Modern Skirting Boards in Interior Design: Elevating Your Space with Style

When we talk about interior design, it’s easy to overlook the small details that can really tie a room together. Skirting boards are one such detail. In modern homes, these functional profiled boards, fixed along the bottom of walls at floor level, are swiftly becoming statements of style and taste rather than mere afterthoughts. They come in various designs and can be a subtle nod to the overall aesthetic of our homes or act as a bold contrast to make a room pop.

Opting for modern skirting boards offers us the chance to infuse contemporary elegance into our space. Whether we’re fans of minimalist styles that favour sleek and simple lines or we prefer the edgier approach of maximalism, there’s a wealth of skirting board designs to complement our vision. A modern interior often calls for modern skirting boards, which can be anything from discreet and understated to eye-catching pieces painted in bold colours that express our personal style and enhance the room’s character.

These architectural accents are not just for show; they serve to protect walls from daily wear and tear and can cleverly conceal unsightly cables. Some of us might choose shorter boards to give the illusion of a higher ceiling, while in grander spaces, taller skirting boards can add to the room’s drama and scale. The choice of skirting board height, profile design, and colour can have a considerable impact on the overall feel of our interiors, proving that sometimes, it’s the smallest touches that make the biggest difference.


Exploring Skirting Board Functions

A room with modern skirting boards, showing their function in interior design

As we look into the world of skirting boards, it’s clear they’re not just an afterthought. They’re pivotal for both protecting our walls and adding a polished look. Their functions extend well beyond mere decoration.


Protection and Durability

Our walls take a beating from daily life. Furniture, vacuums, and even toys cause scuffs and dents. Skirting boards act as a barrier, shielding our walls from potential damage. They’re often made from durable materials like MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard) or solid wood, which stand up well to wear and tear. For areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens, PVC options offer excellent resistance to water damage.


Seamless Aesthetic Transition

A key design detail is creating a smooth transition between the wall and floor. Skirting boards help to achieve this by covering the joint and any irregularities between these surfaces. They can create a shadow gap, a contemporary design feature that adds a visually pleasing recessed detail to help define the transition between wall and floor.


Concealing Gaps and Wires

We’ve all dealt with the eyesore of cables snaking along our floors. Skirting boards can cleverly conceal these, keeping our homes looking neat and tidy. They often have a hollow space behind or can be fitted with a rebate that allows us to tuck away electrical wires, making sure our connectivity needs don’t disrupt the room’s aesthetic. Besides, they’re great for covering the expansion gap left between the floor and wall that’s necessary for materials like wood flooring to expand and contract with temperature changes.


Design and Style Considerations

A modern living room with sleek, angular skirting boards, minimalist furniture, and clean lines. Light floods in from large windows, casting sharp shadows on the polished wooden floor

When we’re revamping our space, choosing the right skirting board can surprisingly transform the look. It’s not just about protection for the walls; it’s about style, cohesion, and the finishing touches that highlight our design choices.


Choosing the Right Profile

The profile of a skirting board significantly influences the space’s aesthetic. We tend to go for modern profiles with clean lines and minimal embellishments for a sleek look. Profiles like Bullnose, which has a rounded edge, or Chamfered, with its plain angle, are popular for their ability to blend seamlessly into a minimalist interior design. On the other hand, a bevelled edge can add a touch of classic style without being overbearing.


Colour and Material Selection

Colour and material are vital when selecting our skirting boards, as they should complement the room’s overall palette and texture. Bold contrasts can make skirting boards stand out, while matching the colour to the walls can help them to discreetly enhance the space. We also keep in mind the durability of materials—MDF is commonly used for its smooth finish and long-lasting quality.


Height and Size for Different Spaces

The height of a skirting board can trick the eye about the ceiling height. For rooms with high ceilings, taller skirting boards can bring balance, while in smaller rooms with lower ceilings, shorter skirting boards can create the illusion of height. The general rule of thumb we follow is: the higher the ceiling, the taller the skirting board, while maintaining proportion in the room.


