I have a fascination with details – all the little pieces that come together to create “atmosphere”. Molding is one of my top picks for adding character in any space, so I’m always on the look-out, especially in old buildings, for inspiration.
When visiting a prewar apartment not too long ago, I spotted original baseboard like this one throughout the apartment. It hardly seems fair to call this baseboard, it’s more like raised paneling really. From door open and hello, I was amazed – first by the scale, but also by sense of quality it gave to the entire apartment.
Stock baseboard is 9.5 inches tall, at most, and it usually takes layers of grooves, and multiple pieces to create dimension – a top, a middle, and a shoe. The alternative route is custom – with that you get whatever you want. In an apartment I’m working on down the street we did just that, matching and fabricating their original baseboard style, at 11.5 inches. The effect was stunning and worth every extra little penny above the cost of the everyday stock variety.
It sounds granny and cliche, but they REALLY don’t make it like this anymore. In fact, I’ve seen this type of molding only a few times in my life, and each time it made a lasting impression - as it should... It cost a small fortune then and without question now. But then again, referencing another familiar quote, you absolutely get what you pay for...