Contemporary Trim Options For Your Home – The Saga Continues
As it turns out, there are multiple contemporary trim options for your home. In my last post, I explored designing trim details using applied trim compared to using reveals. As I worked on that post, I kept thinking about how the planes of the walls moved in and out beneath the crown moulding and the floor in the rooms Sally and I saw during our visits to The Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte. They were far more complex than applied trim or reveals. The space between the crown and floor was treated as a volume. All be it a very tall and thin volume. Look carefully at the following photographs. You’ll see what I’m talking about. In each image, the wall plan is floating below the crown.
The image below is pretty complicated because the wall color carries up on to the crown. The ceiling is a different color. (We’ll hold the discussion about wall meeting ceiling vs ceiling meeting wall for another day.) The bas relief panels below the crown are surface applied, their texture providing depth. They’re floating beneath the crown. Next look at the clean breaks in the curved planes of the wall. I count three planes. Very sculptural. Very contemporary. At the floor, below the information kiosk, there is no base. Hmmmm…
Contemporary Trim options: Floating Planes
So, the wall plane can float? Yes it can. For the sake of simplicity, I am limiting this exercise to two planes. A front and back plane. For example, on the right, in it’s purest form, a single plane floats on a back plane between crown and floor. There is no base. (Maintenance is a separate conversation.)
Or we can float the plane above an applied base.
Ah! We can make a full height panel, too! Note: In the above images, it is the crown/cornice that defines the degree of formality of the wall. For example, in the first two studies the crown is simple. Less formal. In the third, with it’s multiple layers, the crown/cornice is making much more formal statement.
Will a wainscot work?
Creating a wainscot using this vocabulary was frustrating. I can’t achieve a “chair rail” effect for the floating plane on the right. Rather, it’s loosely implied.
In my estimation, with or without a base, the floating wainscot falls short. (There is a solution involving adding a third plane to the wall. Go back to the third photo and see if you can find the solution.)
Recessed planes (Panels) vs. floating Planes (panels)
Interestingly, when I added “panels” above the wainscot, I felt like the exercise had come full circle from the several sketches. The difference being the visual richness of the wall in these final sketches.
For example, look at this sketch. Simple, clean forms on either side. If you want to turn heads, go with the floating panels. Yes it will cost more money. But what price, beauty?
For a more visual interest, break up the wainscot into smaller panels. (It’s done all the time.)
Of course, the full monty is a panelized wall. Don’t forget to tweak the crown/cornice. For example, I did a stylized Doric Order cornice on the right. The modillion blocks echo the floating panels below.
CONTEMPORARY Trim OPtions wrap up
Honestly, I’m not totally sure where to start, other than to say:
- It’s getting complicated.
- I no longer see a wall surface as a flat plane.
- Walls are three dimensional.
- Layering in that tall thin volume between floor and ceiling can enrich the visual experience of a room.
- Floating panels are cool!
- I think there’s an opportunity to mix modern wall panel treatment with ornamental trim and details. (See Pinnable image below.) I will be exploring this further.
- This post only scratches the surface. I will be scratching the itch in forthcoming posts.
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