Innovative Ideas for Modern Homes

We always look for ways to infuse personality into our homes. For instance, Georgian profiles impart character and are an homage to classic design without overwhelming a modern setting. And who says skirting boards are just for disguise? Today, we see them housing LED lighting or cable management systems, serving both form and function.


Installation Techniques


A room with modern skirting boards installed seamlessly along the walls, creating clean lines and a contemporary finish

When we’re talking about upgrading your space with modern skirting boards, we dive into two main approaches: DIY installations for the hands-on folks and hiring a professional for that perfect finish.


How to Guides for DIY Enthusiasts

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, shall we? DIY installation of skirting boards is perfectly manageable with the right tools and a bit of patience. Here’s a quick breakdown on how to go about it:

  • Measuring Up: Measure your room to determine the amount of skirting board you’ll need. Always add a bit extra to account for those inevitable mistakes and miter cuts.
  • Cutting to Size: Armed with a miter saw or coping saw, you’ll cut the boards at 45-degree angles for corners. Straight splices will need a clean 90-degree cut.
  • Sanding Down: Once cut, give the edges a quick sand for a smooth, professional look.
  • Fitting: For a modern twist, consider going nail-less with a strong adhesive to achieve those sought-after shadow gaps that add depth and a seamless look.


Expert Advice on Professional Fitting

Sometimes, we’ve got to admit when it’s time to call in the cavalry – in this case, an expert joiner. Skirting boards might seem like a simple finishing touch, but bringing in a professional can make a world of difference. Here’s what they bring to the table:

  • Precision Cuts: Trade professionals use high-end equipment that makes precision cuts look easy, ensuring that everything fits together flawlessly, especially in those pesky corners.
  • Seamless Joints: A joiner’s experience means they know all the tricks for creating invisible joints and beautiful lines.
  • The Right Tools for the Job: They come equipped with all the tools necessary, so there’s no need for us to purchase extra equipment for a one-off job.


Material and Profile Trends


A modern living room with sleek, angular skirting boards, contrasting color palette, and minimalist furniture

When we think skirting boards, we’re talking both aesthetic and function. We want to match the materials and shapes (profiles) to our contemporary or traditional spaces.


Modern vs Traditional Materials

Materials are at the heart of skirting board design. In recent years, MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) has surged in popularity for skirting boards. Why? It’s durable, easy to work with, and tends to be more cost-effective than traditional woods. Yet, that doesn’t mean traditional materials like oak and pine are out—they still have their place, especially in period homes where authenticity is key.


Minimalist vs Ornate Profiles

As for profiles, clean lines are king in modern homes. Think minimalist profiles like the ‘Bullnose’, ‘Square’, and ‘Chamfer’. They’re sleek and look seamless against plastered walls. On the other side, ornate profiles, which are more intricate and detailed, are reserved for those of us looking to inject a classical charm into our rooms.


  • Modern Profiles:
    • Bullnose: Rounded edge, simple and understated
    • Square: Sharp lines, contemporary edge
  • Traditional Profiles:
    • Ovolo: S-shaped curve, classic and ornate
    • Torus: Rounded edge with more detail, a nod to traditional


Emerging Trends in Skirting Board Design

Let’s look at what’s hot in 2024. There’s a mix of old and new—classic profiles are getting revamps in modern materials, and we’re seeing bolder choices with colours (like grey) that push the boundaries of traditional skirting board design. MDF skirting boards painted in monochromatic tones match perfectly with minimalist or even Scandinavian-themed interiors, allowing us to keep things fresh without going over the top.


Accessorising and Customisation


Skirting boards being accessorized with modern design elements for interior customization

When we’re talking about modernising our spaces with skirting boards, we’re not just fitting pieces of wood at the base of our walls. It’s about creating a cohesive look that ties in with our interior décor and adds that extra layer of style and character to our homes.


Matching Skirting Boards with Interior Décor

To start, we need to look at how our skirting boards can complement the interior design scheme. For instance, if we’re working with a contemporary space, opting for skirting boards with simplistic grooved profiles or a square groove can enhance the modern feel. Conversely, for period homes, deeper, more detailed skirting can echo the rich history of the space. It’s essential we choose styles that align with our flooring and walls to give the room a seamless aesthetic.


