The Case for Casework and Millwork – From Builder Basic to Wow!

  |   Design tips   |   No comment

People are often looking for that great new piece of furniture to turn their interiors from ho-hum to amazing, but I always urge them to stop and take stock of the room as a whole.  In times past, many homes were constructed with beautiful architectural detailing and mill work.  Crown moldings, wainscot, door and window casings, fireplace mantles were often substantial and beautifully crafted.  Add a rug, sofa and a chair or two and the room invited you to come in and take a seat.  Unfortunately, today, especially here in Southern California where track homes reign supreme, few if any architectural details remain.  Even into the $1,000,000+ market, acres of drywall, short base moldings, narrow casework around windows and doors, a 12” wide slab of granite, tile, or whatever slapped onto the drywall outlining the fireplace, often with no mantle above, is the norm.  You can fill your room full of beautiful furnishings and the room is still sort of ho-hum.  So what’s the answer?  Casework and mill work!



Starting out life as a tall, narrow drywall box with no crown molding or window casing, this back stair went from boring to amazing with a little bit of well designed casework.  The wainscot detail we designed here would look every bit as good in a dining room, library or study. In a more traditional space, or if you’re aiming for a more formal look, you can layer on the detail in the moldings.  Here we used the classic reed and ribbon molding to add additional detail.  A simplified molding could be substituted for a more transitional space.


Here’s another example of using the classic wainscot design for a more transitional interior.  We installed mirror behind the fretwork to bring extra light and sparkle to this breakfast room designed for a client in yet another builder basic home.




We love helping our clients make their interiors unique and gorgeous.  Who would guess that this room was once your basic (albeit in that $1,000,000+ market) track home? Classic casework, mill work and a custom shattered glass wall panel created a luxurious, timeless environment our client loves!  If a room like this doesn’t fit your budget, you can apply moldings over drywall, paint the whole wall out in a semi-gloss paint for a WOW! look at a budget friendly price.


So next time you’re ready to run out and grab some new piece of furniture, STOP!! PLEASE!!  Take stock of your whole room and think about using those dollars in a way that adds a real wow factor,turning builder basic into custom.

Don’t know where to start?  We specialize in designing beautiful casework and mill work and would love to help you personalize your space.  Give us a call!



AUTHOR - Rebecca Johnston

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.