Mouldings, Skirting and Architraves
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image 1The skirting board like the coving was a decorative feature that covered up the joints. The skirting was used to bridge the gap between the wall and floor. It was more practical to make the skirting out of wood due to the wear and tear it would receive. As with all the periods the room that received the guests such as reception, parlor and hall tended to have mouldings that were larger and more decorative than and the private rooms.

In the Georgian period it was fashionable to leave the dining room chairs against the walls away from the table and so a wooden dado rail or chair rail became fashionable to protect the walls from knocks. The dado rail would be positioned 3 to 4 feet from the floor.

In Victorian times it was fashionable to leave the chairs round the table so the dado rail disappeared and the wooden picture rail remained to provide a feature that pictures could be hung from. In later Victorian period the picture rail tended to be found level with the top horizontal part of the door frame.



Victorian skirting boards were particularly deep, about 30cm high and 4cm thick. BBC Homes

With the introduction of the Arts & Craft movement and the later Edwardian period, moulding became simpler. The Arts and Craft followers preferred wood panelling that stopped at picture rail height (or two thirds of the way up the wall). The Edwardian preferred clean cut lines that were easy to clean and less likely to gather dust and dirt. The dado rail reappeared again for more decorative purposes and could be often seen on the hall wall.



1 Victorian Torus 2 Ogee 3 Bullnose 4 1930's 5 & 6 Victorian

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1 Victorian 2 1930's

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Victorian Architectural Details

Victorian Architectural Details

Architectural Trim

Architectural Trim

The Art of Texturing and Coving

Period House: Style, Detail and Decoration


Skirting Boards & Architraves: W Howard Timber

Architectural Mouldings - Davuka GRP Ltd

Mark Buckley Joinery

Nigel Hill Bespoke Joinery

Bespoke timber mouldings: Architectural Joinery

Goldleisten – High Baseboards

Links to Articles

Fitting Skirting Board: DIY Data

Fitting Skirting Boards: DIY World Project

Skirting boards by Karen McLauchlan, Evening Gazette

Restore Period Details: Channel 4 Homes

Cornice Colors for Victorian Homes: Old House Colors USA


Useful Research Websites

BBC Homes 1920's:

BBC Homes 1930's

Hidden House History

Francis Frith Photo Archive

The Geffrye Museum

English Architecture: Britain Express

Looking at Buildings: Pevsner Architectural Guides



Forum Debates

Channel 4 Homes Forum

How To Repair Brickwork- Youtube

Skirting/ high baseboards- You Tube


Art Deco House Style

Understanding the Edwardian and Inter-War Houses

Thirtiestyle: Home Decoration








Post War