Thursday, November 7, 2013

Adding Character to a New Condo

There is another project brewing at home. I've decided that the new condo needs some character, and it's going to get that with some DIY architectural trim and mouldings. Despite being where I spend most of my waking hours while at home, I haven't done anything in the living room. I rolled out the rug, positioned the furniture, plugged in the tv, cable and Wii, and sat down. Done. But as a design blogger, I know this room could be and should be so much better! Here's what I'm working with (excuse the crappy photo - I couldn't get the whole wall in one frame, so it's actually 2 images photoshopped together):

"Bo" to the "ring", right? When I look at this, I'm actually kinda embarrassed by the lack of effort I've made here. Those 9 foot ceilings need to be highlighted, and I'm hoping that the addition of dentil crown moulding at the ceiling and picture frame moulding on the walls will make the height a true feature. A coat of navy blue paint on both wall and trims should make the room sing. Right now it's just so bottom heavy and blah :(

I'm currently in the planning stages, and I'm already finding it tricky to plan the layout. How am I going to work around all of the obstacles on this wall? The door to the master bedroom is on the left, the forced air unit is on the right with the thermostat above, two air vents are set along the top of the wall and a random sprinkler sits in the middle of it all. Ugh. Not to mention that the sprinkler and the thermostat are 100% un-paintable, which means two white blobs on an otherwise navy blue wall.

If you can mentally combine the three images below into one, it will give you a good idea of what I'm trying to create. Navy blue walls, double mouldings, maybe with a dash of gold highlight:

 Above images via Living Etc, House & Home, Lonny Mag.

I found this shallow dentil moulding at Home Depot and I think it would look great along the top of the wall throughout the entire space. Although this moulding is technically intended to be used as a chair rail, it works perfectly here because it will fit in the small three inch gap between the top of the vents and the ceiling:

And here's a quick sketch I put together to illustrate the possible layout of mouldings on the wall and door. I've snuck in a few little upgrades like a new crystal knob on the door to the master bedroom and maybe a NEST thermostat:

Anyone have advice about the layout? About the materials? About the installation? I'm all ears!!


  1. I really like the idea of the moulding. It will have large impact. I don't prefer the first two photos of the moulding...the third right photo with gold detailing is perfect in my view. It has some punch from the gold, so is livelier than the moulding on the far left which is too plain in the matching wall colour. It isn't trying too hard, which the dark colour in the centre photo seems to do. I know what you mean about the need to keep moving ahead in decorating. It is fun, but time consuming to decorate our homes, when we have full time jobs!

    Good luck.Look forward to seeing more on your progress.

  2. wow!! it will look fab! love your drawing … that's so neat! I need to learn how to do that ..

  3. Well I am sure whatever you do it will look great! I too am in a condo its an older building but has been renovated and has lost most of its old world charm.It is amazing what you can do though when you set your mind to it..btw I am in Hamilton! All the best,Chrissy

  4. These architecturally inverted corners are often finished with rosettes. The round shape relieves the rectangular lines a bit. Just a thought. Works without them - as well. Nice job!


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