If there’s a feature of your home that you’d like to make the most of, or one that you’d prefer to disguise, there’s a surprising amount that can be achieved with just paint colours and finishes. Just as no two homes – or homeowners – are alike, there are no hard and fast rules for creating a considered scheme. That’s why we’ve collected a few of our favourite ways to treat architectural elements, whether that’s concealing a functional but less than beautiful radiator, or bringing period panelling to the fore.

Painted in Mouse's Back No.40 | Estate Emulsion & Off-White No.3 | Estate Eggshell 


Dado Rails

Dado rails, or chair rails, are some of our most familiar architectural features. In most homes, the tendency is to paint them white, creating a dividing line between the pattern or colour used above and below. This method can help to break up large expanses of colour, or separate paint and wallpaper for a classic, orderly look, and looks its best when the shade of white shares the same undertone as the main wall colour.

Alternatively, the dado rail can be painted in the same colour as the wall for a strong, unified look. Or, if you’re painting the lower portion of the wall in a different colour, simply take that same colour up onto the dado rail for a simple way to make the space above feel larger.

Crisp Cladding

Painted in Ammonite No.274 | Estate Emulsion & Mole's Breath No.276 | Estate Eggshell

Low Contrast

Painted in Inchyra Blue No.289 | Estate Emulsion; Worsted No.284 | Estate Eggshell


Panelling

Whether original or new, panelling is a beautiful feature in any home. Traditionally, decorators would have picked it out in several different colours, but it has become more popular in recent years to use the same colour across walls and panelling for a cohesive look.

This method has its roots in Georgian decorating, but looks equally at home in a modern scheme, enhancing the feeling of spaciousness in any panelled room.

Georgian Elegance

Painted in Lime White No.1, Old White No.4 & Light Gray No.17 | Estate Eggshell

A Modern Twist

Painted in French Gray No.18 & Mahogany No.36 | Estate Eggshell; London Stone No.6 | Estate Emulsion


Cornicing & Moulding

There are a few handy formulas for making even the plainest cornicing, coving or crown moulding a part of a beautifully cohesive scheme. First, you can paint the moulding and ceiling the same colour, which gives the impression of a slightly lower ceiling; painting moulding and walls in the same colour, by contrast, has the opposite effect, making the walls appear taller.

If you’d like to draw attention to more decorative moulding, you could choose a colour that sits between that of the wall and the ceiling on our colour card for a graduating effect, or even pick it out in an accent colour of its own.

Ornate Detailing

Painted in Saxon Green No.80 | Estate Emulsion & Clunch No. 2009 | Estate Eggshell

Subtle Flourishes

Painted in Stiffkey Blue No.281 | Estate Emulsion; All White No.2005 | Estate Eggshell


To show off the detail of intricate plaster moulding, try painting in Soft Distemper.


Radiators

Radiators are rarely celebrated as aesthetic features, but that’s not to say they can’t be. If you’d rather hide a necessary but unsightly appliance, a great way to minimise its presence is to paint it in the same colour as the wall. Sometimes, however, a humble radiator can add a lot of impact – try painting it in a contrasting shade, such as sunny yellow Babouche against a backdrop of inky Hague Blue, for a real statement.

Regal Reds

Painted in Book Room Red No.50 | Estate Emulsion & Estate Eggshell

Inky Hues

Painted in All White No.2005, Drawing Room Blue No.253 | Estate Emulsion; Drawing Room Blue No.253 | Modern Eggshell

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