Sisler Johnston Says Millwork and Moulding Add Beauty and Value to Design

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Jacksonville, Florida — When it comes to interior design, it is often the little things that make a dramatic difference. Decorative millwork and moulding make most rooms magical by adding interest and elegance.

According to Judith Sisler Johnston, president of Sisler Johnston Interior Design and ASID Allied Member, these extra touches increase a home's worth as well as its beauty. "Moulding and millwork add warmth as well as value to nearly every design," she said. "These great design ideas can work whether you are building a new home or looking at ways to add interest to the home you already live in."

Consider the impact of the millwork detail added to the study in the ICI Homes model (photo #1). The custom millwork detail with louvered shutters in a warm wood stain surrounds the window. This design element adds significant decorative and storage space as well as a richness to the home office. Before the addition of the millwork detail, the room with a lonely window centered on a bare wall did not have the same dramatic effect.

Decorative moulding, often considered the designer's finishing touch on a room, adds another dimension to the design and frequently provides the foundation to add decorative elements with paint or wall coverings. There are many different types of moulding to choose from, such as baseboard moulding (where the wall meets the floor) and crown moulding (where the wall meets the ceiling).

Decorative moulding can be simple or ornate. It can be added to the room's doors and window surrounds. Chair rail moulding is installed at about two and a half to three feet from the floor around the entire circumference of the room. It ties design features together while the space between chair moulding and base moulding, called wainscot, can be beautifully trimmed.

The creative use of picture moulding adds elegant detail. It can be painted to match your décor provided you purchase paint-grade trim. Picture moulding can also be used to replace a headboard in a bedroom. "It can be used to create a custom design without the expense of a custom bed or headboard," Sisler Johnston said.

Decorative moulding can add interest to any room in the home. The addition of chair rail, for example, offers endless design possibilities. "It affords anyone the opportunity to use shade variations in the paint colors above and below the chair rail. Another approach is to cover half the room (above or below) with wall coverings and paint the other half with a complimentary accent paint color for a designer look," Sisler Johnston said. In addition, using moulding throughout the home helps unify unrelated elements, adding harmony as well as value to the design.

In the past, decorative moulding detail has been commonly associated with custom home buyers. Today the product is available to the mass market. Many popular home design stores and catalogs offer moulding detail for sale. Anyone who has the tools and is willing to use them can add these design elements to their home.

Mouldings are made from three different types of materials: softwood, hardwood, and urethane. Softwood is the least expensive as well as the lowest quality. Hardwood is the most expensive and requires the best carpentry skills. Urethane is the most user-friendly and is available in wood grain in selected designs.

According to Sisler Johnston, it is always a good idea to obtain a professional recommendation before beginning any building or renovation project, even if you plan to do the work yourself. An interior design professional can offer expert advice on what areas of the home will benefit from the addition of moulding and millwork as well as what rooms may not need it.

Sisler Johnston Interior Design of Jacksonville creates award-winning interior designs for the real estate industry, hospitality industry, and commercial and residential clients. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004.

The Sisler Johnston team of licensed, highly trained, and gifted designers successfully creates living spaces from concept through realization throughout the United States. Judith Sisler Johnston combines experience, knowledge, and professionalism to help clients develop their vision while analyzing their design requirements. She has been recognized with more than 50 industry awards, including Aurora, Laurel, and Excel awards.

For more information about Sisler Johnston Interior Design, call (904) 288-0908 or visit the website at
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