A Comprehensive Guide to Architectural Mouldings

decorative plaster mouldings

At Artisan Plastercraft, we believe in assisting our customers wherever possible. This includes providing specialist information and helping them to make an informed decision about the products they require for their planned projects. This is why we have created this guide on architectural markings, allowing you the opportunity to see an actual definition of the term and separating the names of products that might otherwise become confused.

Read on to learn more about architectural mouldings and consider what you may need for your own work project, or contact us right away if you have already made your decision.


What are Architectural Mouldings?

This is a question often asked by customers, as there is more than one definition of the term and the two may be used interchangeably. The Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to moulding in architecture as a “defining, transitional, or terminal element that contours or outlines the edges and surfaces on a projection or cavity, such as a cornice, architrave, capital, arch, base, or jamb”.

This first definition refers to architectural mouldings as an umbrella term, covering several ornamental features which customers may then choose to order and have fitted to interior or exterior elements of a property. These then serve as aesthetically pleasing (and covering) features for edges of surfaces, such as the points where walls meet ceilings in a room.

Alternatively, architectural mouldings may also be a substitute term for coving. For the purposes of this guide, we are choosing to include coving as a specific form of decorative architectural moulding, albeit a popular variety that may come in an array of types, designs, and styles.


Names of Ornamental Products and Plaster Mouldings

As specialists in the manufacture of fine architectural mouldings for commercial and private properties, we are able to offer a wide range of products and a bespoke service that should serve to restore the features of any older property to the days of their glory. We are also able to provide newly manufactured pieces to complete the stylish transformation of any newer build, if you so choose.

Below, we have listed the names and some basic descriptions of our most popular architectural mouldings:


Arches and Archways

A technical drawing of a plaster arch

These load-bearing features are most commonly found in open spaces, particularly in hallways, above doors, and dividing the space available in large rooms. They allow for an unobstructed view of an interior while keeping functionality intact.



Also known as an “epistyle” (from the Greek epistylon, meaning “doorframe”), an architrave is traditionally the lintel or beam which rests on the capital of columns. However, in the modern era the term may also apply to all sides of a frame with mouldings around a door or window.



A jesmonite column on the outside of a building

Otherwise known as “capitols” (from the Latin caput, meaning “head”) or “chapiters”, these are the features that form the topmost point of a column. They mediate between the column itself and the load-bearing down upon it, broadening the area of the columns supporting surface.



Enriched Modillion block decorative cornice

In terms of decorative mouldings, cornices and coving are the most similar. The two products may also serve a similar decorative purpose, as they are fitted in the space where walls meet ceilings, though plaster cornices are generally more ornate and complex in design.



decorative coving plaster moulds

Apart from their names and decorative style separating them, coving is also generally uniform in profile, forming the traditional “C” shape. Owing to this specificity, it may also be smaller than many cornice designs and not drop down the wall as far.


Materials Used in the Creation of Our Architectural Mouldings

Architectural mouldings may be manufactured from a variety of material types. However, as specialists in the production of ornamental architectural pieces for interior and exterior spaces, we will most readily carry out our work using fibrous plaster or jesmonite and glass-reinforced concrete (GRC).

When we carry out this work as craftsmen, manufacturers and installers, we may have first used the latest in computer-aided design (CAD) to ensure precision accuracy in the pieces created.


Contact Us for a Quote on Fine Architectural Mouldings

If you have been searching for a reliable, professional firm to provide your property with ornate architectural mouldings, please speak with us on the phone or send us a message today.

With 25 years of experience behind us and pieces from our very own workshops adorning the walls and ceilings of some of the UK’s most prestigious landmarks and listed buildings, we are more than certain that we will be able to craft the mouldings which bring your property to the zenith of its aesthetic potential. Every product we manufacture for your interior and exterior spaces will be moulded and made to your specifications, with the precision accuracy and care that such work is owed.

Our staff will be more than happy to discuss everything you need for your planned work project, whether you require decorative plaster coving to add the finishing touches to a new build, or need replica ceiling roses to restore an older property to its former grandeur. As soon as we know what you are looking for, we will be able to offer a quote on the fine features that will soon be the pride and joy of your property.


Watch as our time-lapse footage captures the various stages of manufacturing an ornamental plaster ceiling panel for a London property.




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We understand that choosing the right company for your project is important for project success, budget efficiency and your reputation.  We manufacture and install superior custom plaster mouldings, we re-create period plaster features as well as offering traditional lime plastering & lath and plaster.