craftsman moldings & millwork

[This is part of my The Joy of Craftsman Moldings series.]

Posts in This Series

1. Craftsman Style Moldings at Bev’s House in Waterford, Michigan

2. Make WINDOW TRIM-101 for About $29.00

3. How to Make BASEBOARD-101 for $1.23/lf

4. How to Make DOOR TRIM-105 for $27.03

Beautiful Moldings and Beautiful Gardens

This summer, Bev Moss of Garden Rhythms, a Metro Detroit Master Gardener, invited me to gawk at her beautiful Craftsman style moldings and snap some pictures of her home.

Come inside and join us for a look around, won’t you?

Bev’s home was built in 1927 and is a classic example of an architectural design trend of the time.

That trend was creating Tudor Revival, Greek Revival, Dutch Colonial Revival and, like Bev’s house, Colonial Revival style exteriors but with Craftsman style moldings inside — just like the moldings you find in a typical Craftsman style bungalow.

The Portico

Her sinuous sidewalk weaves its way to the classical portico through lush greenery of every sort, while splashes of annual color punctuate the foundation of green.

craftsman portico

If you can manage to pull your eyes up and away from the garden beds you’ll notice a simple two-story, salt-box Colonial Revival home.

The portico has a vaulted ceiling which is supported by a proper architrave with all its needed components, and ultimately grounded by two Tuscan columns in the front and two Tuscan pilasters against the house.


tuscan column

I tried to convince Bev that she should let me paint the frieze of her architrave the same Scottish blue of her front door, not only because it would look AWESOME, but because it would also be a wink and a nod to that great Scottish classical architect, Robert Adam.

Maybe next spring. I’ll keep working on her.

Craftsman Style Door Trim

Above the front door surround we see a beautiful leaded eyebrow fan-light with flanking sidelights.

craftsman style door surround

A closer look at the moldings reveals this door trim is made from simple flat-stock moldings. Simple and inexpensive.

Craftsman style moldings

Two Ways to Make This Craftsman Style Door Trim

Because the whole point of what I do here on The Joy of Moldings is to help you replace your starter trim in your newer home with moldings more like what you’d find in a historic home, then here’s some tips to help you create this design.

1. Two-Piece Build  Until recently, I’ve always made this door trim by cutting 4″ wide strips of MDF-300 and then installing an L-shaped backband molding on the outside edge.

But now I don’t have to make it a two-part build up, and neither do you. Read on.

how to install moldings

2. Single-Piece Install  The Molding & Millwork Company sells this molding as a one-piece, pre-primed mdf casing.

You can order it from any lumber yard or molding retailer that carries their line of moldings. Oh, and it’s very affordable, I checked.

I’ve assigned this molding profile the number CA-007. You can learn all about this Craftsman molding here >>

craftsman moldings

Door Trim Molding Dissolve

I’m always on the lookout for examples of molding dissolves — those instances when there’s not enough room to install an entire molding treatment — and Bev’s house offers up a perfect case in point.

door trim moldings

I stress the importance of molding dissolves because most people, faced with moldings that will run into each other or a wall, choose to go with much smaller moldings so they don’t touch.

But no, let them be large and let them touch! Let them dissolve into each other, like conjoined molding twins.

Here’s a post I wrote at greater length on this topic, Molding Dissolves are OK!

door trim moldings

Craftsman Style Baseboard

At 6″ tall and 3/4″ thick, this Craftsman style baseboard serves as the foundation of the entire interior, even though it’s nothing more than flat-stock.

It gets its strength through it’s combined height and thickness. This baseboard is substantial!

craftsman baseboard

And you can make it yourself by ripping down MDF-300 to your desired width — I recommend no less than 6″.

The base shoe can be detailed like Bev’s, or it can be made from PM-006.

You can also choose to stain the base shoe the same color as your wood floor or paint it the molding color — there is no right or wrong here.

Cove Ceilings Instead of Crown Molding

The plaster cove ceilings in Bev’s house are true to form in Michigan’s period style revival homes.

You probably don’t want to try your hand at installing a plaster cove in your newer home, so I always recommend installing CROWN MOLDING-106 as an alternative.

If you want a larger cove than the one I use for the CROWN MOLDING-106 buildup, then just use a larger cove profile with the same cornice and lower detail. Your local lumber yard should have a few larger sizes in stock.

craftsman living room

Craftsman Style Picture Rail Molding

Because nails don’t do so well hammered into the plaster walls of these old Craftsman homes, then you’ll find picture rail molding in most of them.

And that’s a good thing.

picture rail molding

Because picture rail molding expands your ability to add detail to your home through the creative use of ornate hooks, wire and cord to help you hang your pictures or art.

Picture rail is very inexpensive and very easy to install. Here’s one of my tutorials for you, PICTURE RAIL-108.

Here is a picture rail profile that is almost exactly the same as Bev’s, PR-001.

picture rail molding

Below  I’d never seen a picture rail hook like this beautiful solid gold-colored one at Bev’s.

Here’s a short article on using picture rail to hang decorative plates, Picture Rail Pays Off, and I Hang My Plates for $116.39.

picture rail hanger

Back Into Bev’s Garden!

The interior of Bev’s historic Craftsman home is indeed beautiful. But it was mid-summer when I visited, and her extensive gardens were begging to be admired. So back outside we went.

Bev, thanks again for letting all of us poke in and around your lovely home!

metro detroit master gardener