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Does this molding look bizarre?

Posted by VADawg (My Page) on
Thu, May 8, 14 at 0:33

Hi all, renovating a 1920's Craftsman. Showed up to the remodel site and saw this molding placed above the kitchen sink and window today. It looks bizarre to me, but my husband disagrees. Keep in mind the cabinets will go all the way to the top once the molding is put in, so it's not finished,but I wanted to get feedback on this before my contractor proceeds any further. And I get the look of the continuous molding line my contractor was going for by placing this board atop the window, but to me it looks kind of weird and seems to block a little of the window. My husband doesn't think so, and since I really don't have a vision when it comes to these things, tell me, is this going to look great or weird? Should I tell my contractor to take this down and if so, will it look ok without it? Thanks so much!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I'm afraid I don't understand the piece either. Looks odd, imo, heavy and out of place. There should have been a plan and drawing for your approval first, not him making something up.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I would agree, I don't think you need it. Looks like it's going to be beautiful without anything extra there. You can always do an interesting window treatment with a cornice. The way it is now it seems it would interfere with a window covering. I've never seen anything like that before. But then again, if your husband is dead set against changing it, it might be ok in the end and then on down the road you could just remove it, and he will never even notice ; ) Just kidding…but honestly, sometimes when I change something DH doesn't even notice for a couple of years. It's funny but the big things in the house that my husband was adamant about in the build, he doesn't even remember the discussion now. It drives me crazy!!! I mean I acquiesced and didn't even get credit!!! lol


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Yes, my thought was that I'd put a Roman shade there. As for our contractor, he is a total doofus who does seem to make things up along the way. I don't recall this in our plans, but this is our first remodel and there are so many details I didn't think about in the planning process, like this one. I'm going to look back at the plans and check. My husband thinks it will look weird to not have the continuous line of molding along the top and to dip down where the window is. He just wants me to decide quickly because they've already attached this to the cabinets, thus removing it is going to leave holes in the side of the cabinets that may or may not be able to be repaired. Ugh.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Your crown molding is going to the ceiling? This is what we did with our crown above the window. Or just have them bring the crown around the sides of the cabinet & end it at the wall with no croen above the window.

This post was edited by romy718 on Thu, May 8, 14 at 2:59


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Here's a window with no crown-pipdog's kitchen.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Bizarre, no, but I dont care for it. Does he not want to return the crown to the wall along the side of the cabinet for some reason?


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Can't tell for sure from your photos, but it looks as if the crown may be too big to return to the wall without hitting or overlapping your window frame. The example pictures each show enough room for the crown return, but yours may be too tight for that.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I think it's hard to tell without seeing the full view of the kitchen. Is this the same style as the cabinets below which ties in that look. It looks heavy from your picture but may not when the whole kitchen is seen


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

It looks like an after thought, the full window frame should be seen. I would take it down, what is there makes me want to believe there are cabinets which throws me off looking at it. Almost like the unit was a mistake and is too big. If you are going to put crown above the cabinets, he should be able to find a way to meet the window frame. Is the window frame all the way to the ceiling? Even if it is, a good woodworker can define your window framing and set in the crown. Which I would want to do. Although the crown shown in the examples posted go over the window/ceiling, it doesn't have to. Mine is just to the wall and never thought about going across the wall. This may be due to a smaller kitchen though.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

It looks hacked, like others have have said an after thought poorly executed. It looks like a sideways door. I have seen worse but I would make them take it down.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

VA - Is your ceiling vaulted? Looks like it from the pic. If it is, I have a sneaking suspicion he put that piece up as a short cut. He probably doesn't want to or doesn't have the skill to tie that return in. It is more difficult and I bet he's avoiding it.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I would remove it - it's not even the same style as the cabinets!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Perhaps he wanted to give you a Craftsman-like detail? Something like that could look OK with Craftsman style cabinets, but it's out of place there. Big problem is that it is too tall--something that came down to the first shelf or less would be better, and a common feature in older kitchens to hide a light fixture over the sink.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

It looks weird, like a faux cabinet. Even so, who puts one there anyway? I think it will impede the flow of light through the upper part of the window. The examples shown of nothing above the window look good and normal.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Definitely looks weird. "It's easier to put on crown molding" is not nearly a good enough reason to do something like this.

