Why Painted Arches Drive These Designers Up the Wall

yellow painted arch in an office

@grillodesigns / Instagram

Painted arches are one of Instagram’s favorite decor trends of the moment--these days, it’s hard to scroll through your feed without coming across a wall--or several--featuring a bright and bold hue. While arch pics may garner plenty of likes and comments, not all designers are on board with this artsy look. Here, four pros weigh in on why they’d encourage you to put down the paint brush. 

1. Arches Probably Won’t Stand the Test of Time 

They’re extremely current—to a fault. 

Painted arches are trendy—and trends come and go, so who’s to say that this look will still be popular in another six months? “As cute and economical as [arches] are, they are also distinctly 2021,” says Michelle Nelson, a podcaster and blogger at Build Your House Yourself University. “The painted arch will likely be one of those infamous design elements that is so strongly associated with a moment in time that including one in your home will significantly date your space once the trend has passed.” Remember the shag carpet of the 1970s? Likewise, “painted arches will, at some point, fall out of favor in home design,” Nelson adds. 

In a similar vein, “interior trends will always come and go just as quickly as fashion ones, and a prime example of this is a painted arch,” design blogger and author Chelsey Brown notes. “It’s the same as the zig-zag paint trend that was popular a few years ago.” Alternatively, Brown urges individuals to “just do what feels right to you in your home.” She says, “This allows your space to never feel outdated.” 

2. You’ll Always Have to Decorate Around Them

No more spontaneous late night rearranging. 

Love shuffling your furniture around frequently? You may be better off skipping an arch, designer Adnan Anwar advises. “Painted arches reduce your flexibility to shake up the layout of a room, which is something I always find myself doing in my own home,” he says. “As your life evolves and your needs from a room change, or you find something awesome, you don’t want to have to repaint your walls.” 

Brown prefers using white walls as a blank canvas to display pieces such as artwork, shelves, or decor. “These are items that you can easily swap out in a breeze when you’re feeling like a refresh,” she explains. “A painted arch? That takes time to apply and even more time to cover up when the trend is over with. There are so many more ways to incorporate the colors you love into your home, and especially on your walls!” 

3. They May Disrupt a Room’s Flow

This may be the case in terms of shape, color, and position. 

“I’ve been dying for the painted arches trend to end since it began,” Anwar adds. “They usually  clash with the architectural lines of the rooms they’re in, specifically the rectangular windows and doorways.” Plus, the color featured may not successfully complement other elements in a room. Anwar adds, “I try to never put anything in a room that is totally out of context. If I use a shape or a color, I want it to have a buddy or two to give it context. And the painted arches I’ve seen never have that.” 

4. Arches May Make a Room Feel Smaller and Ceilings Seem Lower

So they’re extra key to avoid if you already lack square footage. 

For designer Tracy Morris, painted arches are “like a body piercing. It may seem like a beautiful or good idea at the time, but as life moves on, you will want to remove it in the end.” She adds that specifically, arch designs may “chop up the room” and make a space feel smaller, which generally isn’t ideal. Such arches may also make ceilings feel lower, Anwar adds, citing that they “make for awkward art placement,” which is another important factor to consider. 

5. They’re Not Easy to Paint Over 

Sure, technically you can cover an arch prior to move-out or if you just find yourself tiring of it, but repainting a wall isn’t a foolproof process. “If in the future the arch needs to be painted over, the area painted as the arch could be noticeable by the color poking through, or the thickness of paint in one particular spot,” explains Savannah Phillips, interior designer for The Knobs Company. “While the painted arch may look cute in the moment, it is not an extremely functional trend.” 

If You Still Want It…

If you just can’t pass up adding a painted arch to your abode, you’ll want to carefully consider factors such as paint color and location before getting started on your DIY, taking in the pros’ comments from above. You’ll also want to weigh your behaviors when it comes to redecorating--will you be ok positioning all of your belongings in relation to the arch for the time being, or will it disrupt you from having the freedom to move pieces around as your heart desires? Doing some careful thinking ahead of time will save you money and effort down the line.