Finishing Touch Supplying French Provincial Decorative Mouldings Around Melbourne

Decorative mouldings by The finishing Touch

At the Finishing Touch we’ve been busy lately. We have supplied and installed (using our recommended installer) decorative mouldings for a forty five square, post-modern residence in Forest Hills. The crowning glory is the 215mm high Keystone (code # K125) centred above the mitre of the building.  Twelve metres of parapets (code #P7180), sized 180mm x 95mm, seventy five metres of under gutter mouldings (code # PE70) sized 70mm x 70mm, fifty one metres of window architraves (code # W1090) sized 90mm x 40mm and 9.6 metres of window sills (code # WS5RT), sized 133mm x 91mm made up the full complement of decorative mouldings.

A sixty square, French provincial home in East Malvern is currently under development and requires decorative mouldings:
Seventy five metres of French provincial parapet mouldings (model # P8300), sized 300mm x 235mm.
Six metres of French provincial feature parapet (Model #P8430) sized 430mm x 335mm, sits over the top of the above parapet, in the middle as a feature.
Eighty one metres of French provincial parapet on the ground floor (model #P8250), sized 250mm x 195mm.
Two hundred and forty seven metres of French provincial architraves (model # W1100), sized 100mm x 45mm for twelve windows at the front, rear and sides.
Thirty eight metres of French provincial window sills (model # WSR15), sized 135mm x 185mm for the above windows.
Six French provincial arches for the front windows and five for the rear windows (model # W1100).

A builder renovating and restoring a property in Wellington Street, Collingwood, amongst an area of factories and large commercial buildings and showrooms, required six metres of flatband decorative mouldings with a thirty millimetre reveal. This was a special build, custom built to suit and supply only.

Another builder required supply only decorative mouldings for a 60 square French provincial home in East Brighton. The façade should be eye catching with five arches for the five front windows (code # W1090) topped with keystones above the arches (code # GK3) sized 190mm x 140mm x 65mm. Other decorative mouldings supplied were:
One hundred and forty two metres of under gutter mouldings (code # PE70), sized 70mm x 70mm.
Sixty metres of parapet mouldings (code # P7180), sized 180mm x 95mm.
Eighty two metres of window architraves (code # W1090) sized 90mm x 40mm.

Labassa Mansion A Prime Example of Architectural Decorative Features

Labassa Caulfield

The mansion known as Labassa in Caulfield was formerly a modest country house built for Melbourne judge Richard Billing in 1862 and originally named Sylliot Hill. Alexander William Robertson of Cobb and Co Coaches fame, renamed it ‘Ontario’ when he purchased it in the 1880s. Robertson had big plans, commissioning the German born Architect John A B Koch to remodel the house into a 35 room mansion. The home, situated on a 6 hectare site featured gilt embossed wallpapers, ornate and finely detailed stained glass feature windows and a unique ‘trompe l’oeil’ ceiling (a painted three dimensional mural) when remodelled. Robertson also added massive caste iron gates, redolent of an English palace.

The next owner was John Boyd Watson II, the heir to a Bendigo Mining fortune, who purchased the mansion when Robertson died.  Watson was a man of leisure who did not need to work. When he died in 1920 his wife sold the property. Unfortunately, the beautiful home steadily deteriorated over time and by the 1970s it had become a virtual commune with hippy tenants paying homage to Bohemia.

The National Trust purchased the property in 1980 and faithfully restored it to its former glory. Its magnificent verandahs, corinthian arches, ornate plasters, grand staircases, trompe l’oeil ceiling and ornate decorative mouldings on the exterior and interior once again reflecting Architect John Koch’s vision, in its ‘French Second Empire’ style.

Labassa is of genuine architectural significance as the most prominent example of a small number of houses built in Australia in what is known as the French Renaissance style. It is the most important surviving work of German Architect John A B Koch.

Homes of historical architectural significance are prime examples of the beauty of architectural decorative mouldings and much of their magnificence is due to these decorative features. The Finishing Touch are suppliers of modern era decorative mouldings, which are lightweight, high quality and easy to install.

Master Builders Appointment Sends a Welcome Message to Females in the Industry

International Women’s Day was a good day to announce that Master Builders Australia had appointed a women as its new CEO.  Denita Wawn has made history being the first woman to hold this role in the Association’s 127 year history and it is a strategic appointment, with a view to attracting more female workers to the $200 million building and construction industry.

