Create a New Look with different Wainscoting styles

Wainscoting is an easy way to make any room stand out. This architectural detail adds character in a modern or traditional home, and captures the attention of guests or buyers, if you’re planning to sell. With minimal supplies and the help of a contractor or handyman with the right tools, you can transform a room from boring to WOW in no time. These techniques can be used to richen up the look of your property, cover up unsightly/rough dry wall, and even serve as an added durability to high traffic areas like hallways and stairways. Learn how to add wainscoting in fun and inventive ways.

Functional Design

Wainscoting is known as a decorative element in a room, but it can have functionality as well. At the top of the boards, add a narrow shelf as a border. You can place small trinkets on it to enhance the visual element of the space. To make it work, choose a taller height for your boards closer to eye-level when they’re installed.

Traditional Powder Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Goforth Gill Architects

Create Contrast

Many people choose a white or light color board for wainscoting, but you can add contrast with a dark grey, blue or chocolate. Complete the look with a wide base at the bottom and a narrow trim at the top. This design complements a space like a bathroom when you pick up a dark color in the tile.

Eclectic Bathroom by Pacifica Interior Designers & Decorators Alden Miller Interiors

Add Length to a Room

While most wainscoting is installed vertically, you can switch things up by putting it in horizontally. This method lengthens a room and makes it appear larger. At the same time, boards placed vertically draw the eye up to make a room feel taller. This idea works well for a small bathroom or other areas with limited square footage.

Traditional Powder Room by Newport Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Mehditash Design


A Modern Space with Wider Boards

Traditionally, wainscoting has consisted of narrow boards at chair-rail height. However, modern design has altered this design to be fresh and contemporary. Wide boards that extend higher up the wall create a unique space which is not too formal while adding a sense of character to the space.

Shabby-chic Style Dining Room by Tampa Interior Designers & Decorators Tweak Your Space


Mix and Match

Create a contemporary look unique to your home by mixing wainscoting styles. For example, combine the ever-popular batten and board style with picture frame wainscot for a distinct take on the traditional look. Go modern with offset squares which adds interest to a wall and turns it into a focal point.

Achieve ultra-modern with metropolis circles or a rustic feel with barn door wainscoting. As you can see, wainscoting can fit in any home with any design scheme as long as you select a style which complements your overall theme.

Break the rules with wainscoting that features multiple colors. Each board can be a different thickness and color for the illusion of stripes. This style adds vertical interest and can enhance a plain wall.

Traditional Dining Room by Fort Collins Interior Designers & Decorators Bungalow House Plans

Wainscoting is an easy way to enhance any room in your home from the dining room to the bedroom to the bathroom. While simple designs are easy enough for DIY projects, hiring a professional will save you time and ensure the end result is everything you wanted it to be. Check out companies like Indiana Residential and bring them your design ideas to create a brand new space in your home.