Your Ultimate Guide to Interior Finishings: Q&A with Greg Belcher
When it comes to interior finishings in the Chicago area, not many are as knowledgeable and passionate as Greg Belcher, Hines Supply’s Vice President of Sales. With 25 years of experience, Greg has witnessed it all when it comes to using trim—the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
We recently caught up with Greg to get his perspective on where interior finishings design trends are headed in his area as well as the dos and don’ts for everyone from the expert installer to the first-time DIYer.
The Finished Space: Please tell our readers a little bit about Hines Supply.
Greg Belcher: We have a long history in Chicago and have been around since 1892. Right now we are the premiere dealer in Chicagoland for custom builders and remodelers. We have over ten locations in Chicago whereas five years ago, we had three. We’re definitely growing and expanding.
One thing that sets Hines Supply apart is that we have a mobile app that all of our customers have access to. They can see pictures of their delivered material, get real-time updates of where their delivery is and they can see promotions and events that are happening. They can also use it to contact Hines locations and sales representatives with the click of one button.
TFS: What interior finishing trends are you noticing in your market?
Greg Belcher: We’re definitely seeing the trends reverse, now people are talking about doing more painted trim and pairing it with a stained door slab. We’re seeing a lot of darker colors—dark browns, almost black, ebony type colors—whether they are painting or staining. That seems to be hot.
TFS: You’ve been in the industry for a while, what advice do you have for the design pro when it comes to interior finishings?
GB: More moulding is always better! Build-up, build-up, build-up! You can add a two or three piece crown moulding. It makes such a huge statement in a house and it really doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Even utilizing the Metrie Ikons makes a huge impact. For example, adding them to a frame with some moulding. We’ve done it in a few of our showrooms, adding them in a few different places. Just playing with and adding some of those pieces can make a huge difference on what the finished house looks like.
TFS: Would you give the same advice to homeowners?
GB: It depends if you’re a DIYer, or if you’re hiring someone to do it. If you’re hiring someone to do it, I would absolutely give the same tips, go for it! If you’re going to try to do it yourself, I generally recommend using a larger crown, larger casing or base and not trying to do a build-up.
Building up with two or three pieces is a lot more complicated and takes a little greater skill set. So for homeowners, I always recommend bigger is better. Go to the widest casing you can find, the widest base and the widest crown. That way when you’re putting them up you’re only making one cut, not multiple cuts.
TFS: What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to interior finishings?
GB: Not mitering! I saw a house the other day and for whatever reason they didn’t miter the casing around the door. They just butted the top and the sides together and it just screamed – amateur!
TFS: Do you feel interior finishings are important to have in a home?
GB: Extremely important! Obviously, curb appeal is important, it’s the first thing people notice. But you can have two houses with similar curb appeal and you’ll walk into one that has panel moulding in the dining room, multiple piece crowns, cased windows, wider base and wider casing around doors. Without a doubt people are drawn to that, they think it’s a more expensive home even though the houses might be similarly priced.
I see it all the time in the custom market. The people who spend the time on finishing the inside of the house, even if they just focus on two or three rooms and really put some effort in there, their houses sell quicker and for more money, every day.
Hines Supply is a Premier Metrie Dealer that features Metrie Then & Now Finishing Collections in their showrooms in premium life-sized displays of doors and moulding. They offer a broad selection of Metrie millwork products, trained staff and services.