First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way. I have to ask: Do you think it’s “moldings” or “moUldings”? I’ve seen both and when I Googled it, both seemed pretty acceptable, so I just went with what felt right. If you know for sure either way, by all means let me know! And if I’ve offended you with my ignorance, please forgive me. 🙂
So I might not know how to spell “moldings” (or mouldings), but I do know how to create some really great high-end looks for a not so high end price. Today I’m going to share with you a little about how we got that thick, chunky, super trimmed-out look that I love in Jack’s nursery.
Step one: Marry a really talented guy.
Step two: Get him to do it.
Ha! OK, that really is what happened, but there’s a little more to it than that.
With a little bit of basic know-how and a decent saw, you can create all kinds of great looks with really basic materials from your local big box store. For example, the built-in book cases, which are made mostly from MDF, are trimmed out with basic 1/2″ strips of pine all around the front of the shelves for a more solid and up-to-date look. Very inexpensive, but without that extra bit of trim, they would look cheap and flimsy, no matter how sturdy they are.
Adding an extra little bit of really thin (and super cheap) crown molding at the tops really finishes them off and makes all the difference.
On a side note, if you’re wondering what’s up with the lighting in the room, we were having yet another overcast day when I found the time to snap these photos so I had the overhead lights on. Aren’t they fun though?
Back to the trim.
Although it’s really tempting when you get deep into a project to rip everything out and start fresh, it can really help your budget if you leave some of the trim that’s already there in place if it’s in decent shape. The door and all the moldings around the door are original. Although, the people here before us did some funky things with the door casing when they put the paneling in back in the day, it’s overall still in pretty good shape, so we kept it all.
Same with around the window. If it’s attractive enough, and going to be hidden by the curtains anyway, go with good enough!
Big baseboards are really close to my heart and make me feel like all is right in the world, so that was a priority for this room. The ones we installed ended up being 11.5 inches tall. If you tried to find baseboards like that and buy them by the foot, you’d probably end up spending thousands of dollars, just for one room. Our solution looks just as good, but costs very little in the end. We started with an 8″ wide MDF board (MDF is great if it will be painted because it’s so nice and straight) and we layered on a really inexpensive 3.5″ molding right on top. The quarter round at the bottom finishes it off and keeps the whole thing from looking too plain. These baseboards are probably my favorite part of the room!
We decided to try to copy the style of some of the original detail, to make the room seem a little more fancy than it really is. We noticed that the moldings at the bottom of the door casings have an extra piece that kind of pops out, rather than having the casing go straight to the floor, so we copied that around the closet too.
It’s really simple, but it makes a difference in the room.
Adding crown molding is always a really fun thing to do in any space and it always really makes a big impact. It’s easy to see pictures of really fancy versions and think you need to spend a lot, but think twice about that if you have walls that change direction a lot in your room like we do.
Even the most basic crown molding that you can find at your hardware store starts to look pretty impressive when you’re making a lot of cuts and changing angles all the time.
Once again though, I will state that having someone really talented work on this project in the first place does help a lot, whether it’s you, your husband, or a friend. These moldings might be basic, but the work is still pretty impressive here!
Seriously, don’t you think Chris should teach a class or something? That real beadboard ceiling sitting right next to that trim doesn’t hurt anything either!
So those are my tips for getting a great, fancy molding look on a budget! Do you have anything that you would add? I’m always looking for new ways to be able to add more trim work into my life!
If you want to see more of baby Jack’s nursery, the full (kinda scary!) before and after post can be found here.
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.