Traditional vs. Contemporary Mouldings (Part 2)

By: Holly Bayer, ASID

We’re in our third week of moulding discussions. I wouldn’t be surprised to find you standing at your local lumberyard sales desk giving your new vocabulary a test drive.

Now that you’ve seen examples of traditional mouldings, it’s time to compare and contrast with a more contemporary look. If your style falls somewhere in between, that’s o.k. too. There are many options to suit varying design concepts.

If you remember the crown, casing and base shown in the Traditional blog post, you’ll remember that they had profiles which included many cuts and curves. Each of those added dimensions created the overall ornate look that we associate with a traditional style.

Modern or contemporary styled mouldings have far fewer details within the profile. We look for base, crown, and casing that is more simple and follows the old adage that “less is more.” Below is a beauty shot of a modern interior with very simple trim selections. The casing in a modern home might even be as simple as a flat board we call mull or S4S which has a back band attached to the outside edge of it.

Crown within a contemporary interior may have a clean concave curve or might be a barely scooped piece. With simple mouldings, a modern interior has an understated elegance which elicits a finished look without drawing attention to a lot of extra details. The focus shifts to the colors in the room or natural light coming in doors and windows.