This morning I opened my email to find this wonderful surprise from Will in Pace, Florida.
Ken and Jennifer,
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the site. The information and inspiration you guys provide to DIY finish carpenters like myself is incredible. And it’s free!
Attached is a before and after photo of a bathroom window I recently completed in my spec built home. This is just the beginning as I plan on a room by room molding make over. Thanks again for your help.
Patterns like this can be found in both Victorian and Craftsman style homes across the U.S. and Canada — especially in Craftsman bungalows and Victorian farmhouses — and Will did a great job designing his window surround to fit either period style.
In case you were wondering, overlap between period styles is the norm, since decorating styles don’t change abruptly. It’s only from our current perspective that we can look back and declare that this style is pure Victorian, or that style is pure Craftsman, or that is pure Greek Revival style. Unless your intent is to create a pure representation of a particular period style, then a hybrid between at least two styles is almost unavoidable.
Lets look at why Will’s window surround is so nice:
- Entablature has a cornice.
- Properly used bed molding as a supporting element.
- Frieze height is in proportion to the rest of the design. There is a tendency to make this element too tall or too short.
- Necking is also in proportion to the rest of the design
- Casing is nice and wide. I can’t tell you how many times I see an entablature that was made correctly, but then the casing below ruins the entire design by being too narrow.
Great job Will. Can’t wait to see what you do in the rest of the house!
That is fantastic! Do you know what pieces of trim were used to creat this?
I agree, Will did a nice job with this.
Here’s my take on the moldings he used (see above photo for Item references):
Item 5: The window casing is a pretty commonly stocked casing at many lumber yards or molding retailers, and looks to be about 3-1/2″ wide.
Item 4: I’ll bet Will made with a router — using a 1/4 round bit on both sides? — out of flat stock of some kind (MDF will work fine).
Item 3: The frieze could be made of any 1/2″ or more MDF flat-stock. See my FS-001 on our Molding Inventory page.
Item 2: The crown is a molding called a “bed molding,” and is commonly stocked at Lowes, but you’ll probably find it less expensive at a lumber yard.
Item 1: The abacus is flat-stock that’s been routered on the lower edge.
If you’re going to make one of these yourself, Ryan, good luck and let us know how it turns out.
Can anyone tell me an easy way to find the correct proportion for the entablature (forgive me if I used the wrong term. I’m new to all this) on top? For instance, I have a window that is 6 ft tall and 3 ft wide. I also have a couple of windows that are 3 ft tall and 6 ft wide (essentially the same window on its side). How tall should the entablature be for these windows to make a design similar to that above? I’ve tried to research this on the web, but it seems like most sites want to give a history lesson and I walk away not knowing anything more than I did when I started. I found this site and I love it. It’s very informative and give the information in a way hat newbies like me can understand. I’m hoping that someone can give me a formula to easily figure out the height of the top piece of this trim. Thanks for any information in advance.
Here you go Jay, just for you: How High Should the Entablature or Overdoor Frieze Be?
Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.