[This is part of Our Tucson Molding Makeover series]
Now that I am the proud owner of kitchen crown molding and a lugged door casing — or “eared architrave,” a term that Ken prefers, less because it seems more elegant than because it is somehow endearing — I find myself marveling at how organic and unpretentious it looks.
Not that I consciously expected or hoped for grandiosity. In fact, as we’ve been planning our molding makeover, I’ve had to stifle a worry that the pizza guy or members of our HOA would start calling the place “Jennifer’s Folly.” Everyone who’s bought a home has visited a few properties owned by deluded souls who pursued a highly personal design vision to the point of madness. (I’m thinking of the gorgeous, jewel-box bungalow I looked at whose owner had removed the kitchen stove but created a spa-like shrine to personal hygiene that put the Roman baths to shame. I found it more tempting than I should have.) We plan to be carried out of here in matching pine boxes — which is good, since we’re underwater on the mortgage — but some part of me does fear creating a vision so obsessive and personal that neighbor kids will dare each other to ring the doorbell to get the witch to scold.
We settled on a Greek Revival look, which at its best combines simple profiles with grandeur achieved through relatively large size and strictly Classical proportions. As Ken designed and executed the casing for the back door that leads to our modest — not to say, sun-scorched and untidy — patio, I kept saying, “This needs to be really understated. We don’t want to draw people’s eyes to a concrete box lined with leaf litter.” As we worked, too, I could feel my parents’ unspoken skepticism, similar to their reaction to Bolero, the bold Etruscan-style Sherwin Williams red that we used in the entryway. This, from the people whose brilliant coral home serves as a neighborhood landmark.
When Ken nailed the final bit of the door surround into place, though, it was as if he was restoring it to its original beauty and dignity — like pulling up the nasty gray shag carpet and found hardwood floors. I’ve lived almost exclusively in vaguely modernist bungalows, but these bold classical moldings immediately feel appropriate, right — even natural.
See how the entire finished kitchen turned out here at Our Kitchen Molding Makeover.
But the “leaf litter” serves a very important function. It provides habitat for the tree lizards that skitter around our back yard, and also for the bugs they eat. And really, who doesn’t love lizards!