These are the dreaded words that anybody living in a period home or in fact any home fears. It can mean weekends of searching out the correct wallpaper, the perfect shade of paint, the desired effect, the best finish, be it “rag-rolled” matte or gloss, and even the dreaded task of having to choose paint that does not seem to match the wallpaper, but apparently the non-match is really “in” at the moment.
What began to strike me, as I looked through another beautiful brochure from a company whose double barreled name oozes quality and cost was why do we change the wallpaper and paint so often, why do we change our light fittings so often, why do we change our sofa and soft furnishing so often, and yet we accept the skirting boards and architraves as if they were part of the bricks and mortar?
On pondering this “wonder of the modern world” I started to do a little investigating and found that this is a fairly new phenomenon. Historically, throughout the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras and even into the modern expressionist’s movement, changing the style of a house could include updating of doors, frames, architraves and skirting boards to give the room a more modern feel.
So what has gone wrong and where did all this personal expression go?
After a couple of weeks of contemplation and asking our regular customers, one answer came through loud and clear. We have all accepted a homogenous standard delivered to us through DIY stores and builders merchants who seem to sell attachments for boxes in which we leave in some Orwellian world of corporate homogeneity where being different is seen as either odd or difficult to achieve.
It is with this “Braveheart” type of mentality that we launched Period Mouldings and why we continue to push the message.
At the right price, skirting boards and architraves do not have to be for life and it’s not a crime to replace them. In fact going back to my earlier example of re-decorating where paint is often £55 per tin and Wallpaper is £78 per roll (and I need two!) I worked out that to get a Georgian feel it would be cheaper to replace my skirting with our Georgian Richmond and Clifton range to achieve the desired effect rather than painting the whole room and papering one wall.
However, all this logic has backfired and my better half has accepted it is a great idea, albeit with one minor adjustment – I can do it ALONGSIDE the repainting of the walls and papering of the mantelpiece and she even slyly introduced that the carpet was looking out of place. What a result, not!