One of the things I love about Victorian houses is all the decorative embellishments like the ceiling and surface moulding.
Like a lot of things in the house though the former owner had not maintained the decorative plaster. Pieces were missing or had many layers of paint on them that meant lost definition.
I had historic plaster restoration people come and quote on fixing the original ceiling pieces in the hall and the quotes ran into 6 figures and they couldn’t guarantee the quality of the result given the layers of paint. So it was time to start researching alternatives. Luckily for me it turns out there’s a large amount of modern materials that copy original Victorian moulding so we were able to start researching a completely new set for the house. This had the benefit of also making sure we had consistent patterns throughout the main house floors.
We started by choosing a crown moulding with decorative design. Unlike the original Victorian hand pulled crown moulding modern materials are set using carved design mould and poured lighter materials. This allows for a lot more carved designs and intricate pieces than might have been affordable in the past. There’s a lot of great vendors out there but I consistently came back to Ekena Millworks and DecoCraft as having the best range for the historic Victorian look we were going after.
The contractors were then able to cut all the pieces to matching angles and fit around the hallways. The pieces were airgunned into place and then sealed with compound filler before being painted the same colour as the ceiling.
Then it was time to choose new ceiling medallions and a panel moulding system for the main hall to give the entrance that “wow factor”. It was important to me that I was able to find a non round medallion, both to honour the look of the original house decorations but also due to the narrow nature of the main hall ceiling.
The panel system required finding corner pieces, decorative joins and panel lengths that matched. Here you can see us placing the corners and lining up the panel pieces for installation. One of the difficult things about the panel systems for the ceilings is that several designs were sold by different companies under different names. Eventually I realised that the easiest and cheapest way to get all the pieces was to source the designs I wanted, match up the names and then order everything from Wayfair.
Here we can see the corners, joiners and panel pieces framed together in the front of the hall.
We also extended the moulding down the hall to the living room door.
Scott inspects the handiwork in the main entrance.
Here you can see the view from the front door along the entire hall.
Once all the moulding was installed and the ceilings painted we were able to reinstall the chandelier in the front hall.
A matching chandelier and a smaller ceiling medallion were installed above the stairs on the top floor.