As an architect or interior designer – shape is everything in terms of providing fluid motion in the design.
While right angles have their place, nothing sets the scene better than a curved window, door, staircase or skirting board.
As part of a creative design their inclusion can often revolutionise a room or entrance offering visitors the full splendour of what can be achieved with both modern and traditional materials
So why do people dread having to recreate these curves?
We believe the answer lies in a diminishing number of companies that can offer this service

We can blame the declining number of apprentices, or the lack of investment in manufacturing, but the key driver in our opinion has been the homogenous nature of house building and renovations over the last 15 years, which has led to people ignoring or avoiding curved requirements.

However, perhaps the “tide” has now changed as over the last 12 months we have started to see an increase in demand for curved items.

In fact within our specialist Period Joinery business, we have seen over the last 12 months a marked increase in demand for curved staircases (such as the Walnut staircase pictured below) We have also seen Period Mouldings completing numerous curved solutions for skirting boards and architraves. In fact our latest project for one of our London clients (detailed later) has been testing all our creative production techniques.

Is this fear well founded?There is no doubt that a curved door, skirting board or architrave will take longer than its square equivalent because of the workmanship involved to create the  shape, but many people believe it is still worth the effort for the aesthetic pleasure it can provide.

And although automation would appear to be the answer, to create a curved mould on more than two “dimensional planes” can often prove to be prohibitively expensive using CNC machines. So traditional methods, which require skilled labour still prevail as they are more cost effective with a more unique result.

Yet we feel that people should not just dismiss replacing curved items be it in a bay for a curved window, door, staircase or skirting.
How are we looking to overcome this fear?
We have in the last 12 months been working with new methods of reducing the time taken to produce these items using traditional “boat building techniques” and more complicated methods of lamination to produce the curved results.
To date we have seen success in our laminating methods and feel that we can achieve a goal of reducing the time and therefore reduce the cost of creating the curve.
Where has this work been utilised?
We have a number of projects in our portfolio but we believe that the two detailed below give a balanced picture of the range, style, size and profiles we often encounter.

The York City Headquarters project where we have been integral in recreating the original wood mouldings, needed both a “faux architrave” to we matched a curved section for sliding glass doors but also an exact reproduction of the original curved mould.

The mould was 190mm wide and up to 50mm deep and covered a span of over 2 metres in diameter which required a method of both curving and assembly so as to reduce the costs and time required of installation. This was completed successfully creating an architrave profile that was as equally aesthetically pleasing as the original.

A London Victorian Terrace property – A project undertaken by one of our customers over the last 12 months has seen them take our Broughton skirting boards and Chelsea architraves and a stair string that has allowed them to match the pattern from the entrance to the upper floors. Yet their latest requirements certainly took some working out.

They required a curves section that had only a 50mm radius and wished to have it matched to the 210mm high Broughton skirting board in Tulipwood.

To achieve this we had to employ our full range of services including wood turning and carving, creating a round section and scooping out the centre to solve the complex problem.

The image detailed above is the turned item that was then quartered and “scooped” out to form a covex curved quarter for a curved wall on a staircase. Once completed the section was sliced in half to allow easier fitting.
So what does this mean for our customers?
In its simplest form we at Period Mouldings and Period Joinery are open for curved work and hope over the next 12 months to further enhance our position as one of the leading national sources for these solutions.