Stephanie Kane's Blog
Nothing upgrades a wall like topping it off with beautiful crown molding. Whether you’re adding elegant curves, farmhouse-style flat-boards, or craftsman millwork, adding that crowning touch turns traditional walls into luxurious architectural statements. And don’t forget the walls and baseboards, they deserve the royal touch as well.
Hire a pro or go it alone?
Installing crown molding might be daunting to a novice do-it-yourself-er, so use this guide to decide when you need a professional to do the deed: Are your walls uneven? Do they have lots of niches? Are there bay windows with odd angles? Does a sloping staircase cut into the ceiling? Is there an angled wall? Mitering corners and disguising uneven walls might be beyond you if you’re new, so consider getting a professional opinion on the effort it will take to complete the job.
If you do decide to tackle it yourself, follow this shortlist of DIY methods to get the look you love.
- When your walls or ceiling is crooked, irregular, or misaligned, instead of a single piece of molding, consider trimming the ceiling and wall first. Using this three-piece system, you can cover up or compensate for problematic walls. To accomplish this, you’ll install thin flat molding along the ceiling creating a new straight line. Then, you’ll do the same on the walls, joining them up at the corners. Now, with flat, straight, and even surfaces to work with, install the decorative crown molding to finish the room.
- Farmhouse chic is a popular trend. To change up your builder grade home to give it that countryside casual, trade out the shallow standard baseboard for taller, flat-board versions. You don't have to purchase special molding, use thin pine boards (or faux paintable polyurethane versions) to give you the flat farmhouse look. Use the same molding at the ceiling and trim out at the top with either a convex or concave quarter round. Paint your trim in satin or try a distressed chalk-paint application to age it.
- Speaking of farmhouse-style, extend the charm with beadboard. Milled sheets of wood or faux beadboard, cut to chair-rail or taller and topped with a flat pine board turn dull walls into lively conversation pieces.
- Another option is board and batten. To create this charming finish, simply cut flat pine boards carefully to length and affix them to your walls at even intervals. Top mid-height versions with a slightly thicker trim board and paint boards and the wall in-between a heavy glossy finish.
No matter which look you choose, adding or upgrading the molding in your home gives it that unique character that either makes it all yours or sets it apart from the rest of the neighborhood. If you’re considering selling your home, be sure to have your real estate professional highlight these upgrades in your marketing.
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If you’re new to gardening, you may think you have a brown thumb just because your first few tries ended up in dried brown heaps. That might be because you picked more sensitive or temperamental plants without the experience necessary to baby them along. Instead, opt for some of the more natural plantings that are great for beginning gardeners and even children.
- Zinnias: These annuals grow only for one season, so you need to plant them every year, but their bright and colorful flowerheads are magnificent as potted flowers or in the garden. They also come in many shapes and sizes, so if you plant many different types together, you’ll constantly be surprised by the shape and color of the blooms.
- Sunflowers: These colorful blooms have large, easy to work with seeds that grow into large, happy blooms. If you grow the massive or mammoth varieties, they’ll grow extra-large heads and make great eating seeds (but save a few to plant for the next year).
- Snapdragons in yellows, pinks, and whites invite butterflies into your garden. They even survive tough spring and fall weather.
- Pansies can grow in very cold weather, making them the perfect plant to start indoors and set out on your porch to add some color even before all the snow has melted away. If mulched property, pansies overwinter in some regions meaning you don’t have to plant them again each year.
- Marigolds have cheerful yellow or yellow and orange blooms that bring warmth and a splash of brightness to any garden. They have the added bonus of scaring off pests and insects so your gardening won’t succumb to sure destructive flies and nematodes if you plant marigolds around the edges.
- Impatiens won’t make you impatient. Their pretty, delicate blooms in all shades of red, pink, lavender and white grow great in pots and in shady beds alike. You can even keep them as houseplants provided you continue to trim them when the blooms fade.
- Begonias are the perfect plant for hanging baskets and garden beds. Their lush greenery with bright flowers nestling in the folds adds a colorful splash to any porch or garden.
- Daffodils are early spring risers form their hardy bulbs. If you plant them in a sunny area of your garden, you’re sure to have bright yellow blooms to greet each spring.
Consider planning seedlings (partially grown plants) rather than seeds if it is your first gardening experience or if you want to make sure you have the curb appeal you desire. If you’re a first-time gardener, join a gardening club or spend time with your local nursery professional so that you know which flowers to plant in your area for best results.
7 Windemere Way, Nashua, NH 03063