Total Cost for Our Moldings $639.80
Welcome to our Kitchen and Dining Room!
This page is your portal to all the posts we wrote about upgrading the moldings in our small kitchen and dining room, and is part of Our Molding Makeover series.
Easy Molding Installation
Installing moldings like these in your own kitchen is a lot easier than you might think.
If you’re shy about your diy skills, don’t worry, we’ve written step by step instructions showing you how we did it. If you’re not sure if you’ve got the right tools to do the job, then read our Molding Tool Kit series.
All the moldings and millwork in our kitchen came stock off the shelf from local retailers, so you don’t have to chase down expensive specialty items if you want to try installing some of these molding patterns yourself.
The Open Floor Plan Problem
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, so we wanted it to be really nice. But we didn’t want it to be fussy either, since it is a utility space.
Our kitchen is an open floor plan design that presented two unique design challenges.
- How to design moldings that let us divide up the utility part of the kitchen from the dining room part of the kitchen without making them too different from each other.
- What to do with the awkward hall space between the dining room and the foyer.
The Open Floor Plan Solution
To define the dining room part of the kitchen we installed wainscoting and pilasters, and then painted the brick wall a darker accent color, a medium blue.
Installing the eared architrave molding on the porch double doors had the effect of creating another architectural feature close to the dining area, and that helped define the space, too.
The Dining Room Part of the Kitchen
The Utility Part of the Kitchen
A Beautiful, Defined Small Room Rather than a Vague Small Room
So many people fret over weather or not they should install a lot of moldings in a small room like our kitchen.
But our crown molding, with its defining dark blue boarder below (the frieze), gives your eye something to follow as it scans the room.
It gives your room a new perspective by giving it a new vanishing point. It increases the sense of room depth. The effect of which is to eliminate the vague, empty box feeling and replace it with a defined sense of intimacy.
Total Cost to Decorate the Kitchen so Far
Since the kitchen is the first room we worked on, some of the things we bought can be used in other rooms, like primer and glue and tarps and stuff.
Consumable Materials We Used
- Liquid Nails, 3 ea. tubes ($2.47 ea.) = $7.41
- Caulk, DAP Alex Plus, 1 ea. tube $2.28
- Wood Glue, Elmer’s Carpenter’s, 1 ea. 4 oz bottle, $1.67
- Spackling for nail holes 1 ea. 8 oz, $4.28
- Goof Off to get the glue off our hands, 4.5 oz can $4.17
- Blue Painter’s tape 1″ wide, 1 ea. roll $3.93 (for holding up plastic tarps, not for masking moldings!)
- Plastic Drop Cloths .4ml, 9′ X 12′, 2 ea. ($1.79 ea.) $3.58
Kitchen Paints $217.00
A detailed list of all the paints and their names we used in our kitchen.
There are a few painting tips on this post too.
Sticker shock at the ACE Hardware checkout counter. Now that I’ve used this expensive paint on our moldings, I can honestly say if the price is worth it.
Jennifer gives a tour of her kitchen and points out some of her favorite small customizations.
Making Incremental Financial Choices about Home Projects: A Conversation with My Mom
Kitchen Crown Molding Installation $211.75
The first kitchen molding project we tackled was to install this three-piece crown molding.
There are several limiting factors in our kitchen that affect our crown molding design. Hint: One of them is the cat.
A materials list with images of all the moldings that make up our three-piece kitchen crown.
I always build a model to finalize the exact proportions of any crown molding I install. Here’s ours and a few versions you should avoid.
I like my crown molding cornices to be just right, so I modified this one a bit.
This is how I mark the walls and ceiling so I know exactly where the different crown pieces go.
Learn how to install the lower anchor and wrap it around an air vent that’s in the way of our crown molding.
You want a really nice cornice on your crown molding, and this is how you install it.
This is a very long page with all the pictures you could need on installing this last, most important piece of molding.
