Top Wainscoting Ideas for Dramatic Changes in Your Home

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When your home starts begging for some improvements, wainscoting ideas come handy. Don’t forget that by lining walls with the wood panels, you automatically style up the room. On top of that, you hide small or large imperfections.

Wainscoting panels will not only bring elegance but also color up the room. With so many choices in regard to designs and hues, you can marry the tones and profiles you like for the ultimate results. And you don’t have to break the bank either. There are designs but also ideas for frugal wall renovations too.

7 top wainscoting decorating ideas

The classic wainscoting


Classic wainscoting design ideas are not necessarily old fashioned. And you don’t have to keep the wooden appearance of the panels either. Instead, you can choose a gray or dark blue color. Classic designs often cover 1/3 of the wall. They come with a base, chair rail, and stiles. Keep them even lower if the ceiling is not so high. Bring them higher if you have a tall ceiling.

To maintain a classic elegance in the home office, living room, library or elsewhere, stick to a classic raised panel and use neutral colors. Old classic homes inspired a ‘heavier’ atmosphere. For that, wainscot more parts in the room. Use crown molding, door & window casing, and trim the doors.

The modern wainscoting


Although you can use any modern wainscoting design and bring the panel up or down depending on ceiling height, don’t over-wainscot the room. Here your intention is to make spaces friendlier. Or, bring a summer look. Or, it might be a child’s room, where you don’t want to make it too serious.

So avoid putting molding in every part of the room. Stick to wall panel wainscoting. Often floor to ceiling panels offer a very modern look and become a blank canvas for any wall decoration. For a modern look, focus on using the right colors. White & black is always an option. But you can dare for brighter choices, like blue, green, or red.

The picture molding


When walls are covered with furniture or you want to escape the classic idea of lining the walls with a flat panel, you can always trim the upper part of the wall. This is the classic picture rail that runs closer to the ceiling rather than the floor. This can be a nice surprise since it’s outdated. Don’t let the word ‘outdated’ scare you. When it comes to interior design ideas, old fashioned styles make a strong come back. A white picture molding will look good on a colored wall. It will also put some emphasis on the crown moulding and keep eyes traveling upwards. So you might want to be sure the trim is the perfect match to the existing ceiling molding.

Trim the wall to create a texture

The looks of a wall can change dramatically if you create a special pattern without really installing a shaker. You can simply trim the wall but focus on texture. You can use trim to create small or larger squares. The small ones can fit into the large ones. Or, you can only use one size squares to create a pattern. This idea will give more depth if the wall is painted a different color.

Play with the doors and openings


Don’t forget that you can trim doors too. It will give minimal homes a splash of traditional elegance. Don’t forget that if you have a beadboard running the walls and other trims in the room, trimming the door will bring a more classic look. So it depends on how much trim there is in the room and the impressions you want to give. For a lighter approach, trim only certain parts of the room – the door opening, or the door, or the area above the fireplace etc.

Don’t forget the window casing

Most of the times, window casing is there but is often neglected. That’s because they are often hidden behind the curtains. But window casing makes a nice improvement and will also give you the chance to check if your window needs some caulking too. You can bring the casing all the way up to the ceiling molding or keep it lower. It’s often better to keep window casing thinner than door casing.

But it will also depend on whether or not there is a shaker wainscoting covering the wall in between. If not, you can always break the rules and make them wider especially if the room is wide.

Marry colors


We are often instructed not to blend molding colors. And the truth is that if you keep them all painted the same color, you maintain some uniformity and bring out their style. But since rules are made to be broken, remember that it also depends on other factors. For example, if you wainscot the entire wall and paint it orange, you might want (or not want) to paint the trims white. Just remember that when you use a different color, it stands out. So always consider what visual effect you want to create.

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