39 Crown Molding Design Ideas
Steal these ceiling trim looks to take your rooms from average to outstanding
Not all cakes need icing, but they're arguably better with the sweet concoction. The same goes for a room decked in trim. It isn't essential, but crown molding goes a long way in achieving old-house charm. Here, we see what different styles of the trim—Federal, Greek Revival, Early American, Georgian, Colonial Revival, Traditional Revival and Craftsman—can do for your rooms.
Special thanks to the KB Classical Moulding catalogue, avalable at kuikenbrothers.com, for guidance on molding styles and history.
Simple, elegant beading makes this Federal style crown molding help a low-ceilinged room full of feminine neutral accents read as voluminous.
The English-inspired style was popular after the American Revolution and into the early 19th century and characterized by its simple beads (small indented lines) and cavetto (concave) shapes.
See the other tricks an interior designer/homeowner used to make a compact Saltbox feel cozy.
In addition to a four-foot bump out, visual cues like small-scale Early American molding help this reworked kitchen appear larger.
The cyma recta curve (concave at the outer edge and convex at the inner edge) where the crown meets the ceiling and simple beading makes this molding just enough of an accent for this bold-colored kitchen.
An unaltered foursquare gem in the middle of beach-condo country got a complete redo—and addition—under the care of a caring contractor.
Like the rest of the house, this living room was in great shape but needed help. The homeowner hid the original built-ins' valances with new trim and installed Colonial Revival crown for a crisp, clean look reflected in the dentil mold of the room's mantel.
Typically reserved for nicer rooms of the home, this style harnesses a mix of bold (Greek Revival) and light (Federal) profiles for the best of both worlds. Crown profiles may include the S shape of an ogee and the double curved cyma.
This just-needy-enough Colonial Revival was chock full of honey-do projects.
Older homes have smaller canvases for flourishes like generous crown molding, creating a crowding problem. So this sharp homeowner tacked on Classical Revival top trim on her kitchen cabinets only, providing more room for natural light around the sink.
This style, noted for its dignity and monumentality, makes for a significant style contribution. The bold scale is softened in the small space by the cyma recta (concave at the outer edge and convex at the inner edge) top and flat-front boards that tie the crown in with kitchen cabinets below.
A revived original three-corner cupboard becomes the room's focal point with the help of low-profile crown molding and other trim details.
Minimal trim keeps this breakfast area looking cheery and finished without overwhelming it.
Patient planning and the TOH TV crew tacked on significant space to one family's Dutch Colonial.
A simple ogee (S-shape) crown molding—albeit a small dose—does wonders for putting the finishing touches on a bright redo.
Simple Federal crown molding makes this oddly shaped room feel cohesive.
Glossy white cabinets and stainless steel appliances keep the kitchen area un-fussy in the open plan kitchen/dining/family room setup. Simple Early American-style crown molding—plus a little flourish atypical to the style at the bottom to join the cabinet tops—helps the eye roam to other parts of the open area plan.
Recreate the minimalist look by adding an intricate back bend at the bottom of the crown molding's flat casing to blend with the top of kitchen cabinetry.
Read how a young family fit an old Cape Cod to their size and style with a gut renovation.
In some cases, using bold trim sparingly makes for a bigger statement. Here, Federal crown molding adorns a square column and cabinetry to highlight those structural elements.
Check out the other details in this outbuilding-turned-summer cottage-turned-family home.
Bright white Greek Revival crown molding gives the eye a place to rest in this blue room absent of wall adornment, save for an awning-style window.
This simple profile is meant to look like the column and entablature decorations found in ancient Greek temples. Supersized ogee (S-shape) and ovolo (convex) curves appear often in this style.
An arch in this master bedroom—modeled after an original built-in bookcase—is grounded by sleek Greek Revival crown molding.
Federal crown molding adds to other old-fashioned details that distract from the bath's modern amenities, like an air-jet tub.
A houseboat gets the ultimate nautical treatment with gleaming stained trim against clean white walls.
This 100-year-old Seattle houseboat got a major eco-friendly update for an expanding family.
Minimal Traditional Revival molding was the basis for this dining room's new sustainable fir window casings. Corner molding provides a little more ornamentation for the eyes.
This style is an evolution of the classical profiles from earlier in the 19th century, minimizing and simplifying them while enlarging the individual parts. Think Greek Revival with more details.
A skylight and coffered ceiling decked in Federal trim lightens and brightens a tiny kitchen full of reclaimed finds.
Greek Revival crown molding matches quartersawn white oak cabinets to balance out saturated yellow walls and ceiling, creating warmth in a cabin-reminiscent space.
Check out other craftsmanship details in this full-blown Arts and Crafts beauty.
Barely-there beading of Early American trim highlights a handsome Craftsman built-in banquette and dining table.
Large-scale Early American moldings were made to match substantial kitchen cabinetry feet mimicked from a vintage dresser.
There are lots more classic trim details in this Colonial-style home.
