Dria's amazing trim work, Part 1

A few years ago, I spent a lot of time on an interior design message board. The user group was small, but enthusiastic and within weeks, I felt like I knew most of the members and their homes quite well. One woman had stunning before and after pictures. It seemed as though every week, she was sharing another amazing carpentry project.

Today is the first post in a three part series about Dria's fantastic home. If you live in new construction, you're going to love these pictures.

I'd like to say how honored I am to be a guest poster on Small and Chic in Cville. I have to admit I have had bathroom envy for a while now. ;) Jeannine's taste is very similar to mine especially when it comes to classic character of older homes.

Growing up outside of the city of Boston I, like Jeannine, have an appreciation for the pride of craftsmanship you find in old homes. Fortunately I grew up in a home that was filled with detailed moldings, beautiful heart pine floors, cast iron claw foot tub and an old cast iron farm sink in the kitchen. When I moved an hour west of Boston I was not impressed with the lack of details in the new homes but having some carpentry experience I was confident I could bring in the character that my home lacked. One of the easiest, most inexpensive and fastest ways of doing this was to add moldings. I suppose the fact that I love moldings, any and all kinds, helped get my fire started. This week, I'm sharing with you three of my "molding" projects.

The first room I added moldings to was my dining room. The dining room before was quite boring as you can see from this before photo taken when the house was on the market before I purchased it.

It was too country for my taste and lacked character in a major way. I'm not a very patient person nor am I a perfectionist like my father was (I guess a master carpenter had to be a perfectionist?) so I took the easy way out and installed "lazy man" wainscot. Since the chair rail was already there all I had to do was purchase some picture molding and start cutting!

Aside from installing bead board, this is the easiest form of wall molding to install. It's simple box shapes that go up pretty quickly, I completed the wainscot in my dining room in one day. The wainscoting was a great start but it still lacked character so I installed a box using the same picture molding on the ceiling and painted inside the box the same color as the upper walls, you can see the ceiling "box" here:

After I installed my arched mirror, the corner china cabinet and my parents chandelier, I felt one thing kept the room looking too contemporary, it was the opening to the kitchen. There was only a small two foot wall that separated the two rooms, so I decided to have the opening made slightly smaller and had a wooden arch installed.

This is the completed room (all that's left to do is replace the furniture once I figure out what will work the best).

taken from the kitchen

The whole room was fairly inexpensive to do and came about pretty quickly (aside from the arch since that was professionally installed).

Pretty amazing, huh? The fact that her father was a master carpenter makes me think these results are partly due to genetic gifts. I'm not quite sure my results would be as beautiful as hers!

What do you think? Have you tackled any projects like this?


  1. looks so good!!
    Its a work of love :) we did out babys room with crown molding and waynes coating!

  2. Your rooms never fail to amaze me Dria! I LOVE the dining room. It is so beautiful, and you're so talented!!

  3. Just posted a LP inspiration shot for you at the bottom of the post. http://dwellerswithoutdecorators.blogspot.com/

  4. "Lazy Man" wainscot has been on my to-do list for a while now in our kitchen. After reading this post I might have to move it to the top of the list!

  5. so amazing!! and she makes it seem so do-able, now I'm inspired to the same in my apartment. Thanks for sharing!

  6. It truly is beautiful and looks so put together.. even with the current furniture that is in there right now.  THanks for sharing.


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