For me, rooms are always far more interesting if they have some architectural interest – soaring ceilings, large windows, beautiful cornicing, chunky window casings, wall moulding, etc. While of course more contemporary architecturally-led building designs can have their own beautiful details, it is normally these hallmarks of older properties which make me fall in love with them.
I could never see myself living in a new building – mostly because I can’t afford to build something so spectacular that I can include these extraordinary features and also, why should I when there are so many beautiful old buildings about that I could make my mark on? Living in a country with so much history certainly has it’s perks.
While I’m incredibly grateful we were able to bag an older property ourselves (Edwardian, built in 1906, although it’s very similar to the Victorian properties built a few years earlier), there are certain original features that have sadly been removed. The original house when it was built would have had fireplaces in all the main rooms (living room / dining room / master bedroom / second bedroom) but these have long been removed by someone who clearly felt it was better to modernise the property than hang on to something that might have been too costly/unnecessary. It makes me a little sad to be honest.
And while the main living room and the hallway have beautiful coving, aside from a picture rail, the rest of the spaces are pretty bland which is why in every room where we’ve been able, we’ve added more substantial coving in it’s place.
We are lucky enough to have the original doors and skirting boards however – nice chunky things with a hint of detail but our windows lack their frames so it’s a bit of give and take. I was trying to find a picture that shows what we’re working with so this is a little older but as you can see, we’ve got a very simple narrow coving in there now and nice fat skirting boards but they are missing in front of the fireplace so we need to match them and add those back in.
I’m not sure if the coving that’s in the dining room is original to the house or not (I suspect, as there is no picture rail in this room when there is in every other one, it’s may not be but then Edwardian design is less fussy than Victorian) and I’m not sure if we’ll end up replacing it to match the rest of the (new) coving we have in the other spaces we’ve remodeled or simply add some trim to bulk it out a bit. I wouldn’t mind replacing it completely but it would mean adding to our very long list of work and it’s not desperately required but maybe if I can catch Wayne on a good day, he’ll agree to it! I plan to also introduce a trim around the door way into the kitchen (unseen in that picture but it’s just to the left of the window).
One thing that I’ve been absolutely in love with for some time is wall trim (or moulding or panelling, depending upon what you want to call it – I could find no absolute for the name). I’ve considered adding it in the living room but at this moment, with the dining room remodel imminent, it seemed to make more sense to just get this room right while we’ve got the opportunity. Kinda like this…
Gorgeous, no? I feel like the room needs a bit more architectural interest in it and with all the art that will be gracing these walls, adding wall trim will make the art more of a feature. I’m quite excited about doing this as I love this look so much. From everything I read, this isn’t a terribly difficult look to create yourself, just an awful lot of cutting and measuring but the end result will hopefully mean a much more interesting space.
We’ll keep it fairly simple (we don’t live in a Parisian apartment after all and Edwardian properties were more classical than ornate) so I’m considering something along these lines although the squares will be larger as in the picture above…
I also want to paint the fireplace surround in black and tile the inside of it with a marble tile – more about this later! It’s all about the details here peeps!
So really, just because the room will be pale doesn’t mean it won’t also be interesting! I’m hoping with these added details, the room will really look rather grand ;) What do you think of the plans? Are you in love with architectural details like this as well? Perhaps you are lucky enough to have them in your own home? I always thought I would do rather well with a gorgeous Parisian apartment… perhaps I need to move again… ;)