When it comes to ornamental molding, the sky’s the limit...well that and the size of your bank account, actually. With the choices and styles available you can go as ornate as you could possibly imagine, from replicating old world design to creating an ambience of the far east. Before you get started, if you ARE on a budget, it’s important to figure out just how many embellishments you can afford. Let’s say you want to add decorative wooden accents to cabinetry. It’s good to count the number of spaces you plan on filling up with these pieces, along with the number of pieces you desire to add to each space.
You would do well to play with some groupings. The best way to accomplish this is to draw each piece to scale, and make copies of each one...about four or five. Once you have your copies, you can go home and after cutting your pieces out, play around with the pieces in different configurations just to see what you can come up with. You may even decide to add a design or two of your own to the mix, in which case good molding companies have laser cutters that can take your scale drawings and render from them the exact drawings that you created.
The main thing to keep in consideration is to keep the design elements within the same family; in other words, you don’t want to create confusion by mixing too many styles together, such as geometric patterns with florentine swashes and curls...not that it can’t be done, but not generally by lay people. Stick within the same area of design and you can’t go wrong.
It’s good to start in the center of each area, and work outward. This does not mean that you need to place ornamentation in the center: it can be left blank, but you generally begin in the center and work outward, taking care to keep the edges of the design within an acceptable distance from the outer edge limits of the area or cabinet door you wish to decorate.
Use of ornamentation can help tie in a room as all part of one motif or design, which brings another point: It’s better to not duplicate the same ornamentation and decorative molding in every room of the house. Rather, take steps to at least alternate the ornamentation. The basic molding should remain the same, however any decorations used in one room, when used in adjoining rooms, serves to cheapen the end result, or ambience. The best way to get started is in a small area, and work from there. In no time, you’ll have the hang of it, and you’ll find it to be so rewarding! Just don’t forget the axiom: “Measure twice, cut once,” and you should be fine.