18 Thoughtful Crown Molding Ideas for Any Room

A trim style that lasts for ages

Fireplace with crown molding

M. Lavender Interiors

Crown molding can accessorize your home by creating visual interest. Along with making a room feel larger, this molding is fairly easy to install with a power nailer and a power miter saw. It can even add value to a home in some cases. Molding also is a good investment in historic homes to keep the look and feel of the interior consistent. Rooms like the dining room, living room, and even the primary bedroom can benefit from crown molding when it's styled tastefully.

There are a few popular ways to incorporate crown molding while complementing your home's architecture. Below, get inspiration from these crown molding ideas that'll instantly upgrade your space.


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Pros and Cons of Crown Molding

Crown molding is a popular way of dressing up certain features of a room. But it can look outdated in the wrong style of home. It's not made for all designs, and it can certainly be overused or misused. Homes aiming for a modern look are not often well-suited for crown molding, as it can feel out of style with the rest of the space. For example, modern kitchens and living rooms do not typically include this trim. Additionally, it's not recommended to put crown molding in some types of rooms, such as those with vaulted ceilings.

In short, it's best to avoid elaborate crown molding in a house with no other ornamentation because it simply does not fit the style. At the same time, adding crown molding alone does not give your home a classic style. Crown molding is only one feature of classically styled homes—most also have wainscotingbaseboards, bulls-eyes, and other types of trim. The rest of the home's trim should be kept commensurate with the crown molding for a cohesive look.

  • 01 of 18

    Finish the Tops of Partial Walls

    Modern Living Room Home Interior Design with fireplace and Television
    YinYang / Getty Images

    Some homes have walls that extend upward but stop short of meeting the ceiling. One common example of this is a closet that's built retroactively into a house with tall ceilings but stops lower than the ceiling. One idea for finishing off this hanging top edge is to use crown molding.

    Crown molding can be nailed onto the edge of these protrusions to act as parapets, with the top of the crown simply floating in mid-air. This is an easy way to define that space, and it can also hide lighting like upward-projecting lights or rope lights.


    With the fairly recent advent of color-changing and programmable LED rope lights, a popular use of crown molding has been its inclusion in home theaters. The crown molding is installed several inches or less below the height of the ceiling and rope lighting of various colors is hidden in the cavity created, giving the theater a unique lighting option.

  • 02 of 18

    Use Crown Molding for Door Frames

    Crown molding above door

    Michelle Berwick Design

    Door frames and windows are one of the most common places you'll find crown molding and for good reason. It finishes the look and can add more personality to a room. The white trim in this entryway really pops and plays nicely off of the surrounding wallpaper.

  • 03 of 18

    Keep the Color Consistent

    Crown molding above cabinets

    Michelle Berwick Design

    White and cream-colored crown molding is often the image that first comes to mind, but this isn't your only option. This decorative addition can be painted nearly any shade as this gorgeous kitchen shows. The crown molding above the cabinets match perfectly and create a clean visual finish where the cupboards meet the ceiling.

  • 04 of 18

    Choose a Subtle Tone Difference

    Fireplace with crown molding

    M. Lavender Interiors

    For subtle differences in neutral-toned rooms, opt for a crown molding and wall color that vary slightly. It's a nice way to break up the transition from wall to ceiling without drawing major attention to it. This classic living room also has a nice bit of trim work around the fireplace that complements the space, too.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    Go Bold

    Blue hallway with crown molding

    Margaret Wright

    Forget what you know about basic crown molding. If your heart is set on flashy, vibrant colors, your crown molding can reflect the same. This hallway's deep blue goes from baseboard to ceiling, providing a powerful appearance that's bold but still cohesive and upscale.

  • 06 of 18

    Opt for Detailed Crown Molding

    Crown molding into detailed ceiling

    Margaret Wright

    There are certainly a handful of common crown molding shapes that crop up in many homes, but you don't have to stay limited to those. The ceiling and surrounding crown molding in this dining room show the stunning change in atmosphere that results with the right selection of details.

  • 07 of 18

    Focus on the Fireplace

    Light green crown molding

    Rikki Snyder

    It's hard to choose which crown molding feature is most impressive in this room. The trim work of the ceiling and fireplace were clearly both thoughtfully selected. Rather than choosing a classic white, the soft green crown molding is a great choice for around the ceiling. The black trim on the fireplace is equally as nice a pick but a touch more daring.

