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Author Archive | Ken

Historic FIREPLACE MANTEL-104, Fort Mackinac

fireplace mantel

Traditional/Greek Revival Style, c. 1828

I discovered this simple fireplace mantel in the hospital and doctors’ quarters in old Fort Mackinac.

The other moldings in this room — the door trim and baseboard — are nice, but plain. Only the fireplace was dressed up special.

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Follow TJOM on Instagram

instagram

TJOM goes social.

At the urging of my buddy Greg, I signed up for an Instagram account.

And now that I’ve played around on Instagram for a few days, I think I see how it might be fun. And let’s face it, as a small business owner, something like this has got to be either neccesary or fun, or else it will sit forgotten in some dusty, digital corner of my office.

So here’s the link if you want to follow The Joy of Moldings on Instagram.

I’ll post fun things and small updates on Instagram, things that don’t warrant a full blog post here on The Joy of Moldings.

See you there!

Historic DOOR TRIM-118 in Lexington, Michigan

door trim

Greek Revival front door surround with transom.

Traditional/Greek Revival Style, c. 1870

The other day I was riding my bike down the gravel farm roads of Michigan’s thumb area, when I found this elegant front door surround in the charming town of Lexington.

Lexington sits on the shore of Lake Huron, and has been a popular summer vacation destination for a very long time, even as far back as when this home was built.

Note how this surround compares to the last one I posted, DOOR TRIM-117.

greek revival historic home

Greek Revival historic home in Lexington, Michigan.

Greek Revival moldings can be highly ornate or simple like this one. To build one like this would be a very easy thing to do, which makes me scratch my head and wonder why more people don’t replicate them.

In its understated simplicity, this door surround sends the powerful message that the visitors who enter by way of the front door are important.

2016 Molding Safaris

This year I want to take you inside a series of historic homes that I find on my travels, either by car or by bicycle, hence the molding safaris. I’ll cover the major period styles I highlight here on TJOM: Traditional, Victorian and Arts & Crafts.

But this being mid-winter in Michigan, I could not find a soul to take me inside any of the homes I found this weekend. But at least I was lucky enough to find one open pub in Lexington where I was served a tasty hot lunch. But not a single motel was open, so I had to zoom north to Port Sanilac to snag the one available motel room in the area.

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Wall Frame Moldings and Electrical Outlets

picture frame molding

[This is part of my How to Install Moldings series.]

I was digging around in my photo files and looking for something short and sweet to write about, when I found this MDF frame I built around this wall plug.

When laying out wall frame moldings in a room (I used PM-014 to make these wall frames), you will more than likely have to make the pattern take priority over what limiting factors the moldings are going to run into, like electrical outlets and air return vents. Which also means you’ll have to get creative solving problems like this one.

The frame, made from 1/2 MDF, acts as a kind of plinth that allowed me to dissolve the wall frame moldings into the plinth. I also installed an arch shield to maintain the fire safety of the electrical box.

wall moldings

The room turned out even nicer than I had imagined, and is still one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done.

chair rail molding

Merry Christmas!

miniture door surround

Christmas niche at the Red Dog Cafe.

Moldings are for the people inside the home, not for the home itself.

Last week I drove through the historic farming community of Yale, Michigan, and stopped into the Red Dog Cafe (Google Map) for a bite to eat. Inside the restaurant I found this charming Christmas display carefully tucked inside a righteously red wall niche.

The welcoming little door surround and its friendly snowman, brought to mind the reason dressing up your home with moldings is important — to show the people who live inside and visit your home — that they are valued and loved.

This sentiment was the genesis for my own introduction to installing moldings.

I was married when I bought my first home, but I could only just afford it as is; there was no money to hire a craftsman to upgrade the moldings. But I wanted to surround my family with the sense of place that I felt classical moldings gave a home. And so I slowly began to teach myself the craft of designing and installing historically inspired door and window surrounds, crown molding and large baseboards.

So as you approach your 2016 molding projects, don’t think about how your upgrades will increase the value of your home, think about how what you do increases the happiness of your family.

Merry Christmas to you, dear reader, and thank you for sharing your 2015 molding projects with me. Your work has brought me great joy!

Cheers!

Ken O’Brien

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