It’s always the details that distinguish the extraordinary from the run of the mill. It’s as true in art and high couture as it is in engineering or haute cuisine. And it’s especially true in architecture, where the use of fine millwork can add a unique flavor to a space. Elevating a room, or a building, from bland to exciting may take some practice and forethought, but by using a variety of unusual trims and mouldings, it’s possible to add distinctive character, appeal and drama.

The exciting aspect of using mouldings today is that you can be as creative as you like integrating metals and composites with fine woods, or mixing rustic touches with more polished traditions.

The Tradition of Millwork

Crown moulding, corbels, rosettes and keystones, chair rail and many other types of wood and stone trim have been used for centuries to embellish walls and ceilings. The tradition continues today, not only in period or traditional construction, but to lend a touch of elegance even to contemporary interiors. Exterior millwork, including columns and capitals, dentil trim, porch and stair railings and balusters, and a whole host of other products complement and complete the architecture.

Because architectural millwork represents an immense range of products, it it sometimes difficult to know exactly what is suitable and appropriate for a specific room or application. Although there are no rules, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Trims and mouldings are meant to accentuate, not to overwhelm;
  • The scale of the trim should be in scale with the size, shape, height and character of the room or facade;
  • Simple is sometimes more dramatic than ornate;
  • There is no need to adhere strictly to a single design period when choosing moulding and millwork for contemporary applications.

At New England Building Supply, we recognize the added value that proper architectural millwork can bring to any project, from a large commercial office building to a diminutive downtown condo. Whether you choose to accent a wall with a simple chair rail or clothe a room completely in fine paneling, highlight a front porch with simple corbels or recreate Victorian embellishment, add box beams to a ceiling or wrap a ballroom ceiling with a triple layer of crown moulding, we have the ability to supply your needs.

We stock hard and soft wood products suitable for paint or stain, as well as flexible synthetic resin and fiberglass products to suit a variety of applications. In addition, we are happy to work with you if you desire reclaimed or rustic wood products, or more economical MDF materials. And if your need is for fine custom mouldings, all you have to do is ask. NEBS suppliers include respected names like HB&G, Metrie, Turncraft, Kiever-Willard, Brosco and Flex Trim. But we are always happy to help source new and uncommon products.

Building a Beautiful Boston

One of this city’s most charming aspects is its historic character, followed closely by the rich tradition of multi-cultural influences. Luckily for us, it is possible to meander in many different design directions, culling the best from the past and creating an exciting new future of design. We are confident that that future will continue to include features like raised paneling, wainscoting, box beams, fine mantels and archways with keystones, plinth blocks and columns both inside and out, ceiling medallions and crown, carved banisters and porch corbels, and outdoor garden structures with distinctive touches.

Modern does not always mean unadorned; traditional does not always require strict conformance to established looks. We look forward to seeing the new evolution of design.