it's a busy day in Bakersfield ... if you're looking for my 30 Days of Junkin' and Blue Monday posts, please scroll down to the previous post.
One of the major differences between an older home (pre-60's, for the sake of this discussion) and a newer one -- and also between a new home and a more expensive or custom new home -- is the lack or presence of finishing details, trims, and molding.
My grandmother's hastily-built 1940s "war housing" tract home had such handsome hardwood trim and molding: solid wood paneled doors, three-step doorframes, sturdy baseboards, and old-fashioned double-hung windows with wonderful wooden casings, frames, and sills. Most kids from my generation can recall using the interior window sill (techincally called the "apron") to stage toy soldier wars, display our favorite collections, or hold a glass of water at bedtime.
As part of our current kitchen remodel, we decided to add Interior window sills in the breakfast room. As you can see in the before pics, the drywall "sills" have a number of drawbacks: they're not level from side to side and they're also not level with the bottom of the aluminum windows, which leaves bare vertical areas between the window and the wallpaper. Drywall sills are very hard to keep clean, and eventually the wallpaper "sills" begin to lift.
The solution to all of these problems was to buy two 8 foot lengths of paint-grade 4.5" baseboard molding (wide enough to extend about 3/4" past the wall, which means wide enough to hold a small vase, a wineglass, or a bottle of ice cold beer), cut it to length, paint it with leftover black cabinet paint, and attach it firmly. Because of the non-standard angle in the bay window, I made paper patterns to ensure that the edges would butt up tightly.
The white edging at the bottom of the window is carpenter's caulk or DAP installed by the builder 22 years ago.
Installation was quick and easy ... a thick line of wood glue along the front and back of the wallpapered area (to help seal the edges), followed by a few nails to hold it firmly in place. I love my nail gun :o) It keeps me from breaking windows with a misdirected hammer.
I especially like how the new wooden sill draws attention to the wide baseboards, which are made from a very similar molding:
My friend Tim, over at Remodeling Guy, is currently doing a series on trim and molding, with lots of terrific DIY articles and photos. Be sure to check him out, along with the four new specialty areas of his website ... he always has something terrific going on!