I don’t know how the rumor got started.

You’ve heard it……the one about old farmhouses and molding.

Someone….somewhere started telling the town crier that old farmhouses are full of moldings and decorative details and beautiful old trim.


Umm.  Negative.


Now maybe there is a farmhouse built somewhere in a land far far away by an overly exuberant farmer with a fine decorative eye who was light years ahead of his other farmer friends.

But he sure didn’t live here.

I think our farmer was too busy….well….farming.  You know….milking the cows, feeding the horses, cutting the hay, checking on the crops and all that.

Which didn’t leave much time for crown molding.



Here’s what we started with.

Well…actually we started with faded printed wallpaper…..with a border of cupids feeding grapes to each other from grecian urns.  But that’s a story for another time.

We had an abundance of urns and cupids and fruits off the vine…….and an absolute dearth of crown molding.

And unlike that farmer from long ago…..we don’t farm, or milk cows, or cut hay…..so we have plenty of spare time left over for moldings.

Crown moldings and door moldings and ceiling moldings and floor moldings.

Let’s just say….we never met a piece of molding that we didn’t like.

And after the house was all “moldinged up.”  I was so happy.  Which made my husband so happy…….

…..because he thought we were done.


He should have known better.

I was just getting started.  I mean, we hadn’t even begun to address all the empty spaces over the windows.




If you have ever priced out molding, you know how expensive it can be…..especially 10″ window moldings.

And we have four children to put through college one day.

So here’s our $22.00 molding solution.


Crown Molding


(1)  We had Home Depot cut down a sheet of 1/4″ plywood to 8″ strips.

(2)  My husband cut down the 8″ strips to 36″ in width (you would cut it to whatever the width of your window is) and then he nailed them above the 5″ piece of pine that was already on the window.


Gap between board and molding


(3)  Next we added 3″ crown molding to the top.  And then noticed all the gaps.


When you are built in 1918, nothing is ever level.

And there is always an extra space here and there.


Picture Molding to Hide Gaps


(4)  So no worries…..we just added picture molding to cover the gap.

(5)  Then we caulked.

(6)  Then we primed.


Smocked Burlap Curtains


(8) And painted the moldings with one coat of glossy white paint.

(9)  We let it dry and painted it again.


(10)  After you finish the project, add burlap curtains, count your pennies and buy a milking cow with the money you saved.


I think it’s a lot of window drama for only $22.00.

I wonder what that farmer would think of his front parlor windows now?

Probably not too much.

He’d probably just shrug his shoulders and tell me the plywood should have been used to patch up the barn 🙂


If you want more molding inspiration….click here to check out all my other molding projects.


PS  If this project seems a little overwhelming….you CAN do it!  Just remember that paint is your friend and…..a little plywood goes a long way.

PPS  If you read this blog back when Downton Abbey was just starting…..you might have seen this before.  But I’ve re-written it and fancied it up a little.  Mr. Carson would be proud. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Kimm at Reinvented Kimm at Reinvented

    Beautiful! We've got some plans to molding up our basic builder home this year. And when I say "we", I totally mean "me." :). Hubby always comes around to my ideas eventually, I've just got a little more convincing to do. :)

  2. Image for Robin Robin

    That's the biggest 22 $ bang for your buck EVER! I love it. I hate to ask this question because I'm certain you've answered it somewhere, but I'm new here :) Where did you get your dining room drapes...those are so charming :) Have a great day my new friend~ Robin All Things Heart and Home

  3. Image for Terry Terry

    I love the details and this is the easiest and most beautiful way to build up the presence of windows. Thanks for sharing this great solution.

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    What a statement those windows make now! For only $22?? Wow!! Great job! Have to admit, there is crown molding in our old farmhouse, not near as nice as yours and pretty sure it's not original. It's curvy and kinda plain, but I have no idea how to fancy it up...yet. I'll keep looking. Debbie :)

  5. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I'm pretty positive Mr. Carson would be proud! I think that's some of the best use of $22! Really gives the windows more presence! Nothing I'm sure your farmer would have been interested in! Did you do that all over your house, or just in the dining room? ;)

  6. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    You forgot to add the most important component of this project - the man that actually did all of the work. If you don't have a handyman living at your house and you, yourself are not friends with a straight edge and a saw - you are in trouble. Looks beautiful!

  7. Image for Anne Anne

    Beautiful KerriAnne! Someday we may address the lack of crown molding around here.I am always inspired by your beautiful home! xx Anne

  8. Image for annel annel

    I WAS married to a contractor and we remodeled several homes including our own cape cod, I must say "Sweetie" You both did a "PINspiring" JOB! Just Lovely! Blessings <3

  9. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    My motto...you just can't have enough great molding!....you certainly have transformed many of your areas with beautiful molding and the best part is that it was done with love by your resident carpenter!!...Have a great day Kari!

  10. Image for Andrea Andrea

    Love your 'old' farmhouse moldings =) They look like they've been there since the cows grazed the fields, and the chickens clucked in their coop. Beautiful, as always!

  11. Image for Vee Vee

    Fabulous! I had to show the carpenter husband this one! Our ceilings are so low that there really isn't much space above the windows, but still...perhaps we could create a similar situation going that bit of distance to the ceiling. I'm trying to imagine what that might look like...

  12. Image for Nancy Nancy

    KariAnne, This is such Perfect timing for me!! We just bought a Home in WA State and all my Windows with the Exception of the Dining Room are just like yours were. These Mouldings are just beautiful and look like they were always there, just updated with paint. Thanks so much for sharing! Huggs, Nancy

  13. Image for Apri Apri

    Brilliant! I've been looking for a way to dramatize the windows in our money pit's living room. Huge room with high ceiling, but the windows seem small, and there are lots of 'em which can be cost prohibitive to do much with. Picture molding to cover the cracks - Genius! I also can not love those curtains anymore. I have bolts of burlap just waiting to be sewn into curtains, but haven't been too inspired lately. Only wish i knew how to create or make a cheater version of that smocking.