Picture Rail Molding $46.08
At first we were not going to install any picture rail molding in the kitchen. Then we decided we’d install it just on the brick wall. Then we decided we wanted it in the rest of the kitchen.
Step by step tutorial how we we installed this picture rail molding.
Jennifer shows you her method for hanging plates from our picture rail molding. Post includes prices and materials.
Porch Door: A Greek Revival Eared Architrave $74.60
This door trim style is known by a few different names: lugged, shouldered and eared architrave. For the sake of being consistent on our blog however, we’ve decided to use eared architrave when referring to it.
When I showed Jennifer all of the different door trim styles that would look nice in our house — simple casings, pilastered surrounds, corner blocks and eared architraves — she was immediately drawn to this style, and so it will be the dominant door trim style downstairs.
It’s uncommon to find this style in newer homes (unless they are built by the kind of people who hand their builders blank checks), but it’s quite common to find it in all three of the major North American architectural styles: Georgian, American Victorian and Greek Revival.
Below This is how the door trim looked before we added the picture rail molding and painted the inside reveal dark blue.
Posts in This Porch Door Series
- How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 1: Materials from Lowes $74.60 Here I’ve included the materials list and their prices, demolition, and how I made the plinth blocks and scribers out of simple MDF molding.
- How to Make an Eared Architrave Part 2: DOOR TRIM-103 This post shows step by step how I assemble all 18 pieces of molding that make up this pattern. It’s really easy to do, and I’ll show you how.
Half Bathroom & Laundry Room Door Trim c. $35.00 ea.
We used about the same amount of materials to make each of these door surrounds as we did to make the larger porch door surround.
We had to make a few alterations to each door surround, but they are esentialy the same as the large one. Here’s a post with a little more detail about the limiting factors of both.
Small Window Valance Box $14.54
We don’t have much room around this little window for a whole surround, so we made a delicate valance box to hide the upper part of the blinds. It looks nice painted white, but Jennifer wants to experiment with painting the frieze and applique, so this is just a start.
Below Jennifer likes all of her cooking tools within easy reach (this is her cooking command center), so the window trim design we came up with had to accommodate them staying where they are.
This is probably the most detailed set of steps — video and step-by-step pictures — on how to build a valance box on the entire Al Gore-created internet.
I’m not saying posting this many steps is a good thing, but here they are anyway.
Wainscoting $137.00 & Pilasters $40.83
The area in front of the brick wall in the kitchen serves as our dining room, and to the right of that space is this awkward transition space between the foyer/living room that we just didn’t know what to do with.
One minute we were sure what we wanted and then the next minute we’d see something that would make that design not work, and then back to the drawing board for another go of molding combinations.
But all the back and forth was worth it because we are so happy with the final results.
This classical design is another based on Andrea Palladio’s interpretation of the ancient Greek orders. Francis Terry designed something similar for Highland Park House in Dallas, Texas, and the paint scheme was inspired by rooms designed by Robert Adam.
Above and Below The trick to designing your pilasters is to make them appear to be supporting something — no tacking them to the wall willy-nilly.
After a few different combinations, we were quite confident that the pilasters should appear to support not only our architrave (the picture rail molding), but also this low ceiling (below) between the kitchen and foyer/living room.
After tossing around so many wainscoting patterns we finally settled on a design that we hope will look balanced on this awkward brick wall. Here are some sketches that helped us come to a final decision.
Here’s a look at some paint color combinations we tried on our kitchen moldings.
Step by step instructions and material list for making these simple pilasters.
It only cost $137.00 to install 13′ feet of this wainscoting.
You’ll find the complete list of materials and prices and the first installation steps here.
(coming soon) How to paint the wainscoting.
Baseboard Molding $40.00
Jennifer was attracted to this Greek Revival or Georgian style baseboard right from the start. I was really happy she chose this one because I’ve been wanting to install a baseboard like this for many years, and now I get to install it in my own home where I get to enjoy it every day.
This post gives you all the details you need to build this beautiful, classically proportioned baseboard.
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