Custom Designs for Unique Homes

Then there’s the option for custom designs. We all want our homes to stand out and reflect who we are, so going for bespoke skirting board designs can be a game-changer. Whether it’s a unique pattern that draws inspiration from design elements we adore or a tailor-made size to fit our bespoke spaces, customisation allows us to inject personality and drama into our rooms.


Accessorising with Additional Mouldings and Beading

Finally, let’s talk about accessorising. Beyond just the boards themselves, we can introduce additional mouldings or beading to add depth and character. In some designs, we might even consider metal skirting for that sleek, industrial look or integrate skirting with wall panelling or wainscoting for a more classic approach. These accessories can transform the look of a room and take the design from standard to standout.


Renovation and Building Tips


A room with modern skirting boards, clean lines, and sleek design. Bright, natural light highlights the smooth finish and contemporary style

When we embark on home improvement, we’ve got to think about the details. Skirting boards might seem trivial, but they can alter the entire feel of a room. We’ll cover how to slot them into renovation projects, advise on new builds, and talk about their maintenance.


Incorporating Skirting Boards in Renovation Projects

Renovating can transform a house into our dream home, and the skirting boards play their part. When updating a room, consider the ceiling height. For lower ceilings, opting for short, unadorned skirting boards can make the ceilings appear higher. Here’s a quick tip – if we’re keen on contemporary style, let’s look at profiles like Bullnose or Chamfer for that clean, modern edge.


Guidelines for New Builds and Extensions

Building from the ground up or adding an extension offers us a blank canvas. We’ve got the freedom to choose skirting board sizes and shapes that complement our garden views or interior design theme. In new builds, durability matters, so medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is a fantastic choice. It’s both sturdy and easy to customise. Here’s a go-to list:

  • Profile Selection: Go for Ovolo or Square profiles for a touch of class.
  • Material Matters: MDF is your friend for long wear and easy prep.
  • Colour Coding: Match or contrast with walls to make a statement.


Maintenance and Upkeep

Keeping our skirting boards in tip-top shape is essential. For maintenance, we can simply wipe them down regularly with a damp cloth to keep them looking fresh. For upkeep, a coat of paint now and then can prevent wear and tear, especially if we’ve got bustling hallways or kids running around.




How can I incorporate modern skirting boards into my open-plan living space?

When using modern skirting boards in an open-plan living area, consistency is key. Choose a single profile and colour throughout the space to create a cohesive, flowing look. Consider using a taller, more pronounced skirting board to define the room’s perimeter and add visual interest without disrupting the open feel.

Can I mix and match modern and traditional skirting board profiles in the same home?

While it’s generally best to stick with a consistent style throughout your home for a harmonious look, you can mix modern and traditional skirting board profiles if you want to create a unique, eclectic aesthetic. To ensure a smooth transition, consider using modern profiles in more contemporary spaces like the kitchen or home office, and traditional profiles in classic rooms like the living room or bedroom.

How do I choose the right colour for my modern skirting boards?

When selecting a colour for your modern skirting boards, consider the overall palette and design scheme of your room. For a clean, minimalist look, opt for skirting boards in a crisp white or subtle neutral shade that complements your walls. If you want to create a bolder statement, consider using a contrasting colour or even a wood stain to add depth and visual interest to your space.

What are some popular design trends for modern skirting boards?

Some of the latest design trends for modern skirting boards include using taller, more pronounced profiles to create a sense of grandeur, incorporating LED lighting into the skirting boards for a futuristic look, and opting for flush or recessed skirting boards for a seamless, minimalist appearance. Another popular trend is using materials like metal or concrete for a more industrial, contemporary feel.

Can modern skirting boards be used in conjunction with other wall features like wainscoting or picture rails?

Yes, modern skirting boards can be used in combination with other wall features to create a layered, multi-dimensional look. For example, you could pair a simple, flat skirting board profile with a more intricate wainscoting design to add texture and visual interest to your walls. When combining multiple wall features, be sure to choose profiles and colours that complement each other for a cohesive, intentional appearance.