Currently only 10 per cent of the workforce is female and Ms Wawn will work with schools, universities and employers to encourage wore women to join the 32,000, mostly male, workers in the industry. Ms. Wawn said that employers should be more proactive attracting women to the industry such as specifying in job ads that female applicants are welcome. She is hopeful that her appointment will help people to see that there’s a cultural shift in the industry and women are welcome. “I would love to think in 10 years if we can get it up to at least 25 per cent that would be fantastic,” she said.

Having held senior roles with the Brewers Association of Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Hotels Association and National Farmers’ Federation, she has plenty of experience in male-dominated industries and her message to young women is to be yourself and not try to be “one of the boys”.

The Finishing Touch welcomes this appointment and hopes to see more females attracted to the building and construction industry. As suppliers of decorative architectural mouldings to builders, the company has a long association in the industry and sees cultural shifts like this as beneficial.

Increasing Housing Supply

The Property Council of Australia welcomed a report released in December 2016 on housing affordability, saying governments need to focus on solutions that will make a difference to housing affordability for all Australians. The report was released by CoreLogic and Australian National University showing an increasing gap between household income and the amount needed for a 20 per cent deposit to purchase a home.

“This new report shows the problem for all to see – now we need solutions that will make a difference, not political distractions,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council. “Real solutions are required to ease housing prices for home buyers – and that is largely through increasing the supply of housing.” Melbourne house prices are 30% cheaper than Sydney prices and Melbourne has had 112,000 more building approvals over the last decade, illustrating that more supply results in lower prices. However, although Sydney has the highest shortage, Melbourne still needs more housing to meet demand.

The other factors that affect housing supply are unnecessary delays and costs, which drive up the costs of new dwellings.  Ken Morrison said that all levels of government, Commonwealth, State and Territories, need to take responsibility and strike a deal to incentivise reform to fix the housing supply problem.

It would certainly be good news to builders and suppliers to the building industry to see governments working together to help increase housing supply. The Ai Group and Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (PCI) rise in February 2017 to 53.1 showed a pleasing increase in construction activity for housing, but the current forecast by HIA predicts a drop, levelling out to 172,000 dwelling construction starts in 2018. However, HIA also reported that demand associated with population growth remained reasonably robust, particularly in Melbourne, and that new house construction would remain at historically healthy levels despite dropping back from the record levels of today. Apartment and town house constructions would be the most contracted, falling from 111,810 to 69,940 starts. Detach house construction would be less affected, with starts dropping from 116,420 to 104,440.

The Finishing Touch supply builders, architects and owner-builders with high quality, lightweight exterior mouldings that create a decorative finish to dwellings.  Their lightweight decorative mouldings come in a range of styles, including French provincial, post-modern, Mediterranean and Georgian.

2017 Colour Trends Married To Architectural Styles

post modern design

Looking at the Dulux colour trends for 2017 as forecast by Bree Leech, their Trend Forecaster, Creative Director, Producer and Stylist we can’t help but marry the different colour palettes with house styles. Entwine, based on the idea of weaving and woven colours and Construct based on architectural periods like brutalism with a focus on materials and form and  Sentience the offset to our online lives.

Entwine – an eclectic range of rich, warm colours in earthy red and botanical green with unexpected accents.  The palette is influenced by global cultures and landscapes from around the world, creating a link between modernity and traditions.  The architectural style that comes to mind is Tuscany or Mediterranean which would be a perfect fit to the colourful woven mats from far off lands and mix of rich, warm colours in the interior.  Decorative mouldings for this style from the Finishing Touch include corbels that protrude from the beams and are available in a wonderful array of shapes and styles.

Construct – Luxury is derived not from frivolity but raw materials, structure and form.  This pared back beauty is obtained from rawness in architectural angles, concrete, steel and galvanised finishes. Interiors follow an atmospheric palette of dark blues and greys with accents in platinum, copper and rust.  The architectural style is post-modern, with stark, simple lines. Decorative mouldings accentuate the lines with eave mouldings and flatbands, which can be made to any dimension.

Sentience – using textures in interiors to offset the effect of so much screen time in our lives, the lack of feeling crispy paper when reading  because now we read ibooks, izines and news online. The continual swishing and swiping on our devices means our eyes are tired and our finger tips are feeling the same flat surface, so when we look up and around us we should be surrounded by interesting textures like woollen knitted rugs, linen bedding, painted exposed brick and when we touch we should be feeling handmade ceramics, unrefined soaps and plants. A colour palette in subtle pastels in washed, earthy tones, soft naturals like earthy pinks, new beige and lichen greens. This would go beautifully in a French provincial style home,styled with the great range of Finishing Touch decorative mouldings specially designed for the French provincial style.