A bare room with it s areas of flat and featureless plasterwork is a blank canvas which can be embellished in many different ways. Paint and wall coverings obviously play their part, but there is also a wide range of other features which can be added to the room to give it its own personality. Some are purely decorative ,but the majority are practical as well.

In the purely decorative department come features such as cornices (crown moldings) which run around the angle between wall and ceiling, friezes and panel mouldings used to frame door and window openings or groups of pictures, and even such things as recessed ornamental niches for displaying treasures.

In the more practical group come wooden mouldings fitted to protect the fragile plaster surfaces. These include skirtings (baseboards) fitted around the walls at floor level, architraves (trims) around flush door and window openings,and dada (chair) rails to prevent furniture – especially chairs – from damaging the walls. Picture rails belong in this group too, allowing pictures and mirrors to be hung anywhere without having to make new fixings.

On a larger scale are add-on features such as wall panelling, which can be fixed to wall and ceiling surfaces as an alternative to more usual wall coverings, and replacement doors and ornamental lire surrounds. These can set off a chimney breast (fireplace projection) to excellent effect even if the fireplace is not in use.

The scheme is completed with the right choice of fittings – handles, catches and so on – for the doors and windows,and also with the selection of hardware to support curtains and drapes, whether this is a simple unobtrusive track or a more decorative pole. There is a huge range of products to choose from in all of these categories.

Once everything else is in place, walls can he brought to life by carefully chosen paintings, photographs or prints. How they are framed makes all the difference to their impact.