The hallway is an important focal point of your home, but, understandably, it is often overlooked when thinking about interior design because you tend to concentrate on individual rooms. But your hallway is the entrance to your home, the first thing people see and an important factor in formulating an impression of your home, so ideally you want it to be warm and welcoming. Furthermore, the hallway plays an important role in linking rooms together and creating a natural flow between individual rooms.
So your hallway merits as much consideration as any specific room, and likewise, skirting boards are another feature which can be underestimated in terms of their impact. Put the two together and skirting boards in a hallway could hold the key to the success of your entire interior design scheme, and you may not even realise it. Skirting boards are not just a practical mechanism for covering up joints or cracks or for stopping drafts, they are a design feature in their own right.
In this article, we are looking at a number of considerations you may want to make when thinking about skirting boards in your hallway.
If you have a contemporary home then you will most likely be keen on the minimalist design ideas incorporated in contemporary skirting boards, and so you will want slimline skirting boards with very little detail. It is also likely that you will have lower ceilings and hence will want shorter skirting boards to ensure the wall space and perspective is maximised and you are not shrinking the room.
With a period home it is important that you match your skirting boards with period detail seen elsewhere in adjoining features, so this could be architrave, period doors, picture rails or ceiling mouldings. Design periods such as Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian all had distinct styles, and it is easy to spot when period features are mis-matched. Also, a period home is more likely to have a high ceiling, and hence you can match this with a higher skirting board.
It is important that there is balance in a hallway, as the entrance to your home needs to be easy-on-the-eye. We have talked about balancing skirting board height with ceiling height, but this also needs to consider how sparse or cluttered you want the hallway to be. If your hallway has lots of pictures or a dado rail, for example, then you don’t want too much detail in the profile of your skirting board. This leads to the overall impression being fussy and cluttered. Equally, if the walls are bare and featureless, you may not want a totally plain skirting board, you have some scope to introduce a little detail; some grooves and some curves. It is all about striking a balance and ensuring the eye is drawn to the right thing. Another way to create balance in a narrow hallway is to have your skirting boards and walls the same colour. This helps to create the impression of more space.
There are lots of ways you can finish your skirting boards to make the most of them, but it depends on what your colour or design theme is. If you want a subtle scheme then you can keep skirting boards inconspicuous with plain colours or very delicate changes in shade compared to the walls. If you want a bold scheme then you can create a contrast between your skirtings and your walls. Your skirting colour can also match your doors or staircase too. Having a contrast with your walls in a hallway with tall ceilings also draws attention to the verticals, and will exaggerate this space, which can have a dramatic effect, if that is what you want. If you are wanting a more rustic interior design you could opt for leaving wooden skirting boards natural, and just staining or varnishing them. This could match your wooden floor, for example, to create a pleasing, unspoilt look for your hallway. Lighter colours on a skirting board will also brighten up a gloomy hallway or a narrow hallway with not much natural light.
Natural woods are always a better alternative to MDF for skirting boards, because they are tougher, more robust and longer-lasting, and they are more adaptable in terms of a finish. Hard and softwoods are also better for skirting boards in hallways because of a hallway’s proximity to the outside and hence, you are more likely to attract damp and moisture. Natural woods such as Sapele, Tulipwood, Oak and Pine can deal with moisture much better than MDF.
Contact Period Mouldings for advice on your hallway skirting boards
At Period Mouldings we have experts in interior design and we can advise on the best use of our range of replacement skirting boards to finish the look of your home. We can help with choosing the best wood type to use, and the best period features, and you can benefit from high quality interior mouldings hand-made using traditional techniques and locally-sourced materials, so contact our sales team today.