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Crown Molding Abuse: Interior Eyebrows

Crown molding can be a delightful architectural detail in a home, in the right home and used in the right context.  But when it is misused, the results are a room with a horrific set of interior eyebrows.  Do you have interior eyebrows?Rights of Crown Molding

  • To act as a transition between the wall and the ceiling
  • To fulfill the architectural context of a home or building

Crown molding can be used as a design trick to enhance a room’s size, create intimacy, or create continuity of architectural features.  Beautifully detailed crown molding adds an element of intellectual importance to classic architecture.  Rarely does crown molding merit becoming a focal point of a room. Crown molding painted to match wallsIn this kitchen the crown molding is painted to match the walls and correctly proportioned to the room. correct crown moldingIn a grander room the scale of the crown is proportional and appropriate for the architecture.  Painted to match the ceiling it helps to lift the room.

Characteristics of Crown Molding Abuse

  • painted or stained a contrasting color or treated as a focal point
  • used to hide shoddy workmanship
  • wrong molding used with the wrong home style
  • too large, too much or too small crown molding for the scale of the room

The culprit is often the owner or builder where a molding catalogue left in wrong hands and returned with more than three pages flagged is a recipe for misuse of molding.

Bad use of crown moldingWhen you walk into a room and your eye begins tracing lines around the room following the molding, this is not a good thing.  Molding is not the most important aspect in any room or we would have things called molding rooms.

Bad Crown Molding is Not Good Design – This next photo makes me giggle because one can’t even see the room.  What is this room about, he ceiling?  I hope not.

Bad use of crown moldingPoorly done, over blown and ridiculously out of wack molding in terms of scale can quickly ruin a room/home.

Crown molding is mean to play a supporting role in a room, it is not the a star.  Treating crown molding more important than it is (kind of like a reality TV star) with a contrasting color or using too much molding throws the balance off in an interior.  Interiors which are out of balance are not comfortable spaces.

Paint it to match the wall or ceiling, not it’s own special color.  What do people often recall about the great painter Frida Kahlo?  First her eyebrows, then maybe her wonderful paintings.  Rooms should not have eyebrows. 🙂


Photos:  Frida Kahlo (Wikipedia) and last three photos are from Pricey Pads


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3 Responses to Crown Molding Abuse: Interior Eyebrows

  1. It worked for Brook Shields! Great point but some people love the big brows 🙂

  2. Im still laughing from this one. There needs to be a SPCA(<–architecture) for this sort of abuse!

  3. In that contest it worked, when it comes to just making a big stripe around the room – this is not good design.

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