The Biggest Cornice Project We’ve Ever Done!
After 40+ years in business, we can look back at hundreds of successful cornice fabrication projects. Some are small with simple dimensions. Others are larger with more complex geometries. And then, there is this cornice project: it is one for the record books!
In this post, we’re taking you through the planning and execution it took to build five massive, heavy, king-sized cornices with very unique requirements. This job is a great example of how the team at Precision Draperies makes even the grandest window treatment visions become a reality!
Colossal Cornice Dimensions
Each of these five cornices were to be installed above windows in five different rooms of the house. But, each window was slightly different in size, which meant we had to develop plans for creating five unique cornices all with the same design concept.
Each cornice also had to conceal the headrail of an automated shade system. This was factored into the design along with the width and length of the fabric panels that would border each side of the window.
We sketched out the general concept that would be applied to each window:
Just to give you an idea of the size of these cornices, here’s our founder and CEO Kirk Axelson standing next to one of them:
Cornice Construction Challenges
When working with cornices this large, their weight quickly becomes an issue to contend with. These cornices needed to be light enough to be hoisted 16 feet off the ground!
Some of them required the use of four sheets of 1/2″-thick wood framing, each 4’ x 8’ in size. We considered using waferboard, but the weight would have just been too much for the support structures we were planning on using.
Another alternative was Birch plywood, but the frames would have still been too heavy!
After scratching our heads a bit, we dug deep into our creative caches and decided on Lauan Plywood, which is known for its lightweight strength.
Lastly, we needed to accommodate for the inclusion of the roller shade. If we didn’t account for this, these huge cornices would be wasted!
Time to Get Building
For a project this big, we just didn’t have the physical space we needed. So, Kirk cleared out room in his garage to create the work and storage space required to get the job done. Kudos to Kirk!
During the upholstering process, we discovered we needed to develop a strategy for raising each cornice into position.
(Remember, these needed to be installed 16 feet up, on scaffolding!)
Even with the lightweight Lauan Plywood framing material, each cornice was still too heavy for us to use an eyelet wood screw inserted into to the top dust cap of each cornice. So, we custom-fabricated wood blocks with an integrated tee-nut, allowing for a 5/16” threaded eyelet bolt. This meant all five cornices could be easily installed and taken down later if needed.
This is the kind of creativity our customers count on!
Securing the cornices to the wall required some heavy-duty, L-shaped mounting brackets, which we had to build on our own. These are some of the beefiest mounting brackets we’ve ever seen!
Final Installation and Reveal
Since we used a full-scale pattern to make each cornice, we were able to reuse the top section of the pattern during the installation. This gave us the exact position of where the L-shaped installation brackets would need to be placed.
We lined up the bottom of the pattern to the top of the roller shade, and then marked where each bracket needed to be secured to the wall.
Then, the moment finally came to lift the cornices into place and secure them using the L-brackets we had made:
And finally, the grand reveal:
We truly enjoyed working on this project, from start to finish.
This cornice project is a great example of the ways in which we bend over backwards to meet the needs of our customers.
If you are a designer or builder who needs a capable, proven, and creative drapery team, look no further than Precision Draperies. Bring us your toughest projects and (as you can seen here) we’ll exceed expectations!