Trimming The Living Room Ceiling


So I am fully aware that I have been dropping the blog ball. Through the holidays we were too busy that I haven’t found the time to write a few posts, but that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening around here. Firstly we installed beams and crown molding in the living room.

When we first moved here there was no overhead lighting in the living room and last winter we had LED high hats installed. We had been planning to put up two beams (breaking the ceiling into thirds) and installing crown molding around them, as well as the rest of the room. The living room is very long and narrow, and we hoped that by installing some molding it would create some visual interest and break up the ceiling making the room appear a bit wider.


We took a few days before Thanksgiving to tackle this project and it has made a huge impact on the room. As we have come to find in other rooms, when we install trim work to the ceiling, it feel so much higher- enough that I had to have Steve rehang the mirror over the mantle. It also took away the gut instinct when looking up to look at the lighting, which now seems to somewhat fade into the rest of the ceiling.

This project was pretty inexpensive considering the high impact. All we used were 1″x4″x16′ boards and 3 5/8″ standard crown molding. the 1″x4″ were used as framing and for the finished beams. Steven added a bead detail to the reveals to match the mantle and create a more finished look. We also used the proportions on the mantle and door casing as a model for the size and reveal of the ceiling trim. Our door casing is very simple and has the standard crown on the top and this is why I chose to go with the standard stuff. I like the feeling of the living room being homey and relaxed, I was worried if we used a different profile if may have been too much. I must say now that it is done, it looks like it could have been there since the house was built, not the least bit over done.



First we installed a board along the ceiling where the beam would go. We used this to attach blocks of wood for framing that the finished beam could be screwed into. Steven decided that, considering that nothing in the house is perfectly square (especially the ceilings) that we would pre assemble the beams using lose tenons then install them once assembled. This worked out perfectly and allowed for the reveal under the beam is perfect running the whole length.


It took us about a day of work to lay everything out, get the lumber and install them. The following day we started with the crown molding. Although Steven has installed so much molding this was the first project that I was the helper on. I had no idea how much was involved getting those little miters to meet up perfectly, especially with the walls and ceiling out of whack. So many measurements and so much done by eye- I never would have thought it would be so tricky. I did learn a bunch and got up the courage to use the miter saw so hopefully in the future I can be more useful.


It is so amazing to be how I am consistently surprised by the impact that adding trim does to a room. We are hoping to keep mixing it up and make sure that no two rooms are exactly alike.

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