crown molding in the ceiling
Photo: Kolin Smith
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A Matter of Proportion

If crown molding isn't sized correctly in proportion to a wall's height, it can have a negative effect. "A molding that is too small can make the room feel top-heavy," says Joan Johnson, owner of White River Hardwoods, a molding manufacturer, "whereas a molding that is too large can bring the ceiling down and make the room feel closed in." The optimal sizes of the drop (the distance from the ceiling to the edge of the crown's lower flange) for various wall heights are as follows:

• 8-foot ceiling: 3- to 5-inch drop

• 9-foot ceiling: 5- to 10-inch drop

• 10- to 12-foot ceiling: 10- to 20-inch drop

• 16-foot ceiling: 18- to 25-inch drop
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