Our favorite wainscoting ideas will inspire your next room remodel
Photo: CM Natural Designs/Carley Summers
If you're toying with the idea of white living room ideas, you will want to introduce plenty of textural interest.
'Wainscoting is a useful way of introducing warmth and character to a room – there is something cozy about being surrounded by wood,' says interior expert Corine Maggio of CM Natural Designs(opens in new tab) who designed this space in California.
'Panel mouldings are used to create shadow and catch the light, adding a definition that is particularly important when you opt for painted panels.'
Photo: Oadelina Iliev Photography
Embrace your keen eye for design by pairing striped wallpaper ideas, which goes straight up the wall and right across the ceiling, with a neutral, wainscoted base.
Of all the different patterns, stripes are perhaps the most successful to take up to the ceiling, but keep the colors on the quiet side to ensure the room remains light rather than boxed in.
Here, the plain-painted wainscoting acts as an important breathing space.
Photo: Benoit Linero
it is a misconception that wainscoting is only for traditional homes. In a contemporary scheme, colorful wainscoting will make a dramatic statement.
We love a 'more is more' approach to decorative room ideas, and painted wainscoting is a brilliant vehicle for this.
In a contemporary environment, wainscoting is an excellent way of framing large, flat surfaces,' says Bruce Hodgson, founder & creative director, Artichoke.
Photo: Kelling Designs
‘When it comes to dynamic wainscoting ideas, pick a bathroom color you truly love as it will be with you for a long time,’ says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs(opens in new tab).
‘The key is to let the wainscoting be the main attraction, so pick a color that will truly sing out, then use this color elsewhere to keep the look cohesive.’
Opt for simple tongue-and-groove wainscoting to create a more relaxed, country-style look.
An easy option for a competent DIYer, tongue-and-groove wainscoting simply requires a batten framework on the wall as a fixing point, with timber panels simply slotting together and nailed in place.
Photo: Future/Matthew Williams
In terms of color, choose calming hues to ground the scheme and encourage thoughtfulness.
Blues bordering on grey are successful: color theories suggest these tones increase the ability to focus.
Dark green (such as Studio Green by Farrow & Ball, used here) is another contender, as it’s meant to boost creativity.
Photo: Nicola Harding
‘A considered combination of wallpaper and wainscoting is a great way to stop bathrooms feeling too sterile and for creating truly happy spaces, which I believe every bathroom should be,’ says Nicola Harding, owner of Nicola Harding & Co(opens in new tab).
Photo: Jamie Ivey / Ansel Olson
Patrick O’ Donnell, Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball(opens in new tab) agrees: 'Carrying the wall color onto all of your woodwork creates the illusion of more space.'
Wrapping a space in a warming layer of color not only creates a smart, cohesive feel, it can make a room feel bigger than it actually is.
Photo: Salvesen Graham
‘Picking up a color tone in the wallpaper on the wainscoting and woodwork is a lovely way to introduce a further element of decoration to a scheme,’ says co-founder Mary Graham.
‘For practical reasons, wainscoting can also provide additional resistance to everyday wear without diluting the wallpaper’s power to impress.’