Crown molding

graywings123March 5, 2009

I've been lurking on this forum for the past month ever since I became interested in a house built in 1919 in the Federal style, which I am now in the process of buying.

I find it odd that there is no crown molding. It is a modest house, and maybe that accounts for this? Would it be inappropriate for me to install crown molding?

Can you recommend a good website or book on the Federal style? I'm particularly interested in appropriate light fixtures. What is in there now reminds me of fussy Victorian era style lighting, though I am no expert on either style.

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There are many resources for Federal Style trim. Just Google it or try

Here is a link that might be useful: Federal Style trim

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:51AM
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That was within the period where all sorts of wallpapers were used to give interest to the surfaces, even the ceilings. Frieze papers were extremely popular to enrich the wall/ceiling intersection. In more upscale houses plaster moldings of great elaborateness were used.
Look at the site below, it has some cool stuff; don't miss the archive page, it links from the online catalog section.
Here are some moldings:

Have fun,

Here is a link that might be useful: Some historic wallpaper

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Light fixtures are a tough one because there was no such thing other than chandeliers with candles or Argand lamps. Period lighting in this house would probably have been Colonial Revival and Arts $ Crafts electrical fixtures.

Check out Rejuvenation for period light fixtures.

Could you post a picture of the house? Most Colonial Revivalist houses in that era were more Georgian revival or a mixed bag of colonial elements than a pure Federal. I would be interested to see it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 6:39PM
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Thanks for the responses. As soon as I own this house, there will be pics, I promise.

Palimpsest, you make a good point about determining the style of the house. I used the term Federal because the real estate listing used that word. I'm hoping that a switch to colonial style light fixtures is appropriate.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 7:52AM
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I know this isn't the same time period or style of house, but I remember finding it odd that our 1870's home (Victorian-ish?) doesn't have crown molding in any of the rooms. Some PO's had put up some thin crown in some of the rooms when they redid the ceiling in two rooms (aka stuck 12" ceiling tiles on), but my husband's grandfather, who lived here in the 40's-50's (and only one owner before that, whom he knew) swears there was no crown in the house at all. The entire house was wallpapered--all walls and even the ceilings. Fancy thick trim, rosettes, beadboard, built-ins...even curved baseboard in some rooms...but no crown molding.

I know that I found it odd, especially looking now at the trend for super-thick, fancy crown molding, even in new homes attempting to look "old."

Can't wait to see pics of your new house!!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 8:14AM
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