Crown in family room leaves no room for door casing. Help!

threeapplesMay 26, 2012

Luckily we have not ordered the door casing or crown, but the sample crown molding came in and it leaves no room for the doorway casing we chose. The crown was chosen for its style and we were told it's size was appropriate for our 10 ft ceilings. I'm going to try to post a photo of it being held in place by carpenter's wife, but as I am on my phone I'm not sure it will work. I'd love comments or advice.

http://s1126.photobucket.com/albums/l609/Tiffany_Washington/Snapbucket/?action=viewät=60CF6EDC.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

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nini804

Are your openings taller than 8'? We have 10' ceilings also, and 8' interior doors. Our crown is 7", which is not as wide as yours with the dentil trim, but our casings are pretty thick 4.5". I think your doorways must be 9'...is that the case? Because with 8' doorways there would be plenty of room. The only thing I could suggest would be to lower the doorways? I would hate for you to have to shrink that pretty molding.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 4:08PM
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threeapples

The doorway opening is 8 ft tall. I'll have to measure the crown. The scale of the crown works well in the room, but it will look bad without substantial trim around the doorway, right?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 5:38PM
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athensmomof3

I agree - do 8 foot doors. I think 9' doors are too tall for a 10' ceiling, and would leave room for only minimal casing and no space between the door and the wall. We have 10' ceilings downstairs and 4.5" trim around the doors with a 7" or so crown (6" crown and an apron). This seems like a good proportion.

I would think you would need at least 11' or 12' to do 9' doors.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 5:56PM
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athensmomof3

If your doors are 8' it looks like that was framed at 9' - certainly doesn't look like two feet between the top of the door frame and the ceiling. Based on the scale of the picture, it looks like a foot.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 5:59PM
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threeapples

There are two feet between the opening and the ceiling. The molding is clearly very large. Any advice on what we should do?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:23PM
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palimpsest

It's too big to look authentic. The scale might be right for a traditional-transitional house with 10 foot ceilings, but it's cartoonishly overscaled compared to what would be put in an authentic Georgian/Federal. That would be the scale for a 14 foot ceiling.

My building is 14 /12 / 10 /8 foot ceilings.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:39PM
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athensmomof3

Are you sure there are two feet? The lady in the picture I assume is at least 5' and there look to be almost 3x the distance above her head to the top of the door frame as from the door frame to the ceiling. It may just be the perspective of the picture.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 7:42PM
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threeapples

Not sure how tall that woman is as I wasn't present. I'll measure tomorrow. The angle might be skewing things, but the opening is definitely just 8 ft. She may have been standing on something. In any case, what should we do about the molding? Have a smaller one made?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:05PM
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threeapples

Hull historical makes this very proportion and they suggest their reproductions are authentic to Georgian style and size. You suggest that for a 10 ft ceiling this is too large then?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:08PM
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threeapples

Palimpsest, what is your link to? It's not working for me? We have 8 ft doors in our 10 ft ceiling, 7 ft in our 9 ft ceilings on second floor. Is this out of proportion?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:10PM
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palimpsest

If they make the same thing in a smaller size I would try that. There were probably regional variations but this just looks exaggerated compared to the historic buildings around here.

My building is Greek Revival, which is plainer than Georgian and the scale was a bit different, but we have 8-foot doors (with large overdoors on the floor with 14 foot floors (although the pocket doors between rooms were 11-foot)

7 foot doors on the 12 and 10 foot floors, and 6-8 doors on the 8 foot floors.

The windows were much closer to the ceiling, mine almost touch the crown.

I think they liked the elongated appearance that this gave to the height. A short door made the room look tall, so the space above the door was not seen as a negative.

They also played with this on the outside by modulating the windows. The second floor windows are as wide as the width of the Glass on the first floor. The third as wide as the glass on the second, and they get shorter. So they taper slightly in width and in height which makes the house seem taller.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 8:27PM
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threeapples

palimpset, this is custom, so i can have them make this smaller. my husband is now suggesting that maybe these openings are, in fact, 9 ft. tall, which is not what we thought they'd be, but that's another issue. i'm not getting really concerned about this because it not only affects this room, but also the dining room which will have cased openings into the foyer and hallway. so, the question is, do we have them lower these openings to accommodate for the crown and doorway casings, or just make all the crown moldings much smaller so there is plenty of room between the bottom of the crown and the top of the doorway casings? any advice?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:09PM
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kirkhall

If they are 9' instead of 8', you can have them lowered. 8' is still plenty tall, even for my 6'8 brother. Then, keep your crown dimensions.

