Trend Spotting: Painted Arch Walls Are So Hot Right Now


Today I’m going to explore the biggest Instagram interiors trend since the fiddle-leaf fig relentlessly took over the squares a few years ago: painted arch walls.

They. Are. Everywhere!

And, as usual, I want to try my hand at one. But, as usual, I’m enjoying from the sidelines because we currently rent and don’t plan on staying here long.

Are you at all curious where these painted arch walls came from, where they’re going and how to make one for yourself?

Well, buckle up because we’re going on a painted arch extravaganza!

Painted Arch Walls: Origins

Arches in the architectural sense have been around forever — since 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia — but I’m going to tie the painted arch trend to the art trend from a few years ago that revived midcentury abstract arches and rainbows in a big way.

This retro rainbow freebie lives on the blog.

If you like midcentury inspired art, check these out.

The first time I remember seeing someone paint an arch on their wall was when Racheal Jackson did it last year for her One Room Challenge. Racheal is a pro at this, and you can see more of her painted wall murals on her blog.

Shortly after that, the painted arches starting trickling in until finally, as of last week, they started arriving at a fever pitch.

Painted Arch Walls: Trending Ideas

Racheal’s arches were very nuanced, using three shades per arch and traveling over structural elements with ease. And yes, they are beautiful.

Rest assured, however, that you do not have to be as skilled to make a beautiful painted arch.

Here are a few easy ways to make your arch pop:

1. Keep it simple

Photo Credit: Another Kind of Wild

One color, blocking off a segment of your wall = that’s all you need! Use it as an accent wall by anchoring it with a large plant or a contained gallery wall. You can even install shelves inside the arch and put together the coolest little library.

How to make an arch mural around a TV.

2. Frame your door

Photo Credit: thekwendyhome

Want a neat trick to draw your eyes up and make your space feel taller than it is? Round out the top of your door with an arch!

A really cool twist is to paint an arch just above the door frame. This works best if you paint your walls a darker color, then your door, frame and arch a lighter shade or white.

Try this trick if your decor style is boho (neutral door + darker complementary tone on wall), modern farmhouse (try black doors + white walls), midcentury modern (bright color doors + white walls) or modern glam (white doors + dark walls).

3. Spruce up a corner

Photo Credit: cozy.happy.home

Have a corner that isn’t carrying its weight? Paint an arch around it and add a plant or six.

This idea translates if your decor style is boho, Southwest or California casual.

4. Make a headboard

Photo Credit: probablyfromgoodwill

I’ve seen a lot of iterations of the painted arch headboard. First, you can keep your cool headboard (especially if it’s brass or wrought iron) and paint several arches behind it in a contrasting color.

Another option: Keep it simple and paint one arch in one color and let it act alone as a headboard.

Additionally, you can attempt the very popular kids room headboard: a rainbow. Check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to make a rainbow headboard.

5. Layer it up

Photo Credit: lifeatstaustell

Some of my favorite painted arches are stacks of arches, usually found in spaces that might have been written off as lost causes. For example, a small wall in the bathroom that could easily be bland. Or that awkward space in the kitchen where backsplash doesn’t make sense, but neither does anything else.

Painting an arch mural with several complementary colors can really breathe new life into these spaces.

6. Be creative

Photo Credit: Kate Pearce Vintage

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since painted arches took hold, it’s that they are a gateway mural.

What ever do you mean, Vanessa?

Simply put, if you paint an arch, you’ll probably graduate to some more creative shapes before long. That’s the best part about breaking out a paint brush: You never know where it might take you.

Painted Arch Walls: How to Create

Making a painted arch wall can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

At its base, you will need a few items:

  • Pencil to mark your arch
  • Nail + string to trace your arch
  • Painter’s tape to tape off the entire arch
  • Paint (one small can will typically do)
  • Angled brush for the edges; roller for the large area

Overall, I think this video sums up the process fairly simply:

THERE’S MORE WHERE THIS CAME FROM: Read previous Trend Spotting posts here.

Arch Walls: Bookmark for Later

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