When it comes to designing a room, its the details that can really make a difference.
A feature that we tend not to think about much is the architectural moulding, i.e. the skirting boards and architrave. Yet imagine if we didn’t have them?
Not only do they ‘finish off’ a room, forming an aesthetically pleasing border, they do a great job of hiding the joints between walls and floor.
Features of Skirting Board
Depending on the era of your property, the profile of its skirting boards and architrave can vary. In a period property, Victorian for example, the profile is usually more elaborately detailed and high:
Whereas a modern property may have a simple bullnose profile for a streamlined and minimal look:
Whatever style of skirting or ‘baseboard’ you have, they can be made of wood, PVC or MDF, which can also be ready primed for the ultimate in convenience, such as those from Skirting4U – brilliant if you are replacing large areas (just think of the time saved). Note how you can have skirting boards with a rebate for pipes and cables, too.
Fitting skirting is something you may want to hire a fitter to do, or tackle the job yourself if you are DIY savvy – especially if you are just replacing damaged or missing sections (but be warned older properties tend to be full of quirks and uneven walls that can prove a challenge!). The boards can be affixed to your internal walls using screws, nails or glue and you will need to mitre the joints correctly for a professional finish.
Features of Architrave
Architrave is a moulded frame designed to edge interior doorways and sometimes windows. Its a decorative embellishment, but also a means of bridging gaps and disguising the joint between different surfaces.
As well as the features mentioned above, there are sometimes other architectural elements within a room, such as picture rails (literally designed to hang pictures from) and dado rails around the middle of a room, to protect walls from damage when chairs are pushed back against them.
As these architectural features neatly divide a wall into sections, it is easy to create stylish two tone or contrasting paint effects, or opt for partial wallpapering.
For years we seem to have felt compelled to paint our woodwork in white, but that is definitely changing and more of us are feeling adventurous about putting colour onto our skirtingboards and architrave. By using paint, you can draw attention to them – you may even consider adding a funky coloured radiator, so that the integral features of a room become a focal point to be appreciated in their own right. Skirting 4 U can even supply pre-painted skirting boards in any RAL colour which is good to know.
For inspiration, I would recommend looking at some room designs by paint specialists, e.g. Farrow & Ball who are good at demonstrating how white skirting boards and architrave are not always necessary! Using the same colour everywhere, as in the example below, is quite a tasteful approach:
If you are tempted to go darker with your skirting and architrave, but aren’t sure about what colour to use, grey is a good one to try as it is very on-trend and also easy to live with. A real benefit of going with a darker tone along the skirting board means it is more forgiving of dirty marks, scuffs and scratches!
More fearless decorators may consider putting brighter colours, even neon paint, onto the woodwork – are you daring enough for that?
But even if you prefer to stick to good old tried and tested white, it doesn’t have to be a simple choice of gloss, satin or eggshell – rather the shade of white can vary a lot too, nowadays. Check out this lovely, soft ‘Aged White’ from Crown Paints for example:
So it just goes to show, when planning your home decor, never ignore the skirting boards and architrave! They are actually key features of a room.