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Please help me figure out this paneling.

Posted by threeapples (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 23, 12 at 20:37

My trim guys want to make a drawing of the library paneling on the wall for me to approve. One wall in this room will be cabinetry, another will be a window, and one will be the door. So, I have two areas where I need to determine how many "panels" to do, one area that is 71 inches long and another that is 170. Also, should the panels correspond to the coffered ceiling or the wainscot below, or be independent? I have no idea how to figure this out and need to give them an answer within 48 hours.Uploaded with Snapbucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

How would you get your house built without this forum? Everyday you have a handful of questions...I figure some of this would have been researched before you started your build. Good luck!


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

(hmm, what was that about!?)

I would refuse to answer this question in 48 hours, even if it meant some delay. The coffers and panels should relate to each other. You should 1) google some images for panelling for your house style to get some idea of what you like and 2) show it to your carpenter who should be able to make suggestions in keeping with the home, the cabinets, etc.

As it is, I'm confused by the scale of your drawing, 170" looks like less than 170" if the 72 is right?? Also I have no context for where this is going.

But I would not be rushed. Not like you need this for a c/o!


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

(hmm, what was that about!?)

I would refuse to answer this question in 48 hours, even if it meant some delay. The coffers and panels should relate to each other. You should 1) google some images for panelling for your house style to get some idea of what you like and 2) show it to your carpenter who should be able to make suggestions in keeping with the home, the cabinets, etc.

As it is, I'm confused by the scale of your drawing, 170" looks like less than 170" if the 72 is right?? Also I have no context for where this is going.

But I would not be rushed. Not like you need this for a c/o!


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

(hmm, what was that about!?)

I would refuse to answer this question in 48 hours, even if it meant some delay. The coffers and panels should relate to each other. You should 1) google some images for panelling for your house style to get some idea of what you like and 2) show it to your carpenter who should be able to make suggestions in keeping with the home, the cabinets, etc.

As it is, I'm confused by the scale of your drawing, 170" looks like less than 170" if the 72 is right?? Also I have no context for where this is going.

But I would not be rushed. Not like you need this for a c/o!


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

the measurements are right, but the trim guy didn't draw this to scale.

oksir83, i'm sorry you are so jealous that you can't either be polite or be silent.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Wow! And I thought I was the only one that occasionally got snarky responses! LOL

While I'm no expert...I would want an odd number of panels on the long wall. Then you can center the panel, rather than the seam.

So, if you do five panels on the long wall, they'd be about 34" wide, before the spacing. So maybe 30" plus spacing?

That would give you two panels (plus a little extra) on the other side. How wide do you want your panels? Do you want them narrower? Then maybe seven panels on the long wall at approximately 24" wide...with almost three panels on the other side?

Do you have any paneling pictures that you like? Maybe that would help :)


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

The architect did not help with any details so my husband and I are left to do this on our own. We love this site for the wonderful advice. I shouldn't have reacted so harshly.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Are these full cabinetry panels, or just molding applied to sheetrock? If full cabinetry, I presume a cabinetmaker is involved? I would insist on cad drawings before approving.

I think the easiest way to do this is to figure out how much "flat" area you want showing. Add up the width of the stiles and the beveled area (if raised panels) and subtract it from the total. Then play around with the width of the flat area to figure out what looks best.

You also may be driven by a particular area of the room - that 36" wall for example - so if that can take only one panel (which I think that would be the case), then use that measurement around the room.

Having said that, the coffered ceiling complicates things. I think the panels should absolutely relate to it. Pictures on Houzz might be the best resource for finding what looks right.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

I would try relating the panels / wainscoting to the cabinetry /shelves on the other wall.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Kind of funny wording - "the architect did not help with any details". Why past tense? What was he contracted to do? Id it didn't include trim work, which seems odd, I'd hire him I her for this.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Kind of funny wording - "the architect did not help with any details". Why past tense? What was he contracted to do? Id it didn't include trim work, which seems odd, I'd hire him I her for this.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Based on the previous issues that you have had with contractors not understanding your vision for the house, I really think you need to have a plan for the wainscoting and ceiling drawn up by a professional.

This seems to be important feature in your home and I would not rely on internet pictures, stranger's advice and hand drawn plans on graph paper to get things right.

I get the impression that your relationship with your architect has soured so I would ask your GC if he can suggest someone to draw up plans.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

To begin with, you need to start with a properly scaled drawing. Anything you draw on a "not to scale" drawing, will be useless, as what looks good and proper on paper, wont look right IRL..

Find a person that can put your wishes onto paper with detailed floor plans, elevations, sections, and dimensions.. It will be much clearer for everyone involved..

I see this going nowhere but south without proper documentation..


