5 tips for using an arch in interior design + photos

9 min


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you mention an arch? Of course, ancient castles from fairy tales, which fascinate with their grandeur and beauty. But why not give your apartment a special atmosphere by using an arch in its interior design.

1. Variety of forms

An arch is an architectural element of a curved shape that serves as a ceiling of a through or blind opening in a wall or a span between two supports. She came to us from ancient Rome. Already in the III century BC. arches were used to cover large spans of various structures, such as bridges. For some reason, at that time it seemed to people that it was much easier to build a semicircular span than the rectangular one we are now used to. There are many forms of arches, both simple and more complex.

  • Triangular arch. Its arch is made in the form of a triangle with an obtuse angle at the apex. This arch is often called three-articulated.

  • A round or semicircular arch has a semi-arc shape and is the most common and frequently used element of modern interior design. This is the classic form of arches, which is otherwise called Roman.

  • A round shallow or British arch is formed by a circle with a large radius, its arch is shallower than that of a semicircular one.

  • Pointed or broken arch is equilateral, compressed and flat. Its arch is formed by two arcs that meet at a certain angle. Pointed arches became widespread in Gothic architecture.

  • The three-bladed arch represents itself as three semicircles with a raised central one, which, as it were, rests on symmetrically located lateral ones.

  • The horseshoe or Moorish arch is a characteristic feature of Islamic architecture.

  • The three-centered arch in section resembles a semi-oval. It is formed by three circles, the centers of which are at different levels. The central circle is the highest and has the largest radius, its center coincides with the axis of the span, and the two lateral circles are located slightly above the axis, but have a smaller radius.

  • An elliptical arch follows the shape of a fragment of an ellipse. It is slightly flattened at the top, which allows it to be used in rooms with low ceiling heights.

  • The concave arch is formed by two circles, the arcs of which are directed with the convex side inward.

  • The keel-shaped arch pleased Russian architects, its shape in cross-section resembles the overturned keel of a ship.

  • Arch “Tudor” or four-center arch, has a gentle shape with a pointed top. These shallow arches were very popular during the Tudor era, after which they were named.

Despite the chosen shape, the idea of ​​using an arch in the interior is actively used by modern designers in any room. This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive ways to combine two rooms or separate a secluded corner for relaxation.

2. Methods of application in the interior

Using an arch instead of standard doorways will help not only save usable floor space, but also visually expand the boundaries and create a sense of spaciousness. This technique is best used in small apartments. Arches can fulfill both a full-fledged role of overlapping, and serve as a decorative element and be barely noticeable. Therefore, before choosing a shape and size, it is necessary to determine its role in the overall interior of the room.

  • Decorating a room with an arch or a fragment of it is a classic design solution. Very often this element is used in hallways. When you enter any room, the first room you enter is the corridor. Taking into account the peculiarities of the construction of many houses, not every apartment can boast of having a spacious hall from which you can see other rooms. To visually add depth and space to the room, instead of a doorway leading from the hallway, for example, to the living room, it is preferable to use a wide arch with a gentle vault. This design will fill the corridor with light and revive a boring and mundane interior.

  • Create a smooth transition. This technique is very relevant for moving from the hallway to the dining room. In some apartments, this transition is made in the form of a rectangle, above which there is additional storage space, that is, a mezzanine. If you are not sorry to sacrifice them for the sake of the overall beauty and aesthetics of this section of the apartment, then feel free to use arches of various shapes. If the ceiling height is not very high, then you can use a semicircular flat shape. Using an arch will help give this transition a more harmonious and airy look. For greater effect, the arch can be supplemented with column-shaped supports on the sides.

  • Combining a loggia with a bedroom or a living room with a dining room using an arch will make your interior more modern and harmonious. In the case of combining the living room and kitchen, you can use an arch, one of the ends of which ends with a bar counter. Thus, the zoning of the room will be performed at the same time.

  • The arch-niche in the interior looks like a small depression in the wall. In this way, it is very impressive to select a berth by equipping a shallow arch of a non-standard shape at the head of the bed. It is recommended to select the width of the opening to the width of the bed, and also equip the arch with dim lighting. This will create a cozy atmosphere and serve as an additional light source for you. But this design element is appropriate not only in the bedroom. In the bathroom, an alcove will make the place for taking water procedures not so boring, and in the dining room it can easily separate the cooking area from the dining area, or vice versa.

  • Disguise flaws. It often happens that after dismantling the interior partitions, a wide wooden beam remains under the ceiling itself. It is a load-bearing element that should not be removed. You can hide it under a stretch ceiling, but then the height of the room will be significantly reduced, or you can use it as a frame for a small arch. You can leave the beam open, refine it slightly with varnish or paint, and place a shallow arched vault under it. And you can mount the elements of the arch directly on it.

