Custom millwork can add appeal and a classic feel

Architectual millwork includes wainscotting, as shown on the left lower walls, and built-in bookcases, as shown on the right. Below are examples of crown, or ceiling, molding at the top of the cabinets.

Homeowners are discovering that architectural accents can go a long way toward improving both the look and value of their homes. When renovating a space, the term “millwork” may be mentioned by designers and contractors. While it might be a mystery to some, millwork can give rooms unique looks.

Millwork refers to items traditionally made from raw lumber in a sawmill. Examples of millwork include crown molding, base trims, door frames, window casings, chair rails, and paneling. Cabinets may also classify as millwork.

Used for both decoration and to increase the functionality of buildings, millwork comes in various types. Generally, millwork is fabricated in two ways.

Stock millwork tends to be mass-produced commercial items. These low-cost items are interchangeable and may be widely available at retailers, including home improvement centers.

Custom millwork is a product that is custom designed and produced for individuals and special building projects. Sometimes referred to as “architectural millwork,” these pieces may be more ornate and made-to-order.

Homeowners who want to match a focal point of a home or an existing style often turn to custom millwork.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, ornate millwork was largely reserved for royalty or the very wealthy. Skilled carpenters would hand carve each piece, taking weeks to finish most projects.

Eventually, millwork became more commonplace. Distinguishing one property from another today could mean turning back to the more distinctive designs of the past.

Homeowners looking for ways to enhance their properties can embrace millwork to achieve a luxury feel without a sizable investment.

The first step is to choose millwork that will coordinate with the era and style of a home’s existing decor. Ornate millwork in an overly modern house may seem out of place.

The millwork should match the architectural theme of the home.

Although some do-it-yourselfers can successfully install prefabricated millwork, for custom designs and a truly seamless look, it is important to have millwork professionally installed. Individuals should research carpenters who specialize in millwork and verify their license and reputation through a consumer protection agency.

Popular types of millwork include crown molding, corbels, wainscotting and custom bookcases. Homeowners may not realize that millwork can be added to spaces of all sizes to give them an air of sophistication. 

Although millwork was traditionally formed from hardwoods, eco-friendly homeowners can now find millwork crafted from synthetic materials and even reclaimed woods.

Millwork can add that special touch to the interior or exterior of a home. Learn more by visiting (MC)

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