Creating Architectural Details

April 9, 2013





One reference book that I look at often for ideas and inspiration is “Decorating With Architectural Details:

arch details


I love this book because it is a great reference for architectural styles, resources and well written, easy to follow basic information to help the homeowner understand everything from your basic trim work to how to make add-ons look built in.

Most of this book deals with more elaborate architectural details such as mantels, window seats, shelving, passageways, shutters, staircase accents and so many other ideas. Plenty of photos and directions to follow. Check it out if you can.



So you can imagine my delight, when a lovely reader, Kathleen, sent me a few photos of her home showing me her living room before & after:

living room (3) 

Wow! Doesn’t it look so great? I am really impressed with her originality and unique molding ideas that she built by herself. And also look at what a huge difference she made in the room by painting the balustrades white. Now they do not stand out and seem to actually make the room look larger. Beautiful!

I asked if I could share her photos and how she made them and she said,

Hi Kelly…

Sure go ahead, I don’t mind at all, you may use my name… I share my tips all the time … if you’re somewhat handy with tools and have a place to do it, I would say : Go ahead, it’s fun and worth it… just always make sure you start with a plan, measurements and … calculate everything twice 🙂 I’m sure it will turn out beautifully… share pictures.”


“I knew how much of that wall I wanted finished, so I paneled and painted that bit white (Benjamin Moore, Dune White). Then I went to Home Depot and bought a big board of MDF and had the men cut it in strips of 12 cm height each. When I came home I started with the horizontal beams first (screw in the studs), followed with the vertical ones (glue in place). I had some beadboard left over from our stairs (that’s another project we did with success) and used that to bring some interesting architectural texture in place. Then I filled in the cracks with caulking and had the whole thing drying for a day… next day, I painted the whole paneled wall… 2 times. I bought 3 mirrors in a hardware store and glued them in place, this way it was reflecting some natural light into the place. I guess the whole project took me a weekend (and no hubby 🙂 and was very cheap….”

panelwall living (3)

Bravo Kathleen! I would be so proud of myself. Thanks so much for sharing.


In either a contemporary or traditional home, just a few separate pieces of molding can create a spectacular and original architectural design in your home. What do you think of Kathleen’s project? Do you have any questions for her?  Very creative and original idea! Love it! Thanks again Kathleen!

More beautiful architectural detail:




Lauren Leonard Interiors

Look at how this five-color paint scheme plays up the architectural detail of this home:



So pretty, don’t you think? A very happy house!

If you need help designing your next project, contact me today.


  1. Great job Kathleen! Isn’t it amazing what some archituctural details can do to change the look of a somewhat boring space? Thanks for sharing Kelly.

  2. There is nothing that makes a home feel more finished and frankly, more expensive, than architectural detail. I just had some attic/storage space finished out using painted beadboard paneling. It’s a little thing and I could have used MDF, but it looks so fresh and pretty now – I’m sure I’ll keep my things more organized there because of it!

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