House Mouldings Use In Victorian, Georgian and Modern Times

Georgian head st Balwyn

House mouldings in the modern home create an aesthetic, decorative statement.  They have also served a practical purpose such as connecting different spaces within a building, such as wall surfaces to floors, window openings and doorways.  Earlier mouldings were made of plaster, so crown and cornice mouldings were used to cover up inevitable cracking from the plasterwork between ceiling and wall, whilst adding a decorative finish.  Chair rails and base mouldings protected walls from sliding chairs and other damage.  Mouldings also became a status symbol, adding value to homes.  They have also been used to denote the use of a room, such as decorative mouldings embellished with fruit motifs in the dining room.  Today mouldings made by the Finishing Touch are lightweight and easy to install and are incorporated into the design of homes to create a particular period style or simply to add a decorative finish to a build.

The Victorian style mouldings were richly detailed and elaborate. This architectural style points to the reign of Queen Victoria 1839 to 1900 and is commonly divided into Early Victorian (1840 to 1865) Mid-Victorian (1865 to 1880) and Late Victorian (1880 to 1900). Grand residences built during the Victorian period exuded affluence and were designed to express the social standing of the owner through both the size and detailed finishing of the home and reflected the progress and prosperity of England and her colonies. Mouldings of the Victorian era tended to be ornate with sumptuous detail. Door blocks were a common feature in Victorian architecture with many of the larger homes incorporating highly decorative two and three piece skirtings.

From 1826 to the 1860 the architectural style in vogue was Georgian, overlapping into the Victorian era. This style is named after England’s four King Georges and draws heavily on classical influences. The Georgian style is known for its symmetry, formality, straight lines and fine detail with paired chimneys as well as a decorative “crowns” above the main entrance a common feature in buildings of this era. Georgian period mouldings are characterised by flat surfaces as well as simple, straight lines without curves.

To create a distinct style to your home discuss the use of house mouldings with the Finishing Touch. Contact Steven De Gregorio

Columns Add History And Beauty To Modern Design

Columns were originally wooden and one central column would be used for structural support in small buildings. The Egyptian and Assyrian civilizations used more sophisticated columns in stone whilst the Minoans used whole tree trunks, turned upside down to prevent regrowth, on a base, topped by a round capital and painted.  They used columns to create large open plan spaces and also as a focal point for religious rituals.

Columns evolved in the ancient world within architectural orders developed by Greek civilization, these principal orders are:

Doric –

Wider at the bottom with a simple capital, but no base.

Ionic  –

Stand on a base and have a capital in the form of a double scroll.

Corinthian  –

Slimmer and taller, stand on a base and have a richly decorated capital, usually with sculpted flower and leaf decoration.

All three have vertical fluted carving.

The Romans introduced different columns –

Tuscan –

No flutes and a simple base and capital.

Roman Doric –

Similar to Tuscan but with flutes.

Composite –

With mixed elements of the previous styles.

Solomonic –

With a twisted shaft.

Earlier civilizations had used columns in the most part for the purpose of holding up the roof inside a building, using the outside walls for decorations with reliefs or paintings. The Ancient Greeks and Romans, extended their use to the outside as well for decorative purposes. Buildings like the Parthenon are classical examples of this style of architecture.

The use of decorative mouldings as columns on modern buildings brings back these past glories to contemporary architecture. The finishing Touch have created a new lightweight range of mouldings, including columns, that add beauty and a link with the past in modern building design.


Arches, Decorative Mouldings, Structure and Beauty

Arches are functional and add beauty to a building. They have been used since prehistoric times, but were originally only able to support small structures such as storerooms. That is, until the Romans created an arch that could support great amounts of weight.  The Roman arch was used to construct buildings as large as palaces.  Other cultures copied this style and structure and new variations were created, such as the Horseshoe or Moorish arch, used in Islamic architecture.

Moorish arch   Horseshoe or Moorish Arch

Corbel Arch

The Corbel arch is one of the oldest types of arch building, dating back to 3000BC. A corbel arch consists of two opposing sets of overlapping corbels, resembling inverted staircases, which meet at a peak and create a structure strong enough to support weight from above. Babylonian architecture made wide use of corbel arches.

