Base moulding marks the transition between the floor material and the connecting walls. Though traditional styles feature elaborate milling and carving for highly decorative moulding, modern base moulding is simpler in design for a more streamlined look. Choose modern moulding for post World War II homes that feature the clean lines and simple designs of modern architecture for a cohesive final design.
Moulding is categorized by its profile; classic or traditional base moulding features highly detailed milled edges to create profiles with scallops edges or dramatic curvature. Modern base moulding is more simple in its profile design. Each manufacturer names its own moulding profiles, but most standard baseboard moulding pieces feature a largely flat profile with a single decorative curve or bead. Choose base moulding with the fewest features and flattest profile for understated moulding that complements the streamlined features of a modern room; thin, flat planks without any milling detail are particularly effective. For a more distinctive moulding, opt for a shoe moulding, a quarter-round strip of molding that adds sleek, uninterrupted curves to the space. Though many profiles are offered in limited sizes, choose a moulding slightly taller or shorter than standard moulding, which averages between 4 and 5 inches high.
In many homes, base moulding is a subtle addition to a room that serves the functional purpose to disguise the joint of the floor and wall. Turn simple base moulding into a visual focal point with a modern incorporation of color. Painted moulding serves as either a contrast or point of continuation for a dramatic wall color. If your walls are a bold color like orange, aqua or red, continue the color through the moulding so that the floor contrast is even more dramatic. Modern moulding may also serve as the contrast itself. Choose a moulding color that complements or contrasts your wall and floor colors. For white walls and a hardwood floor, a bold emerald green is a dramatic addition. If your walls and carpet are in the same color family like blue, opt for a contrasting color like orange for an unexpected effect. If you are wary of experimenting with colors, a high-gloss black moulding is a suitable match for most wall and floor combinations.
Another branch of the modern design movement includes homes inspired by nature and environmentally-sustainable materials. For a modern home decorated in neutral, earth-tone color palettes and natural fabrics, choose a stained moulding that preserves the natural beauty and details of the original wood material. Choose a wood with a distinctive wood grain like pine, though oak is also a common moulding material. A light stain or clear varnish avoids obstruction of the natural wood details. Another option is to incorporate an alternative wood material; bamboo moulding can be milled to resemble standard moulding or to preserve the natural ribbing that occurs along a bamboo stalk.
- Style Feeder: Modern Base Moulding, LWM724 8' Modern Base
- This Old House: Want a Room With More Stature? Start With the Baseboards
- "1001 Ideas for Trimwork"; Wayne Kalyn; 2006
- New England Classic Moulding: Base Mouldings
- Photo Credit Modern tastefully decorated living room image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com
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