Dado rails and coving are set to replace the current panelling interiors trend next year, according to the wall interiors experts at SAM. The company – which is renowned for its interior MDF architectural mouldings – has analysed search data and its own product sales to reveal what will be popular in 2024. 

SAM has predicted that dado rails, deeper skirting, and coving are amongst the latest products set to skyrocket next year, as homeowners look for ways to make rooms feel bigger and add character; embracing a more ‘architectural-luxe’ approach to design.

Paul Lavery, joint managing director at SAM comments: “Wall panelling has been so popular in the last two years as it can instantly give an interesting feature or depth to walls. The versatility of mouldings means they can instantly add character to any room in a newer home where architectural designs rarely exist, and in an older property it creates a luxurious feel and oozes class. And as it remains popular for homeowners to embrace similar moulding fixtures and wall features that help to bring a sense of height and depth to rooms, without the expense of wallpapering and new accessories; the architectural-luxe trend is born. We predict the architectural-luxe interior design trend to grow significantly in 2024 as homeowners look to add character to their homes, without a whole revamp.”

Top three products that give an architectural-luxe look:

Dado rails
“Decorative mouldings like dado rails or picture rails can transform a space, and they provide a relatively low-cost solution to create a timeless, classic and elevated look in any property. Trims like this are usually found higher up the wall, or half way, and when painted a different colour they can create a classic look. Dado and picture rails can be great for adding structure or height to a room and creating a feel of more space. For a new build or room lacking luxe and character, the iconic picture rail becomes a space to hang scenic pictures or patterns, leaving a stamp of personality on a room. A dado or picture rail removes the chances of wall damage from mounting or need for extra furniture and cabinets as a feature area to place art and pictures on.

“Our 2023 sales figures to-date of decorative mouldings (dado rails, picture rails and panelling cladding combined) at SAM1, show a significant 19% increase on the same period for last year. This means tens of thousands more dado and decorative trims being sold this year; around a fifth more than 2022!”


Coving and cornice
“Google Trends shows a 850% increase in searches for “coving” in the last 12 months in the UK2, making it a rising trend. And it’s easy to see why this decorative join is taking off again when you consider coving’s popularity in Georgian and Victorian eras. Grand living rooms and period design always featured this ceiling moulding. By simply adding coving, or cornice, a room and home can be more architecturally interesting and it gives a more considered and grande or luxe finish to a space.”


“Skirting boards are not usually a first thought in the home, as many leave what is there when they move in and decorate and paint around them. However, as we look to transform our homes and make illusions of bigger spaces and more architecture design features, it’s no wonder that #baseboardhacks (the American term for skirting) has over 14.2 million views on TikTok3, and skirting advice and DIY videos on the platform are taking off recently.
Quite often, the transformation that skirting and architraves upgrades can create around door frames and where the wall and floor meet are inexpensive when compared to larger revamp projects – which is important as homeowners desire upgrades on smaller budgets.”

Interior designer Lisa Melvin explains how to complement dado rails, skirting, or coving with lighting, colour palette and furnishings to create architectural focal points in the home:

One of the most important factors to consider to achieve this look is colour – choosing a colour palette that complements your furnishings and architectural elements is critical to creating a cohesive, luxurious feel. Consider the size of your skirting, coving, and dado rails too; these elements should be proportionate to the size of your room. If you have high ceilings, you may want to opt for a taller skirting board or mouldings to create a sense of grandeur and balance out the space.

Your furniture style should also complement your architectural elements. So if you have a lot of ornate moulding, it’s best to choose furniture with clean lines to balance out the space.

Lighting can greatly enhance the architectural-luxe design scheme and highlight the mouldings and covings in the space. Choosing the right lighting fixtures and bulbs can make all the difference – carefully consider the type of lighting you want to use and where it will be placed. Colour temperature can greatly affect the mood of the space as well; warm lighting can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere, while cool lighting can create a more modern and sophisticated feel.

By considering all these factors and carefully choosing your furnishings, colour palette, and lighting scheme, you can create a truly beautiful and luxurious architectural-luxe environment in your home that is sure to impress.”

Data references:

1 – Dado rail sales and picture and internal cladding sales at SAM for 2023 to-date (end of November) compared to an 11 month period in 2022. 

2 – 850% rising search in the last 12 months in the UK – as of 20.11.23

3 – TikTok trends on skirting and baseboard hacks from 20.11.23