Molding is actually a strip of material with various profiles, which is used to cover transitions between surfaces and for decoration.
In classical approach molding is made from solid milled wood, plaster, plastic or reformed wood
Moldings are the smallest units of classical architecture. They are easily installed and comprehended. However, in combination they become complex members of design and building.
Classical moldings, with few exceptions, are additive; that is, they usually project out from a given plane.
Moldings obviously perform both pragmatic and aesthetic functions.
It may serve as a visual foot to the weight of the wall
In the same time, it modulates the transition between the vertical and horizontal planes of wall and floor.
Moreover, it underlines the bottom of a wall to signal it has ended.
The baseboard, together with the chair rail and cornice, serves the additional purpose of creating architecturally significant divisions of surface. In turn, the size and scale of these and other moldings indicate scale, which can be loosely defined as the relationship between the human and architectural dimension.
Moldings establish hierarchy by calling attention to prominent elements in a room, such as doors, windows, fireplace openings, and other apertures.
Main task of classical design is to frame things, to divide space by breaking down the surfaces into precise compartments.
Moldings are the instrument of geometrical exposure, organizing of whole space inside building.
There, moldings help mediate the shift from one plane to another by lining the edges of the panel. And, of course, moldings furnish surfaces for ornamental embellishment.
Roger Rendering suggests a great choice of inspiring molding designs.
All connoisseurs of admirable designs will agree that main effects to be reached by means of molding combination are alternation and contrast.
The contrast may be between straight and curved. Or, the alternation could be between convex and concave profiles, e.g., a TORUS, followed by a SCOTIA, followed by another TORUS — curve and counter-curve (center). We might even get contrast from the play of large and small: large CYMA RECTA, small CYMA REVERSA, etc.