Create the “Wow” Factor in Your Home with Crown Moulding.
Before I was managing construction projects, I was a trim carpenter. I have installed hundreds of doors and probably thousands of feet of base trim, window casing and shoe, so much so that I could probably do it in my sleep by now. It has become a routine item that every home has and unless you really do something special, it does not give your home a “wow” factor. What I have found to have that effect is the addition of crown moulding. Every home that I have ever worked on has had crown moulding installed in at least one room. Typically it is in your more formal rooms like a living room, dining room or even a study, but it is becoming much more common to install crown in other areas of the home as well like hallways, kitchens and even bathrooms.
When most of my clients think of crown moulding, they think of your basic one piece design that you would see in most homes, it is typically a 3 5/8” or 4 1/4” crown depending on your ceiling height. You have all seen it even if you don’t know what it is called. The thing about crown moulding though is that you can dress it up any way you would like to make it more dramatic. In this blog, I will show you a few ways to give your crown a more exciting look. Some are simple, and some are complicated.
To give you a base line, the first photo (above) shows you that basic crown I was talking about. Nothing dramatic, just a typical 3 5/8” crown installed. The second photo shows a simple way I like to give that standard crown something extra. I installed that standard crown just like in the first photo, but after that, about 4” – 5” down the wall, I installed an additional piece of trim. Usually, it is a smaller piece of panel moulding no more than 1 1/5” tall, but it can be just about anything that looks good to you. Once the two pieces are installed, the entire area can be painted all as if it is one piece. It gives the crown more height and really enhances the look. This is a simple addition that any do-it-yourselfer can do, especially if you already have crown and just want to add to it.
Another crown enhancement is to add corner blocks to the room. These corner blocks can be purchased at any hardware store and they take one of the most difficult parts of installing crown moulding out of the project… inside corners. The blocks can be installed to all inside corners of the room. Then the pieces of crown can be fitted in between them. Those of you who are doing this project for the first time, I highly recommend this option. In addition to the ease of install, this can add a really nice accent to the room. The blocks come in multiple sizes, so you can choose to use some of those larger crown profiles if you would like.
For those of you who are more advanced in trim work. I would recommend dressing up you crown with multiple piece work. This picture below shows a three price design. You can install a piece called a crown enhancer to the wall and to the ceiling. Then the crown moulding can be installed to span these two pieces. The enhancer extends the look of the crown making it look larger than it really is. The same effect can be achieved using base trim or 1x material instead of the enhancer. I typically would use this design in rooms with taller ceilings or vaulted ceilings with multiple tiers.
The final picture combines the three piece design with my earlier design with spaces and panel mould. Here the three piece crown was installed. It is two pieces of crown enhancer installed flat to the wall and flat on the ceiling. The enhancer is bridged by a 5 1/2” crown moulding. After that, a space of about 3” was left from the bottom of the enhancer on the wall and ceiling, and then a panel moulding was installed to add more size. The finished look is very dramatic and really dressed up the formal dining room in this house.
Crown moulding is no longer just for formal rooms. It is a great way to dress up any room in your home. These are just a few ways to make it more unique, but the possibilities are endless. I hope this inspires you on your next trim project.