Crown molding—the usually substantial, usually intricately detailed molding found where your ceiling meets the top of your walls—is one of those luxe, "nice-to-have" items on our home wishlists. But for a long time, it was considered to be a tenet of "traditional" housing styles, from Victorian to colonial to neoclassical. Nowadays, however, we're firmly of the opinion that it can be the icing on the cake in any style of home—even the most contemporary, edgy, or boho space can benefit from this sophisticated finishing touch.
Whether your home came pre-fitted with crown molding or it's something you're interested in installing yourself to elevate your space, we've rounded up tons of inspiration to guide your design journey. These luxe bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms prove that the perfect crown molding can enhance any home, and they offer a lot of noteworthy ideas for how to create the biggest impact when it comes time to redecorate.
Keep scrolling to discover our favorite crown molding ideas, styles, and design hacks—and then bring the look home.
Embrace Bold Colors
If you're blessed with beautiful crown molding and elaborate paneling, why not embrace an unexpected or bold hue in the small wedge of wall space that remains unadorned? We love how the clean, crisp white of the molding and paneling gives designers permission to think outside the norm when it comes to wall color, or even alternative treatments like wallpaper—so you can let your creativity soar. Also, if the thought of detailed trims feels "traditional" to you, think again—this space proves that, with a few clever and character-filled touches, marvelous molding can feel downright modern.
Create A Monochrome Moment
On the other hand, if moody, high-impact spaces are de rigueur for you, painting the entire wall—trim included!—a deep and statement-making hue is a smart alternative. We love how this elegant shade of inky blue creates a cohesive backdrop for even the most oversized art piece in this space, adding just one more element of the unexpected.
High ceilings and substantial crown molding are a match made in heaven. If you're installing it for the first time in your (formerly molding-less) space, be sure to pay attention to proportion—thicker, more detailed crown molding is definitely a sign of luxury, but it can look out-of-place if used in a room with low ceilings. Compare a few available size options to find the one that fits the best in your space.
Not finding the crown molding of your dreams on your budget? You can often "fake" the look of substantial crown molding by installing two thin pieces of molding, spaced a few inches apart vertically—and painting the pieces and the interior section the same color to create a quick trompe l'oeil.
Mix Classic & Modern
These vaulted ceilings are nothing short of jaw-dropping. And while they're not exactly easy to come by (or fake, DIY-style), they do point to the fact that historic styles can play well with more contemporary fixtures. A coat of the perfect white paint brings a fresh, airy feel to the space while still showing off all this incredible architectural detail.
Highlight Your Details
Crown molding can act as a sophisticated way to highlight the architectural details of your space, whether it be a vaulted ceiling or a striking set of French doors—or, in the case of this dreamy bedroom, both. Use it to your full advantage by trimming out your room's best assets.
Make A Subtle Statement
Sometimes, less is more when it comes to creating impact with color. This barely-there blue serves to highlight the crown molding and paneling in this Craftsman-inspired space, giving off just enough contrast to make the details pop.
Take It To The Top
Sometimes, you've gotta commit all the way. This absolutely striking bedroom uses the same shade of blue-black on walls, trim, and ceiling alike—creating a cozy (yet elevated) cocoon that we're pretty much obsessed with. And yes, each layer of the vaulted ceiling has its own crown molding, for added oomph.
Follow The Line
In spaces with accent walls—especially those with bold wallpapers, bright murals, or other unique treatments—a clean, cohesive line of crown molding can help guide the eye and create a sense of continuity.
Ultra-glossy laquer-style paint lends an attitude to molding and paneling that's part rock-chic, part leading-lady-luxe. Best of all, the light-catching characteristics of a glossy coat of paint ensures that every last detail gets its due—from floor to ceiling. The scheme continues in the hallway (albeit with a more tempered tone) by pairing that same richly painted crown molding with simple white walls.
Build A Border
Wallpapered ceilings are one of our favorite new design trends. Whether you opt for a painterly mural like the one in this space, or a more traditional repeating pattern, we love the hint of whimsy and unexpectedness that a wallpapered ceiling can offer. But adding a crisp line of crown molding is nothing short of essential when trying this trend—it adds a clean demarcation, covers any imperfections, and gives a finished feel to the look.
Build Out Your Built-Ins
Your hardworking built-in bookshelves deserve a little of the royal treatment, too. Add crown molding to the top of the shelves to create a polished, high-end look—you can even achieve a layered effect by trimming out units of different widths, as seen here. The finishing touch? Paint the backs of the shelves to match your wall color to make it look seamless.
Rock Your Roofline
Dealing with a wonky roofline? No problem. Adding crown molding along the peaks of an attic space can be a fun, personality-filled way to acknowledge the unique angles of your home while also injecting some added character. (Sometimes different is better, you know?) When paired with this playful wallpaper, it feels like a perfect fit.