Frame the space

I held the picture up and scrutinized the frame intensely. The picture by itself was beautiful but the frame and matting enhanced the artwork making it the focal point. Webster’s dictionary describes framing as the underlying constructional system or structure that gives shape or strength. When it comes to art, the art of picking the right frame is crucial to the beauty of the art within the frame so then framing is very important. In the world of decorating, walls hold framed art. But what frames out the walls that hold framed art? Molding of course! It frames a room and it gives it shape. Let’s take a look at a dining room of a St. Charles Model that came to life using the framework of molding somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• RepaintVery light after picture - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
The dark paint absorbs all the light in the space and does not define anything. When using dark paint in a room with a large window, the light coming into the room will make the paint look darker to the human eye. The human eye interprets things in front of light darker than they are in reality. White trim work around the window and light paint will balance with the light coming into the space and make the window look bigger and the room look brighter. The homeowner chose Popular Grey for the paint color. This color is brown based grey that keeps the space light while remaining warm and inviting.

• Crown molding alone is not enough
This dining room is a great example of why crown molding is fabulous but in a space like this the room needs more. The crown molding in the room defines the ceiling space but the human eye does not look up that often. The more important areas to define are those that fall in the sightline with frequency such as walls, windows, and doors. The crown molding in this space is the icing on the cake once we address the walls and the windows.

• Middle fabric valence
This window is a great example of why a middle valence made of dark fabric works against the window rather than with the window. The fabric in the before picture is dark and appears darker with the light of the window. Also, the valence diminishes the window height. In design it is better to work with the window height rather than against it.

• Trim around the window
The homeowners love molding but they wanted simple molding. They wanted the wood valence imbedded in the window trim to be fashioned with a straight top and bottom rather than flare out like the traditional valence. They also wanted the header at the top of the transom window to have a straight top and bottom as well, basically mimicking the valence. The valence below the transom window is removable to access the blind but the header above the transom is permanently mounted on the wall. The side molding, valence, and header all visually connect to create a large white frame around the window. The window looks larger and brighter with the molding creating definition.

• Window treatments and molding
Some homeowners still like fabric window treatments and that is great. If you are wondering if you can have molding and window treatments the answer is yes! These homeowners did not want window treatments but if they did they would be straight side panels hung high and wide. The rods would be two short rods mounted on the wall just outside of the window molding and just below the crown. The stationary side panels would be hung so that they just graze the outside edge of the window frame. The fabric would be very light, probably white with a hint of color running through it. These side panels would make the window look wider and taller because they work with the line of the window. Also, they add softness and texture to the space.

• Wainscot
The homeowner wanted to create more definition in the space by adding wainscoting. Again, they did not like traditional boxes so they chose a more casual and simple wainscoting. The boxes are created with a wide and flat board. The top of the wainscot is a simple flat board with a low profile straight edge. The look is simple but so classic and timeless. The entire wainscot from the top of the flat edge to the baseboard and in between is all painted white. The pop of white wainscot at the bottom of the room in conjunction with the crown molding at the top of the wall acts as a picture frame to the entire grey wall in between.
The grey wall now stands with definition and is ready to receive mirrors or art whichever the homeowner likes.

• Size does not matter
If you are reading this and thinking you don’t have a dining room big enough for molding you do! Any dining room or any room is a candidate for molding. Molding adds character to any space and creates visual value which enhances perceived value. Molding done right is the one thing that will always stand the test of time.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below