Coving. Oh another thing I had not thought about. Should I get coving for the house? Or not. Is it better with or without. Does it serve a purpose? I it just to hide shoddy plastering joins between wall and ceiling or because it looks better? Does it look naff with? Without? Just do downstairs. Upstairs as well. Or vice versa?
1930s semi being refurbished. Cannot recollect at all if there was coving in before we ripped everything out. Plasterers coming soon so am guessing it will be something rearing it's head soon....
I DO NOT KNOW! So many things I do not have an opinion on.....and I will be asked for a decision.
I like coving. 1930's will be simpler than an older one.
If you want to be really correct, in an older house, the posh reception room and the front hall and landing should have it large and fancy, the kitchen, housekeeper's and maid's rooms need not have any.
We had plain coving put up in the sitting room (the "posh" room!) and it does add a little bit of charm to the room. We didn't bother with the rest of the house because it would be rather fiddly to do so.
I think it does depend on how good a job your plasterer and then painter/decorator can do. As you say, sometimes coving is put on to disguise joins between the walls and the ceiling, and sometimes ceilings can bow a little after time. If you have very contrasting wall treatment and ceiling colour, that could accentuate a less-than-perfect horizontal join.
But: when we had our coving put up our decorator practically pleaded with us to avoid styrofoam coving like the plague. Apparently, that takes a lot of paint to make it look like plaster, and that option can be used by decorators who are more interested in making the job easier for them. Proper plaster coving is heavier and comes in shorter lengths than styrofoam, so it's more work for the decorator, but it does look better and more authentic.
In the end, it's a style decision rather than a structural one. Plenty of 1830s houses (like ours) didn't have coving, and plenty of 1930s houses did. If you can't make up your mind, then maybe just go with whatever suits your budget.
If you are doing it yourself then don't. It is ridiculously confusing and difficult to get right. If you are paying someone then go for it, but only in public rooms and bedrooms. And not in any room with bits of sloping roof.
I think the (UK) expanded polystyrene (US "Styrofoam") ones are off the market now, possibly due to fire scares.
There are still plastic ones, but they are a smooth matt finish. Plasterers will sneer at anything other than fibrous plaster (which is much heavier and has to be pinned up while the adhesive dries) but you can get readymade internal and external corners which means no need for precise mitring.