Here’s a great way to increase architectural character without spending a lot of time or money. Our living room had crown molding already installed, but it was skimpy with a capital S. For a room that was relatively large and with decent ceiling height, the crown that was installed when the house was built in the 60s was plain old wimpy. Here’s what I’m talking about:
See what I mean? It’s there but it’s just not doing anything. Actually, I just found a photo from when we first looked at the house — here, you can barely even tell it’s there:
(let’s not even talk about the carpet covering the gorgeous wood floors, the dated curtains, the brass fireplace, or the walls and trim which are painted the same color making the trim fade away even more…I know that all-white rooms are very popular right now, but this one CLEARLY didn’t work!)
So, what’s a girl to do? DH already installed crown for me in the dining room and family room, and after those endeavors he basically said “never again”. (Personally, I say “never say never” – but I didn’t want to use up all my favors from him to get this room done). So, I did a little thinking and experimenting, and guess what? LOTS of crown molding is made up of two or more pieces installed together and painted together to give the look of one finished product.
So off to the store I went, where I located a piece of 1.25″ molding that would do the trick. I didn’t comparison-shop at all (I had a bee in my bonnet that day!) so I ended up spending $63 at Home Depot, which I now know was about $23 more than I would have spent at the lumber yard (oops)…but even at $63, I am THRILLED with the results. Check it out:
Much better, don’t you think?
We installed the new piece so that the top of the new piece is about an inch below the bottom of the original crown. Got that? So there’s a strip of drywall between the two pieces (I of course failed to take a “during” shot of this) — and then we just painted everything (both trim pieces and the strip of drywall) in a nice crisp white.
One great tip I picked up somewhere was using a “dummy” piece of wood as a spacer between the old and new moldings — this made it very easy to get everything evenly spaced. Check out a shot of DH holding it while I nailed the new piece in:
If you stand on a ladder and stick your camera right up into the corner, you can sort of tell what we did:
But for mere mortals standing on the ground, it looks like one seamless piece:
The best part? I can honestly say that in 11 years of renovating and remodeling 6 different homes, this is the ONLY project I can think of that ended up being significantly easier and faster than we expected. As in, we installed it in one afternoon and total time elapsed from buying the molding to cleaning the paintbrush was about a week — of course, we took this on in mid-December and needed to get it finished before we hosted people for Christmas. Deadlines are a wonderful thing!