Cornices & Coving: All you need to know

Cornices and Coving explained

If you’re wondering what cornices and coving actually are, and what they might add to your home, here is all you need to know!

What is the difference between cornices & coving?

Cornices and Coving explainedCoving is the generic term that refers to the moulding which usually covers the join between the wall and the ceiling inside the house, or a decorated ledge on the building exterior.  Coving is also used to give more character to the home and add decoration around features such as the fireplace.  It is usually uniform and simple in design.  Traditionally, it was made of plaster but these days can be constructed from different materials including timber, polyurethane and MDF.

Cornices are a type of coving; they are much more ornate and less uniform.  There have been many styles of cornices over the years from Victorian to Art Deco.

Whether plain coving or fancy cornices are best for your home depends entirely on your style.  There are so many designs available to suit any taste from simple to elaborate.

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Styles of Cornices

As interior fashions have changed over the decades, so have the styles of cornices.  They were first seen in homes during theCornices and Coving explained Georgian period and have developed over the years, into the plainer designers we also see today.

In the architecture of Ancient Greece, cornices were used on the exterior of buildings to deflect rainwater.  They also reflected wealth and the family who owned the property, much like a crest of arms.

Greek and Roman were among the classical influences used during the Georgian period to design the ornate cornices, they were used in grand rooms to impress guests.  More Gothic influences, like the classic fleur-de-lys pattern, can be seen in the styles used during the Victorian period.  This was followed by a simpler look in Edwardian times.

All of these designs are still readily available.

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Benefits of coving

Cornices and Coving explainedCoving can add an elegant decorative touch, giving extra character to any room.  It hides the join between the wall and ceiling and can also be used to conceal any imperfections.  If you have wood paneling on your walls, coving is the perfect way to create a smooth visual transition from the wall to the ceiling.  Coving is also widely used to add interest to chimney breasts and to connect higher storage units smoothly with the ceiling.  It can reflect the era of your property or look sleek and ultra-modern.

White coving can make a room appear much brighter and also bigger, as it draws the eye upwards, creating the illusion of a taller room.  For really small rooms, painting the coving the same colour as the walls can make the space seem larger.  Ornate cornices are a real feature in a room, they look stunning combined with a traditional decor, especially when coloured matched with drapes or pieces of furniture.

Another benefit of coving is that it can be combined with LED lighting to give a contemporary look to the room with soft, indirect lighting.  The coving is placed a few inches further down the wall, giving a hidden space to run the lighting across.  This combination has long been used by art galleries and the hospitality industry to create atmosphere, and is becoming more popular in residential homes.

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Installing coving can be a tricky job which requires at least two people.  If you get it wrong, it will really show so it may well be best to get the experts in to do it for you. Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!

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George Ryland