Enhancing Your Interiors with Skirting Boards
There was a time when skirting boards (also known as baseboards or base molding) were considered a necessity. Over time, they became an optional interior design element – one that was often overlooked. However, beyond offering a number of practical benefits, skirting boards have an aesthetic value that enhances your interior spaces and should certainly be part of any home improvement/renovation plan.
Simply put, a skirting board is a wooden board installed at the base of an interior wall to cover the joint between the floor and the wall. From a functional perspective, skirting boards offer several advantages – shielding walls from everyday wear-and-tear such as scratches or dents caused by furniture or foot traffic, concealing gaps between the wall and floor that may contain electrical wiring or cables, helping make a room soundproof by acting as a buffer between the wall and floor etc.
From an interior decoration perspective, skirting boards can significantly enhance the visual appeal of a room, by complementing your home’s architectural style or providing a contrasting design element. They can add a touch of elegance and uniqueness to your interior spaces.
Here are a few ways skirting boards can uplift your interiors:
Playing with Heights and Proportions
One of the ways skirting boards can add to a room’s visual appeal is by manipulating heights and proportions to achieve a balanced and pleasing look. Skirting board heights typically vary between 4-6 inches. This provides some leeway to experiment with taller or shorter options, based on the dimensions of your room, to achieve the visual impact you desire. Thick tall boards for instance can add a touch of grandeur to your space, while a shorter skirting board can provide a more minimalist look.
Framing your Walls
The lack of skirting boards had become a feature of modernist designs, with the unfortunate consequence of rooms looking clinical and unwelcoming. This is because skirting boards ‘frame’ walls, and make rooms feel more homely, friendly and complete. Without skirting, the wall meets the floor with no connection or interface in a brutalist fashion.
An innovative skirting board customization would be integrating lighting into the design, in the form of LED strips or recessed lighting. This adds a touch of sophistication to the room, providing a soft, ambient glow that enhances the space. Moreover, this subtle lighting also serves a functional purpose, aiding navigation in the dark.
Providing a Defining Feature or Accent
Without an ‘accent’ or defining feature of some sort, a room might fail to make an impression. A skirting board can solve this problem by serving as the accent. Instead of painting it in a neutral colour that blends in with the rest of the room, it can be painted in a more striking or exotic colour that makes it stand out from the surroundings. Another option could be to use contrasting finishes to achieve a distinctive look – for instance, wooden skirting with metallic accents.
There is a lot of scope for experimentation in terms of design and colour when it comes to picking the right skirting boards for your interiors. Right from the choice of material for the board, there are plenty of options, with wood, PVC and plaster being among the popular picks.
From a design perspective, skirting boards can be elaborate and ornate, in line with more traditional décor practices, or simple and minimalistic, in keeping with modernist trends. The board’s colours can match or contrast with the walls. Moreover, a range of finishes, including matte, gloss or metallic, can be considered to add further texture and depth to the skirting.
Skirting boards are certainly poised to become an essential interior design element again. Homeowners and interior decorators would do well to keep skirting board options in mind while planning any renovation project!