28th Jun 2023 -

In the ever-changing world of interior design and architectural trends, traditional elements such as a coving ceiling rose often find themselves at a crossroads between preserving heritage and adopting modern styles. Coving has long been a hallmark of classic décor, exuding elegance and sophistication. But with the rise of sleek, minimalist designs and contemporary construction techniques, coving has experienced a decline in popularity, leading to questions about its relevance today. 

This article explores the intriguing relationship between coving and modern construction techniques, delving into how this age-old decorative element can seamlessly integrate with contemporary interior design. By looking at innovative approaches to coving installation, new materials, and decorative coving concepts, we outline modern coving ideas and installation methods to complement current styles.

What can coving bring to a modern home or workspace? 

Integrating coving with modern designs requires a thoughtful approach that balances tradition and innovation. Below are some factors outlining why ceiling and wall coving can enhance the appearance of a modern house or workspace.

Aesthetic appeal

Coving adds an elegant and sophisticated touch to interior spaces. It can soften the transition between walls and ceilings, creating a visually pleasing effect. Also, coving with clean lines and minimalistic flat profiles aligns well with modern aesthetics. Streamlined and less ornate styles can seamlessly blend with contemporary interiors.

Material selection

Modern coving is available in a wide range of materials. Utilising lightweight materials like polyurethane or high-density foam can make coving installation easier and more efficient. These materials are versatile, durable, and compatible with modern construction techniques.

Integration with lighting

Incorporating coving with integrated lighting systems can add a modern touch. Concealed LED strips or a recessed light within coving can create a sleek, ambient illumination that enhances the overall aesthetic of your room.

Adaptability and customisation

Offering customisable coving options allow designers and architects to adapt the profiles to fit various architectural styles and spaces. This flexibility ensures that your coving can be tailored to complement your design needs.

Acoustic benefits

There are some acoustic benefits with coving such as reducing echoes and improving sound quality in a room. The curved profile of coving helps to disperse sound waves and prevent excessive reverberation.

Added value

Coving is often considered a value-adding feature in homes. You may find it can enhance the perceived value of your property by giving it a more upscale appearance. This can be beneficial when selling or renting a property.

Concealing imperfections

The ability to conceal irregularities or flaws in the junction between walls and ceilings is another key factor of coving. It covers gaps, cracks, and uneven transitions, providing a polished and finished look. This practical aspect makes it a valuable choice for both designers and homeowners.

How to make coving a modern feature - 4 installation methods

A construction worker wearing an orange baseball cap and orange t-shirt installing modern coving.

From adhesive bonding and modular systems to clip-on mechanisms, advanced techniques offer creative and practical solutions for effortlessly incorporating coving into modern architectural designs. Here are 4 installation ideas to consider. 

1. Adhesive bonding

Using advanced adhesive options, coving can be securely bonded to walls and ceilings without the need for traditional mechanical fixings. This method provides a clean and seamless installation, eliminating visible nails or screws.

2. Modular systems

Modular coving systems consist of pre-fabricated sections that can be easily put together and installed. These systems offer flexibility, allowing for quick adjustments and modifications during the installation process to accommodate your design.

3. Clip-on systems

Clip-on coving systems utilise specially designed clips or brackets that securely hold the coving in place. This method simplifies the installation process, making it easier and faster to achieve precise alignment and seamless joints.

4. Magnetic installation

Magnetic coving systems use magnets embedded within the coving and corresponding metal strips attached to walls or ceilings. It offers a convenient and reversible installation option, allowing for easy removal or repositioning if needed.

Top tips for integrating coving with drywall and HVAC systems

Incorporating coving into drywall systems, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installations, requires careful consideration to ensure it is compatible. Here are some suggestions on how to do this successfully. By taking these factors into account, coving can be incorporated to create a seamless and visually appealing integration. 


  • Collaboration: Coordinate with HVAC specialists to determine the best placement for vents, ductwork, and other HVAC components in relation to the coving. Ensure that the HVAC system does not interfere with the installation or functionality of the coving.
  • Concealing solutions: Use specially designed coving profiles that incorporate ventilation grilles or air registers to discreetly blend HVAC elements with your coving.
  • Accessibility: Maintain satisfactory clearance between the coving and HVAC components to ensure proper airflow as well as accessibility for maintenance or repairs.
  • Flexible coving materials: Consider using flexible coving materials that can conform to irregular shapes or accommodate slight adjustments needed for HVAC installations.


