[picture shows a door opening with a black painted door trim]
Chapter 1 - How to instantly add style to your condo reno project.
Unless your condominium project features a very strong, distinct style - like modernism* - I think the greatest style addition can come from carefully adding some trim elements.
What is trim?
Trim is anything that you add to the walls or the ceiling to decorate - usually wood; or wood-based, man-made product. SO anything that is paneling, mouldings, baseboards, door casings, crown mouldings, beading, door stops, round overs, chair rails - the list is long very long.
Good trim companies - like Brenlo, here in Toronto - my favourite trip to the sample wall - will produce multitude of mouldings that are dimensionally compatible with each other. That means that you can stack several mouldings to achieve a greater effect - they are modular in a sense [yeezus....I always keep thinking about modularity and efficiency]. Brenlo pocket-size catalogue handily lists off appropriate moulding combinations to achieve popular decorating looks - Arts and Crafts, Contemporary, etc. If you are considering re-trimming your space then it is a great treat to come and see their showroom - it's all on display [FREE SAMPLES!] And they make matching doors too!
That modularity works for me too, but I use it in a non orthodox way. Like say, I discover on a project that the doors casings have to stay, because they are metal. But they are very plain and boring and very small - just absolutely nothing. Ha! That 'nothing' is perfect! It means that it will work with 'anything'! It's like a blank canvass! It is easy to spend at least 1 hour on each side of the sample wall at Brenlo - looking, considering, proportioning.
After all the deliberations I settle on this one -
[picture shows a profile of a wooden moulding - it looks fancy and will add sophistication]
It's not a very large addition, but the key is that it is proportionate. The size of your trim selection should be proportionate to the space you have and style - key take away!
To further refine the door casing design I decided add an additional element to the top of the door - but I did not find anything that caught my eye. Yes, there were couple of small mouldings that were interesting - but nothing otherwise.
Sometimes, to satisfy your designer craving you got to go the custom route, and I am well skilled*. See, I don't want to replicate a moulding out of a catalogue [I want to call that 'the common look'; safe, predictable, easy]. I aim for originality, unique, one of a kind looks - striking interiors, you get wow'ed! every time.
My favourite element in trim mouldings is beading - curiously though, I have not seen any commercially available beading. I think beading has a rich feel to it and carefully layered with some flats it creates a sophisticated look. When I think of beading I think of piping on good upholstery pieces - they are rich and they are luxurious.
[picture shows a 1/2 router bit that produces beading profile]
While picking up some blades from the sharpening, I picked up a 1/2" router bit that I intend to use to produce some interesting profiles - it's a half bead, with two different size reveals around it. Already see it using to produce variety of cuts and different effects - COOL! Will post pics once I make things!
Remember, have fun with your trim!
There are many books out there on the market about trim - on both sides: design and fabrication. There are some basic rules for proportions and size, and a good, skilled and experienced carpenter should have some understanding of that. If you want more than just the basics - then you will have to hire a designer. They will be able to divide/proportion your space for best look; they will make suggestions on what elements will work best and what to avoid - I always think that less is more. Trim should have a purpose. Designers will also add colour to it - sometimes, black doors look really good.
[picture shows painted black doors]
* Someone once told me that they were surprised that I - as a designer - did manual labour - as 'the big boss' I should be ordering people around - do this, do that! 'Yes,' I answered, 'it was my grandmother's dream that I wear a white collar and direct others, but I just like the work too much.' I have managed to achieve a great level of proficiency in my craft - woodworking; all sorts - and it brings me great satisfaction to execute my creations. Plus I get paid for it.