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

If the original architect is unavailable, then ask around for another recommendation for one. Or an interior design firm. You've had too many questions on detail issues like this and you need professional assistance in person on site for this and all of the current and upcoming details that weren't adequately specified by the original architect (What did he do exactly?). I'm going to emphasize that again. You need professional assistance. This is NOT the place to work with a "carpenter" and scrawl something on the back of a napkin.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

LOL, trust me, there is no jealousy here...humor and disbelief, maybe, but no jealousy. I am beginning my own build and didn't just jump in head first without first trying to think through every little detail. It sounds like you need a better GC or architect as mentioned numerous times above who can share your vision, otherwise you will be beating your head against wall with every aspect of the project and it appears that is already occurring. Hence the reason for wishing you good luck. If you can't take praise and criticism, maybe it is best if you don't post on public message boards or accuse others of being jealous when you know absolutely nothing about them or their current build. It comes off as immature and insecure. Once again, good luck...if it were me, I would make the panels as symmetric as possible to the other features in the room, but it is all personal taste. If you like it, who cares what others think???


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

threeapples haven't your trim guys done rooms like this before? Our trim guys were told where and what type of trim we wanted and they took care of the spacing details since they know what it is supposed to look like/ what the appropriate measurements are to get it to look that way. Why don't you ask them to come up with what they believe is right/correct and then you can just approve it?


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Knowing a bit of the backstory:

The architect has designed houses of this size and larger, yes. The builders have built houses of this size and budget, yes.

But neither the architect nor the builders have designed/built a historical revival house that actually looked like the historical revival. The architect has designed a lot of houses where the details are left up to the builder because the houses have such a loose and unidentifiable vocabulary of styles going on that the specific details hardly matter. It sounds as if the builders have no idea of what this style of house is. It is uncommon in threeapples' location, and most people have probably never seen one let alone would be able to identify it.

If this were a house not being build along a style that is relatively rigid in it's original form, a lot of the questions that threeapples has been asking would be pretty irrelevant: s/he could do what looks nice. However, threeapples wants to do what looks historically appropriate (in interpretation, at least) and has been left in the lurch because following such a specific set of design "rules" is really outside the experience of the architect or the builders.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

I think criticizing a person who is asking a legitimate questing is disruptive and unnecessary. This wasn't a question that mitigated criticism. She asked for specific design help. Not a critique of a design. Everyone's process is different and every circumstance is unique. Her builder and architect dropped the ball so she is doing the best she can.

Also every question she asks adds to the database of GW and will help the forum as a whole. It enriches the site. Random lurkers who mock others and offer zero value to a post and this forum are not appreciated.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Thank you all for your help and valuable suggestions. My trim guys are working hard to figure these details out and I am lucky they are patient with me. I intend to draw on the walks themselves next time I am there and then work out the remaining details. You are all right that these issues should not fly by the wayside. The designers I have hired are not familiar with the desired look I am going for so, in our area, trying to do a historic revival is something I've had to work on primarily alone.
And, my accusation of jealousy was petty and uncalled for. I truly regret that reaction. I have become intensely stressed out over the details of this project as I am sure many of you can relate.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Well said gaonmymind- I have been becoming increasingly frustrated with the unnecessary remarks that some of these "know-it-all-have-a-snide-comment-for-everything" lurkers have.
Good luck threeapples- I don't have any suggestions for you but I know it can be frustrating trying to figure everything out. I'm sure it will all pull together nicely once you are able to get it worked out with your trim guys.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

This forum is an invaluable resource for sure.

With that said, it's also true that you get what you pay for. I highly recommend working with a qualified interior designer who has experience with the style of home you are trying to build. We hired one for our project. We use her for some aspects but not others (those I do myself or with my wife - e.g. picking plumbing fixtures, though we review these with the designer to make sure we're not making obvious mistakes). One example of a service the designer provides: she produces detailed wall elevations showing tile layouts, framing details not noted otherwise by the architect etc. This becomes part of the specification and hence part of the contract so there is no room for misinterpretation. It has allowed us thus far to plan for a home with many custom details we wouldn't have thought of ourselves.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

Sounds like you are on your own threeapples. It's wed. talk it all over with the trim carpenters while you are in the room. Yes draw on the walls.( I've even been knows to tack up mock ups and study this first. We did this for the LR coffers.)
Are your coffers in on the ceiling? Are bookcases in? Think it over and visualise your vision of the room over the weekend. Why does this have to be done on such a rush time line?
I agree with what athens mom said and also consider the width of the bookcases on the book case wall. Verticals should match verticals in width. Also I believe all should definately relate to the coffers in the ceiling.
Draw it out to scale on your graph paper wall by wall including the bookcase wall.
Good luck We can't wait for pictures.


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

I agree with others that 48 hours is way too short for a big design decision like this.

So this is a long shot, but this gentleman restored a house in NC that I *think* is a Federal style. He designed and drew up panels for one of the rooms. Maybe a conversation or email exchange with him could lead you to some additional resources or ideas of how to proceed. Who knows, maybe for a fee he could even help you design yours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Newbold-White house restoration


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RE: Please help me figure out this paneling.

chicagoans looks like a great resource. I was going to suggest historical concepts, but it may be too far along for them.


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