If you like the height of the doors, then shrink your crown.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 9:39PM
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threeapples

These openings won't have doors, so I think it's best to lower the openings. Is that major reconstructive work?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:59PM
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kirkhall

No. That should be pretty easy.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 1:06AM
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athensmomof3

I would lower the openings and the doors to 8'. I think a foot above the door will look funny plus you will be hard pressed to get a door casing and anything but the simplest crown in there. Plus I think cased openings should match door heights.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 2:54AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Unless the person at the far left of the photo is 7 feet tall, those are 9' ceilings, and the door height is 8' (8'2" R.O.)
I think a 7'6" door height would be more in scale.
Casey

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:27AM
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allison0704

I would lower the opening, since no doors. They look too high/too close to the ceiling, imo. Then you can keep this crown for the DR.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:45AM
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babs711

That opening has to be 9' and not 8'. Out ceilings are 10'. We have 8' doors. Here's a shot from when we first started. That's what two feet looks like between the door and the ceiling.

And this isn't a great angle and we don't have huge chunky trim (but the top part of it is cut off in this photo). But even if we did, there's plenty of room for it with 8 foot openings (ignore the temporary door handle):

Here's a better photo:

I also agree all openings and door heights should be the same.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:45AM
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mydreamhome

What about doing something like this and melding the two...

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 8:47PM
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threeapples

Hi all, here's an update: Our architect suggests doing what he calls a "double header", which is essentially like an architrave that connects the doorway casing to the crown molding. While I've seen examples of this in Georgian homes, I've only ever seen it used for doorways that actually had a door and were thus narrower openings. Our openings are 6 ft wide. I'm including a photo of a "double header" our builder just put up (also same architect in that project if it matters). I'm not sure if we should do this or lower the openings in the great room and dining room and then just do the crown moldings as planned. Any further thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:12PM
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palimpsest

I like this build up of profiles better than the dentil moulding whether you drop the door openings or not.

I would change a couple things about this one:

The entablature, which is the flat section above the door separated by the lowest band:

The entablature should be the same width above and below that band: That is, the architrave (lower portion) and the frieze (upper portion) should Not step out, it should be the same width and depth. (Right now the frieze is a bit wider and thicker.)

I would also make the architrave or lower part, wider than the frieze or upper part. This one is upside down in terms of proportion.

I don't know what door casing you have chosen but the above looks a little "blobby" for Georgian, I would use something with a center flat, and a nice crisp profile.

Since you have "Get Your House Right", you should know what I am talking about. One of the things I did not like about the Fypon besides its size was the amorphous looking edges on the dentils.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:31PM
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palimpsest

The Frieze in an UP DOWN direction should be TALLER than the Architrave Portion. I was using Wider which is confusing and I described it as you have it, not what I meant

The Frieze should be about 2/3 the whole entablature and the architrave around 1/3 the whole entablature, and appear to be one piece divided by that small moulding in between.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:35PM
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threeapples

thanks, palimpset. the dentil molding i posted above is solid wood, not fypon. we are using fypon molding on the exterior of our house, but only wood on the interior. what about the edges on this interior dentil i've shown is amorphous looking? i'm not picking up on that. unfortunately, i can't find my "get your house right" book. uggh. i agree the image i just posted, the "double header" is not in great proportion and would in no way look good in our Georgian style house. thanks.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:41PM
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palimpsest

I think the double header would work if you made some alterations to the proportions.

The things I don't like about the dentil moulding you posted:

The dentils aren't blocks they have this weird detail around their top edges.

