When I moved into my New York City apartment last summer, I knew that I wanted to make my cookie cutter space look as grand as possible. While I was fortunate to land a unit that's spacious and sunny, my apartment didn't include any of the beautiful architectural features that I swoon over constantly. I can't get enough of Parisian looking spaces with gorgeous wall molding and marble mantels, in case you're wondering!
But rather than feel defeated about the state of my relatively bland walkup apartment, I spent the months following my move-in focused on faking as many architectural characteristics as I could. First were the two faux fireplaces that I purchased and installed. Then came the "crown molding" (which is actually made from styrofoam) that I purchased on Amazon and hung with the help of a professional. Paint and thoughtful furnishings also made a major impact. But let's talk about the smallest, most affordable change I made, which truly made a world of difference: the beautiful, ornate medallion that hangs on my bedroom ceiling.
Many of the spaces that I admire online feature stunning ceiling medallions like these (some fake, some original). I've always appreciated how much charm this detail adds to a space but had never bothered to hang one of my own—it seemed like it would be too complicated to install. When I spotted this medallion on Amazon for just under $40, though, I couldn't help but immediately add it to my shopping cart. I'd just have to figure out the rest later! (I did check the measurements to confirm that my light fixture would fit inside the opening—this is a key step to take before placing an order.)
Ekena Millwork CM18GA Granada Ceiling Medallion
With the help of a handyman, the medallion was an absolute breeze to install with glue (it'll come right off the ceiling when I eventually move out of this unit). Given that the medallion can be cut, drilled, or glued, it's simple for anyone to add to their space. The medallion is very light weight and is actually made from polyurethane, but it looks like it could be plaster. What's also great about the piece I purchased is that it can easily be painted, if you would prefer that yours is a color other than white. In my case, the preexisting hue supported my Parisian vision perfectly. It really adds so much character and personality to my bedroom and I am happy every time I look up at the ceiling and spot it.
I get so many compliments on this medallion and find that it also makes my simple Target light fixture—and my sleep space as a whole—look incredible and way more luxe. The medallion also complements the faux wall molding that I hung, and honestly, many people think that these architectural features are original to my apartment before I tell them otherwise, which makes me so happy.
A la Maison Ceilings GK19pw-5 Corbels DIY Glue-up Foam Crown Molding
If you're on the fence about making a cosmetic upgrade like this one in your own space, let me just say that I firmly believe you should go for it. Your home, even if it's a rental unit like mine, should bring you joy and be a place where you're happy to spend time. Making the effort to complete DIYs and other revamps that will make a generic space feel more like your own will work wonders, trust me. I feel so much happier and more settled now that my apartment reflects my personality and design aesthetic. And honestly, what could be better than that?