It is true what they say about the devil being in the detail. A few months ago, while I was working on our dining room makeover, I posted a photo of a recently painted light blue wall and everyone gasped. Why had I not painted the skirting as well, everyone asked? It dawned on me at the time that one of the reasons many of the designer schemes are so successful is because of the attention to detail, which includes - yes - painting the baseboard too.
Some of the paint experts like Farrow and Ball's Joa Studholme and designer Abigail Ahern are often found teaching the reasons behind painting your base molding, especially in the same colour as your wall. It is a way to trick the eye into thinking the wall is taller, they say, and is particularly effective in new built homes that do not benefit from high ceilings as well as in smaller rooms.
That is not to say of course that you should not leave your skirting in its beautiful white finished form. Depending on the colour of your walls, white can create a modern and striking contrasting effect. This was my justification too by the way; the wallpaper was a bold blue floral pattern and the white created a lovely contrast. There was no reason to make things more complicated. Or maybe I was just lazy.
You can find a variety of board profiles at The Skirting Shop but do you know which way to use skirting as an element in your interior design plans? There are three ways that you can use skirting to decorate your home. Want to look at them with me?
Leaving the woodwork white
Your decorator will love you for it, especially if the woodwork is already primed and glossed by the manufacturer. Using a white gloss on your base molding is the traditional way of doing things. Farrow and Ball suggest that you should consider carefully the wall colour to avoid creating a harsh contrast between the two. For a similar wall colour to the below (via Craftifair) try Calamine (Farrow & Ball).
There will be occasions where the contrast is welcome. In the examples below (via Muralwall and Farrow and Ball respectively) finishing the mural and wallpaper above the floor renders the look more modern. For similar type of boards try a plain square edge that is available in different heights (a generous 14cm at its highest).
Single colour for wall and woodwork
Having painted the woodwork in the same colour as the wall on a few occasions, I can confirm that there is a great sense of calm about the look. The lack of contrast means that wall height is indeed exaggerated (photo via Trunk Surfaces). For a similar style of skirting try the primed Torus board which is ready for an undercoat and gloss. For a similar grey try Grey Teal from Little Greene.
Remember that you need to order 'primed' and not 'fully finished' boards if you are going for this look. Here's a quick link to white primed boards. The inspirational photos below are by Paint and Paper Library. Their hues are a little more muted (not as intense) so if you want to go for wall and woodwork in the same colour, they are the ones I definitely would recommend you try. Blueblood, shown below is my favourite colour from their collection of paints.
Contrasting colour for wall and woodwork
If like me you're adventurous and love colour, you might want to try contrasting colours for your wall and wood work. It is not easy to achieve but you can get tonnes of inspiration in places like Pinterest. Paint companies nowadays also include colour guides so you can find not just coordinating but also contrasting colours. Visualiser apps will also help you 'paint' your walls before you even have to order a single tester in!
Whatever painting technique you go for, it remains important that you use wood work that is appropriate for the architectural style of your home. So if you live in a period home, don't mix up the styles (Georgian, Victorian) and do not add modern looking woodwork for the sake of saving a few quid unless you are deliberately trying to strip the character out of the home. Here's a quick guide I made to help you distinguish skirting board styles.
So what is your style if you look around your home? Are you an all white, painted or contrasting skirting type of person? Given the low cost of molding, is it time that you had an update around your home and if so, could the lovely people over at the Skirting Board shop help you achieve your design goals? I know who I will be turning to when the bathroom renovations start! And this is taking some time, but that's a story for another blog post!
This post was in collaboration with The Skirting Board shop but all opinions, copy and imagery where chosen by me to give you great inspiration for your next project. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Seasons in Colour!