Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024
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25 Elegant Crown Molding IdeasNickolas Sargent

Sometimes a space is simply missing a little something. Try crown molding. Historically used to cover unsightly gaps where the wall and ceiling intersect, crown molding is, today, one of the most popular styles of interior trim. While this type of millwork began specifically as ceiling trim, crown molding has been reinterpreted today to add decorative flair to anything with two adjoining sides, including windows, doorways, an accent wall, and even a fireplace surround.

Here’s why we love it. It’s an easy way to add visual interest to a room, lend it character, and elevate a room’s architecture. It’s also relatively inexpensive and suits a variety of housing types, from a Victorian pile to an Arts and Crafts–inspired cottage. And finally, certain moldings can create the illusion that ceilings are much higher than they actually are.

Does your home need some added decorative detail? Whether you’re going full rococo or are angling for something a little more contemporary, crown molding just might be the final touch your space needs. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite examples of it all to help you get a better sense of what might work for your space. Read on for a few of our favorite rooms with crown molding and decorative trim.

Create Stylistic Tension

Bohemian at heart but living in a classic six? Create some stylistic tension by offsetting more conventional crown molding with an easy breezy wall color and layers of paisley.

living room rugs

William Waldron

Draw the Eye Up

If you’ve got a minimal vibe going, don’t worry—crown molding won’t necessarily ruin it. Take cues from this New Orleans manse designed by Sara Ruffin Costello and paint your molding in a contrasting color that can help draw the eye upward without ruining the carefully curated look the rest of your decor strikes.

Bedroom, Bed, White, Room, Furniture, Bed sheet, Ceiling, Bedding, Bed frame, Property,

Paul Costello

Add Architectural Interest

Crown molding doesn’t have to be ornate to make an impact. The crown molding in this eclectic living room, designed by Studio DB, lends a streamlined Art Deco flourish to the otherwise spartan space.

manhattan apartment renovation

Matthew Williams

Keep It Monochromatic

If you’re not a big fan of color, molding is your secret weapon. Keeping the crown molding almost flush with the ceiling lends a more contemporary look to the all-white primary bathroom of this charming California cottage decorated by Madeline Stuart.

white bathroom with silver tone fixtures and old carpet

Björn Wallander

Create Layers of Interest

A great hotel room is always one of the first places to look for inspiration you can use at home. By using molding as trim slightly lower than the crown molding, a sense of grandeur is added to this suite at the Beekman hotel in New York City.

room, interior design, floor, lighting, wood, bed, property, textile, wall, flooring,

Bjorn Wallander

Play with Contrasting Styles

A mix of styles doesn’t have to clash. In this Brooklyn home, one wall makes a focal point of a mirror with ornate trim, while the opposite wall showcases a sleek fireplace with a subtle marble surround.

civilian townhouse renovation

Brian W. Ferry

Offset Textural Wallpaper

Sometimes, embracing tradition pays dividends. Here, a classically decorated room papered in grasscloth needs a dose of crown molding to add dimension.

room, interior design, floor, home, textile, wall, flooring, living room, furniture, pink,

William Waldron

Go Grandeur

There’s nothing like a little crown molding to draw the eye upward. In the New Orleans home of designer Michelle R. Smith, crown molding makes the grand proportions of this dining room even grander.

six armless fabric covered chairs and two modern light colored leather chairs surround a dining room table covered in a linen cloth, fireplace between two tall windows, an antique armed glass chandelier above table

William Jess Laird

Offset a Beadboard Ceiling

Did somebody say modern farmhouse? In designer Shawn Henderson’s upstate retreat, crown molding elegantly pairs with a beadboard ceiling in a matching masculine gray hue.

shawn henderson house interiors

Stephen Kent Johnson

Go Baroque!

