Mouldings were born of practical necessity but create compelling design features. Architrave covers the joint between the door linings and the walls, skirting the joint between the walls and the floor. Timber mouldings perform the same functional role on panelled doors, window shutters and wall panelling, concealing the junction between panels and core structural elements.
In their simplest form, architectural mouldings are a means of creating character and interest through the introduction of contrast between shadow and light on an object. A simple palate of basic shapes dating from classical architecture endures in contemporary designs, for example an ovolo is a convex curve, whilst a cavetto is a concave curve, a cyma recta is a cavetto followed by an ovolo, whereas a cyma reversa is the opposite. The subtle differences in composition and relative emphasis of these elements creates mouldings with character of infinite variety.
The quantity and configuration of mouldings and proportions change over time with striking results. A Georgian four panel door, whilst being identical in description to an Edwardian period door can be strikingly different in practice due to differences in the proportions employed and the relative scale of each component.
Appropriate joinery detailing can elevate the status of a room. Doors for a room of importance may be elevated by the addition of raised and fielded panel details and applied moulded details.
Architectural joinery, in the form of mouldings, doors and wall panelling create a stylistic link between the external and internal architecture of a period property and getting these right can make the difference between a well presented house and an exquisite one.