The Renaissance of Maximalism: How Companies Like This One Are Thriving

Hyde Park Mouldings: Crafting Exquisite Plasterwork for Iconic Structures and Elite Clients

Half a century since launching as a catalog, Hyde Park Mouldings has mushroomed into one of the leading makers of custom decorative moldings. 

The New York-based company employs more than 110 sculptors, model-makers, and plasterers who create distinctive pieces for architects and their clients. Crown moldings inside Manhattan’s new Waldorf-Astoria residences came from Hyde Park Mouldings; high-end brands like Ralph Lauren and Cartier have also been customers.

The British spelling of “Hyde Park Mouldings” is a nod to the company’s roots, according to principal Adrian Taylor. 

“We were originally a small company in London, founded around 1963,” Taylor told Mansion Global from his Long Island office. “In the 1980s, when the founders retired, my business partner’s father bought the business and moved it to New York.”

Hyde Park Mouldings has garnered acclaim for its innovative approach, seamlessly blending contemporary materials with time-honored techniques. Adrian Taylor, one of the principals, highlighted their use of GFRG (Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum) in notable projects like the clock installation at Manhattan’s Moynihan Train Hall. This modern twist on traditional plasterwork involves incorporating resins and glass fibers into the plaster, resulting in a durable yet intricately detailed piece.

In a conversation with Mansion Global, Taylor delved into the resurgence of interest in moldings, shedding light on the diverse range of projects undertaken by his team. From unconventional designs like voodoo and marijuana patterns to more classic architectural elements, Hyde Park Mouldings demonstrates versatility and creativity in meeting the demands of their discerning clientele.

Taylor also touched upon the allure of luxury, emphasizing the importance of creating spaces that offer a retreat from the outside world. For Hyde Park Mouldings, luxury lies not only in the quality of craftsmanship but also in the ability to evoke a sense of sanctuary and exclusivity for their clients.

Mansion Global: How have preferences for decorative moldings evolved over time?

Adrian Taylor: A decade ago, there was a surge of interest in opulent French period designs, particularly the Louis XV style, fueled by significant investments in the North American market. However, in recent years, we’ve observed a shift towards a more subdued aesthetic. There’s a growing trend towards blending classical proportions with contemporary tastes, resulting in a fusion of traditional elegance with modern simplicity. We anticipate a new design ethos to emerge, characterized by a subtle incorporation of classical elements into sleek, minimalist profiles, devoid of elaborate sculptural details.

Exploring the Resurgence of Plaster: A New Era for Architectural Elegance

Interviewer: Is it accurate to say we’re experiencing a resurgence in the popularity of plaster?

Interviewee: Indeed, there was a notable decline in the use of plaster during the mid-20th century. The pre-war era was characterized by elaborate and intricately designed interiors, often inspired by classical motifs. However, advancements in construction materials such as steel and drywall led to a shift away from traditional plastering techniques. The prevailing architectural style favored minimalism, which largely omitted ornate moldings for decades. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in architectural aesthetics and interior design. We’re witnessing a renewed appreciation for classicism among both designers and homeowners alike.

Exploring the Influence of Social Media on the Revival of Decorative Moldings and Ceilings

Interviewer: Is social media playing a role in the resurgence of interest in decorative moldings and ceilings?

Interviewee: Absolutely, social media likely contributes to this trend through a network effect. Rooms with intricate ceiling designs tend to photograph more beautifully, garnering attention on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Additionally, architects are increasingly sharing their work through books and online platforms, showcasing stunning interiors that feature elaborate moldings and ceilings. As people come across these images, they are inspired to incorporate similar elements into their own spaces.

Assessing the Impact of Elegant Moldings and Ceilings on Home Resale Value

Interviewer: Can the presence of beautiful moldings or ceilings affect a home’s resale value?

Interviewee: While I haven’t come across concrete data, anecdotal evidence suggests that a well-executed installation of moldings could potentially increase a home’s resale value by as much as 5% to 10%.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Custom Moldings: Expert Insights

Interviewer: What’s the most frequent mistake observed with custom moldings?

Expert: The most common misstep involves misjudging proportions. It’s easy to miscalculate and end up with moldings that are either too small or too large. Architects play a crucial role here in ensuring proper proportions. Interestingly, during my travels, I often notice molding errors in hotel rooms, such as interruptions in crown moldings for vents or sprinklers. It all boils down to meticulous planning.

Interviewer: For individuals without an architect, what should be their initial query before investing in moldings?

Expert: When clients reach out to me, the first details I inquire about are the ceiling height and room dimensions. Understanding the available s

What’s the most unusual custom project you’ve undertaken?

We’ve ventured into creating tracery ceilings that incorporate unconventional motifs such as voodoo symbols, marijuana leaves, and various other symbolic elements. Additionally, we’ve crafted exquisitely intricate pieces, ranging from period-style designs to highly complex sculptural artworks. Some of these creations adorn homes with such stringent privacy protocols that we’re unable to photograph them for our own archives.

One particularly fascinating project involved a bas-relief for a custom overmantel in Washington, D.C. The design was inspired by a 15th-century sketch from Italy that had never been translated into sculpture before. The resulting piece measured an impressive 7 feet by 7 feet square and depicted an early-Renaissance interpretation of the solar system, complete with stars and planets. A skilled sculptor dedicated 10 months to bring this vision to life. While the outcome is truly remarkable, its existence remains shrouded in secrecy.

pace above features like windows and doors is crucial. Additionally, grasping the room’s style or desired aesthetic guides us toward selecting appropriate moldings.

Are decorative ceilings gaining popularity in residential spaces?

Absolutely, we’re witnessing a growing trend in decorative ceilings, marking a relatively recent development. Around a hundred years ago, Tudor-style interiors showcased Tudor-style ceilings. Today, there’s an evolution towards contemporary tracery ceilings tailored to modern preferences. People are exploring new and innovative geometries, often characterized by low relief and presented in monochromatic palettes. Contrastingly, traditional designs were vividly painted or adorned with gilding.

How do you define luxury on a personal level?

For me, luxury transcends mere material possessions. It encompasses any environment, experience, or state of mind that offers respite from the external world, allowing moments of reflection and connection with loved ones. Whether it’s within the confines of a beautifully crafted space or amidst nature’s embrace, luxury manifests in the tranquility of solitude and the richness of shared moments.

Clare Trapasso
Clare Trapasso
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