  • 08 of 18

    Try Out Two Shades

    Two colors of crown molding

    Rikki Snyder

    There's no rule stating that trim work all needs to be the same color. Add extra personality to a space by choosing two hues that work well together but stand on their own. Light blue and white in this instance are the perfect duo that call attention to the details but allow the wallpaper and decor to shine, too.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18

    Create a Border

    Red crown molding

    Rikki Snyder

    Though crown molding is often a finishing touch or takes the back seat in a room, this deep red makes another case for it. With the right shade, it can stand out and punctuate a bedroom or living area and create an eye-catching perimeter. This is particularly nice for spaces with a large amount of texture, color, or patterns that might need something to frame it all.

  • 10 of 18

    Layers of Crown Molding

    White kitchen

    mStarr Design Studio

    Why stop at just one layer? The dimensions and different levels that this kitchen has built in make for a more interesting look but remain subtle thanks to the monochromatic white palette. There is crown molding straddling the tops of the cabinets but this blends in nicely with the crown molding at the start of the ceiling.

  • 11 of 18

    Consider Both Crown Molding and Trim

    White crown molding

    Leclair Decor

    Crown molding is what sits at the top of a wall or fixture, but it's not the only trim work that can be incorporated. When you're considering crown molding, think about the wall trim, baseboards, and other decorative moldings that can be built in. It's typically a good idea to think about it all at the same time so they match and play well off one another.

  • 12 of 18

    Incorporate Intricately Designed Crown Molding

    Detailed crown molding

    Rikki Snyder

    Don't be afraid to choose more playful designs for your crown molding, especially if it's white or another neutral color. It's a definite way for infusing a timeless visual excitement in a room that stays as a permanent fixture rather than a seasonal or trendy item that gets changed out.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18

    Blend Crown Molding With Rustic

    Wooden beams and cabinet crown molding

    Thomas Guy Interiors / Instagram

    Crown molding is often featured throughout more traditional homes, but those with more modern and rustic touches can also look gorgeous with a splash of trim, too. Though the wooden beams here take center stage, the crown molding above the cabinets help modernize and add a clean finish.

  • 14 of 18

    Lean Toward Modern Crown Molding

    Modern living room

    Nile Johnson Interior Design

    Crown molding doesn't inhibit modern design, it can add to it as this room proves. Traditional styles of trim are what's most commonly seen, but there are plenty more options than that. For mod rooms, try clean crown molding with simple shapes and dimensions and steer clear of anything too intricate—unless that's your chosen statement feature.

  • 15 of 18

    Make a Room Pop With Black Crown Molding

    Black and white living room

    Design: Mindy Gayer Design Co. / Photography: Vanessa Lentine

    There is no better color than black for adding a stylish edge to a space. If you're not set on an accent wall or painting the whole room black, try covering the crown molding in a jet or midnight shade. It makes neutral and monochrome rooms feel sophisticated and stand out from the rest.

  • 16 of 18

    Test Out a Mix of Styles

    Intricate crown molding

    Morse Design

    When selecting crown molding for a room, it's easy to pick one style of cornice or a particular shape of trim. That being said, sometimes it's exciting to select a fresh shape or mix different styles, like the trim on this ceiling.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    Leave Out the Cabinets

    Cabinets without crown molding

    Maite Granda

    Cabinets are a standard candidate for a crown molding treatment, but it's not necessary. As this room exemplifies, you can keep cupboards simple and install them right up to the ceiling or with a strip of very thin trim. Then, the rest of the space can be bordered with crown molding and baseboards.

  • 18 of 18

    Go for Extra Intricate

    Intricate crown molding

    Kendall Wilkinson Design

    Owners of traditional and contemporary spaces might be craving a little more flair in their rooms. They will gain a lot by going all out with trim work. As seen here, layers of crown molding cascade down the top of the ceiling and it continues onto the walls, beneath the windows, and down at the baseboards. Don't fear the idea of covering a room in it, as it clearly pays off.

  • What is crown molding?

    Crown molding is the trim molding typically put on the top of the wall by the ceiling to create a finished look. It is also used along the top edge of cabinets.

  • Can you install crown molding yourself?

    If you are a DIYer and have carpentry skills, installing crown molding takes a few tools, a measuring tape, and a ladder. Follow safety rules when getting on the ladder and sawing the crown molding.

  • Does adding crown molding increase your home's resale value?

    Crown molding is a timeless accent piece that brings a touch of elegance to any room and can help to increase the value of the home.

Article Sources
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  1. Glam Up Your Home With Crown Molding. National Association of Realtors.