Will crown molding add value to my home?

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“Any moldings that will enhance the appearance of a room will add value, whether it be wainscoting, coffered ceilings, and/or crown molding around the room,” says Allen Kellogg, president of Kellogg Hardwoods, Bethel, CT-based fabricators of beautiful custom crown moulding and wide plank flooring in more than a dozen lush woods, from American to Brazilian cherry and from birch to mahogany. “Just about any room in the house will be enhanced by adding some sort of decorative molding. It gives the sense of more elaborate surroundings."

Think of crown moulding as the frame for a room. And just as you might find an overwhelming array of choices when you want to frame a photo, there are endless possibilities for crown moulding. Designs can be as narrow as two inches or as wide as two feet, as simple as a plain curve or as intricate as millwork at a chateau.

Certain styles can do double design duty. Lighted crown moulding adds to the overall warm of a room with a dramatic effect. Want to wire a room for sound with cutting through walls? Use hollow crown moulding to hide the wires. Thinking green? You can find crown moulding made from salvaged wood. If you want to complement a stamped metal ceiling, choose metal crown moulding. If you’ll be painting it to match the walls or ceiling, consider lightweight polyurethane moulding, a less expensive material.

While there are no hard and fast rules about crown moulding styles, the taller your ceiling, the more detailed the crown moulding can be and, conversely, the lower your ceilings, the more streamlined a look you want. The effect should always be to enhance and elevate the room, not make it feel smaller or dominated by the addition.

Because you want to strike just the right balance, you’ll want to work with an experienced design eye to choose the right crown moulding for the style of your house and your décor. A professional installer is another smart idea. Even experienced amateur woodworkers can have a hard time with inner corners, for instance. Even pros still debate whether it’s better to miter or cope, so if those terms mean nothing to you, don’t hesitate to call in an experienced carpenter!

Pictured: Rich mahogany from Kellogg Hardwoods defines this sitting room, above.