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What is the Purpose of Cornice?

Originally, cornice was added to the outside of buildings in order to help direct rainwater out and away from the building that it is attached to. Today, cornice is often used to create an attractive, eye-catching design. The final touch of an otherwise simple room. Or for other functional reasons, such as hiding imperfections between the wall and ceiling. What are some other purposes of cornice?

Hiding Imperfection

Cornices create a smooth transition between the wall and the ceiling. A simple and small cornice running along the joints where the ceiling meets the wall can adequately cover any imperfections that may be there.

Rainwater Diversion

Cornices extending beyond the roof on exteriors of buildings can be used to throw rainwater away from the walls. This protects them from being dirtied or affected otherwise by rainwater.

Improved Aesthetics

A cornice can improve the aesthetics of the ceiling as the mouldings can be shaped and coloured to suit any kind of décor. Cornices also form a part of the aesthetic design which might involve a simple or complex design with multiple levels. Cornices can conform to design attributes – old-fashioned for buildings with traditional or classical design and simple and sleeker for buildings with modern designs.

When Should Cornice be Used?

The simple answer can be “wherever you want” but there is a better answer than that. For the most part, cornicing is used for outdoor structures. That is because it is generally used to help guide water away from the building. That said, you can install cornicing in any room of your home either in addition to or in place of crown molding. It is a more ornate, elaborate form of crown molding in that it juts out and acts as a “ledge” at the highest point of the room.


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