Designer Ghislaine Viñas turned this showhouse room into a funhouse bonanza. Ornate crown molding perfectly complements the bold patterned walls.

ghlislaine vinas

Nickolas Sargent

Match the Wall Color

This comfortable living room has a great sense of proportions, in large thanks to the coordinated wall and trim colors. Designed by Robert Couturier, the walls, moldings, and trim of this Gramercy pad are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Dix Blue.

family room with tall curtained windows in the background with a small table with deep comfy chairs pulled up to it and shelving full of books to the right and a black and white zigzag pattern sofa opposite and a

Douglas Friedman

Take the Trim Lighter

The studied aesthetic of landscape architect Thomas Woltz’s central Virginia home is enhanced by the clever use of different shades of green for the walls and trim. The lighter trim color adds depth and a sense of playfulness.

a library has a chippendale desk with small drawers and compartments, books and a lamp on top, a large framed photo above, a curved back chair in front, bookshelves, a leather chair and red patterned rug

Jennifer Hughes

Take the Trim Darker

The cabinetry and trim in the dressing room of Luis Bustamante’s Madrid home pop in black. The use of the contrasting color adds graphic interest and creates a dignified, masculine vibe.

dark trim

Ricardo Labougle

Keep It Classic

The use of crown molding helps provide a sense of scale in this charming children’s bedroom. The four-poster beds add extra height, allowing the trim detailing to take a supporting role.

bedroom with matching iron beds with canopies and curtains of a cotton silk and an antique side tables are italian and french, and the chair and a double door opening out and a wooden medallion figure over it

Roger Davies

Offset Pattern

This project by designer Kelly Wearstler utilizes subdued moldings and trim to offset the punchy fabrics and bold marble fireplace. Though the ceiling is patterned, the overall effect is cohesive thanks to a subdued, warm-toned color palette.

living rooms


Embrace Drama

Black-stained flooring? Deeply veined marble? Pitch-black molding? This luxurious primary bathroom is proof positive that molding can feel totally contemporary and sleek.

master bathroom ideas

Douglas Friedman

Go for Elegant Trim

The grand proportions of the bed and cozy armchairs make it clear that this bedroom is all about comfort. The crown molding is that final flourish that creates a sense of relaxed elegance and intimacy.

stephen sills manhattan apartment

Simon Upton

Play with Proportions

This bright living room captures a bold, playful spirit. Crown molding is used to enhance that, creating a sense of volume and providing a frame for the deep saturated hues used throughout.

living room

William Waldron

Add a Ceiling Crown

A ceiling crown is a great way to add visual interest to a grand room. While there is a lot going on, every surface has its own detail to offer, yet the resulting effect is rich and inviting.

interior designer jeffrey bilhuber

William Waldron

Add Graphic Interest

The trim around the fireplace adds graphic interest that picks up the patterning of the floor. The crown molding helps to keep the focus lower to the ground in this case, rather than competing with it.

bunny williams interior design

Francesco Lagnese

Break Up Pattern

The bold patterning of the walls here is broken up with crown molding. While the molding itself isn’t particularly ornate, the overall effect is of a grand sense of scale.

ceiling paint

Simon Upton

Yes, Quiet Luxury Molding Is a Thing

An understated molding in this Augusta Hoffman project helps subtly draw the eye upward. Papering the walls in grasscloth adds texture without detracting.

in the corner of the bedroom are two chairs with three seat cushions each, a small round marble topped pedestal table, a floor lamp with a globe shade, built in book shelves, and a black marble fireplace

Tim Lenz

Try Dark Molding

By using molding along the tops of the cabinets and the walls, this kitchen is visually cohesive. The dark paint color helps create a sense of volume that would otherwise be lacking.


Eric Piasecki/OTTO. Designer: Dunn & Tighe

Let the Molding Take a Back Seat

When your walls are covered in tapestries, the molding should take a back seat. Here, the use of molding is understated, creating a harmonious backdrop for the tapestries to shine.

studio peregalli milan

Santi Caleca – Hearst Owned

Frame a Drop Ceiling

In this Brooklyn apartment by designer Delia Kenza, the drop ceiling is framed by crown molding. By keeping the molding white, the same color as the walls, it add to the sense of height.

delia kenza brooklyn apartment

Nick Glimenakis

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