Downstairs Built-ins Extravaganza! #10: I need help figuring out what to do with these windows

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Blog entry by BethMartin posted 05-22-2009 06:49 PM 1320 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Figuring out staining Part 10 of Downstairs Built-ins Extravaganza! series Part 11: Just a little quick update with no pics »

I have this row of 4 windows that I need to trim out.

I want to keep it simple and rustic like the trim on this doorway (this is to my master bath):

So I drew this out:

But it’s really too big of a span and I need to break it up somehow. Thoughts?

-- Beth

18 comments so far

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3719 days

#1 posted 05-22-2009 07:02 PM

How about a Valance just at the top using the top of the door as a “pattern” and maybe 3 individual sills.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3445 days

#2 posted 05-22-2009 07:03 PM

How long is it? You could case out each window individually. A bit more work, but could look real nice.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3342 days

#3 posted 05-22-2009 07:14 PM

It’s about 13.5 feet long.

Lew, I don’t quite get what you’re saying there.

Chris, that’s what I’m thinking, but I’m not quite sure how to do it. The vertical spaces between the windows is about 4”, so if I split that in half, then the casing would be too narrow.

I should note that the insides of the windows need to have wood on them too.

-- Beth

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3305 days

#4 posted 05-22-2009 07:56 PM

case the inside first , and then reveal the face style that should bring it down to 3.5 and make it slimer in design .
you con put a wider sill for flower pots or knik-knaks there .
when i do window casings i make them in shop as a complete unit that is square and 1/16 under opening , so they are nice and tight to themselves . then trim them in place .if you do it board by board in window the rough opening can be squed and make your corners of enough to make it slopy.
it looks like red oak ? check your finish as red oak has a tendency to turn black when wet . or use a tray for poted plants .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3464 days

#5 posted 05-22-2009 08:04 PM

How about a shutter system were each set of window would have 2 panels that can slide away to be open.Lots of work but with the right wood your rustic look would be reached and you wont have to worry about trims.The frame would fill in the 4 ” gaps.
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Just an idea. Nice work by the way.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#6 posted 05-22-2009 08:05 PM

I lthink David has a good approach (as always) but trimming in place might be a better choice for someone who hasn’t don’t before. As Dave said start with the inside first the sides and then top and bottom. I think you might be surprised I’ve have customers actually say it looks smaller after it’s trimmed out.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ellen35's profile


2734 posts in 3396 days

#7 posted 05-22-2009 08:07 PM

I still like your drawing the best. I think it will break itself up if the wood contrasts to the wall color.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 05-22-2009 08:18 PM

You’re right, casing each window by its self would be difficult with that small of a space between them. I say go with your original design. It might be hard to find, but go to your local lumber yard and go digging through the piles. I’ve gotten boards that were close to 16 feet long. You might end up haveing to pay a little more for them. If that dosen’t work, you could always split it in the middle and use a simple decorative cap to cover the joint between the two boards.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3357 days

#9 posted 05-22-2009 08:56 PM

Beth, How much is the distance to the lateral walls? is it the same at both sides?

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3640 days

#10 posted 05-22-2009 10:43 PM

Do you want to do away with any of the windows?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BrennaAnne's profile


1 post in 3255 days

#11 posted 05-22-2009 11:11 PM

Beth ~

I am going with Chris on this one… your design is brilliant… you’ll find a way to make it work! You’re brilliant.


View Akelawood's profile


3 posts in 3258 days

#12 posted 05-22-2009 11:17 PM

How about putting puting either a decorative corbel or rosette block at the to/bottom of each of the upright pieces. That would break up the long horizontal run. Obviously you wouldn’t want anything to intricate to keep the rustic look.

-- Craig

View robbi's profile


176 posts in 3919 days

#13 posted 05-23-2009 12:42 AM

I like your design…I have the same kind of windows in my house and have been experimenting with different options. I trimmed out one of my bedrooms but I think it’s to much oak (I did the baseboards too) I am still trying to decide on my livingroom. I’ll be watching this to see how it goes. Can you post a close-up shot of the top trim on the door? Is it two seperate pieces? And of course because I might want to copy it, that is the style of trim I like the most…simple.

-- Robin, California

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3342 days

#14 posted 05-23-2009 01:23 AM

The shutter idea is kind of intriguing – as I will have to do some sort of shade for it. But I think they will be in the way.

The windows are centered on the wall now, but my built-ins will be put in on the right and then they won’t be centered anymore.

Maybe Chris is right and I should look for some long boards. I know I can find 12’ easy, but 14’ might be harder to find. It would save me the trouble of figuring out a different design, though. ;P

robbi – The door trim to my master bath is hemlock stained with a dark walnut stain. The door itself is just pine with the same stain. The trim is just 1”x4” (I think) boards and then at the top there is an additional 1”x2”. I glued the 1”x2” onto the top board, before staining and nailing it up. Easiest door trim ever with no miters. :)

David’s casing idea to do it before setting the window is interesting. I can see how that would make it tighter and more square. I’ll have to think if I want to do that. But a little wonkiness might be okay with the rustic-ness.

ts- I need to keep all my windows as it is the lower level of our split-level house. :)

akealawood – I’ll have to think about that suggestion too, hmmm…

Okay, I should hit the lumberyard and see what I can find. I’m trying to do some windows at the same time as my built-ins so when I’m in the staining phase I get more done at once. I need to pick up the pace a little bit!

-- Beth

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3640 days

#15 posted 05-23-2009 01:31 AM

If you can’t get boards long enough, you could just miter the butt joint. When they are end te end, the miter will cover any movement and it will be hardly noticable.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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