Decorative vs Plain Skirting Boards

Choosing a profile for your skirting boards can be as challenging as selecting the colour to paint a room, or the fixtures you wish to install in your kitchen or bathroom. When you look at our catalogue of over 5,000 profiles, you may likely feel overwhelmed, bamboozled, and entirely out of your depth if you’re planning to DIY.

But we’re here to help you! There are some simple considerations for selecting the perfect style of skirting board for your home, and we’re going to explore each one below.

Style of your home

Firstly, the existing style of your home, or the look you are aiming for is a major giveaway. If you’re going for a modern, minimalistic, or contemporary appearance, you’re likely going to select a more modest or simple skirting board style to match. In modern homes or apartments with lower ceilings and less space, you will not want to draw attention to the base of the wall when people should be looking at the picture you’ve hung on the wall or the reflection of the large mirror you’ve chosen to create depth.

In a period home, which is likely to have more space and higher ceilings, a more decorative style skirting board could be chosen to fill the room, so it doesn’t look sparse. In the Victorian era where ‘more of everything’ was the motto for home décor, mouldings like skirting boards and architraves would be designed with elaborate and ornate shapes that would draw the attention away from an otherwise bare space. Homes from this era were meant to look ‘busy’ in appearance, and a decorative skirting boards would assist in filling a room.

White decorative skirting boards on a grey wall


Maintaining your skirting boards is a consideration you must give to choosing your perfect style.

A plain skirting board lends itself to easier and faster cleaning. A sleek and slim finish will not collect as much dust and grime as a decorative profile and can be wiped down in a matter of minutes. A skirting board with several ornate features, on the other hand, will take a lot longer and require greater attention to detail when cleaning inside all the grooves and curves.

Painting or re-painting is also an aspect not to be overlooked. Whether you’re planning to paint the skirting boards yourself or have someone do it for you, a more decorative profile will take more time to paint, and may require special brushes and tools to layer the paint evenly across the surface.

Plain skirting boards that have little to no curvature or design will be a lot easier and faster to paint and might be a better selection if you’re planning to paint them yourself.

plain white skirting boards on a white wall

Location in your home

Although consistency is key, you may consider using a more decorative skirting board in a more prominent room like a dining or lounge room, and a simpler skirting board in a hallway, spare bedroom, or kitchen.

Decorative skirting boards will draw attention to the wall, so you may wish to choose a more basic design in high traffic areas where the walls are susceptible to bumps and scuffs from furniture or feet. If your house is double storey, you might want to choose a more decorative design on your ground floor where visitors are more likely to congregate, rather than the upstairs areas where the bedrooms might be.

There are a number of factors and considerations that will govern the choice of your perfect skirting board style. At the Australian Moulding Company, we have over 5,000 profiles to choose from that suit a wide range of housing eras from the Colonial and Victorian era to the Post War & Modern homes.

The period of your home or the certain style you are going for will directly impact whether your skirting boards will be sleek and plain, or decorative and intricate. Feel free to call us on 1300 761 838 or email to discuss your unique requirements or see our range here.