I have cabinets on each side of a window, and a vaulted ceiling. The crown ends at the top of the wall, but doesn't touch the ceiling.
left of sink photo IMG_0846_zpsabe9a523.jpg


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Could we just once not second-guess the contractor before he's finished?

And people wonder why we hate having homeowners hanging around until we're finished.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

HI all, OP here. My cabinets are simple Shaker-style. In this house, all the windows have really heavy crown molding on them, so we don't have any crown molding running along the ceiling. There'd be no room as it would run into the top of the window molding. I'm guessing that's why stuck the board up there, because there's no room to put crown molding on top of the already heavy window molding, and he wanted a continuous line. It just looks strange to me and heavy, and I don't think you should ever cut off part of a window. I think it would look better as shown in some of the examples y'all have shown me (thank you!), to just have the molding atop the cabinets end and have a little wall space on top of the window before the window molding starts. And Trebuchet, I know there are many wonderful contractors, but this guy is not one of them. I agree with others, it looks like a shortcut. Some of the other shortcuts he's taken include refusing to mix floor stains to create a custom one (as it would look "uneven"), refusing to hand-sand the stairway banister and claim that it has to be painted instead, and claiming he can't create a pencil frame around our backsplash. He is just lazy. So, contractors like this are the reason homeowners have to hang around and double-check everything because it's too costly to trust the contractor and deal with mistakes after the fact. Stepping off soapbox now!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I think that piece could be called a cornice board? I have seen them look very nice. Yours seems a bit tall for the space and it also doesn't seem to flow with the adjacent cabinets since they appear to be glass front? Photos sometimes distort proportions and maybe this ties in better if the whole kitchen is being viewed. But as the picture shows it, I'm not a huge fan.

As far as second guessing the contractor, the orginal poster said this piece wasn't in the plans, as far as s/he could remember. If that's correct, the contractor has gone off the rails without consulting the homeowner. Further, this is a decision about looks, not about meeting code or making sure things function properly. I see no reason for a homeowner to defer to a contractor on that kind of question. That's like saying the contractor should get to change the paint color from blue to yellow on his own initiative.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

"Could we just once not second-guess the contractor before he's finished?"

Then what? Something becomes so much trouble, damage, and expense to fix that it has to stay. And the fingerpointing begins. Then they'd be saying "why didn't you let me know sooner, it's too late now". Better to catch things early.

There should have been a planned drawing to show them for approval, or refinement, not wasting time and material building a surprise design valance. Whose house is this?

It is too big and clumsy looking and interferes with the window. It's out of balance, particularly with the glass doors.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I don't like the board. I think it would look much better being an open space.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I watched our siding and kitchen. We discussed a skirt board for our siding and after day 1, I asked the subcontractor about the skirt board- he said- what skirt board?
I called GC and we met that night and averted major problem as only one side needed to be fixed. Problem resolved and relatively painless.

In this case, I feel the window board makes it too boxed in. I would call a meeting to discuss options with all to make sure no other hidden surprises.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I think it looks odd.

If it's needed for some reason that we can't see, I think it should be narrower, and maybe lose the divided panels look. I mocked up a couple of views in Photoshop that I think look better if you have to have something there. Here's one:


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

And here's another:


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Wow, demolitionlab, thank you! Great photoshopping skills! Yes, I'm going to talk to the contractor today about this. It's just so ugly!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I don't like it. Being tall, I would feel like I were ducking into a cave to use the sink, even if it were well above my head.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I don't like it at any size, but am impressed with Demolab's photoshop skills.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

"And people wonder why we hate having homeowners hanging around until we're finished."

My experience has taught me that generalizations such as this one to lead to undo stereotypes. As a professional I have no problem with clients playing an active role throughout the process, not just at the beginning and end. I am a firm believer in consistent effective communication. Professionals must not lose sight of the fact that regardless of the knowledge and skills possessed, when entering a client’s home you are a guest invited in to perform a service. Houses are the largest investment the majority of individuals will ever make. It is a privilege to be entrusted with working on an individual’s home.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Yes just have to give congrats on the great photoshop skills!!
Jen


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

VADawg without giving your contractor the opportunity to finish I do not want to go as far as to say what he is doing is "wrong". However on the flip side I will say it is not "correct". For instance when I was younger my grandfather was installing an intricate coffered ceiling in a home he had built. When finishing the ceiling off with a piece of trim molding my grandmother liked that particular piece of molding turned upside down from the direction in was intended to go. My grandfather struggled with this because in his eyes that was simply not how the molding was intended to be used. After much deliberation my grandfather conceded and decided he would live to fight another day. I believe a similar situation has arose here.

