"Wow, You Have Amazing Woodwork!"Written by C. Hegler
"Wow, you have amazing woodwork!" I hear it every time I take someone to visit my grandparent's centennial home. Built shortly after Civil War by a skilled trim and finish carpenter, my great-great grandpa, home boasts its original wood paneling; trim boards and solid wood doors. There is something more to this home than just space, shelter, and light... These friends don't have any sentimental attachment when they enter and utter now expected, "Wow! Amazing woodwork." Trim carpenters will tell you that great woodwork is not a thing of past. Restaurants know woodwork will set atmosphere in their dining rooms. Hotels use woodwork to enhance substantial feeling their interiors invoke. Homeowners can enjoy these same advantages. You don't have to live in a mansion to enjoy enduring beauty and atmosphere created by quality woodwork. Nor does great woodwork need to overburden your budget. You can enjoy beautiful woodwork right where you live. Trim is Everywhere
Woodwork or trim is part of every home. Trimming doors, windows and around floors is not optional. Your option is trim you choose. Realizing that mouldings exist has forever changed way I look at rooms. I was shocked to see generic primed 2 1/4" colonial casing in a showcase home set in a beautiful and exclusive neighborhood. The home is beautiful. Almost no expense was spared. But I was left wondering how much nicer it could have looked, with little added effort, by choosing to upgrade mouldings. When I eat at a steak house I don't expect to be served a fast-food style sandwich, yet so many gorgeous homes of distinction are outfitted with 'fast-food' woodwork. The landlord needs to trim a door he just repaired; he buys cheapest trim to do job. The Do-it-yourself-er has only this afternoon available; he buys what is offered in stock. The contractor has a bottom line; he selects an economy grade because homeowners did not say selection mattered to them. The natural result is that rental, back closet and show house all have same trim. Strange, but very often true. Inside Information
Nearly everyone would enjoy distinctive woodwork, but candidly, what does it cost to have it? These tips allow me to help clients upgrade without sticker shock. Fancy does not necessarily cost more. Millwork shops price mouldings based on type of wood selected and on size. The profile (design) does not generally factor into price at all. Some woods are more economical than others. Red oak (FAS or S&B grade) is hardwood standard for top quality moldings. But, most economical hardwood is poplar. Have you considered poplar? It's not just for painting; is humble and economical place in hardwood family has caused many to overlook poplar's appealing qualities. The common misconception that pine is “cheap” wood continues because stock pine trim often comes from offshore sources. Clear moulding-grade North American pine can cost more than oak. Hickory, beech, birch, maple and walnut are roughly double red oak rates. Cherry and mahogany are another step up. Specialty hardwoods can usually be quoted upon request. Selecting a high-end wood or a wider profile may not be as expensive as you fear. Matched patterns often come two widths. Use wide mouldings only where you want to draw attention, other area will coordinate well with narrower profile. For a tall base buy 1x board stock for height then use a decorative base cap. When you collect pricing information, ask for a comparison quotes for these possibilities. Lastly, order extra. It can save money by preventing “short-run” setup charges if you need more. Tuck extra pieces into a closet for future repairs.
How to Choose a 'Safe' Color to Paint Your Rooms Written by Johnson Design
Are you STILL thinking about painting your walls with color?
Many people are afraid to make leap from 'builder's beige' to a more daring color choice. What holds you back? Are you afraid color will be too strong? Not match your furniture? Or you'll become tired of it and have to start over again?
While you're debating work involved you are missing out on one of basic elements of design that can change entire look of your room for under $50. Your tired furniture can become new again and a mismatched room can have designer flare! So, how do you choose right color?
The first recommendation is to choose a tinted neutral. Why is that? Instead of choosing rich, deep colors for your first project, you will likely feel more comfortable with a neutral such as beige or gray which will not date room or create a jarring palate that you will easily tire of.
However, when you go to your local home improvement store you will be faced with a sea of color swatches - hundreds of versions of basic beige and gray to choose from. So before you go, consider these steps to choosing right color for you.
If you like feel of a warm and cozy room - think of fireplaces, brown leather and sunsets - then you'll want to start with a beige tone.