beef up built-ins and crown molding with inexpensive trim pieces

A few months back, I began working with a lovely client who was exasperated with her 1972 rancher.  She wanted to see if I could help her fall in love with it again, otherwise, it was going on the market, quick, fast and in a hurry.  Challenge accepted!  We decided to start with the family room, where a closet, original to the house, had been converted into built-in bookshelves before my client bought the home.  It was a great way to use the wall space, however, the built-ins were more than two feet deep and were missing shelves (the previous owners had set their TV in the middle).  Here is a picture of the built-ins before…notice also the teeny tiny crown molding running the perimeter of the room:

We added a false backing to the bookshelves with beaded board, making the shelves only 15 inches deep; added more shelves; added thicker trim pieces to make the shelves look more substantial and beefed up the molding around the entire piece with thicker crown.  The difference is amazing!  The piece now looks completely custom and much more expensive than the cost of a bunch of trim pieces from Lowes!

Next, we addressed the super tiny trim running around the entire room.  The built-ins now made such a presence in the room that the crown above them looked even more dwarfed.  Yanking it all down and replacing it was not an option, so instead, we ran a bead of trim 2 1/4 inches below the bottom of the crown.  We painted the entire thing – crown, space between and bead of trim-white, creating the illusion of a thicker piece of molding.  It’s one of my favorite, inexpensive tricks for transforming trim.  The difference is, again, amazing!

Doesn’t it look fabulous?  The trim and built-ins look so crisp and really pop against the new slate blue wall color.  Needless to say, my client is in love with the changes…stay tuned for a full reveal of the room, coming soon!


Hello and welcome to Bungalow Blue Interiors!

I'm Kelly, interior designer, stylist, hostess with the mostest and editor of my blog, where I share pics of my work, my own home, décor projects, entertaining hacks, where to find the best decorating deals and all the beautiful things that are currently inspiring me!




  1. K. Burnette on June 28, 2012 at 12:54 am

    I love this idea and the wall color!

  2. Dawn bolt on June 29, 2012 at 9:34 am

    What paint did you use for the slate blue wall color?

  3. kirsten on June 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    SUCH a smart idea – love white builts-ins! They make a room have that "finished feel"!

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