How to Install Crown Molding on Vaulted or Cathedral Ceilings The Joy of Joy of

How to Install Crown Molding on Vaulted or Cathedral Ceilings The Joy of Joy of

This Page Shows You Five Examples of Crown Moldings on Vaulted Ceilings

Making My Case for Flying Crown Moldings

It was the worst crown molding installation Id ever seen.

And in a neighborhood that counted Eminem, Kid Rock and the guy that invented the bar code on its tax rolls, making the molding carnage seem that much more absurd.  It looked like scrap lumber hammered in place by unsupervised, sugared-up ten-year olds.  Carpentry more befitting a tree house than a million-dollar showplace.

We normally build decks, the carpenter said, as he led me through the garage and into the great room of the house next to the one I was working on.  As we walked I glanced down at the decrepit table saw they were using, and thought to myself that Id better prepare my best, Jeepers-that-looks-swell! face, because this isnt going to be pretty.

The carpenter stopped in the middle of the great room and cast a dramatic, self-congratulatory gaze over his crews workmanship.  I simply stood in shocked disbelief.  Theyre actually going to pay you for this? is what I wanted to say, but instead muttered some diversionary but honest praise about the difficulty of the installation, and away from the craftsmanship itself.

It truly was a difficult installation.  These deck builders managed to install a three-piece crown molding, in their own special way, in a cavernous great room with a very high, complex vaulted ceiling.

There are many finish carpenters whod shy away from a job like that, tell the customer they couldnt fit it in their schedule.  But these guys actually finished the job, and without sending anyone to the hospital because of the hobbled together ladders and planks they used to access the difficult ceiling, or, more surprisingly, because of that wretched, finger-chomping table saw in the garage.

The point I want to make is this: Even if the deck builders did a fantastic job, the end result would still look messy.  Thats because crown molding does not belong on the chaotic angles of vaulted ceilings.

Most homes are a combination of traditional and contemporary design elements.  People want open floor plans and lofty spaces above them, the response from builders being great rooms, foyers and halls with vaulted ceilings.

But crown molding is a traditional, horizontal architectural detail, and so should not be forced on the contemporary portion of the home.  Crown molding, however meticulously installed and finished on a vaulted ceiling, looks broken, disorganized and confused as it follows the ceilings ever-changing direction of peaks and valleys.

Install a Flying Crown Molding Instead

Find a consistent height in your room with the vaulted ceiling say, 8 to 9 high, or follow the lowest point in the ceiling  and simply run your crown molding horizontally around the room.

You are in effect splitting the rooms vertical space in two, creating a more defined and intimate living space below the crown, and yet allowing you to emphasize the lofty, vaulted space above the crown.

Thats all there is to it.  And it really looks fantastic.

By the way, flying crown is not a proper architectural term, its one I made up to describe this kind of molding installation.

Flying Crown Molding Examples

Example 1: Parlor

This is a sensible room with vaulted ceilings because the vaults are at least symmetrical.  I installed the flying crown 12 up, just below where the ceiling begins to pitch up.  The room apex is 14 high.

This is still one of my all-time favorite rooms that I designed installed and painted moldings in.

Below   Turn around and you see the other end of the room.  See how well-defined and intimate the living space below the flying crown is?

The ceiling vaults could have been painted any number of complimentary colors, not just this lovely coral color

Example 2: Guest Bathroom

In the same home is a guest bathroom with twelve-foot high ceilings.  Ive already written that sitting in that bathroom was like sitting in an elevator shaft .  But installing some large, defining moldings included a flying crown and then finished with patterned wallpapers, sufficiently quenched the elevator shaft effect.

This Page Shows You Five Examples of Crown Moldings on Vaulted Ceilings

Making My Case for Flying Crown Moldings

It was the worst crown molding installation Id ever seen.

And in a neighborhood that counted Eminem, Kid Rock and the guy that invented the bar code on its tax rolls, making the molding carnage seem that much more absurd.  It looked like scrap lumber hammered in place by unsupervised, sugared-up ten-year olds.  Carpentry more befitting a tree house than a million-dollar showplace.

We normally build decks, the carpenter said, as he led me through the garage and into the great room of the house next to the one I was working on.  As we walked I glanced down at the decrepit table saw they were using, and thought to myself that Id better prepare my best, Jeepers-that-looks-swell! face, because this isnt going to be pretty.

The carpenter stopped in the middle of the great room and cast a dramatic, self-congratulatory gaze over his crews workmanship.  I simply stood in shocked disbelief.  Theyre actually going to pay you for this? is what I wanted to say, but instead muttered some diversionary but honest praise about the difficulty of the installation, and away from the craftsmanship itself.

It truly was a difficult installation.  These deck builders managed to install a three-piece crown molding, in their own special way, in a cavernous great room with a very high, complex vaulted ceiling.

There are many finish carpenters whod shy away from a job like that, tell the customer they couldnt fit it in their schedule.  But these guys actually finished the job, and without sending anyone to the hospital because of the hobbled together ladders and planks they used to access the difficult ceiling, or, more surprisingly, because of that wretched, finger-chomping table saw in the garage.

The point I want to make is this: Even if the deck builders did a fantastic job, the end result would still look messy.  Thats because crown molding does not belong on the chaotic angles of vaulted ceilings.

Most homes are a combination of traditional and contemporary design elements.  People want open floor plans and lofty spaces above them, the response from builders being great rooms, foyers and halls with vaulted ceilings.

But crown molding is a traditional, horizontal architectural detail, and so should not be forced on the contemporary portion of the home.  Crown molding, however meticulously installed and finished on a vaulted ceiling, looks broken, disorganized and confused as it follows the ceilings ever-changing direction of peaks and valleys.

Install a Flying Crown Molding Instead

Find a consistent height in your room with the vaulted ceiling say, 8 to 9 high, or follow the lowest point in the ceiling  and simply run your crown molding horizontally around the room.

You are in effect splitting the rooms vertical space in two, creating a more defined and intimate living space below the crown, and yet allowing you to emphasize the lofty, vaulted space above the crown.

Thats all there is to it.  And it really looks fantastic.

By the way, flying crown is not a proper architectural term, its one I made up to describe this kind of molding installation.

Flying Crown Molding Examples

Example 1: Parlor

This is a sensible room with vaulted ceilings because the vaults are at least symmetrical.  I installed the flying crown 12 up, just below where the ceiling begins to pitch up.  The room apex is 14 high.

This is still one of my all-time favorite rooms that I designed installed and painted moldings in.

Below   Turn around and you see the other end of the room.  See how well-defined and intimate the living space below the flying crown is?

The ceiling vaults could have been painted any number of complimentary colors, not just this lovely coral color

Example 2: Guest Bathroom

In the same home is a guest bathroom with twelve-foot high ceilings.  Ive already written that sitting in that bathroom was like sitting in an elevator shaft .  But installing some large, defining moldings included a flying crown and then finished with patterned wallpapers, sufficiently quenched the elevator shaft effect.


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