  • Window openings made in the form of arches will give the room a special charm and remind of ancient times. Such windows will look especially good in country houses or small country houses. Windows can be made full-length and decorated with lancet or horseshoe-shaped vaults. The cost of such non-standard window frames will be higher than ordinary ones, but they will make a unique impression. In ordinary apartments, a wide window sill, combined with an arched vault, will create an additional cozy corner. The window sill can be decorated with a large soft pillow, and small shelves can be made on the side walls.

When choosing a suitable shape, remember that the arch should correspond to the general style of the interior and complement it, and not contradict and be the main object of attention. Small roundings of the doorway look no less impressive, which only repeat a small fragment of the vault. The wider the arched opening connecting two rooms, the more harmonious these rooms should be with each other. They should be made in the same style and preferably in a similar color scheme.

3. Arch material depending on the style of the room

The material from which the arch will be made is determined by the style of the room in which it will be located. Its width and height also play an important role, because large structures must be not only beautiful, but also durable. The most common materials are:

  • Drywall is a versatile material that allows you to quickly build an arched vault of any configuration. In addition, it is the cheapest material used for this. The main thing is to complete the installation of the frame, and plasterboarding will not take much time and effort. Modern manufacturers offer special bending material for such purposes. When the base is ready, you can finish with any materials that match the color and texture. This material is suitable for small arches that replace door or window openings. When choosing stone or wood panels as a finish, do not forget to take into account their weight and the load that they will transfer to the structure.

  • Due to its versatility and attractive appearance, wood is suitable for any interior style. This material will perfectly fit into both the classic and more modern interior and will only emphasize it from the most advantageous side. Suitable for use in any environment. With proper processing, this material does not need additional design, it is enough to open it with transparent varnish.

  • Brick or stone used for the construction or decoration of the arched vault will advantageously complement the interior in the Scandinavian style, loft, country, eco. A brick arch can become a distinctive feature of an accent wall, and a stone arch will emphasize the stability and solidity of the apartment owners. The stone symbolizes reliability and durability and will look good in combination with a stone-decorated fireplace area.

The color of the material must necessarily overlap with the color of the furniture in the rooms, which will be united by an arched opening. If you follow this rule, the arch will look harmonious and appropriate.

4. Finishing and decor

Very often, in order to give the arches a special appearance and bring it as close as possible to the desired style, various decorative elements are used. These can be moldings and cornices, decorative stucco molding and spot lighting. The last element is very often used to decorate plasterboard, less often wooden structures. Cleverly selected lighting will create the right atmosphere in the room and highlight the functional area. Stucco elements are the most suitable for the classic style.

They can decorate both the walls around the arch and its vault. Whole compositions can be made from small elements, the main thing is to know when to stop. Moldings have become very popular, which look like a volumetric bar with a flat or more complex profile. Often, this element is used to decorate the walls around the arches, as it is very well combined with wallpaper, and with paint, plaster or wood. The material of manufacture can be different. This is plastic, wood, and metal, but the most versatile material is polyurethane, which has a dense white structure and can bend. This feature greatly simplifies installation and allows you to most accurately repeat the contour of the curved vault. The affordable cost of this decorative element will be a pleasant bonus. Arches decorated with round or rectangular columns look very rich.
But this kind of finish is obligatory and only fits the classic style. If you want your arch to make a fuller impression, pay special attention to the wall decoration around it. With the help of artistic painting, you can create a whole composition that repeats the elements of medieval castles. Walls that are not just pasted over with wallpaper, but are faced with embossed decorative plaster also look very good.

5. Non-standard forms of arches

In addition to the usual classic forms, many designers advise using more interesting arches of unusual configurations. Round arches have become very popular.

It doesn’t sound very real, but in practice it looks amazing. A loggia combined with a bedroom will look much more interesting with the help of such an element. It is very simple to make such a shape using drywall as a material. Metal profiles that are used as a frame will easily take the shape you need after trimming the edges. As a supplement, you can make shelves cut into the side walls of the arch and equip them with lighting. There are varieties of arches of non-standard shapes, one of the sides of which, after installation, is like a continuation of the wall and already has several side shelves.
To equip the doorway, you can use a curly carved arch, which will look more light and airy. Such an element will serve as both a light-transmitting partition and a beautiful highlight of the interior. You can make such an arch yourself from wood or the same drywall, or you can buy a finished product.
When buying ready-made arches, pay great attention to the materials from which they are made. If you prefer wood, be sure to check what varnish was used to finish it. Many types of varnish, which have increased durability and resistance to direct sunlight, cannot be used for interior work. They contain harmful volatile components that constantly evaporate and harm health.

Remember that sometimes it’s better to get creative and do something original than using classic shapes. This will help not only make your interior truly unique, but will also bring features that are characteristic only of you.

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Steve

Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...

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