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chair rail moldingTraditional Style

Your local lumber yard will most likely label this molding profile as a chair rail, and indeed you can use it for that, most people do.

But it has other uses as well, like making wall or ceiling frames.

This example is for a pre-primed mdf version, but this profile will be available in many other materials like pine or poplar.

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Make CEILING MOLDING-100 for c. $50.64

ceiling moldingsTraditional Style

Here’s a simple pattern you can use to breathe life into a flat or tray ceiling.

You can expand or contract the size of the design depending on your needs.

Even if you go much larger, you don’t have to increase the size of the moldings themselves or the rosettes in the corners; you could, but you don’t  have to.

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How to Install CROWN MOLDING-105 For c. $2.86/lf

crown moldingTraditional/Victorian

Finish carpenter installation price c. $12.00/lf + $12.00/corner or return

The reason I’ve classified this crown molding as both a traditional and a Victorian design, is because I’ve seen similar profiles in American Victorian homes as well as very old classical buildings in Europe.

So feel free to use it with either style decor.

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crown moldingTraditional or Victorian Style

Here’s a beautifully detailed crown molding profile that’s sure to make an impression as part of a three-piece buildup.

It would also be impressive as part of a fireplace mantel, door or window entablature.

However you use it, you’ll be impressed with how easy it is to work with, and, more importantly, how grand it will look in any of your rooms!

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door casingCasing Molding

This versatile molding profile I’ve used for chair rail buildups, entablatures, crown molding cornices and of course, baseboards.

But it wasn’t until this week that I saw this same profile in an historic home, and so establishing its historic legitimacy once and for all.

It is located in the 1930-built home that now serves as the city of Birmingham, Michigan’s, Historical Museum. I’ll be featuring the moldings in that home over the coming week.

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Greek Revival Historic Home: Birmingham, Michigan

historic greek revival home

I don’t usually publish anything on Fridays because this is the only full day off I have from my day job .

But today I finally had a chance to tour the historic home I wrote about back in early summer, the Hunter House, and so I wanted to give you a heads-up that interior pictures are on their way.

Have a great Friday!


How to Install CROWN MOLDING-104 for c. $5.17/lf

crown moldingVictorian Style

Finish Carpenter Price c. $18.00/lf + $20.00/Corner or Return

You or your finish carpenter can make this crown molding by stacking four separate molding profiles together.

The design is a hybrid of sorts from several crowns I’ve seen in Victorian homes over the years.

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Historic Home: The Sibley House

Greek Revival/Traditional, 1848

greek revival

On Jefferson Avenue, a stone’s throw from downtown Detroit and just across the street from Albert Kahn’s famous, The Palms, historic apartments, sits the prettiest little example of Greek Revival architecture you could ever hope to see.

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TJOM Changes During the Holidays

door trimOver the next week I have to turn my attention to the regrettable task of changing The Joy of Moldings WordPress theme from Standard, which is no longer supported, to Canvas, a theme that is supported.

The site might look strange for a while as I make all the necessary changes, so don’t fret if you visit and find things all ahoo.

I’ll set them to rights as soon as I can.


Ken O’Brien


Wow, that was pretty easy. I loaded the new theme, made the necessary adjustments to make everything fit and then even had the time and energy to play with the new colors up at the top. Do you like the blue?

I would have never suspected it would be so easy.

Now I can get back to writing more molding design and installation posts!


The Moldings of Independence Hall’s Assembly Room

independence hall assembly room

How to install moldings in a room with vaulted ceilings.

Georgian/American Colonial Style, 1753

Photos courtesy of Greg Roth.

Rather than me blathering on about the beautiful wall panels, pilasters with ionic capitals, pediments over the doors and Windsor chairs (I really love Windsor chairs!) in the Assembly Room, I thought I’d share an interesting tidbit I learned while reading up on the construction of Independence Hall.

This tidbit perfectly reflects one of my Eight Design & Installation Principals.

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Delicate Fluted PILASTER-101

fluted pilasterTraditional Style, 1754

Can you see it?

Can you see the capital of a very small pilaster behind the coffee pot and supporting the figurehead?

I didn’t even notice it until after I got home and was sorting through the pictures I took here in Whitby Hall, James Coultas’ splendid American Colonial home that’s now on display in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The pilaster is located in the very back of a very special wall niche with an ornate shell, display shelves and doors.

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resin fireplace corbelTraditional Style

After looking at many corbels used during the American Colonial and Federal architectural periods, I finally settled on this resin corbel for Greg’s fireplace mantel.

It’s made by a company called Outwater Plastics, makers of all kinds of affordable architectural details — some great and some not so great.

But this corbel is great

And you can use it not just on fireplace mantels, but on door and window surrounds, underneath ceiling beams or even crown molding corbel returns.

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