With interior design there isn’t always a straightforward answer, and sometimes a conundrum is open to interpretation or differing tastes and opinions. In an ideal world we would go with a certain option, but practical issues combine to send us in a different direction. That is the case with skirting boards and architraves.
The simple answer, I guess, is that ‘yes’ skirting boards and architraves should match. But that is not to say you can’t have different styles that match, and you don’t necessarily need to have skirting boards and architraves that exactly match in terms of shape, style and design.
Architrave is the frame that borders around a door or window, while skirting is the board that runs around the room along the floor and at the bottom of a wall. Each has a different function, and a very necessary function, but crucially, you don’t always want to replace them if you don’t have to. DIY jobs come thick and fast when redecorating or refurbishing a room, so with a bit of forethought and some planning, it is possible to leave either a skirting board or architrave in situ and find the opposite item to accompany it, even if it is not an exact match.
The profile design of skirting and architrave is its most distinctive feature, and many period mouldings from the Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian or even contemporary ranges can work together if you consider detail and make a careful choice. Certainly, a plainer looking design is going to work OK with a similarly plain looking design. Or even better, a completely plain skirting will work with any period choice of architrave, and vice versa.
Naturally, you stand more chance of your skirting and architraves matching if they are the same colour. Here you have a few options. A similar profile will match if you use a natural wood such as pine, sapele, oak or tulipwood on both items, but leaving them untreated does highlight possible flaws, and you will stand more chance of matching them if you use a primer and then paint them.
In all cases, you should try to ensure that your architrave and skirting is a similar width. They definitely won’t match if this is not the case. While we might think these are peripheral features in a room, your eye will be continually drawn to any difference in dimensions.
This is also the case with the thickness of your skirting or architrave. If these are different then one will sit back from the other and the two won’t line up. This will immediately show up and they won’t match.
So there are plenty of ways you can use different styles of skirting board and architrave but still enable them to match. It is not critical that they are a perfectly matching pair, but you need to attend to detail and follow these guidelines to ensure your match is as close as possible. Otherwise, you will be left with a time-consuming and expensive mistake that will drive you crazy every time you enter the room. Check out our range of skirting boards and architraves and talk to our sales experts who can help recommend suitable matching styles.