Crown Molding

We’ve been spending the week doing some of our local Parade of Homes. These are open homes by builders you can visit for free and our purpose was to go and take note of some of the trends and buyer-desired features so we could later duplicate them in our house!

A very noticeable feature was the use of molding, both base and crown, on walls, ceilings and over doors and windows.

Let’s examine crown molding first as I love it.  The most common rooms with crown molding is the formal dining, great room and master. Often we also saw it in the kitchen and entry way. We saw none in the upstairs areas or the extra bedrooms.

The reality is that it is time consuming and expensive to install. Crown molding is sold by the linear foot. It can be bought in oak, pine and even MDF and if it wood is designed to be stained will be more expensive, then the type that has more joints and is made to painted.

Most of the crown molding and other molding we saw was painted white on medium tone neutral walls. In a few of the homes it was stained a deep, rich brown.

Crown molding corner jointWe even saw one example that was painted cream and then was glazed over so the lines of the molding were even more evident (just personal taste but we both didn’t like it – too trendy and it already looked dated).

It can be a bear to put in as you have to cut the ends in a reverse, upside down cut then what you would normally think so it’s not for a “beginner.”

Some of the homes cheated by using this decorative joining piece  (photo left) so they wouldn’t have to cut it all fancy. Having installed crown molding ourselves, this probably saved tons of time!

Here are some clever ways the builders cheated to gain the look without the price. To see the full effects of the crown and for better details, click the photos. That will show it enlarged and details can be better viewed.

In this example, the builder has put in crown molding, then left a section of plaster painted white below it. A small bead of molding defines the bottom of the white area, giving the illusion that all the white area is molding (it is not). This was a very old trick used as long ago as the Victorian age.

crown molding with plaster illusion

In this yet to be painted crown molding design, above and below the crown molding is placed a simple piece of baseboard. This gives the optical appearance that the entire unit is one massive piece of crown molding (it’s not). If you have very high ceilings and want to make a massive statement, this fits the bill!

crown molding with base above and below

Here is the same technique of above and below base molding with crown but it is stained. Here you can see how the optical illusion of one massive (and supposedly high-dollar piece of crown molding graces the ceiling.

crown molding with base molding stained brown

In this version (below), which we liked best, the crown is offset with only one piece of baseboard that is located below (as opposed to the previous version which did above and below).

crown molding base below only

And here is the same effect with a tray ceiling, done at different ceiling heights:

crown molding at two ceiling heights tray ceiling

From a visitors’ viewpoint, it was immediately noticeable if a home had crown molding or not because of the darker shade of neutral that is now popular with builders. The crisp white of the crown molding made the ceiling and wall paint really pop and gave the entire home a fresh, new feel.

Crown molding is often noted in real estate seller’s notes on a home up for sale so it is an attractive feature that buyers desire. With a little ingenuity you can also have that ka-ching look with just a bit of sweat equity!

Want to see more about crown moulding and moulding projects? There’s more on the blog right here

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  1. Pingback: Project: Making kitchen cabinets with doors become open shelves « Simply Rooms (by design)

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