16 Crown Molding Ideas That Add Character and Charm

These crown molding ideas strike the right note in any space, no matter the size or aesthetic.

<p>Meredith Corporation</p>

Meredith Corporation

Crown molding can add character to just about any space. Whether it’s a bedroom, living room, or study, any room that utilizes this architectural flourish will feel special. If you're planning a room refresh, crown molding is definitely something to consider. But before you get started, know that the varieties and styles of crown molding are endless.

We're sharing our favorite crown molding ideas to help you narrow down the options. These are the best kinds of crown molding for tall or low ceilings and modern or traditional design. No matter your design style, the right crown molding installation can deliver an undeniable richness and charm.

Related: 5 Showstopping Ways To Embrace Wood Trim and Molding

Make a Statement Wall Pop

<p>Jay Wilde</p>

Jay Wilde

When creating a focal wall, there are two options for the molding: You can keep it consistent throughout the space, or opt to incorporate it into the statement area for an even more bold look. Material will be important here (you can't wallpaper crown molding, for example) but if you're painting an accent wall, consider taking it all the way up to the crown molding to create an elegant look. For statement walls that call on a different material, such as stone or brick, consider skipping the crown molding altogether as it could work against the look you’re going for.

Related: 12 Living Room Accent Wall Ideas to Transform Your Space

Use Crown Molding with Built Ins

<p>Paul Costello</p>

Paul Costello

One of the draws of crown molding is that it can quickly elevate a space, thanks to its custom feel. The same can be said for built-ins, so combining the two is a carpentry match made in heaven. Be sure to paint both the molding and the built ins in the same hue to create a furniture-like feel.

Related: 9 Ideas for Built-Ins Around a Fireplace that Add Character and Storage

Painted Crown Molding

<p>Max Kim-Bee</p>

Max Kim-Bee

Taking a paint color scheme across the entire room (from built-ins to the windows and even the mantel) can create a cozy and enveloping feel. Including the crown molding in the paint job will only further the overall effect, creating a quaint and classic feel.

Related: Color Drenching Is the All-in Paint Trend to Try for a Soothing Space

Make Your Molding Modern

<p>Meredith Corporation</p>

Meredith Corporation

Sometimes crown molding gets a bad rap for being overly ornate and traditional, but with a little creativity it can easily take on a modern aesthetic. Cleaner, smoother varieties will certainly add a more modern twist while still creating the custom look crown molding is known for.

Related: 12 Modern Living Room Ideas That Are Anything But Boring

Consider the Cornices

<p>Annie Schlechter</p>

Annie Schlechter

When your moldings are interrupted by windows, they can easily make their way into the statement-making carpentry in their own right. Window cornices fashioned in the same style as the rest of the molding creates a stunning presentation that’s ideal for your home’s most dramatic spaces.

Related: 15 Types of Trim to Consider for Your Home Renovation

Choose an Accent Shade

<p>John Bessler</p>

John Bessler

When you’re working with a variety of finishes, paint colors, and tones, painting the crown molding in an accent shade—particularly one found in other small details throughout the space—can both highlight the millwork and draw together the entire scheme. We love this look with natural elements as they have a way of working together without reading too busy.

Related: 23 Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Colors for You

Subtle Crown Molding Ideas

<p>James Nathan Schroder</p>

James Nathan Schroder

Sometimes other elements within a room will dictate a more subdued approach with the crown moldings. Here, a shelf for a collection of white serving pieces sits atop window trim that demands its own moment. Using smaller and simpler crown molding keeps the look cohesive without adding any distractions.

Create Delineation

<p>Jay Wilde</p>

Jay Wilde

When trying to create separation between two spaces, particularly within an open floor plan, consider using crown molding to create zones. It can easily make one large space feel like two distinct rooms, crowned in elegance. This method of visual separation leaves an open and airy feel and without any added barriers within the flow of the space.

Related: 15 Ways to Make an Open-Concept Living Room Feel Cohesive

Match the Wall Color

<p>John Gruen</p>

John Gruen

Ensuring the space doesn’t feel too top heavy can be a concern with crown molding. In spaces where you have an abundance of millwork already, this can be a particularly important factor to keep in mind—but that doesn’t mean you need to skip it altogether. Try a molding that sits more flush that won’t weigh things down but still contributes to the overall effect. Keeping the molding the same color as the walls will also help in this aim.

Related: The Best Dark Paint Colors of 2023, According to Color Experts

Creative Crown Molding Ideas

<p>Dane Tashima</p>

Dane Tashima

Crown molding plays particularly well with high ceilings, adding an air of opulence to a space. It can deliver a loftiness without the feeling of starkness that can sometimes arise with towering walls. With ornate molding, consider how you can keep the rest of the decor in check, particularly when it comes to the walls.

Color Drenched Crown Molding

<p>Cody Ulrich</p>

Cody Ulrich

When making a statement with a highly-saturated color like deep, inky blue, take it from the walls to the molding to the ceiling. This works particularly well in smaller spaces that also have architectural details on the walls, such as intricate moldings and paneling. Crown molding will tie both the ceiling’s panels and the more ornate wall panels together, providing a subtle frame thanks to the monochrome color scheme.

Related: 30 Wall Paneling Ideas That Add Instant Character to Any Room

Change Your Orientation

<p>Julie Soefer</p>

Julie Soefer

Crown molding is typically an element that bridges the upper portion of walls to the ceiling, but it's not just a way to frame what’s overhead. To lend a modern feel to a space, consider using flat wood panels to highlight a vaulted ceiling. Keep in mind the height of the space and consider whether your ceilings are tall enough to accomplish the desired effect without giving a heavy overhead feel.

Related: 37 Living Room Ceiling Ideas to Transform Your Home

Architectural Crown Molding Ideas

<p>Dustin Dorr</p>

Dustin Dorr

Crown molding can blend in with the surroundings—and in certain spaces, that might be the objective. But when you want to give it a special little nod with an air of subtlety, a simple variation in color or painted element within the molding can give it just enough interest to draw the eye.

Don’t Skip Hardworking Spaces

<p>John Merkl</p>

John Merkl

Even utilitarian spaces like laundry rooms or mudrooms can benefit from crown molding. Particularly when used to connect cabinetry to the ceiling, crown molding can deliver a more custom feel without a custom price tag.

Match Crown Molding to the Ceiling

<p>Jean Allsopp</p>

Jean Allsopp

Crown molding typically mirrors the walls, sticking with their color or aesthetic. But for a statement that encourages dwellers to look up, take design influence from the ceiling instead. In an entry, a light wood grain ceiling creates a warm, grounding feel that ties in the stone wall found in the room just beyond. Utilizing the same ceiling material for crown molding creates a finished look that draws the eye to the focal point ceiling.

Related: 20 Wood Ceiling Ideas That Add Rustic Charm

Natural Wood Molding

<p>James Carriere</p>

James Carriere

There’s something about natural wood tones that have a timeless appeal. While crown molding is typically painted—whether white or a shade that coordinates with the wall color—wood molding with a natural stain can stand the test of time.

Related: 5 Showstopping Ways To Embrace Wood Trim and Molding

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