5 Thoughtful Crown Molding Ideas for Any Room

A trim style that lasts for ages

Dining room with crown molding

wollwerth / Getty Images

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, learn about crown molding ideas to upgrade your space.


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Reasons Not to Use Crown Molding

Crown molding can look outdated in the wrong style of home.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 05

    Install Crown Molding Between the Wall and Ceiling

    Crown Molding on Ceiling and Wall
    Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

    The most popular manner of installing crown molding is to mount it at a 45-degree angle at the point where the ceiling and walls meet. At the corners between walls, the moldings can be joined with mitered joints or with coped joints. A coped crown molding is a sign of true craftsmanship, as this requires considerable skill. 

  • 02 of 05

    Dress Up Cabinet Soffits

    Crown Molding Covering Cabinet Soffits
    TerryJ / Getty Images

    Cabinet soffits are the spaces between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Some homeowners decide to extend the cabinets all the way to the ceiling, eliminating soffits altogether. You can also box in the soffit space by framing it and covering it with a drywall surface. Other homeowners retain the soffits but undertake various solutions to make this potentially dark, gloomy space look better.

    One very simple idea is to run a strip of crown molding along the top edge of the cabinets. Similar to attaching crown molding to architectural parapets, the upper portion of the cabinet crown molding hangs freely in mid-air. Running crown molding in this fashion covers up choppy-looking cabinet edges and adds an air of distinction to any kitchen or bathroom.

    What Are Architectural Parapets?

    A parapet is an upward extension of the wall at the edge of a roof to form a barrier. Often used for balconies and walkways, the parapet can be simple in design or ornamental with molding, paneling, and more.

    An electric miter saw, a few strips of crown molding, and a power nailer are all you need to finish off the top edge of kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

  • 03 of 05

    Install Crown Molding Over an Interior Doorway

    Doorway detail
    Fotosearch / Getty Images

    Trim is, of course, a necessity with interior wall openings mounted with passage doors. When doors are installed, a wide gap is left between the frame and the wall. The only way to cover up that gap is with trim.

    Wall passages without mounted doors do not always require trim, but even here, installing crown molding is a good visual aid to dignify the entrance to a living room or a dining room.  If one of the rooms is elaborately trimmed or has a coffered ceiling, the entrance crown molding acts as a lead-in to introduce the next room's style.

    To finish off the edges of the crown molding, be sure to cut returns. These tiny bits of crown molding turn the molding back into the wall at a 90-degree angle, hiding the open ends of the molding.

  • 04 of 05

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finish Headers on Entry Doors

    Beautiful New custom Entryway upscale home hardwood floors
    akurtz / Getty Images

    A great idea for dressing up an exterior entry door header is to install crown molding along the top. This easy crown molding idea is similar to attaching crown molding to the top edges of cabinets—the upper part of the crown is not attached to anything. Here, too, short return pieces should be cut and installed to finish off the ends of the molding. 

    One downside is that the top surface of the molding can accumulate dust and dirt. However, you can easily remove any debris with a home vacuum fitted with a hose and attachments. Paint this crown molding the same color as the header and door trim for a sleek finish.

  • 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.