done in white. Many corbel designs are available pre-fabricated and can also be custom built. The combination of the cove and bead adds a nice touch in simplicity.

Bookshelves Surrounding Fireplace Mantels

There are numerous examples of bookshelves surrounding fireplace mantels online to view, however, many are not built to please the eye as some of these examples. A lot of really nice craftmanship even if the mantels are not integrated properly. Here are a few examples of fine woodworking inclusive of outstanding architectural design.

This first one comes from Notice how the toe-kick area has a furniture feel while also allowing the feet to not interfere with accessing the shelving. This is a very simple design, but because everything is coordinated so well, fancy profiling becomes unnecessary. The contrasting mantel carries the eye while the shelving supports the overall feeling of order. Having the shelving and cabinet area built into the wall with the extended soffit and ceiling molding provides a nice balance.

Here is another example of fine integration, although the style does not seem to fit the house. Here, no television is assumed above the mantel, however, in this house that might have been appropriate. This particular style for a vaulted ceiling is a bit of mixing tradition with modern thinking while absent the pediment that would normally address the fireplace. This photo comes from Pinterest.

© Pinterest
This one is an outstanding example of pre-planning and structural integration with fluted pilasters, a keystone arch design, also including the elaborated furniture style toe-lick and matched nicely to the primary pilasters around the mantel. Maybe slightly overkill on the capital effects, looks like they just barely fit on the wall. Here, the shelves are not too long while also nosed on the front adding depth. The cabinet tops should have also been thicker to match the shelves. This one is also at Pinterest.

© Pinterest
Another example of fine craftmanship with fluted pilasters, a plinth at their base with some type of rosette at the top matching nicely to the rosette effects on the mantel. The additional cabinet on the left meeting the wall is quite appropriate for the space. The base is integrated along with the ceiling moldings. From Pinterest.

© Pinterest
Finally, here is an example of integrating shelving with mantel in a simple design without excessive profiling or elaboration, yet blended well into the room. Notice the cabinet areas are just slightly thicker in depth than the pediment above the fireplace while also not too much thicker in depth than the bookshelves above resulting in a pleasing effect on the eyes. This comes from Grafik Medya.

© Grafik Medya
There are many more examples, but I find that in many cases preferences whether good or bad often override the resulting aesthetic value expected in fine woodworking.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bookshelves Mission Style with Window Seat Built-in

Here we have a mission style book shelf with cabinet storage below along side a window seat built-in that looks really nice from It looks as though the cabinet space below the book shelves may be file drawers in an office space with another larger drawer below the window seat.


Built-in Furniture Ideas - Photos

These photos come from the Washington Post giving the reader some great ideas on built-ins around a wall where additional storage is utilized with drawers while also serving as a wall seat or window seat idea. Today, drawer glides are available that are mostly hidden and soft closing ranging in price from $50 to $75 per set. Plywood can be used and solid front in construction.

An oversized living room was reconfigured to create a functional and aesthetic foyer-like space. A tile floor accommodates muddy or wet feet. Riding boots and equestrian gear is accommodated in the custom built-in storage units. (By Geoffrey Hodgdon/By Geoffrey Hodgdon)

Here we have built-ins next to a mantle design where normally the mantle section would protrude into the room. With this style, a seamless unit is portrayed that blends into the mantle as one piece offering a clean unobstructive appearance and use.

A formerly sunken family room was raised to improve function, safety, and aesthetics. A new gas fireplace flanked by built-ins provides a focal point to the room. (By Geoffrey Hodgdon)
Read article here.