A kitchen with a painted arch

Painted arch ideas: how to try the easy interior trend that’s all over Instagram

Posted by for Life

Want to give your home decor a refresh this spring? The Instagram-approved painted arch trend could be exactly what you’re looking for.

There’s something about this time of year that calls for a fresh start. While the weather may be looking pretty bleak right now, the lighter evenings and (slightly) warmer temperatures are prompting us to look forward to the brighter months ahead – making now the perfect time to take stock of your environment and give your home a refresh

We’re not talking about completely redecorating everything – while many of us would love the chance to redecorate whenever we fancy it, it’s not exactly budget-friendly to splurge on a whole new look. 

But just because we can’t splash out on all-new furniture, doesn’t mean we have to miss out.

If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective way to reinvent your space, the painted arch trend could be exactly what you’re looking for. The trend has taken Instagram by storm over the last year or so as a great way to break up plain walls and add emphasis to a space – and we couldn’t be more obsessed. 

Whether you’re a fan of bright, eye-catching colours or prefer things on the neutral side, the painted arch trend offers something for everyone.

Francesca Stone from the Instagram account @fallfordiy says the trend was the perfect way to add something extra to her bedroom.

“I first saw the painted arch trend on Pinterest and wanted to recreate the look in my own home,” she says. “Most arches I’ve seen recreate a headboard, but I chose to frame the bed with one on either side. This also worked really well with the shelving we use as side tables. It’s a great way to make a big impact in a small bedroom.”

A bed with a painted arch and bed stand
Painted arch ideas: Francesca chose to frame her bed with two smaller arches in a terracotta paint.

In a similar way, Sarah Amos, an interior stylist, decorator and home blogger from Melbourne, Australia, says she first spotted the trend in a homewares catalogue when she was looking for a way to add some character to her entryway.

“The entry area in our house isn’t large enough for any furniture so I was determined to find another solution for the space,” she tells Stylist. “After hanging some timber hooks I decided it just didn’t have the impact I was looking for, so I researched the painted arch idea a little further on Instagram and I had my solution – a large scale archway to encompass the hooks in a soft shade of my favourite sage green!”

To paint the arch, Amos explains, you only need a few pieces of equipment: a tape measure, pencil, string, something to attach the string to the wall (such as a nail or thumb tack), angled brush, painters tape and roller, plus whatever paint colour you want to use. To create the rounded semi-circle shape at the top of your arch, all you need to do is attach one end of the string to the midpoint of your circle, and the other to your pencil (the length of the string will determine how big the arch is). Then all you need to do is pull the string taut and trace the outline onto the wall. 

“It took a lot of patience and a steady hand, but I got there in the end,” Amos says. “After two coats it was done – and luckily as I peeled away the tape there we no signs of bleeding and I had a successful result.”

Tempted to try the painted arch trend yourself? Whether you’ve got your tools ready or are still making a decision, here’s some of our favourite painted arch examples to give you some serious inspiration. And once you’re ready to start painting, check out our guide to the best on-trend paint brands to find your perfect shade.

  • Framed prints

    Draw attention to your favourite art prints by framing them with a painted arch in a contrasting colour.

  • DIY headboard

    If you don’t want to spend lots of money on a fancy headboard, a painted arch is a great way to add dimension to your space.

  • Office space

    Add some extra flair to your working from home set-up with a painted arch in a deep, stand-out colour.

  • Times two

    Double-up on the painted arch trend by surrounding your bedside cabinets with a neutral-toned frame.

  • Plant paradise

    Transform your houseplants from decorative pieces to stand-out features with an earthy-toned paint.

  • Colourful backsplash

    Is your kitchen looking a bit dull? Use bright colours to paint various shapes on the wall as an impromptu backsplash.

  • Dining nook

    Split-up an open plan space by using a coloured arch to designate a separate area of the room, like this dining nook.

  • Modern shelving

    Don’t fancy spending hours creating the perfect curve? Use sleek, modern lines to add a backdrop to your shelves.

  • Statement shapes

    Allow your favourite statement mirror to take centre stage by giving it a brightly coloured backdrop.

  • All the details

    If you’ve got the time (and patience), this hand-painted terrazzo arch takes the trend to a whole other level.

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This article was originally published in August 2020 and has since been updated throughout.

Main Image: Elisabeth Walker/@oxfordone

Other Images: Francesca Stone/@fallfordiy, Sarah Amos/@sarah.m.amos

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

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