Victorian and Craftsman Style
Finish Carpenter Price c. $12.00/lf + $12.00/Corner or Return
I first saw a crown molding pattern like this in a restored Victorian home in Port Townsend, Washington, that had been converted into a popular B&B.
I was stuck by how very powerful and elegant this simple crown molding made the room feel.
This crown is one of those patterns that was popular in both Victorian and Craftsman style homes. I’ve seen similar patterns in both style historic homes from the Pacific Northwest all the way to the East Coast and all points in between.
Above The molding and trim paint in this room are from Benjamin Moore’s Historic collection, though I don’t remember the names, they are accurate Craftsman paint colors.
Related Molding Patterns
[More detail about each molding at my Molding Inventory page.]
Note: The flat-stock cornice and lower detail on the crown molding in the picture below I made by ripping a 5-1/2″ wide ogee baseboard in half, used the flat-stock piece for the cornice and the bottom part with the detail, for the lower part of the crown. And while that looked good, I think using a thicker flat-stock for the cornice (like in the above pattern picture), is a stronger design.
If you are going to use this pre-primed, MDF flat-stock, then I suggest you run it through your table saw to remove that rounded edge on the side that will face out. A sharp edge on the cornice looks a whole lot better than that rounded edge.
The absolute best place to buy this cove crown molding profile is from Lowes Home Improvement. The company they buy theirs from has the best proportions and resolution for this style crown. In particular, note how nice the beading is at the top and bottom of the crown.
Warning: This molding is notorious for its inconsistency between batches. You can grab a bunch of these, get them home and in the middle of a scarf joint find that they are different enough that you can not mate them together perfectly. So what you have to do is turn each molding over before you buy it and make sure that the primer over-spray pattern on the back matches all the other moldings you are going to buy. Otherwise, you could be in for some serious frustration. [Read: Molding Buying Tip: Turn it Over Before You Buy!]
This is nothing more than an ogee baseboard molding turned upside down. A 3-1/2″ tall baseboard like this will do nicely.
How to Install This Three-Piece Crown Molding
The installation sequence is exactly the same as how I installed CROWN MOLDING-103 in our kitchen. I have very detailed installation instructions here: Our Kitchen Molding Makeover.
Step 1: Scribe the Projection and Drop
Step 2: Install the Cornice and Lower Detail
The two wall colors mark the transition from the blue living room and hallway to the red/orange kitchen.
Step 3: Install the Cove Crown Molding
We didn’t care if the air vent grate was ever removed, and so just wrapped the crown around it.
Oakland, Wayne & Macomb County Finish Carpenters
If you don’t want to install your own crown molding, there are many skilled finish carpenters in Metro Detroit capable of doing the work for you.
Ken, is this design suitable for a room with 8 foot ceilings, or do the ceilings have to be higher? I truly love built-up crown designs, but my 8 foot ceilings really put the kabosh on my high and mighty crown molding ambitions.
Fear not, Brian, neither be dismayed, you can in fact confidently install this crown molding on 8′ high ceilings.
All of the rooms in this post are 8′ high, though I wouldn’t go higher than 10′ high ceilings without increasing the scale.
Be bold, go big. You’ll like it.
Hi Ken. I just came across your fantastic site when looking for molding ideas for our ranch style bungalow with 8′ ceilings. I have a question about attaching the cornice to the ceiling.There is plenty of opportunity to nail the crown to the ceiling joit’s where they run perpendicular to the walls but there is no backing where the crown runs parallel with the joist’s. There is only 5/8″ drywall on the ceiling. How is the cornice fastened? Thank you for your site, it gave us the ideas and inspiration to get going on our molding projects.
Welcome to our blog, Ron!
I deal with that problem by:
1. Gluing all contact surfaces. This includes the top of the crown molding against the ceiling on walls where the joists run paralell.
2. Installing three-piece crowns (at a minimum). Stacked crown moldings give you more structure to glue and nail to. That provides more support on the walls where the joists run parallel.
If you are installing a one-piece crown molding, then you can attach a beveled backer board in the wall/ceiling corner that’s screwed to the studs.
Good luck, Ron. Let us know how your crown turns out!
Thanks Ken. That sounds good. We have popcorn stipple with a coat of oil base paint to scrape off first in the family room and it’s like scraping off stucco. Thank goodness the rest of the ceilings haven’t been painted also. It will take some time to get it all scraped off and plastered smooth again but I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for your help.
Very nice work! Curious how this would look, or how to scale for a home with 8′ ceilings? Yours appear to be a bit higher…
. Sorry was referring to the whole room (base, wainscot and crown) when questioning scale. Thanks
The three rooms I installed this crown in all have 8′ high ceilings. For ceilings 10′ or higher I would install a slightly larger cove crown, but not by too much.
There is a misconseption about moldings that the larger the room the larger the moldings should be. If you do that you may end up with just large, vauge moldings, which seems to be the norm in most production upgraded moldings. Just go bigger without a coresponding increase in detail. It’s not a good look.
It may help to know that door/window trim and baseboards normally associated with this style crown molding (simple Craftsman and Victorian) are usaually 5-1/2″ wide, and are installed in 800 sq. ft. homes with 8′ ceilings. Think of small bungalows, both Craftsman and Queen Ann style.
So give yourself permission to go big with your moldings, Mike. You won’t regret it!
