What is this decoration called that's found around ceilings and doors, as shown in the images below?

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  • On a ceiling, it's called crown moulding.
    – jimm101
    Jul 1 '19 at 15:03
  • 1
    @jimm101 in Brit it is a cornice
    – WendyG
    Jul 1 '19 at 15:08
  • @WendyG or coving, if it is uniform (as per the photograph) Jul 1 '19 at 17:25
  • You have a rope-twist moulding around the largest wooden panel. Jul 1 '19 at 18:56
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because these are completely unrelated items that can't be covered by one term. The second one is structural.
    – Phil Sweet
    Jul 2 '19 at 2:03

In general, those are moldings, also spelled moulding.

The one around the top of a wall is called a crown molding.

The particular shape used in that example makes it an (somewhat elaborated) ogee molding.

A molding slightly lower on the wall is called a picture molding or picture rail because it can be used to hang pictures from.

A molding about 3 feet above the ground is called a chair rail because it is (possibly) used to prevent the backs of chairs damaging the wall.

I don't know if there's a special name for the molding used on the doors. It could possibly be called a panel molding because it is used to visually separate the panels of those doors from the rails and stiles (the members of the frame that holds the panel).

  • It should be noted that in the US this is more generically known as "trim".
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 1 '19 at 22:31
  • The moulding you call a 'chair rail' is also called a 'dado rail', at least inth UK.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 2 '19 at 10:35
  • @BoldBen, I haven't heard that one. But I would expect some regional variation.Someone in Boston might call it differently than someone in South Carolina.
    – The Photon
    Jul 2 '19 at 16:19

Both of these shapes can be generically described as millwork.


There are specific terms related to the position of the millwork in the overall fabrication, and terms related to the design of the millwork itself, but millwork covers all of these.

  • +1 but To be fair, this answer is a bit like someone posting a picture of a croissant and asking what it is and being told that it can be generically described as a baked good.
    – Jim
    Jul 2 '19 at 0:17
  • True, but faced with water biscuit and an eclair, what other choice is there? Jul 2 '19 at 6:29

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