The Decorologist’s Ultimate Crown Molding Hack

 

the ultimate crown molding hack

Who doesn’t love a good hack? Today I’ve got the best crown molding hack you didn’t even know you needed!

I always say that color placement is as important as the color you choose. The wrong color placement can make a room look smaller, the ceiling lower, and date a room unnecessarily, while the RIGHT color placement can make a space appear larger, the ceiling higher, and make a room appear updated and more expensive.

In this before/after I posted last week, the homeowner didn’t want to change his existing paint colors. I told him that was fine, but would he be willing to paint out the area between the crown molding and the additional piece of trim several inches below it? This is how it looked originally:

You’ve probably seen this paint treatment in many homes – the application of a paint color different than the wall color in between this kind of trim. Let me illustrate how many stripes and transitions this treatment creates:

Can you see how this actually creates 4 horizontal stripes in an area of about 2 feet? And that’s even before you hit the television. This paint color placement actually makes the room appear shorter and the trim molding less expensive.

So here’s the crown molding hack: by applying the white trim color in the same finish (semigloss or satin) on the small amount of wall area between the trim pieces, the room appears taller. At the same time, it visually bulks up the trim and make it look more expensive. Check out the difference:

dark painted bookcase and fireplace with white mantelThe Decorologist

See what I mean? Let me show you a section of the striping effect in the dining room. In this room, the ceiling is the same color as the walls. On the wall with the cased opening, there are essentially 3 stripes of gray + 3 stripes of white. This kind of paint application distracts from the rest of the room’s design and really doesn’t add anything special.

before

The “after” results in a sophisticated architectural element that complements the room’s new decor and doesn’t detract from it.

masculine interior design with farmhouse dining table and benchesThe Decorologist

In the earlier post of this space, did you notice the change in paint here? Back in the living room, here’s another “before:”

Obviously, the decor of the room is nicer now, but don’t you think the color placement change makes a difference, too? It’s like we installed larger, more expensive crown molding (except we didn’t).

pottery barn sectional sofa and kilim rug in masculine living room interior design by the decorologist

This is a great crown molding hack that adds class to any room.  I truly believe it’s part of why this space looks next-level. One last “before” shot:

ban the white stripes by the decorologist

 

after

Are you convinced we need to ban the white stripes? They are also a pet peeve of mine on tray ceilings, ack!

And just to be clear, I’d NEVER ban the rock band, The White Stripes. I love Jack White! He happens to live five minutes from me and I pass his house on most days.

Howdy, Neighbor!

Hey Jack, let me know if you ever need help with paint colors, ok? Historic homes are my favorite to work on!

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JL
Guest
JL

The devil is in the details. Looks awesome!!

Beth L
Guest

I have never seen that done in California. And I hope I never do!

Amy, Home Glow Design
Guest

Awesome tip!

Sheri Bruneau
Guest

Great images to truly show how magical paint can be to fix an unsightly mess. BTW – love the light fixture in the living room. I just had one like that installed in a kitchen over a peninsula!

Debra Poppy
Guest
Debra Poppy

In an effort to make my low ceiling appear higher, would it help to paint the crown molding the same color( Edgecomb gray) as the walls? Walls in flat and molding /trim in satin or semi gloss. Thinking of BM cotton balls for ceiling and doors. I purchsed your color boards and love them!

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

That looks much better! Thank you for the tip. If we want to install bottom trim of the crown molding, do you think picture molding would be doable with such treatment (installed few inches below the actual crown molding and painted the wall in between the trim color) to enlarge the crown molding or should it be just usual molding like the ones in this page?

Susie
Guest
Susie

Great hack!

Phyllis E
Guest
Phyllis E

Hi Kristie,
Yes, the room does appear taller, but I wonder why? It seems counter-intuitive to think that coming down lower on the wall with a very large “crown molding” would make that wall seem taller. Is it simply because it draws your eye up? Just wondering . I do agree that it looks so much better painted one color!

kelly
Guest

Such a big improvement! It’s all in the details. Great post thanks!

Sheena O’Sullivan
Guest
Sheena O’Sullivan

Could I ask you what paint color you painted the walls? I love it.
Thanks,
Sheena

Audrey Kidd
Member
Audrey Kidd

You’ll be happy to know that the last of our stripes and those tray ceilings you love (hate) are gone as of Sunday!

Raegon Barnes
Guest
Raegon Barnes

Kristie–can you elaborate on your comment about tray ceilings? We just bought a new house and it has a double tray, each with its own set of crown molding on top as well as a wall and underneath side wrapping trim as well and then crown at the top of the normal 8ft wall. It literally makes 5 sets of white stripes! I was thinking of doing the traditional board and batten on the walls up about 6ft of the 8ft then painting the wall above and the other sections between all the ceiling sections/trays the same wall color. But… Read more »