Thanks again. I have another question and I’m not sure if this post is the appropriate place. We live in a very bland 1960s split level, so I’m looking to add some character. Not really sure which style to choose (craftsman is where I’m leaning but still not sure). Anyhow, the issue is that some doors are metal frame per-hung, and this there are no door casings, but about a 1.5″ metal trim/casing that’s part of the overall door frame. Other doors in the house appear to be wood frame pre-hung where the frame is flush with the wall, allowing for whatever wood casing I want. I’m just puzzled as to how, if at all, I can get work the new trim into the steel doorframes. Happy to send or post pics if necessary. Also, there’s little to no consistency throughout the house as to where these steel frame doors are, so i don’t even know if I can just have certain rooms where the casing is different/nonexistent.
Thanks again…sorry of this is the wrong place for this post.
A 1960’s split level will work just fine. Simple and affordable Craftsman style moldings and a fresh coat of paint will transform your house like you can hardly believe.
Why don’t you send me some pictues of your metal door jambs. I’m sure between the two of us we can come up with a solution to get some nice moldings on them.
Ken, being a big fan of crown moldings, but having a house with vaulted ceilings and potshelves, I am not a big fan of three piece corner transitions. Have you done any flat molding/vaulted ceiling in lieu of crown? Or perhaps a different combination of moldings for vaulted ceilings?
Yes Bryan, you can use a “flat” molding instead of a flying crown. Take a look at the 7th picture down from the top in this post: No Crown Molding on Vaulted Ceilings. That is a one-piece molding about 4-1/2″ wide.
You’ll be creating what’s properly called an architrave, and it’s the easiest way to divide a tall room horizontally — with or without cathedral ceilings.
I plan on doing 3 piece crown in my master bedroom, the problem is it has vaulted ceiling going up to one corner of the room. I was thinking of putting flying crown moulding across the wall instead of following the ceiling up. Can this be done with three piece crown or should I just stop it and put a return before the ceiling goes up.
Ken, WOW!! I just found your blog/site two days ago. I am inspired. Your breakdowns of the apparently complex profiles are excellent. Question/request… a section in which “special cases” are addressed. eg: What do you do when the inside corner is 96 degrees? What do you do whe the bump in the old plaster wall is causing the bottom of the molding to kick out toward the adjecent wall as it comes into the inside corner? I love this site. Thanks. Congrats and good luck. Les
It makes Jenifer and I very happy to hear that you’re finding our installation posts helpful.
The moldings for your 96 degree inside corner will probably have to be cut on a table saw. The technique is usually illustrated in any book on how to use a table saw. I’ve only done it a few times, so I don’t feel really qualified to give specifics.
The bump in the plaster problem is always a choice between greater and lesser evils. The greatest evil, of course, is to replaster the entire wall so the molding runs flush. The lesser evil, which probably won’t yield the best results, is to replaster only the affected area.
Another option is to simply not install moldings on the affected wall.
Good luck. Keep in touch. Let us know how you solved your problem.
We have a new family room in a Craftsman style home. There is only 13″ between the top of the windows and the ceiling. Is that enough room to have substantial window molding and crown molding. I worry that 5″ molding on windows and 5″ crown molding on ceiling would leave only 3″ of wall showing and that may be too little. What do you think?
I really like your site and the ideas that you have given here. After researching crown molding ideas I showed them to my wife and she likes this one the best. The problem is I can’t find the CM-003 molding at Lowes. I have found a smaller one that measures 3 and 3/8″ wide but not the bigger one like you are using here. Do you have any item number such as the barcode number that I could use to attempt to locate it? Do you have the width of this molding? Do you have any other thoughts on where I could find something similar. I live in Kansas City MO and have checked at two Lowes stores and a Home Depot.
That’s such a nice crown molding pattern, Brian, you will love it.
You will have to special order that crown from your local Lowes. Here are more specs I found on their website:
EverTrue 11/16-in x 3-3/8-in x 8-ft Primed MDF Crown Moulding (Pattern 340)
Item #: 28738 | Model #: 340 8FBDPM
Good luck, Brian. Keep in touch.
I was able to find that one in the store but I took it back because I thought it wasn’t the same as the one you have labeled as CM-003 because on the inventory page the projection and drop are stated to be 3-1/2″ and is $21.84/8′ stick. This one is is only 3-3/8″ wide and costs a little over $14 which is why I was thinking there was a bigger one. If this is the one that you use then I will go back and get it. Thanks again
Brian, you are dealing with a common frustration when buying moldings.
Retailers, especailly the big-box home improvement stores, are forever changing molding suppliers so they can squeeze every molecule of profit from thier inventory. And each supplier has different specs for every molding profile.
The 1/8″ difference between the two similar profiles is not as important as the molding resolution; that is, how sharp and defined the details are. If you like what you see, then buy it.
But before you buy a stack of that crown, read through this post first, Molding Buying Tip: Turn it Over Before You Buy!
Absolutely love what I’ve found here! I have a 1980s ranch style that I’m decorating with mainly Craftsman interior influences. Do you have any suggestions on what to do with a stucco ceiling? I hate it, but I’m not sure I have it in me to scrape it off, either. The house has an open floor plan and any scraping would have to go through the entire house.
There’s not much you can do with stucco. You either have to love it or scrape it.
Can you do crown molding with it though? Or will it look stupid?
I usually don’t associate stucco with classical architectural details. It seems better suited to southwest treatments.