  14. Image for Kate Kate

    Oh to have high ceilings! You're so lucky! I love the window molding- it's so clever and looks very period appropriate to your house. Well done!!

  15. Image for Regina Regina

    Once again, you are an INSPIRATION! I have a "music room" (the narrow room with my piano and organ that used to be a porch off our dining room that was enclosed in the 30's when they made the upstairs a separate apartment) that has the only plain window trim in the HOUSE! Now I know how to get it to match - or to even look BETTER! :) Bless you!

  16. Image for Kristina Kristina

    I just wanted to say that I love your blog, Karianne. You not only have a great sense of style, color and proportion in a room, you express yourself well in a way that makes me want to sit and chat with you. Just lovely. I get a real charge every time I see Thistlewood Farm in my email inbox! Thanks for writing a great column and for bringing us into your life, home and world. For me, it's better than sitting down with a glass of nice, red wine.

  17. Image for Gee Gee

    Brilliant!!! Now you have me looking at my 'bare above the window' area. Hmmm, guess this is one of those 'eyelash batting' times. Luv it KariAnne. Hugs, Gee

  18. Image for leslie harris leslie harris

    I pinned this a long time ago Kari, it's one of my favorite projects you've done. So creative...and on my list of things to do when I get some extra time and money. :) Blessings, Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  19. Image for Baileywife Baileywife

    Thought I would let you know that I finished my little room makeover and posted about it today! How is yours coming along?? ~Kim baileywife.blogspot.com

  20. Image for Tori Tori

    I just love these windows! I know crown moulding usually is angled away from the wall, so was just wondering if you created side pieces also to go on the sides of the crown. You can't really tell in these pics. If so, would love to have your hubs teach us how to do that too! Your windows are very close together, and with the curtains down the sides, you wouldn't notice if the crown pieces didn't have sides; but I have a wall of windows & french doors that are spaced out, so you see the sides of each. Thanks!

  21. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Brilliant. It adds hight and dare I say "majesty" to your room. You are crazy creative!! I just LOVE your blog (and you by relation). xox Elizabeth

  22. Image for Bethanie Bethanie

    Loved this post the first time, and am glad to study it again! I need to get my husband to start reading your blog. I got him on Pinterest, that's the first step!! I was having KariAnne withdrawals....Im sitting on a windowsill in a tee tiny hospital room in NY, flew here for a surgery of my dads, its been three days and I begged my brother for his laptop. I needed to touch base with the real world!! :) Thanks for indulging me~

  23. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    I love what you have done with that place! One of these days I'm going to give into the temptation to hop in my car and drive south to see you - is it warmer there than it is here??

  24. Image for Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside

    My husband refers to this as headers. He did the two doors in our living room with headers, our windows didn't have enough space above them for it. He was supposed to do all the downstairs' doors like this.....that was about 5 years ago. Oh, did I also mention that he is a trim carpenter by trade? Yeah, they always work on their own homes last! LOL! Your windows look great, well, heck the whole room is gorgeous! Blessings, Tammy

  25. Image for Kathryn Kathryn

    You've done a fantastic job with those windows, well, with the whole room actually! I love the curtains, would you mind sharing where you got them? I didn't realize burlap could be semi-sheer like yours.

  26. Image for Debra Shatto Debra Shatto

    As someone else already asked, was wondering whether there is a return at the ends of the crown above windows? It is such a lovely solution. I've often thought, since it's now au currant to hang the curtains near the ceiling, that it leaves such a dead space and actually accentuates small windows/low ceilings, so I was glad to see this. I tried wooden fretwork but your solution is much better. Great job! Your blog writing is so entertaining as well as visually beautiful, thank you. I look forward to your post daily. Debra

  27. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I think the old farmer would be very happy to see how lovely his farmhouse is now. I'm pretty certain his wife would wonder why they didn't think of that! The moulding is beautiful.

  28. Image for HRH Sarah HRH Sarah

    THAT is gorgeous and smart! I will definitely be using this info when we move, to make my own little place look more... moldy ;)

  29. Image for MaKaela MaKaela

    Too funny! I just wrote about Mrs. Patmore on my blog. Glad to see I'm not alone when I consider what Downton Abbey characters would think of my achievements!

  30. Image for Marcia Robinson Marcia Robinson

    Beautiful! I love how the colors work in the room. The trim work makes an impressive statement, and I too, adore the curtains! Did you sew them? If not, please disclose your source! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  31. Image for Kassie Bevan Kassie Bevan

    This is absolutely spectacular! The change from a great room to an elequently great room is amazing. You have a truly wonderful eye.

  32. Image for jeanne jeanne

    great idea ~!! i've seen it done with floor base molding, but never windows !!! it totally looks original and i agree...a lot of drama for a little price...great job !! (and i love the drapes too)

  33. Image for Patty Patty

    Pretty dining room, great idea! Our place is old too, a 2 story farmhouse built in 1903. Lucky for us, someone thought of the crown moldings before we got the place! And you are so correct, there is an abundance of crooked character in these old places, part of the charm I suppose!

  34. Image for The French Hens Nest The French Hens Nest

    I love this post and keep coming back to it! I just moved my curtain rods higher and this is the greatest idea to fill in the space! Not to mention making the windows look so elegant! Thanks again! Linda at The French Hens Nest

  35. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Way to go! I love the trim! It reminds me of the architecture in my doctor's waiting room. Could I do this over the doorway, too? Boy, I am going to glam up my living room. Thanks for sharing!

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