Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dark brown moulding gone wild


Some manufacturers just can't get enough brown moulding strips on the walls.






In touring dozens of manufactured homes, and looking at hundreds of manufactured home interiors on the web, one design mistake that bugs me is the overuse of brown moulding between the ceiling and walls. White moulding looks better.

Here’s why having so many brown lines running around the walls looks bad. By drawing attention to the ceiling line with dark moulding, it makes the ceiling look lower than it would if white moulding were used. It draws attention to itself and fences a space in, making it look smaller.

An attractive element of this Athens park model would be the shapes and angles created between walls and ceiling. It is spoiled by brown moulding:

 

Here is an inexpensive singlewide, the Starline "Yale," as sold by Home Nation in the Midwest, with 7 ft. sidewalls, and I've blurred out the dark moulding on the second photo, including around doors:


Making the ceiling look a few inches higher by using white moulding may not matter much in a home with a 9 ft. ceiling, where the quality of moulding used is good enough to reflect a craftsman or colonial style. But in most homes—I’d say 9 out of 10 which have it—dark moulding looks busy and cheap.

The same is true for dark brown door frames (see above). White door frames open up the space of a room, and make the woodwork around a door look better, even if the moulding is an inexpensive wood product made out of MDF or a laminate. White woodwork, or light color wood doorframes make the door openings look bigger.

Here is another singlewide before and after in which I removed the dark moulding to make the home look simpler and less busy. I also lightened the cabinet color:




I’ve tried to think of why some manufacturers might use so much brown moulding instead of white. While handling and moving the product in the factory, brown moulding may not show any marks or scrapes which need to be cleaned off or repainted, as white moulding would.

For baseboards, brown could be more practical for the homeowner. It doesn’t show dirt, scuff marks or bumps as easily. Manufacturers stopped using the dark fake wood paneling which used to plague manufactured homes years ago, and it's time to drop the dark wood moulding.

As a buyer, a home with brown moulding wouldn't stop me from buying it, if it were priced attractively, for example, a lot model marked down, and I liked everything else about the home. I would paint the moulding white.

Another reason to go with white — it  matches the ceiling, and you don't have to be bothered with the brown in the trim clashing with brown in the the kitchen cabinetry or any furniture you have which is made of wood. White trim goes with everything. It works with both modern and classic styles.

Manufacturers could make their homes look better by using white moulding, especially on lower end homes with low ceilings. Here's one with white moulding which looks modern and clean, and I did nothing to the photo:  


Here is a small singlewide, the "Cabana" by Palm Harbor, where lighter color wood moulding is used in this stylish kitchen. I like this kitchen better than the one above because they used a mix of materials and colors, and didn't get hung up on matching everything:






  


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