Anything that gives a house a more stylish or elegant appearance will raise its appraised value. Simple, inexpensive additions like crown molding can add dollars when an appraiser walks through your house — but only if the crown molding is done correctly and tastefully. Crown molding is a thin, classy line of trim placed along ceilings, baseboards and chair rails that subtly classes up what would otherwise be bare wall space. You can put crown molding in almost any room, as long as it's appropriate to the space.
Get the Style Right
You have to use the right style of crown molding. A very ornate molding in a modern living room will not only look out of place but may actually reduce the appraised value. The key is to match the style of the molding to the overall decor style.
Install It Correctly
Make sure the crown molding is properly installed. Crown molding is tricky because it requires complex miter cuts and has to fit neatly where the wall meets the ceiling. Crown molding that is not flush with the wall and ceiling or has gaps at the corners looks sloppy and won't add value. In fact, it could subtract from it.
Consider the Size
Use the right size. Crown molding comes in widths from about 1 1/2 inches to 6 or 8 inches wide, and in a variety of shapes and patterns. Don't put a wide 6- or 8-inch molding in a tiny room or a trim 2-inch molding in a large living area. Use a simple molding in a small area or a plain bedroom; feel free to experiment with a more complex shape in a larger dining or living room. Also note: Crown molding works best in rooms with high ceilings.
Paint for Contrast
Paint the molding in a contrasting color so it stands apart from the rest of the room. It's generally best to keep colors subdued and basic when trying to sell a house, but painting the molding even a slightly different tone will make it stand out. White is a common color choice that fits with almost any decor but contrasts nicely with beige- or sand-colored walls.
Concentrate on Main Rooms
You don't have to put crown molding in every room to get a good effect. Putting crown molding in main rooms like living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms and kitchens will produce an elegant effect. It's less important in bedrooms and bathrooms, although it can certainly be used successfully in those areas.