Considering Architectural Features
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.
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.
Chair rails, or dado rails, are some of our most familiar architectural features, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be treated the same way. A white chair rail looks clean and classic, whether it’s breaking up a single wall colour or drawing a neat line between paint and wallpaper. Meanwhile, painting your chair rail the same colour as the wall – as in this all-Vardo living room – creates a strong contemporary look.
Chair rails also present a great opportunity for tricking the eye. In this home office, India Yellow stops just short of the rail, giving the illusion of more wall, and more space above it. For the opposite effect, bring your darker base colour higher. Whatever effect you’re trying to achieve, our super-tough Modern Eggshell finish will help bring it to life.
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.
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.