When decorating a modern house in a contemporary style, it is often the little details that can make all the difference. With current styles tending to be sparse and minimalist in general, or simplified in order to contrast with a bold, patterned wallpaper, it is often peripheral features such as skirting that can make or break the design of a room, and hence, they play an important part in being both functional and aesthetic.

Contemporary skirting has sharper edges and is more linear than the curved and decorative designs that are more typical in Victorian skirting or Edwardian. Contemporary skirting can become a critical feature if the rest of the room and the house suitably complements it. With grooved profiles, there are plenty of contemporary designs that can make a statement, rather than settling for the cheap, mass-produced and simply ‘acceptable’ designs that developers tend to fit in new-build properties merely as an afterthought.

In order to really make the most of your contemporary skirting, you can consider the following:

1. Choose designs that complement your interior

You shouldn’t go for strong lines in your skirting boards if your wallpaper or interior design has circular patterns or is floral. The contrast won’t work. Similarly, if your ceiling is relatively low, think about the height of your skirting and how that can really influence the wall space you have to play with? A smaller, less intrusive skirting will maximise your available space and will suit the room better, and on the flipside, if you have a high ceiling then you can afford to take a bolder approach with a thicker diameter skirting board.

2. Use colour well

The use of colour with skirting boards often reflects your personality. In essence, there are no rules, but the colours you choose have to be right. People often assume a skirting board should be white, but in the same way as painting architraves or ceiling mouldings can become a strong feature, painting your skirting can make either a subtle or a bold statement, depending on your mood. You can draw attention to your skirting or just create a contrast by using different colours that complement the rest of the room, or you can use a slightly different shade to create a more moderate transition from the walls to the floor.

Alternatively, you can paint the skirting the same colour as the walls to create an illusion of more space and maintain the simple, minimalist feel that works well with contemporary interiors.

3. Be consistent

You should never underestimate how the eye is trained to follow certain detail, and hence, if your skirting differs from room to room, or you have Georgian architrave next to contemporary skirting, most people will notice it. In this sense, the use of skirting styles is very different to the use of colour. With colours you can get away with different shades and styles between skirting and walls and from room to room, but not with skirting styles. You need to be consistent because it will draw attention to your skirting and away from other prominent features you were hoping to show off, and, perhaps more importantly, it will forever leave you restless and uncomfortable in that room, knowing the styles don’t match.

Follow these golden rules to get the most out of your contemporary skirting boards and you will soon find that those little details are combining to really show off your home as you intended.

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