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custom historic fireplace

Me in my favorite room at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Hi, my name is Ken O’Brien, and once upon a time I bought a house with moldings so small they looked more like architectural decals rather than architectural details.

So I began teaching myself how to decorate my home with moldings.

And while I knew I wanted really nice moldings, I also knew I’d have to install them myself, and that the materials would have to be affordable — no custom milled moldings for me — I’d have to buy inexpensive, stock moldings from my local lumber yard.

The Learning Curve

At the beginning, I didn’t know a thing about woodworking, let alone moldings, so I toured expensive new homes to see what kind of moldings they had.

But time and again I came away from these expensive new homes, unimpressed.

The moldings were not as beautiful as the kind I saw in historic homes. They were more like watered-down versions of what moldings used to look like.

Historic Moldings for Modern Homes

I had no desire to renovate an historic home, yet I dearly loved the warmth, charm and romance I found in the level of architectural detail they have. No doubt you feel the same.

So I began copying the crown molding, baseboard, door trim and wainscoting patterns I saw in historic homes, and dismissed much of the moldings I saw developers and contractors installing in newer homes.

For me it was the right decision, and it has guided my molding designs ever since.

Not really a molding snob!

Not really a moldings snob!

The Joy of Moldings is for You!

This website is my way of sharing with you my unique approach to designing, installing and painting moldings.

The best place to start digging around the 400+ pages I’ve written, is by poking around in my How to Install Moldings series. It’s taken me many years to put it together and includes as many of my tips and techniques I can think of.

Read more at My True Story: Birth of a Molding Snob and Why Moldings? I Am My Father’s Son.


Ken O’Brien

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