Does Crown Molding Make A Room Look Bigger Or Smaller?

Crown molding is a classic way to add a refined quality to the rooms in your home. This design feature was created to embellish the architecture of homes and public places. There are so many different kinds of crown molding, all with their own design, patterns, width, and color. When deciding whether to add this type of trim to your walls, you may ask yourself - will it make my rooms look bigger or smaller? We've researched to get the answer for you.

Crown molding can make a room look bigger or smaller based on the width, color, and style. Wide, contrasting, and ornate molding will make a room with short ceilings appear smaller. Thin, color-matched, and simple molding will blend the walls into the ceiling in a smooth transition and make a room look bigger. 

We've compiled designer opinions on using crown molding to influence the way your rooms look and invite you to read on and find out more!

Use Trim to Your Advantage

Empty unfurnished room with minimal preparatory repairs with crown molding. interior of white and gray walls. - Does Crown Molding Make A Room Look Bigger Or Smaller?

When designing your home, crown molding is another tool to change the way spaces are perceived. Instead of always causing the same effect, molding can do different things when chosen properly. Try to keep these three main categories in mind when picking a style of crown molding.


Crown molding width should match the overall height of the room. If a room is very tall, then wide trim gives the option for regal designs and patterns and provides a stately appearance. Rooms with lower ceilings should use thin molding to avoid crowding the walls. The width can either help you get the desired effect or do the opposite and make a smaller room feel even more cramped. There is a basic rule of thumb that once the ceiling surpasses 8-feet, there could be one inch of molding per foot of height. 


Whenever the crown molding contrasts with the wall, it makes the room look smaller. Contrast can be introduced by using a different color or a different style. This can be good for huge rooms because it can make them appear more approachable and cozy while remaining elegant.

However, for small rooms, you should try to match the molding to the walls as closely as possible. Keeping the trim the same color as the walls will create a smooth transition and make the room look bigger. You can even use lighter colors to help smooth out the transition. It is seldom advised to use dark crown molding trim. For some more inspiration on popular crown molding color choices, please read, Color Ideas For Crown Molding.


The style of your crown molding should match the room and the home overall. A smaller home with a simple design can better utilize thin basic trim, maybe with a single curve or is mostly flat. A classic colonial style home with high ceilings, on the other hand, would not look good with simple trim. It would be better to use a design or pattern that fits the overall look of the home better.

Some designs are uniform, like curves and beveled edges that work better in simple rooms. For fancier rooms, there are crown moldings with floral patterns and even gold plated accents. If you've ever wondered whether to match crown molding to your baseboards, we have that article for you, Should Baseboards And Crown Molding Match


Do You Have to Put Crown Molding in Every Room?

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Worker fixes the plastic molding to the ceiling. Installation of ceiling cornice.

You don't have to put crown molding in every room for it to work successfully. You can use it in the house's main rooms, like the living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. Having crown molding in those rooms alone will still produce an elegant effect. Another benefit of adding crown molding is that it may increase your home's appraised value and help it stand out in the housing market. 

Does Crown Molding Make a Ceiling Look Higher?

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Detail of corner ceiling with intricate crown molding.

Crown molding can certainly be used to make ceilings look even higher. If you paint over the trim in the same color as the walls, the ceiling will seem to blend into the wall, and you won't notice the height as much. Thin trim can also make the ceiling line appear further away. In ceilings that are already high, crown molding can make them look even more grandiose because of the effect created in people when they see it. 

Should You Put Crown Molding on Low Ceilings?

Carpenter brad using nail gun to Crown Moulding on kitchen cabinets framing trim, with the warning label that all power tools have on them shown illustrating safety concept

You can put crown molding on all kinds of ceilings, but the molding's width should match the room. High vaulted or cathedral ceilings can use wider trims, while lower ceilings want to avoid going broader than four inches. If crown molding fits the style, you can use it to make a room look larger by choosing a skinny width and simple design. Cape cod style homes, for example, usually have low ceilings, but they typically have crown molding installed. 

Is Crown Molding Outdated?

Detail of corner ceiling cornice with intricate crown moulding.

Crown molding has been around for a very long time. In modern times it was re-introduced to the common household through the Greek Revival architecture of earlier American homes in the 1800s. Because of this, crown molding is a big aspect of colonial and traditional style American homes. Many newer homes are inspired by these design movements, so they will generally have crown molding style trims. Whenever a sense of grandeur or elegance is the design goal of a particular space, crown molding should be considered an option. 

More modern homes usually do not use crown molding and instead opt for high unadorned ceilings. Minimalist designers usually opt out of the crown molding style trim and prefer to keep walls less busy. If a room has loft ceilings, you would also avoid crown molding because you would barely see it. Some design houses still use more pared-down crown molding to add class and value to homes even in these circles. 

A Beautiful Tool

Crown molding is like a tool in that you can use it to help craft the feeling your home gives off. You can make rooms feel smaller or bigger. You can inspire people to think more grandly with ornate trim in an office or to feel more at home with classic crown molding in a living room. Both traditional style homes and even some modern spaces can make use of well-done crown molding.  Keeping width, color, and style in mind, you can use crown molding in your home to any effect you want. 

Ceiling moldings in a house interior, Does Crown Molding Make A Room Look Bigger Or Smaller?

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