Wainscoting is a classic way to add texture and interest to the walls of any room. Deciding what style and height of wainscoting, however, can be as tricky as choosing the color of paint! We’ve rounded up nearly 40 stylish wainscoting ideas that we’ve shown here on Remodelaholic to help you decide what look is best for your home.
The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting:
25+ Stylish Wainscoting Ideas
Wainscoting can be used for many different reasons. Most commonly, wainscoting is used to add interest and texture, even without adding color, such as this full paneled wall. Adding a little extra wainscoting can help dress up a standard chair rail and make it an architectural feature:
Wainscoting helps enhance the structure and design of the room. Merely by splitting the wall into two sections and giving the eye a line to follow, wainscoting helps the room feel bigger. Molding and wall treatments can also help a tall space feel fitting instead of echoey-large, such as this tall 7-foot wainscoting in this extra-tall 14-foot entryway,
Wainscoting can also be a wonderful solution to disguising some of your home’s quirks, such as oddly placed utility access points. See how one reader hid their plumbing access by dressing it up to match the wainscoting.
Taller wainscoting with a ledge on top provides a great place to add decor, especially if you intend to switch it out frequently.
And styles? There are so many different styles of wainscoting!
Beadboard 4×8 sheets is a wonderful wainscot material because it is quick to install and doesn’t require as much of the measuring and math as many of the other styles of wainscoting do. You can see some fabulous examples of beadboard wainscoting in thishalf bath remodel, or this lovely farmhouse dining room.
You can also add a ledge to beadboard wainscoting like we did in our Logan House bathroom, to give a great added bit of interest. And don’t forget to consider installing the beadboard horizontally like we did in the half bath that we added to our Logan House it is such a fun way to get an updated look with beadboard. Don’t overlook the power of paint. For example, see how much drama is added just by painting this beadboard black like in this modern powder room:
Board and Batten Wainscoting
Justin and I have used board and batten in most of our homes. You can alter the height to fit your style and the room, and choose an installation method to fit your budget, time, and skill level. Board and batten can be chair-rail height (about 4 feet, typically), like in this tutorial, or taller like Superwoman Brittany shared with us in her living room remodel, or like Justin and I installed in our Logan House master bedroom. Or heck, you can keep it going full height, right up to the ceiling, like we have done in our current house. (I wrote up detailed spacing and installation tutorials for your building pleasure.
You can also split up the board and batten style to make a paneled wall with stacked squares like these $50 faux board and batten or this dining room stacked square wainscoting. And board and batten is a great wainscoting style for stairs and stair walls… so long as you’re willing to do some angular math!
Picture Frame Wainscoting
Picture frame style wainscoting is another popular style, especially in older homes where you need more classic styles to match the architecture. I love this “true” raised panel wainscoting tutorial. But if that seems like to much work, you can create a faux picture frame wainscot or like this one.
Don’t forget like I mentioned before, you can also change things up and have two-tone picture frame molding with just a little bit of paint, it is a whole different look. Or add a little extra texture to the picture frames by using paintable textured wallpaper to look like carved wainscot. Or you could follow this great tutorial and have a wainscoting that mixes the styles of picture frame with the thicker boards like board and batten.
Non-Traditional Wainscoting Ideas
If you’re looking for a wainscoting that will add architectural interest AND oomph, there are plenty of non-traditional and unique wainscot styles that will set your home apart from builder grade. Try one of these, offset squares wainscoting
and one of my favorites
horizontal plank wall wainscoting by us here at Remodelaholic
Wainscoting for Every Room!
Try it, try it, and you may; try it and you may LOVE IT, I say… (Sorry, apparently I read Green Eggs and Ham too much!)
So, what do you say? Have all these wainscoting ideas inspired you to let this Sam-I-Am convince you to love
green eggs and ham, er, wainscoting? Or or are you already on board the wainscot train, heading straight to Awesome?