28th March 2016
Nobody ever notices a skirting board. Architraves are commonly ignored. And cornices are lucky to get anything more than a fleeting glance. Yet the installation of these building components has made a big difference to our everyday experience of The Orchard. Suddenly the house feels finished, even though, by some distance, it is not.
That’s because these edge details perform the crucial function of covering up all the untidy junctions where one interior plane meets another. In these before and after pictures you can see the difference the skirting board has made on the ground floor. As the timber frame sits on a concrete plinth, slightly above finished floor level, there is an insulation detail between the floor edge and the bottom of the plasterboard. As insulation is essential but never, ever pretty, this all necessarily disappears behind the skirting board. The junction between the plaster and the oak door lining is not quite as messy but it is still much improved by the architrave, not least because a frame around a door subtly increases the pleasure of going through it.
In the bedroom we also installed a cornice as this room has rather more extravagant finishes than elsewhere. As well as the reclaimed parquet floor (an Australian wood), there’s a William Morris wallpaper (willow) and a bamboo ceiling with a rather ragged edge, now hidden by the cornice which Ford painted over Easter in the wonderfully named Salon Drab green. The bedroom is not, however, a drab salon. It’s just a dark and slightly mysterious corner of an overgrown wood.