The Cyma doesn't terminate with a crisp flat edge: it's tapered slightly and it has some ribs or other kind of detail...that end terminus should be a flat vertical line or plain.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:51PM
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threeapples

i found this photo online. what do you all think of this and keeping the openings the height they are? i am not in love with the triglyph and metope design as it's too much of the Parthenon for me, but at least you get the idea. i'm still leaning toward lowering the opening regardless because i think it makes sense to have all doorways and openings the same height.

Here is a link that might be useful: possibility

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:05PM
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threeapples

palimpset, this is what the trim carpenter used as inspiration for our dentil molding....

Here is a link that might be useful: dentil

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:11PM
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palimpsest

Thats really nice, and you could leave the triglyphs etcetera off and have a plain entablature and it would look perfectly correct.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:12PM
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palimpsest

The Hull Cornice is based on something from Winterthur, which is a 175 room house. That house had rooms for public function and I guess that's why the Hull adaptation seems like it is for public buildings, to me.

This isn't really a dentil-moulding, those are more like little modillions or brackets all along the bottom.That is why they don't just look like blocks.

I really think it's too heavy for a typical residence, 10 foot ceilings or no (personal opinion)

I like the snapshot you posted better, with the lighter looking dentil moulding and the door architraves. I think you could easily leave off the triglyphs and guttae and leave it plain and it would look really nice.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 6:50PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

And no mutules, either, right Pal?
My friend has this style of cornice in her entry hall. The ceilings are about 11 feet, but notice the doorway at the left edge, just 7' doors.

The door to the back portico is more to scale and the casing is cut into the respectably-sized cornice:

Detail:

Oh, the house is 1910.
Casey

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 8:32PM
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palimpsest

So these are a bit Victorianized (or Edwardianized, I guess).

The circa 1900 addition (more than doubling) the building I live in is much more "Federal" than the late Federal-Greek Revival transitional original part. They really heightened the details.

On the first floors the doors are 8 and the ceilings 14.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:25PM
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threeapples

palimpset, we went to the house and held up the molding today (my first time seeing it in person) and it is monstrous! no matter what, it needs to be scaled back.

i'm still waiting to hear back from the trim guy about the door casings and will post back after i do.

sombreuil, your friend has such an interesting house. i like the architrave above the door you can barely see on the left side of the first image. thanks for posting those pictures!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:30PM
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palimpsest

Here was my old apartment. This is Greek Revival, but look at the space between the top of the door and the ceiling.

The windowa (which were jibs) were much taller:

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:46PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

The door trim in that entry (of which I need to get a proper pic ) is genius, because the frieze board scallops in to allow the architrave to be narrower, avoiding that top-heavy look. The 1910 architect was well-known in DC and had experience designing large-scale Beax-Arts style buildings.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:08PM
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threeapples

super jealous of your old apartment!!!

now, along the lines of lowering the opening in my family room, here is a photo of that opening taken from the foyer. this picture also shows what will be the cased opening in the hallway. the hallway cased openings should probably remain 9 ft even if the family room and dining room openings get lowered a foot, right? any thoughts on how i can do this so it doesn't look terrible? is it ok for hallway cased openings to be taller than door-less entrances to rooms?

by the way, the other doorway you're seeing in the hallway is a closet and then, beyond that, is the opening to the butler's pantry.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:16PM
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athensmomof3

I personally think 9' openings in a 10' ceiling are too tall. If you have 11' ceilings, the 9' would be appropriate. Otherwise, I would lower all to 8'

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:26PM
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threeapples

thanks, athensmom, i agree. what do you think about the opening into the hallway in the photo above? it's 9 ft. and is supposed to be some sort of cased opening. any idea?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:51PM
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athensmomof3

I personally think it looks too tall. I also don't like how it is higher than the other opening (I assume those are doors?). I would have all openings the same height. Are the cased openings the only ones that are 9'?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:22AM
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threeapples

Yes, the cases openings are the only ones 9 ft tall. We are going to lower all openings to 8 ft, but I can't decide what to do about the hallway openings. There is one at the end of that hall where the checkerboard marble will meet whatever flooring we choose for the mud hall. Any ideas what to do for these openings? Does their drywall jutting in (narrower opening compared to hallway width) make sense? That was the architect's design.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:10AM
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palimpsest

I posted in the other thread about heights

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:12AM
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