Corbel Arch  Corbel Arch

Roman Arch

This is a semicircular arch. The original Roman arches were made of stone.  A wooden frame was first constructed in the shape of an arch with stone work being built up around the frame and finally a keystone was set in position. The wood frame could then be removed and the arch was left in position. Stone arch technology was used on Roman monuments such as the Colosseum in Rome.  The Roman arch can still be seen today in modern architecture, now constructed from more modern materials.

Roman arch  Roman Arches

Gothic Arch

An important innovation of Gothic architecture was the experimental use of pointed arches. The main difference between Roman and Gothic arches was the the pointed shape of the latter, which introduced a new aesthetic dimension and reduced the arch thrusts by as much as fifty percent. With the weight of the roof being supported by the arches rather than the walls, the walls could be thinner.

Reims 10  Gothic Arch

Basket Arch

A three-centered arch—sometimes called a ‘Basket-handle arch’ or ‘Anse de panier’—closely resembles an ellipse, which puts it in a field of its own.The Basket arch is a flattened arch whose ellipse like shape is determined by three arcs that are interconnected; with each radius being drawn from a different centre. Also known as Semi elliptical or Elliptical, this style of arch is mainly used in modern day building due to its simple design.

basket arch  Basket Arch

Mouldings add decorative interest to arches and the Finishing Touch can supply a light weight decorative moulding to suit the style of arch selected for your next building.  Choose from the range or order a custom made moulding.


Create A Classic Style Home Or A Modern Twist With Decorative Mouldings

Although decorative mouldings were most popular during the Victorian era and defined the Victorian building, they have been used through many eras and for numerous styles of building.  These days they are used to create a style from yesteryear or add interest to a modern building.


With the latest development in decorative moulding manufacture, the once heavy mouldings now come in a lightweight design that is easy to transport, fix and finish.  The Finishing Touch distribute this innovative moulding design, developed and manufactured by Advanced Mouldings. Mouldings were originally made from stone then stucco followed by terracotta, with plaster used for intricately designed interior ceilings.  Now the Finishing Touch offer mouldings made from computer cut high grade EPS polystyrene, triple coated with a multi-part compound and reinforced with a triple coating of sand.

The Eyrie

The range of different moulding shapes can be used to create many different styles, such as a French Provincial style home, as illustrated in the award winning Eyrie with its French neo classical façade. The Finishing Touch moulds are an integral design element of this classic façade.


Mouldings can also create a classic Georgian style façade, as illustrated in this house.  Builders and House Designers can choose the appropriate moulding shape, placing them in the right position to create the desired effect.


Art Deco is a popular, elegant and more modern style which can be ably re-created with the clever use of mouldings, as shown in this home.

Other styles that can be achieved through the use of mouldings are Edwardian, Mediterranean and Tuscan.  The Finishing Touch have a range of mouldings available, but they can also create custom made mouldings to customer specifications.

Architectural Decorative Moudings From Then to Now

French Provincial

In architecture mouldings have been used inside and outside of buildings. Architectural mouldings are used to give shape and form.

Used to enhance the appearance of buildings, exterior mouldings were originally made in stone but from the 1800s stucco became a popular material, being more affordable. Popular in London in the early Victorian period it was used to create smooth, evenly coloured house fronts in terraces and for larger Victorian villas. It became less popular about the 1860s when the price of stone fell and terracotta became used more widely.

Interior mouldings, namely plaster cornicing, coving and ceiling roses were used not only to enhance a room’s proportions but to signify the room’s use and importance. Rooms that received guests such as the reception room, dining room, parlour and hall tended to have larger and more decorative mouldings.

Prior to the Victorian era decorative plaster mouldings were created on site by using fingers on wet plaster. In the 18th century, Italian stuccadores created intricately designed ceilings on site and by hand and the profiles and types of plaster ornaments increased enormously. The builder chose appropriate mouldings for the house and this could heavily influence whether the house sold or not. Elaborate mouldings justified a more expensive house. Mouldings came to emphasize the social hierarchy.

Each room featured decorative mouldings matched to its use, fruit would feature in the dining room and floral swags in the drawing room. The 19th century brought change again, with mouldings being less ornate and bulky and plaster mouldings becoming simpler as decorate wallpaper became more popular. In this century decorative mouldings are still used, often to recreate the look of bygone eras.  The Finishing Touch have created the next epoch with unique, lightweight and easy to install mouldings.