Living Room gets its Crown Moldings..or is it Mouldings?

However you spell it, we thought we wanted it.  Or I always did up until my friend Elliot who owns a renovation company said it wasn’t period appropriate. I’m so indecisive anyway that a little comment like that made me second guess my desire for trim!

I had always been under the impression that ALL old houses originally had decorative trim. But what do I know?  So I started to wonder if the molding would be incongruous with the summer cottage history of our house.

And then there is the problem that over the years the house has settled such that there are HUGE lifts and dips in the ceilings.  The largest and most noticeable one was in the living room, the first thing you saw when you walked in the front door (natch.)

We had already attempted to minimize this dip twice.  After the second time we took a piece of crown and held it up to see if it would even be possible to get the crown on that wall.  Here’s Jeff looking like Atlas holding up the piece of crown under the dip:

Jeff looking like Atlas

That clearly wasn’t going to work.

So we took down the dip one final time, planing all the way up to the metal harness in the ceiling to get it as straight as possible.  And I’m really glad we gave it one last shot because it was a total eyesore even if we didn’t end up deciding to do the crown.. which we did.

Here’s the before and after:

living room before crown molding

Living room before Crown Molding 

living room after crown moulding

Living Room after Crown Molding 

We chose pretty much the most basic design so it would go with the simple window casings and door trim and I think it really gives the room a finished look.

My only regret is that I think we put it on upside down (at my insistance) DOH!

Next project? Crown in the dining room. Wish us lots of luck and many exact 45 degree angles…

9 Responses to “Living Room gets its Crown Moldings..or is it Mouldings?”

  1. Looks great… I’ve always been a fan of crown molding, although it is true it isn’t “correct” for all homes. I don’t think I know the history or even the era of your home. Is it 30s? Anyway, it pulls the room together and looks lovely. I always think white molding really sets off a paint job nicely.

  2. Good guess Dulcie! It was built in 1929. My mom said maybe depression era houses didn’t have the extra details..seems like a plausible explanation. Or it could also be because it was built as a summer home for a NYC city dweller they didn’t feel the need to make it as decorative as a primary residence. When was yours built?

  3. Ours is 1925, and it is a Craftsman-style bungalow. I think of crown molding as more of a Victorian/Colonial-revival style, especially when it is white. With Craftsmans, I think of picture rails and lots of warm, unpainted wood. But I totally dig it, and would put some in if there was a spot for it in our house, but there really isn’t. Maybe someday in our bedroom if we feel like it. :)

  4. Your house has all sorts of nice character and detail!

    I guess part of my problem is that I’m not 100% sure what style our house is. I think its colonial revival b/c of the dormers, banded windows and front porch (which is currently closed in). I actually tried researching it this morning but got thoroughly confused and gave up!

  5. Great job on planing down the ceiling!

    I like the crown moulding, too, even if it isn’t strictly appropriate. I live in a 1952 story and a half, which could properly be known as The House that Style Forgot. There’s no strong Craftsman or Victorian (or any) character to work with, so I’m just adding classic details I like, regardless of period.

  6. Looks great. I think crown moulding makes a huge difference.

  7. Ive just read your entire blog and love it. You have great style and I can’t wait to see the rest of your projects.

  8. Thanks Julie! Your opinion always means a lot to me.

    Ellen, LOL @ “The House that Style Forgot”.. I may have to steal that one sometime :)

    Mrs. Limestone, thanks so much for finding my blog because now I know about yours and I’m obsessed. Or couldn’t you tell by the 3 comments I posted in the space of about a minute?

  9. I really like it! It certainly adds a lot to that room, whether or not it’s period appropriate.

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