  • Plan ahead: Be sure to allocate the right amount of space for coving at the junction between walls and ceilings during the framing stage.
  • Retrofitting: If you are working on drywall which has already been installed, think about retrofitting by carefully cutting and removing a section of drywall to accommodate the coving profile.
  • Trim reveals: Use trim reveals or edge trims along the perimeter of the coving to create a clean transition between the coving and the drywall surface.
  • Joint treatment: Pay close attention to joint treatment between the coving and the drywall, ensuring proper taping and sanding for a seamless finish.

How to incorporate LED lighting and coving - 9 key factors

Modern coving with a spotlight next to a green light.

For a contemporary appearance, elevate your coving or ceiling cornice design by introducing LED lighting, a perfect addition for your living room modern coving or any other space. To successfully do this, you should consider these 9 key factors to bring your LED coving ideas to fruition. But remember to remain cautious and seek the help of a fully qualified electrician if you are uncertain about any electrical aspects of the LED coving installation. 

1. Plan the lighting design

Before you start the installation, carefully plan where and how you want the LED lighting to interact with the coving. Think about the overall ambience you want to create, the positioning of the LED strips, and the desired effects of your lighting coving.

2. Choose the right LED strips

Be sure to select LED strips that are flexible, contain an adhesive backing, and are suitable for cove lighting. Look for strips that emit your desired colour and level of brightness, as well as have a high colour rendering index (CRI) for accurate colour representation. 

3. Take accurate measurements

You should be careful to take precise measurements of the coving sections where you plan to install the LED strips. This will help ensure that the strips fit properly and result in an even distribution of light.

4. Prepare the coving surface

Make sure to clean the coving surface thoroughly and ensure it is free of dust and debris before attaching the LED strips. If necessary, sand or prime the surface to enhance the adhesion of the adhesive backing. It is important to note that very thin coving or intricate coving designs may not be compatible with LED lighting due to size constraints for housing the lights and any wires. 

5. Conceal the wires

To maintain a neat and professional look, plan the routing and concealment of the wiring. Consider using channels and conduits, or hiding the wires behind the ceiling, walls or the coving itself to create a clean and tidy appearance.

6. Test the lighting effect

Before completing the installation, test the lighting effect by turning on the LED strips. Check for any dark spots or uneven lighting, and make adjustments as needed, such as repositioning the strips or adding diffusers for even light distribution.

7. Use additional accessories

Think about using additional accessories to enhance the effect of your lighting. Diffusers can help soften and spread the light, while dimmers or smart lighting controls can provide flexibility in adjusting the brightness and colour of the LEDs.

8. Follow safety guidelines

You should make sure that you follow safety guidelines at all times when working with LED lighting and electrical connections. If you lack experience in electrical work, get in touch with a professional electrician to ensure a safe and proper installation.

9. Personalise and experiment

LED lighting offers versatility, so feel free to experiment and personalise your design. Try different colours, brightness levels, and effects to create a unique and customised lighting option that suits your taste and space. 

Can you paint LED coving?

Spotlight LED modern coving installed within a ceiling.

In short, it is typically possible to paint LED coving. You should start by ensuring that the surface of the coving is clean and free of dust or debris. Applying a suitable primer designed for the coving material can also help the paint adhere better. But it is important to use paint which is formulated for the specific coving material, such as acrylic or latex-based paints. Oil-based paints may not adhere well to the coving and can potentially damage the LED lighting. 

Be sure to apply the paint evenly using a brush or roller and allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. But you should take extra care not to paint over or obstruct the LED strips themselves - you can cover or tape them off with masking tape as necessary. If there are diffusers or covers over the LED strips, you will need to remove them before painting and reattach them after the paint has dried. It is recommended to test the paint on a small area or spare piece of coving before painting the entire surface to ensure both are compatible.

Buy coving materials for your modern construction project

We are proud to offer convenient options for both retail and trade customers to buy high-quality coving, cornice and architrave materials from the best industry manufacturers. Browse our vast selection of contemporary wall and ceiling coving styles online and enjoy the hassle-free option of speedy UK-wide delivery.

For our trade customers who frequently require new tools and materials, Building Materials Nationwide offers the option of opening a trade account. Our trade accounts provide additional benefits and streamlined processes tailored to trade professionals. To open a trade account, either sign up online or call our dedicated team for a chat. They can guide you through the account set-up process and talk you through all the fantastic benefits, from competitive trade prices to fast UK delivery options and support from your own trade account manager.