As soon as we saw this house, I knew.
I knew exactly what would take it from a 17-year-old builder-blah house to a subtle, elegant, character-filled home:
Gorgeous mouldings and formal trim work, paired with our relaxed, modern farmhouse furniture and accessories.
For reference sake, and to illustrate how different the space looked right around when we moved in, here are a couple of photos:
Actually looking back at the before photos, I realized I’d forgotten how much shorter and choppier the room looked when the walls were mauve and how much bigger it seems now that the white (even though it’s a different white) extends to the ceiling (past the bulkhead/tray ceiling).
Although there are still a few things to update like the doorbell, furnace thermostat and smoke alarm, the changes we’ve made in the last couple of months have really made this space look so much more beautiful. Along with painting and changing out the hardware and lighting, to get this new look we partnered with Metrie and chose MDF panel moulding from their French Curves Scene 1 Collection as well as True Craft Scene I casing, French Curves Scene I Architrave and Plinth Blocks for the double entry doors.
Even though we’d never install this particular type of trim before, our other DIY projects prepared us for this simple but obviously impactful project.
Tips for designing with and installing panel moulding:
- Decide on measurements that you will stick to, but know that you will have to be a bit flexible too. We used 4 inches down from the bottom of any existing crown moulding and 4 inches in from any corners. We also used 4 inches for the space between the center of each piece. We used 5.5 inches up from the floor because we’ll be changing the baseboards after we replace the flooring so we wanted enough space to do that and to install larger baseboards.
- Use painter’s tape to “lay out” the location of your panel moulding. This step will really help you visualize how the rectangles will look. It will also help to map out difficult areas like switches and vents.
- Know that some sections will be a little different, but that’s okay if you stick to your major measurements. For example, we had a couple of light switches to go around but we didn’t treat them all the same. Two (in the dining room) had trim installed around three sides (an inch away) because they were less than our minimum distance from a corner and another (in the entry) that had separate rectangles of trim installed above and below because that seemed too look better. There was also a section of the dining room wall that had an electrical outlet and an air intake vent. Rather than creating a mess of corners (which looked a lot like a Greek key pattern) we just simply shortened the center panel to go above both obstacles, creating a much cleaner look.
- When making a cut list for your trim, start on one wall and make a simple list going around the room for each rectangle. When installing work down the list and around the room in the same order.
- Be sure to fill any nail holes (even small ones left by a Brad Nailer) and then caulk the edges of the panel moulding with paintable caulking for a professional and seamless look.
- If you want a look with more contrast, paint the trim white before installation and touch up after caulking. If you want the same subtle look we used, paint the trim the same color as the walls after caulking.
Thankfully there were only a couple of wonky angles that needed to be contended with. I think it took Dean a few tries to get that odd piece above the laundry room doorway correct. (Ignore the doggie door, that was there when we moved in and will be switched out soon.)
Working with the folks at Metrie was a dream. From product selection to the quality of the product themselves, both Dean and I were very impressed. And while we chose MDF because that’s what we’d choose if we were to buy the materials ourselves, it seems to have been a durable and beautiful choice for this house.
Do you have anywhere that you’d like to install mouldings? Can you dream up how to enhance the beauty and value of your home with creative trim work?
Dining Room Source List:
*contains affiiliate links*
- Wall and panel moulding color – Eider White by Sherwin Williams
- Trim color (baseboards, interior doors & crown moulding) – Pure White by Sherwin Williams
- Panel moulding – Metrie
- Hooks in Entryway – Amazon
- Dining room table – Restoration Hardware – Similar here
- Black Windsor style chairs – Wayfair
- Black/Gun metal side chairs – Wayfair
- Tufted wingback bench – Wayfair
- Dining room light fixture – Wayfair
- Large black wall clock – Wayfair
- Metal and Wood Shelves – DIY here
- White Curtains – DIY Ikea hack here
- Box of faux flowers – DIY here
- Round entryway mirror – Homesense
- Entry light – Build.com
- Schoolhouse style hall lights – Build.com
- It is well art – Joanne’s (from our trip to the U.S. summer 2016)
- Embroidery hoop orbs – DIY here
- Letter A marquee – Micheals
- Danforth and Yonge St. signs – West Elm
- Wood horse head – Homesense
- Antler framed art – Vol25 on Etsy
- Large dice (die) – Homesense
- Crown book ends – Urban Barn
- Set of 5 turned candle sticks – Birch Lane – similar here
- Love you to the moon art – Joanne’s (from our trip to the U.S. summer 2016)
- Large wood cake stand – Vintage Farmhouse Finds
- Gray tiered tray – Vintage Farmhouse Finds