Millwork: In Praise of Molding & Other Detail

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Design: Stephen and Kerry Fuller; Image: Blayne Beacham on Cote de Texas 

I’ve always had a strong affinity for precise detail work. That’s true whether I’m enjoying a great actor’s performance on screen or I’m drinking in amazing architecture during a home tour event. So when I see particularly stunning molding, millwork, or other detail in an interior, I’m always captivated.

Merriam-Webster online defines millwork as “woodwork (as doors, sashes, or trim) manufactured at a mill.” Okay, sure. That works fine as a way to illuminate the facts of the term—which, by the way, I felt was necessary at this point in case anyone reading this was wondering “what the heck is millwork?” - but truly wonderful millwork is more than woodwork manufactured at a mill; it’s the kind of detail that can elevate a space and make it unforgettable.

Dramatic Entry

This first image, for example, shows what in most homes would be a simple passage from one room into another. Here, it has been transformed into what seems to me as an experience: a real sense of transitioning from one space into the expansive kitchen beyond. All from the artistic application of molding.

Wonderful Wainscoting 

In Praise of Molding & Other Detail

Design and Image: MA Allen Interiors 

Here’s a type of wall detail that tends to get overlooked: wainscoting. But in this instance, the skillful use of simple geometry and woodwork has created a memorable space.

Modern Millwork

In Praise of Molding & Other Detail

Design and Image: Nico van der Meulen Architects

All of these types of molding and detail tend to find its way into very traditional spaces. It is, after all, a timeworn practice for enhancing the look of interiors. But there’s nothing that says beautiful wood detail has to be traditional; one look at this undulating wood wall and you can see the impact millwork has in even the most contemporary of homes.

Organized Affection

In Praise of Molding & Other Detail

Design and Image: Guillaume Terver & Christophe Delcourt

Here’s another great example of contemporary millwork used in a bedroom to create an organizational effect. Again, the sense of fine detailed work helps to make something very special.

Has millwork, molding and other detail helped elevate your home?


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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.