Trim on the walls of a home is much like icing on a cake. Could you live in a home without trim? Yes. Could you eat cake without icing? Yes. However, without trim and without icing there is a rough unfinished quality, a raw incomplete nature, an overexposure of every tiny imperfection. Trim and icing both add a yummy smoothness, subtlety balanced transitions, defined atmospheres, and in essence a pleasantly appealing and visually proportioned finished product. Well, and, cake just tastes so much better with icing.
I am using the word trim to encompass a large range of specifically cut wooden pieces encasing the windows, surrounding the doors, forming the baseboards along the floors, and the moldings along the ceilings. We have a phenomenally talented and kind carpenter in charge of all of our trim pieces, and we are delighted to share the before and afters on the installed work thus far. Today we will focus on the window and door surrounds.
We love all of the original trim work found around the windows and doors, a true Prairie style trim, it lends a balanced solidity the house. The vast majority of modern day trim pieces around windows and doors utilize a 45 degree angle cut where top and sides meet. Our 100 year old original trim pieces do not. The top piece is the full length of the surround and the side pieces butt up into the top piece with a straight and perpendicular, 90 degree, edge.
Below: An example of 45 degree angle cut trim work.
Below: A close up of our 90 degree cut trim work.
It lends a surprisingly different feeling of substance and weight, as if those side pieces were not just decorative, but actually actively supporting the top piece. Therefore, we kept as much of this original trim work as we could, and replaced damaged pieces with replications of the original. We continued with the same original style surrounding trim work in the addition. It is not fancy, not frilly, not ornate. It is solid, it is thick, and it is substantial.
Below: Original window surrounds/casings.
Below: Girls’ windows before restoration.
Below: Windows in the process of restoration and therefore casings were partially removed.
Below: Window restoration complete and casings replaced. This picture also highlights the long top trim work over the window and the side pieces butting up into the bottom of the top piece at 90 degree angles.
Below: Checking out the view from her finished windows.
Below: Master windows in the addition before adding the trim work.
Below: Master windows after completed trim work. What a difference! The windows look bigger, more solidly in place, and speak to the rest of the original home.
Below: A close up of one of the smaller windows.
Below: Here is a close up of the window casing including the slightly protruding stool and elongated apron underneath the window sill.
Below: A good example of an original door and trim surround. We kept all of the original doors and will put as many of them back into place as possible. New doors were needed for new doorways and for doorway sizes that changed. The new doors look identical to the old, and although they are solid hard wood, they are still lighter and less dense than the original 100 year old doors made from old growth wood.
Below: Our “storage room” filled with original doors.
Below: An example of original door surround trim work. Downstairs surround leading from the front entry to the added den and kitchen. ,w2
Below: Original door surround leading from the dining room into the office. One new door will go in here. There were originally small french doors, a door style that was just not quite right for this spot. We will instead use these small french doors on the downstairs electronics closet.
Below: The doorway into the girls’ room had to be rebuilt due to the repaired dip in the upstairs hallway. Here you can see the simple underlying design to the trim surround, which consists of three broad and flat trim pieces surrounded by three narrower but thicker and deeper trim pieces around the exterior. Their original door is awaiting its return back to this spot!
Below: New door and newly installed trim surround into the guest bedroom.
Below: Directly across the main upstairs hallway from the girls’ room is the entrance to the playroom hallway. Here you can see several newly encased doorways. You can see the slightly deeper casing top and sides, a feature that adds just the right amount of depth and dimension to these prairie style doorways.
Below: Reading to our sweet pup Shafer.
Anyways, trim work can define a space, and I love the definition set by ours. Solid, lasting, strong, and appropriately balanced for the home it lives within. That’s it for tonight.
Love and hugs,