10 Ways to Reinvent Any Room with Crown Molding

Crown molding brings elegance to nearly any space. Whether you choose to use it around windows and doorways or to line the top of the kitchen cabinets, crown molding adds a classic finishing touch that pulls together a room's design elements. Installing crown molding is an accessible DIY project, and there are plenty of places in your home to put it. So, check out our favorite crown molding ideas, and then head on over to the lumber aisle.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Nov 16, 2020 12:06 PM

Around the Ceiling

Blue Bedroom with Fireplace

Putting crown molding along the top of a wall where it meets the ceiling instantly frames a room and gives it a more formal appearance. This classic touch is particularly effective in a dining room, living room, or bedroom. Whether you choose to paint it or stain it, a band of crown molding also offers you the opportunity to accent the color scheme of the space.

Related: 7 Seriously Surprising Spots for a Fireplace

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Framing a Window

Window Crown Molding

A small detail like surrounding a window with crown molding makes a big change in the look of a room. Windows immediately seem larger, and rooms look brighter. Molding also serves as a visual anchor for window treatments that hang inside the frame.

Related: 8 Bright Ideas to Boost Natural Light

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Above the Cabinets

Crown Molding Cabinets

Add crown molding above stock kitchen cabinets for a truly custom, built-in look. This simple project can be accomplished in a weekend with a miter box, saw, hammer, nails, and wood filler. Not only is this upgrade fairly simple to do, but it’s one of the best bangs for your DIY buck.

Related: 9 Simple DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Over a Storage Shelf

Crown Molding Entryway

Take a plain-Jane, mass-market bookshelf or cubby system to the next level by adding crown molding along the top. This simple step transforms a nondescript utilitarian storage unit into a statement piece that adds structure and style.   

Related: Start Fresh—10 Essentials for an Organized Entryway

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Gracing an Archway

Entryway Decor

Elevate an archway by encasing it in crown molding. This sweep of trim can turn an indistinct threshold between two rooms into a meaningful transition. Use this idea to add a bit of elegance to an ordinary entryway or to frame the view into a formal dining room. 

Related: 9 Ways to Dress Up a Room with Molding

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Supporting a Display

Crown Molding Shelf

Create a custom display shelf with stock lumber and a length of crown molding. You're sure to find a style of molding that suits your taste and decor among the many different options available at your local big-box store or lumberyard. When it's complete, use your one-of-a-kind shelf to show off travel treasures, family photos, or your favorite collection.

Related: 10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY


Adorning a Built-In

Built-In Bookshelves

Built-in storage units are justly popular for their practicality and their seamless look. Line the top of your built-ins with crown molding to give them a more custom appearance and a sense of permanence. Crown molding can even be used to create a cleaner transition between the cabinets and ceiling. Either way, the molding will provide the finishing touch that integrates your built-ins with the rest of the room.

Related: The Most Taboo Color Infiltrates Home Design

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On Top of a Door

Crown Molding Doorway

Accentuate a doorway by topping it with a hefty crown molding and stock lumber. You don’t even need to dismantle what’s already there—just add a board in the width of your choice above the existing molding, install a piece of decorative trim between them, and then add crown molding to the top. Voilà—a serious entryway!

Related: 7 Things Every Entryway Needs

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Bordering a Coffered Ceiling

Coffered Ceiling

Crown molding can add ambience in a room with coffered ceilings and make it seem larger at the same time. Simply install a bit of crown molding to the lower edge of a coffered ceiling to emphasize the height of the space and achieve a clean, crisp look. 

Related: 9 Clever Ways to Counteract Low Ceilings

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Corner Blocks

Corner Blocks

You can amp up the style of any crown molding by adding corner blocks. These bits of trim come in many different styles, from simple to ornate, and can be installed on outside or inside corners of a room. However you choose to use them, they will definitely add polish to your decor.

Related: The New Neutrals—9 Colors You Can Trust for Today's Home


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