8 Inspiring Crown Molding Designs and Ideas

Add architectural detail and elevate any room in your home with these creative crown molding ideas from Instagram.

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corner view of crown molding in an interior; purple walls, white ceiling with white crown molding
Andrii Shablovskyi/Getty Images

What Is Crown Molding?

Crown molding is a type of decorative trim added to the top of a wall where it meets the ceiling. It’s an architectural detail that makes a room feel taller by drawing the eye up. “Crown molding is a relatively inexpensive way to make a room seem more upscale,” says Michael Boucher of Full Scale Woodworking.

There are several crown molding material options, and an endless array of profiles and styles. A few of the most common materials include:

  • Wood is the standard, and more durable than its synthetic counterparts. Most home improvement stores carry different hardwoods (great if you want to stain it) and primed wood for painted crown molding.
  • Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is less expensive than wood, but might not be worth the savings. It can sag over time if not installed properly and is susceptible to water damage.
  • Polyurethane or PVC is waterproof, so it’s great for bathrooms and other areas with a lot of moisture. DIYers like PVC because it’s lightweight and easy to cut.

Crown Molding Tips

Once you decide on adding crown molding to your home, you might be wondering what style to choose. Crown molding comes in many styles from sleek and modern to traditional and ornate. Here’s a tip to help you decide on the right profile to fit your decor, from Interior Designer Shane Francesca, “I recommend printing out [a photo to scale] of the different types of molding you are considering, and holding those up and viewing them in place before deciding.”

There are no hard rules about which rooms crown molding should be used in. “Some people choose to have it in every room because they love it, while others want to use it as more of an accent for specific rooms,” says Interior Designer Marco Bizzley.

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Monochromatic Crown Molding in a bedroom
Courtesy @ahigginsinteriors/instagram

Monochromatic Crown Molding

Instead of traditional white crown molding, try painting your crown molding the same color as the walls. In this beautiful bedroom by @ahigginsinteriors, the walls, panel trim work and crown molding are all painted Benjamin Moore’s Boothbay Gray. The monochromatic molding creates a big impact and makes the room feel more sophisticated.

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Reclaimed Wood Crown Molding in a kitchen
Courtesy @chadesslingerdesign/instagram

Reclaimed Wood Crown Molding

This unique kitchen by @chadesslingerdesign features crown molding made from reclaimed wood (it matches the reclaimed wood island). Not only is using reclaimed wood good for the environment, it also looks stunning and introduces refined rustic flair.

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Gold Detail Crown Molding
Courtesy @jeffrogers_customhomes/instagram

Gold Detail Crown Molding

In a luxury home by @jeffrogers_customhomes, the crown molding is wide, ornate and includes a scalloped line of gold detail toward the bottom. This type of custom millwork isn’t cheap, but you can achieve a similar look by painting a gold stripe along the bottom of your existing crown molding.

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Stained Wood Crown Molding
Courtesy @pinestreetcarpenters/insagram

Stained Wood Crown Molding

Stained wood trim, like this walnut stained crown molding by @pinestreetcarpenters, gives your space a polished, traditional look. Hardwood trim is more durable than MDF and allows even simple profiles to provide rich, defined detail, as shown here.

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Custom Crown Molding in a living room
Courtesy @ornate_millwork/instagram

Custom Crown Molding

To create this custom crown molding trim work by @ornate_millwork, six strips of poplar wood were attached to the wall and ceiling. Then everything was stained one color to create the illusion of one solid piece of molding. Poplar is a hardwood commonly used in residential trim work because it’s durable and lightweight.

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Thick Detailed Crown Molding
Courtesy @orangecountywoodworks/instagram

Thick, Detailed Crown Molding

Go big or go home is the idea behind this crown molding design by @orangecountywoodworks. Layers of molding create this big, chunky profile with sharp corners and polished style. This type of custom detail can make your space feel more elegant, elevating the overall ambiance.

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Two Tone Wall Crown Molding in a bedroom
Courtesy @dalydigs/instagram

Two-Tone Wall Crown Molding

In this cozy bedroom by @dalydigs, the walls are painted Kitty Gray by Benjamin Moore. Decorative trim was added a few inches below the crown molding. That section of the wall was painted a lightened version of the gray paint. The overall result makes the crown molding stand out and adds visual interest to the room.

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Kitchen Crown Molding in a kitchen
Courtesy @pinestreetcarpenters/instagram

Kitchen Crown Molding

Crown molding is right at home in the kitchen! In fact, it can be used on top of kitchen, mud room, media cabinets and more to give your built-ins a more polished look. Taking kitchen cabinets all the way to the ceiling, and finishing with crown molding makes a kitchen feel taller and gives it a crisp custom look, as seen here in the example by @pinestreetcarpenters.

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Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.