The Traditional Revival crown molding in this former sunken living room isn't the only element that's seen beading. The weighty topper highlights a beadboard ceiling chosen for its vintage cues.
Expand your crown molding horizons by using it to top off other room elements. Georgian trim with dentil details along the French doors and window tops significantly up the space's design, all while echoing the complementing trim just inches above.
This gracious 17th-century style is design-heavy down to the small square blocks of the dentil trim and other details.
Subtle Early American trim tops off the casing of a built-in, making the addition looks like it's always been there—even though crown molding is absent in the rest of the area.
See the other ways trim blends in storage additions in this remodeled 1918 bungalow.
Lose a drop ceiling and there's no sense in skimping on the crown molding! Small-scale Early American trim draws the eye upward and makes up for all that new ceiling room.
Gorgeous coffering serves as more than adornment. Designers added the feature to help preserve the pristine plaster ceiling from future water damage and cracks. Plus, the additional surface next to the beams allows for an ornate profile.
See how a couple of serial old-house owners transformed a carriage house into a cozy abode.
Bold Greek Revival trim tops off creamy yellow cabinets in this cheerful kitchen. Kitchen cabinet-topping crown molding lends cohesion to a room full of disparate features like the ceramic-tile backsplash and heart pine floors.
Other design tweaks throughout set up this 1880s farmhouse for flow and function.
Flat-front molding with few flourishes—typical of simple Craftsman trim—lets the handsome mahogany mantel and its geometric features command attention.
This relatively understated style is tied to the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized skill and craftsmanship, rather than the ornate details of previous styles.
The 23rd move to this once-crumbling Dutch Colonial Revival was the charm after the homeowners corrected others' past mistakes.
Curvaceous corner blocks in the front parlor create additional visual interest to the Colonial Revival crown and green built-in bookshelves.
This Queen Anne with its original turret—a former college rental—saw new life after a family fell in love with and revived it.
Homeowners added low-key Federal-style crown in a formerly dilapidated bungalow's living room for a masculine finish with few flourishes.
Four years or weekends spent remodeling brought this 1919 bungalow back to show-stopping shape.
Substantial crown molding defines the ceiling and wall, and adds some much-needed ornamentation.
An expert on historically correct millwork helped homeowners rejigger a 1765 Georgian for better flow.
Stepped-up Traditional Revival crown molding complements the faux-old floral tile on the fireplace's cast-iron propane insert. Molding built with flat fronts leaves room for custom-look flourishes, like the one pictured.
This Texas Queen Anne transformation earned the top honor as a recent TOH reader remodel winner.
Lots of beading at play in the Federal crown molding frames up this dining room's entertaining features, the built-in China cabinets and arched pocket doors.
A pair of old-house buffs took mercy on a farmhouse that was a shoo-in for a teardown.
Georgian-style dentil molding—plus extra details—gives this fireplace the ultimate historical treatment. Coordinating crown and window cases dripping in detail and generous beading keep the eye roaming.
Make like a circa 1770's wealthy landowner and replicate the elegance of the Georgian style with buildable blocks, bed molds, dentil and hefty crown molding.
This trim-heavy space boasts just a portion of the miles of trim used in this waterfront Greek Revival.
Corner blocks of Colonial Revival crown molding draw the eye upward to the vaulted, beadboard ceiling.
This redo is a shining example of how to make key changes for livability without sacrificing charm.
The lighter side of Colonial Revival crown molding and period-appropriate wall color let rosettes on window casings and a classical mantel take center stage in this former frat house's master bedroom.
See the surprising before and after of this former animal house.
Inspired by intricate Victorian plaster designs, a homeowner transformed a blank room into a nursery with a whimsical coffered ceiling. Federal molding with stepped details and corners provide lots for developing eyes to gaze upon.
The homeowner used a computerized router to cut patterns from MDF to use as bending forms. Then, he formed the coffering with a vacuum press, and seven pieces of poplar trim laminated, spending a total of 130 hours on the project.
Check out the other unbelievable details in this remodeled nursery.
Two essential steel beams—along with a grid of false beams—create a coffered ceiling. Pared-down Greek Revival crown molding complements, rather than competes, with the room's built-ins.
See the results of a couple giving up on tinkering with their lake summer cottage for a whole-house redo.
Federal crown molding masks any remnants of this media room's former identity—a freestanding garage. Built-in storage and plenty of beadboard throughout make the room feel like it's been there for years.
Wide openings with casings were created in an Italianate San Francisco townhouse formerly split up into apartments for a brothel. Federal-style moldings bring a refined and cohesive look to the former place of ill repute.
Fine beading and intricately shaped openings will do the trick for a formal, Victorian feel, even in places of already good repute.
See how a couple took converted the Italianate back into a one-family dwelling.
Here, crown molding painted to match the ceiling makes the narrow room of the TOH TV Brooklyn brownstone open up visually.
Want to recreate the look? Opt for large-scale, simple Early American molding to get the optimal widening effect.
Get inspiration for getting the most out of tight quarters from this brownstone remodel.