Tips on Choosing the Right Molding For Your Home

Ode to Palladio... I love this charming video on architectural moldings by Brent Hull, who is an expert in historic millwork and residential design. Brent and I recently had lunch near his office in Fort Worth, and we talked about a mutual pet peeve -- newly built monster houses with out-of-proportion architectural elements like cheap moldings and columns.

Architects aren't learning about traditional architectural elements in school any more, although plenty of houses with traditional elements are still getting built, he says. Builders often just slap whatever they like onto a house to make it look fancy, regardless of whether it's the correct style or scale. Bad architectural design is degrading the look of our neighborhoods, and Brent is tackling the problem one video and radio broadcast at a time. He's got the design cred to pull it off -- he studied preservation carpentry at Boston's North Bennett Street School and is the only person in the country licensed to reproduce the historic architecture and millwork from Winterthur.

If you're building a house or redoing one, this video is a good start to helping you figure out what kind of moldings you'll need. Brent has a new website that's easy to navigate and you can view more videos, listen to his radio broadcasts, and buy books on historic moldings and other architectural elements. His new catalog on doors should be up soon.