I do not believe you will be happy if your contractor continues down the path he is going. This application is not as aesthetically pleasing as it could be in part because as others have mention it blocks the window but also because it “cuts off” the finished end panels on the surrounding cabinets. Romy provided you with two ideal examples of how this situation should be handled. Good luck and remember this is your home, you and your husband need to be happy with the end result.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

If you google "wooden kitchen valance", you will find pictures with this type of molding. They go in and out of fashion (you see scalloped ones in mid-century homes sometimes) , and right now they seem to be out, but they aren't "weird." I like Demolitionlab's narrower ones over what's in there.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Here is a view of my whole kitchen to give some perspective-


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

And what it looks like under the cornice. I don't like the idea of the feeling of ducking underneath that to use the sink. I went by the house today but the contractor was not there so tomorrow I plan to tell him to take that monstrosity down!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Remove!!!! Sorry but, no way. Your gut is right. He should take it down. The kitchen looks beautiful but this doesn't fit.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

So a Homeowner sees some construction feature that they don't like and didn't approve being installed in their own house and they aren't supposed to say anything to the contractor??? I can't say for sure why other people hire contractors, but I hire them to help me create my vision, not theirs. If the homeowner doesn't like it, take the dang thing down before the molding goes on and makes everything that much more difficult!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Right on, jellytoast. OP here. This is part of what drives me crazy about this contractor- he's either MIA or just going off and doing his own vision. He had a hissy fit in our initial meetings (after we had signed the contract, unfortunately) because I didn't want to go with Kohler toilets (I wanted Toto). He said that they had "placeholders" for these items (still not sure what these means) and that he'd never had a homeowner not go widnless he's doing something crazy like randomly putting up this board. It seems that since I didn't like some of his vision and designs, he took it personally and decided to take all his toys and go home. I've been on my own selection and design-wise ever since. But this board- this is just ridiculous!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Not that it really matters, since the OPer has decided. But now that I see the whole kitchen, I like the cornice or whatever it is called, even less because it does not match the cabinetry. I think whether or not to put one up is a design judgement call, but that one doesn't go with the door fronts at all.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

OP here. Well, I'm technically withholding my final decision and judgment until I can meet with my contractor tomorrow. But yes, aside from it blocking the window, I can also see now that it doesn't even match my cabinets!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

SaltLife631:

I enjoy taking the opposite tact here. It keeps folks on their toes.

That said, I'm not in the habit of having unhappy customers with unrealized visions, however, if I had a dollar for every wide-eyed client wondering what the heck I was doing mid-job, I could retire.

In the repair business anyway, things often have to look worse, much worse sometimes, before they look better.

On the other hand, I had a root canal two years ago and that dang tooth catches more food than all my others put together. Although I have no medical training whatsoever, perhaps I should have insisted on a mirror during the procedure for critique as the dentist went along. After all, he was an invited guest in my mouth and it was a privilege for him to be working on it. A $2,500.00 privilege.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

It's clunky. Definitely have him remove it.If you waited until he was finished, you might have problem with the finishing behind the piece and where it's attached.

Nip it in the bud. It's your kitchen.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

That's an apples to oranges comparison, TB, which I don't quite see the logic in your analogy. Now if he had decided you'd look better with a gold cap on your front tooth, instead of porcelain, and so made the selection and fitted it without your knowledge and consent, you would not mind and feel he was working within the boundaries of his job? You would leave a personal cosmetic decision like that to his own discretion? And then ask him to redo it again when you didn't like what you saw?


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Treb: I completely understand the benefits of suggesting a different perspective. Thought provoking discussions often lead to productivity. In this case however there are several obvious issues going on that are not going to be resolved if the contractor stays the course.

I disagree with your analogy comparing your tooth not functioning properly to an element of VADawg's kitchen that is not aesthetically pleasing to her. But yes by all means if a medical or dental patient does not feel like something is right when a doctor is working on them please say something! I would say you should get second opinions as well. When I was younger I had a well respected dentist with a great reputation filling cavities that didn't exist!

