Interior molding and architectural mill-work are becoming increasingly prevalent in both new home construction and remodeling. Builders are continually looking for new ways to differentiate their communities from the competition, and homeowners want more decorative and ornate architectural elements in their homes.
“People are really starting to appreciate interior millwork,” says Craig Flynn, vice president of sales and marketing for Windsor Mill. More and more, he says, homeowners are getting away from thin standard patterns and opting for the more dramatic. “They're moving more toward built-up moldings.”
John Yetter of Oakwood Custom and Classic Woodworks notes that many of his clients are now specing door casings that are 1 inch thick and 5 inches wide, rather than the ¾-inch-thick, 3½-inch-wide casing that has been the norm.
“We're seeing a huge demand on our larger moldings, whether they're just a molded piece or they have embellishments,” says Joanie Johnson, owner/founder of White River Hardwoods. “It seems to us, the more classical we make it, the bigger we make it, and the more embellishments we put on it, the more people want it.”
The category has been changing rapidly, with the introduction of better-performing synthetic materials and a focus on providing complete molding packages.
Columns in particular have experienced a significant upswing in popularity. Builders have long been using columns to dress up home exteriors, but recently they've become more popular for use inside the home, as well, to add architectural detailing and interest. “Exterior columns have been used forever, but interior columns are very popular now,” says Jack Nugent, vice president of sales and marketing for Fypon.
“More and more builders are using [columns]. They add cost and value benefits to the homeowner in the end and to the person who's selling them,” says Jeff Davis, founder and CEO of Chadsworth's 1.800.Columns.
Manufacturers say that the foyer or entry of a home is the first area where columns are typically installed, followed by other public spaces such as kitchens and living rooms.
“It's a relatively inexpensive way to really make a home look elegant, because columns are now fairly inexpensive,” Nugent says, thanks to improved fabrication technologies and less costly materials.
Columns from several manufacturers are available in a variety of durable materials for both interior and exterior applications.