Interior archways are a great way to add architectural detail to any home. In my case I’ve improved the archway between my living and dining room. I felt the archway was a bit boring and the shelving in it dated. I started my search online (last spring) for mouldings on archways and along came this beauty:
|Stacey Branford Photography|
I took before pics myself but this pic of the archway before we took possession seems to be the best view overall:
Notice the open shelving. Opposite the shelf facing in is a wall but it also has storage...accessible from the kitchen on the other side. I wanted both sides to be identical. The shelving always seemed cluttered and was collecting dust.
I hired a carpenter to help me with the curved mouldings to create the panels. We thought we'd be able to bend MDF but who were we kidding? Normally, from what I've learned, curves are cut out of plywood and then applied. The trick was to cut strips of 1/4" plywood and apply layers of them:
In between the plywood we used 3/4" MDF.
Inside the 4 square panels you'll notice smaller decorative mouldings. I tried the plastic moulding at home depot (normally used for bathrooms) but it wouldn't properly bend on the curve. Next attempted to bend MDF...it snapped. I even put slits in the back of it to help it curve...no dice. While describing the project to a friend I was told that a product called RUBBER WOOD existed! Vintage Mouldings in Burnside sells this rubber wood. It's made in Truro and needs to be custom ordered. I will warn its very expensive, but lucky for me, I only needed 10 feet. On each side of the arch there are 2 curves - each 2 feet - wich are rubber wood. The rest of the moulding is identical MDF.
The doors proved to be complex, given we had to determine how they would fit. Would they set in the openings, etc? Finding the proper hinges locally was impossible, they had to be special-ordered from out west. There is a door on each side of the archway.
The doors (as seen above) still need to be hinged, chair rail finished and the inside shelving completed. You'll see those pics in the next post. I've done about 4 rounds of filling and sanding. What a relief to be finished that part.
The project is near completion. I just had to share it with you; it really is wonderful! So any paint ideas? I've only applied white primer, so far. Should I paint the trim a different color from the inside panels? (To give you an idea: I've got white, black and empress teal in the living room.) The dining room is also still open for ideas...I was thinking of an accent wall behind the mirror in the above pic. Tell me your thoughts!