Decorating Inspiration: Crown Molding

by hookedonhouses on February 10, 2008

Every day, Hooked on Houses gets a lot of visitors searching for information about crown molding, so here’s a gallery of rooms that I hope will offer you some ideas and inspiration.
This dining room is from a house in Palm Beach, and I love how the white crown molding contrasts with the color on the walls. You can get away with much more color if you use lots of white trim to balance it. Just imagine this room without the crown molding at the top or the white French doors–the saturated wall color would be too much for most of us to live in. If, however, you want a room to feel more masculine and serious, stained trim can do the trick. Green walls with dark woodwork in a study, for example, would feel more substantial than the same green with white.


Here’s a newly built home that uses woodwork to really give the room character and interest. Note the trim around the windows, the trim detail on the pillar, and the beautifully designed overmantel:

This eat-in kitchen in the Hamptons took trim and crown molding to an entirely new level, making it almost look like lattice-work that covers the walls and vaulted ceilings so that you feel like you’re eating outdoors (note the brick floor and table that has the feel of porch furniture). I’m loving the fireplace and round windows on either side, too:
Here are a couple of examples of crown molding that was stained instead of painted. The stain color was kept natural and light enough that the rooms don’t feel too dark:

Look at the detail on these stairs and around the window, which is truly impressive (notice the trim on the walls as well):


This fireplace column and mantel made my jaw drop:


I like how they added trim that goes up from either side of the door in this room for interesting effect with the wainscot:


I would never have thought to paint the trim and crown molding black like this, but it’s kind of an interesting effect if this works with your style (this is in a finished lower-level, which might be the best place to try something this bold):


UPDATE: I’ve noticed that a lot of people end up on this post because they’re searching for “crown molding painted black.” Apparently there aren’t many examples out there for them to see, so I’m adding another. I think it works great in this bathroom (from BH&G):


In this grand dining room, molding is everywhere you look. I imagine Marie Antoinette would’ve felt right at home here:

Last summer I saw this living room at a local home show and thought the trims and moldings they used were pretty impressive:
Even though this small Craftsman-style home (below) isn’t as grand as the others, its rooms look simple, clean, bright, and comfortable–and the crown molding pulls everything together:
If You’re Hooked on Crown Molding:

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Melody from ~Pennies In My Pocket~ February 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Oh my gooooooooooodness — My jaw is stuck to the floor on the fireplace column and mantel, too! WOW! The hubby and I were going to do a limestone fireplace with the stone all the way up to the ceiling (in the custom home we’ll be breaking ground on soon) and now I’m reconsidering that after seeing that photo! WOW! Gorgeous … all the photos are!


Melody from ~Pennies In My Pocket~ February 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Yeah, so my husband just emailed me back after I sent him the link to this post … he LOVES the 2nd photo (the one with the fireplace). His ideas are running all over the place how we could do that and then tie in the top portion to the entry to our dining room. :) Thanks for all the ideas!


hookedonhouses February 11, 2008 at 11:37 pm

If you guys do use some of these ideas in your new home, you have to take photos to share with us! I’d love to see how it turns out. Good luck! -Julia

Melinda February 12, 2008 at 8:07 pm

These are really well done. This is why I chose an OLD house (1892) ! I really love the staircase photo.

Ken July 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Those are truly beautiful homes–and the moldings do a lot of the work. I like to tell people that moldings are like picture frames for your life, everything you own looks better framed by beautiful, classical moldings.

Thanks Julia!

felicia September 6, 2008 at 8:22 pm

I have a home with wood floars and woo molding on the bottom throughout the house, I wanted to put some crown moldind up , should I put up wood molding to match the floar or should I go with white the same color as the ceiling. Your opinion will be greatly appriciated thak you

Brooke November 6, 2008 at 7:09 am

I love the white bathroom with the black moldings. It changes the whole feeling of the space.
Great images.


Kelli April 13, 2011 at 9:29 am

My husband and I just had crown moulding installed throughout our home. Problem is the moulding is white and the ceiling is white and it just does’nt stand out like I thought it would. Do most people with white crown moulding paint their ceilings a different color? Thanks for any advice!

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