Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Even when crown molding is noticeable, it’s rarely given credit for setting the tone of or bringing character to a room. But this underappreciated design element might just be the elegant or playful touch your bedroom, living room, or dining room needs. Most crown molding falls into one of two categories: curvy colonial/traditional and straight-edged contemporary/craftsman. “When I go into a customer’s house, I look at their existing trim in their house — I call it their themes — and see what kind of theme they have. Then, we are either looking to change that theme or accentuate that theme,” says David Todd of Crown Molding Professionals of the Carolinas.

Besides supporting the theme of a space, crown molding can also carry a cohesive design element throughout a home and hide tiny cracks between the wall and ceiling (especially in the corners). We’ve gathered crown molding ideas to bring charm to your Southern home, regardless of whether you’re looking for a distinctly vintage crown molding style or something more modern.

Make A Statement

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller


Thanks to both its color and size, this colonial/traditional crown molding makes quite a statement. Similar dark blue trim around the windows makes sure this crown molding, which is more conspicuous than most, doesn’t seem out of place.

Repeat Patterns To Add Character

Hector M Sanchez; Styling: Holly Smith


These cute linked squares are called dentil molding, and they’re quite skilled at catching the eye. Repetitive patterns like dentil molding can tie together a space with their characteristic details.

Test Out A Cove Crown

Laurey W. Glenn; Stylist: Matthew Gleason


True to its name, cove crown molding consists of one swooping curve. It’s best suited for elegant spaces like formal dining rooms and bedrooms.

Imply Formality

Max Kim-Bee; Styling: Lydia Pursell


Looking to increase the formality of your living room or dining room? Try painting your molding the same color as the walls but use a different finish— like the glossy sage colonial-style molding in this formal living room.

Use Layers

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller


This crown molding owes its complexity to multiple layers united by paint. Todd says these layers, known as backers, can make the crown molding look bigger, increasing its impact.

Invite Elegance

Laurey W. Glenn

Large and more steeply angled crown molding heightens the elegance of any space. Crown molding often comes in 2-3 angles, Todd describes, and is hollow despite appearing solid.

Play With Pattern And Color

James Ransom


The master bedroom of designer Ashley Hanley’s home in Raleigh, North Carolina, is both calming and playful. How? The tiny patterns provided by dentil molding draw the eye up, making the room more inviting without decreasing the tranquility of the periwinkle walls.

Keep It Simple

Kerry Kirk


In this living room, crown molding serves to separate a ceiling and walls painted the same color. The neutral colors still preserve the simplicity of the space and allow other elements — such as the peach couch — to shine.

Use Crown Molding As A Transition

Brie Williams


This room’s playful wallpaper gives it a lot of character, but it also feels mismatched with the simple ceiling. Some inconspicuous crown molding ties the walls and ceiling together while preserving the room’s character.

Tie Together Trims

Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins


Playful blue trimming around the windows, paired with blue crown molding, brings a lot of spirit to this white bedroom. Using trim and crown molding this way also draws the eye up and out, helping the room appear bigger.

Embrace Ornate

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller and Elly Poston Cooper

Though more uncommon than traditional/colonial molding and contemporary/craftsman molding, ornate molding is worth considering — especially if you’re looking for elegance and antiquity. Ornate molding can also pair well with contemporary elements.

Welcome Simplicity

Marta Pérez; Styling: Vero Designs

Even shorter, less flashy crown molding contributes to more inviting spaces. Todd suggested varying the size and formality of crown molding throughout the house, tailoring the style to each room.

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