The bottom line is this, I have always been the type of guy to take my boots off the first time I enter someone else's home.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

VADawg, glad I could help. I noticed after you posted more pics that it doesn't match the cabs -- making it look even more out of place! Did you get to meet with your contractor?


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Yes,I did meet with my contractor today and told him to take it down. I really don't know what he was thinking!


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

.edit

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, May 10, 14 at 6:44


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

I love the old window. It will give you so much more light opened up. A lot of options to restore and fit well into your space. Don't let the contractor do it. Now I see why he put the cover over it. He added some trim or was there before which had nothing to do with the window. I wonder how he planned on finishing something hidden which I would have seen every time at the sink. This may lead to another post for you to get ideas.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

Your cabinets butt up to the window trim. I suspect that there is no room for the typical molding which would go at the top of the window that would extend past the sides (like what is over your kitchen door). Will the window trim match the other windows in your house considering how close your cabinets are to the window?

Perhaps this is what your contractor was trying to alleviate. You should talk to him about what all your options are...mock up the crown molding and be sure that you know what the end result will look like.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

He needs to take that down. It makes no sense to me. Your idea of the roman shade, as well as the example photos posted by others (annkh and romy718) are what I would expect. That 3-panel valance looks out of place.


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RE: Does this molding look bizarre?

  • Posted by buehl 7a, AHS 5/6 (MD) (My Page) on
    Sat, May 10, 14 at 14:13

Sorry, Trebruchet, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

If this was not in the approved design, then it should not have been installed - period.

If the contractor thought it would look better with it once he saw the kitchen or if he wanted to make it easier/faster to do something (like crown molding), then he should have discussed it with VVADawg before installing (or even ordering the piece). This is called "gold-plating" in the IT world - putting in elements that were not approved by the client.

The contractor should explain why he thinks something is needed and provide several solutions to the issue (based on his experience) - with mockups/drawings to show each of the solutions along with the additional costs and time for each. It can sometimes be a quick hand-drawn picture or maybe a verbal explanation (but I would want it on "paper" for documentation). However, as this is VADawg's kitchen, VADawg should have the final say regarding what solution, if any, is to chosen.


VADawg, it may be time for "The Talk" - telling your contractor that this is your kitchen, not his. You will have to live and work in this kitchen for many years to come - your contractor will never see it again once it's done. In addition, you are paying him to implement the agreed upon design, not improvise as he goes along just b/c he likes his ideas better or b/c it's too difficult/time consuming to do the job right or that he agreed to and he's looking for a shortcut.

One note: Have this talk in private - with none of his workers or other contractors around. You don't want to "embarrass" him in front of his workers/co-workers. (If he still does not get the message, then it may be time to fire him and hire someone else to finish the job.)

I had to have this talk with both my KD and my contractor (at different times and separately). They got the message. My KD got it immediately; it took a bit for the contractor to get the message, but he eventually did.


Oh, and document everything with pictures - even if you can't take the pictures until the evening and he's gone. They came in handy for me! After the third time of the contractor disputing something and my responding with, "here's the picture", he stopped questioning me. (E.g., he swore he and his crew did not remove insulation above our bay window - despite the fact that it was on the floor in the DR. I showed pics of it removed way back when they had opened it up to check the space for venting - he went ahead and replaced the insulation with no more questions/arguments.)


It's sad that this has to be done, but in some ways I understand. It's his "baby" - he built it and feels some ownership. It's like a programmer who thinks of his code as his baby and resents it when a code reviewer or the customer (who paid for the system) has issues with it. In the IT world "gold-plating" is the bane of our existence - putting in design elements never approved and, in most cases, not wanted just b/c the programmer thinks it's "cool" or that s/he knows better than the customer what is needed/wanted. It causes extra work that adds testing, etc. that was not planned for and adds time/cost to the overall development schedule & budget. Then, if the customer says to take it out, you now have rework to do - that adds even more time & cost. (It also contributes to a lack of trust b/w the customer and your project team - they wonder what else you've done that wasn't agreed to that they haven't seen.)

This post was edited by buehl on Sat, May 10, 14 at 14:14


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