Coving Cornice Interiors

What is The Difference between Coving and Cornice

In the world of interior design and architectural detailing, two terms often find themselves intertwined - cornice and coving. While both elements serve to enhance the aesthetics of a space, they hold distinct features and purposes. This article aims to shed light on the key differences between cornice and coving, allowing homeowners and enthusiasts alike to make informed decisions when it comes to embellishing their living spaces.

Cornice: Crown of Elegance

The hallmark of a cornice lies in its ornate and often elaborate design. Crafted from a diverse range of materials including plaster, wood, and even metal, cornices can range from simple, clean lines to intricate, highly decorative patterns. This diversity in design allows for versatility in application, making cornices suitable for a wide array of architectural styles, from neoclassical to contemporary.

One of the primary functions of a cornice is to conceal structural elements such as curtain rods, wiring, or lighting fixtures, providing a seamless transition between wall and ceiling. Moreover, cornices also serve as a protective barrier against moisture, preventing it from seeping into the wall and causing damage over time.

Coving: Graceful Curves

On the other hand, coving, also known as a cornice molding, is a horizontal, concave or convex profile that adorns the junction between walls and ceilings. Unlike cornices, coving typically features a smooth, continuous curve, creating a gentle transition between the two planes. The term 'coving' is derived from the French word 'cave', meaning hollow, which aptly describes its characteristic concave shape.

Coving is renowned for its ability to soften the harsh angles of a room, lending an air of elegance and sophistication to any space. Its design is often more understated compared to cornices, focusing on smooth, flowing lines that seamlessly integrate with the architectural elements of a room. Coving is primarily crafted from materials like plaster, polyurethane, or even lightweight metals, allowing for easy installation and maintenance.

While coving may not possess the ornate detailing found in cornices, it exudes a timeless charm that complements a wide range of design styles, from classic to minimalist. Its ability to create a visual flow throughout a room makes it a popular choice for those seeking to evoke a sense of continuity and unity within their living spaces.

Choosing the Right Element for Your Space

Selecting between a cornice and coving ultimately comes down to personal preference, as well as the architectural style and purpose of the space in question. For grand, opulent settings with high ceilings, a detailed cornice may be the perfect choice, adding a touch of regality and grandeur.

Conversely, in spaces where a more subtle, flowing transition is desired, coving proves to be the ideal candidate. Its graceful curves and unobtrusive design lend themselves well to a variety of interior design styles, from traditional to contemporary.


In the realm of interior design, the distinction between cornice and coving lies in their form, function, and aesthetic appeal. While cornices boast elaborate detailing and serve as both a visual transition and a practical concealer, coving features smooth, continuous curves that add a touch of elegance and unity to a room.

Understanding the nuances of these architectural elements empowers homeowners and designers to make informed choices, creating spaces that resonate with their unique vision and purpose. Whether opting for the grandeur of a cornice or the graceful curves of coving, both elements contribute to the tapestry of interior design, enhancing the beauty and functionality of any living space.