39 OF THE BEST WAINSCOTING IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT

Wainscoting provides the perfect mix of function and style by adorning the lower half of walls while also protecting the wall from scuffs and smudges. This form of wall paneling started back in 1300s primarily as a way to shield the lower half of plaster walls from damage from things like chairs and boots. Today, they make up an important part of interior design, helping add some warmth and style to a space. Wainscoting is especially great at styling up bare walls that would otherwise look dull and boring.

Traditionally, wainscoting (typically pronounced as Wayne’s-Coating) is made from solid wood panels. But these days, there is so much more variety in materials. You can get it in plastic, plywood or medium fiber board (MDF). For more money per square foot, you can get yourself custom made hardwood wainscoting panels. Other materials used, though less commonly, include stone, tile and acrylic.

Wainscoting Installation

While you can install your own wainscoting during your home renovation if you know your way around with tools, it is always best to hire a contractor to do a perfectly neat wainscoting installation. To save time and money, you can buy pre-made wainscoting panels so that the only work will be installing them onto the wall.

There are numerous styles, colors and patterns to choose from, ensuring that you can find something to match your décor. For instance, you can choose a recessed type of panel, raised panel or shaker panel.

Wainscoting Height

An important part of wainscoting is its height. This greatly defines its look and how it impacts the overall style of the room. When planning a wainscot installation, the first step is to measure the height you want it to reach. Here are a few pointers on how to Measure Your Walls for Wainscoting Panels.

  • Generally, the wainscoting goes up to a 1/3 of the wall height. This is not a rigid rule; you can place it lower or higher depending on your specific décor preferences.
  • Determine the height of the bottom wainscoting railing, which usually starts at 7.5 inches.
  • Measure the width of the wall and divided it by the number of panels you want, determining the size of each panel.

For more accuracy, ask your contractor to help you take the wall measurements. Use these measurements in buying the right wainscoting panels and molding.

Related: Ideas for Remodeling Your Kids Bedroom

Whatever style, height or type of wainscoting you choose, the effect will be positively stunning.

PLATE RAIL

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Jeff King & Company

I love the plate rail in this room.

IN THE DETAILS

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Winder Gibson Architects

Nice wainscotting detail in this hallway.

GREIGE DINING

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Lulu Designs

I really like the warm color used to paint this beaded board wainscotting.

FEATURE WALL

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Ann Parris Photography

Love that it features the entire wall.

CURVED AND CLASSIC

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Assyrian Star Construction, Inc.

Beautiful curved area around the table and gorgeous rich dark color.

MASCULINE

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
WL Interiors

Very traditional– has a very masculine feel to it.

FRESH & MODERN

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Diane Burgoyne Interiors

Love the square detail in the wainscotting.

PRACTICAL

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Gray House Furniture via Chris Kauffman

Great idea for displaying your children’s special art pieces or photos.

PICTURE PERFECT

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Candlelight Homes

Really like the depth of the picture ledge and the extra detail/profile of the molding used.

SHIPLAP WAINSCOTTING

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Spring Island

I like the shiplap and its horizontal direction.

NAUTICAL DREAMS

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Robson Homes

This wainscotting is simple and clean–perfect for this nautical theme.

PURPLE PUNCH

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Contemporary Kids

This warm purple color is fun, different and contemporary and could carry into the child’s teen years.

PRETTY IN PINK

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Warline Painting Ltd.

The pink color is just precious for this baby’s room.

SMALL AND SWEET

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sebring Services

The wainscotting in this handsome office showcases the beautiful rich wood and is very warm.

HELMET FUN

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sebring Services

The decorating ledge is awesome in this boy’s bedroom. Plus the varying sizes of the rectangle and square detail in the wainscotting makes it more interesting.

CRISP AND CLEAN

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
First Lamp

The wainscotting helps make this room feel very crisp and clean.

CRISSCROSS DESIGN

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
JAUREGUI Architecture Interiors Construction

Unique and modern, lots of interest and detail.

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sebring Services

Love the wainscotting height in this very pretty girl’s bedroom–helps balance out the bold fun colors.

EVERLASTING STYLE

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sebring Services

Nice added detail for a stairwell.

DARK CONTRAST

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Bungalow House Plans

The”stretched” area along the top of the wainscotting is a nice feature. I also like the contrast of the dark wall color with the bright white of the wainscotting.

TRADITIONAL AND COZY

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sebring Services

Just a great space to unwind with family and friends.

RESTFUL RESPITE

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Ashton Woods

The height and color adds warmth without being too dark and the slightly deeper outer pieces give it more detail than the wainscotting you usually see.

STUNNING FOYER

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Akke Woodworks

This foyer area contains so much beautiful detail.

CLASSIC POWDER

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Rikki Snyder (Photography)

This powder room and wainscotting is very classic.

I’M HOOKED

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Lda Architecture & Interiors

I really like the added hook detail.

SUBTLE AND CLASSY

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Kristin Petro Interiors, Inc.

The wainscotting adds some more interest to the room without overdoing it.

CONTEMPORARY

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Benjamin Moore

I really like the use of two colors in the wainscotting and that it utilizes the entire wall in this contemporary bedroom.

NIGHT TRAIN

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Sara Bederman Design

The use of this velvetry gray blue color (Benjamin Moore CC720 Night Train) with this traditional wainscotting is really pretty.

FOYER ORDER

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Jeremy Kohm (Photography)

I really like the use of wainscotting in the foyer–with the right paint finish can make easier to clean.

HIDDEN PANEL

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Carisa Mahnken Design Guild

Notice the storage panel to the lower left. This could be an interesting feature for hidden storage.

SPECTACULAR STAIRS

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Witt Construction

This striking detail adds so much more to this area.

WARM WAINSCOTTING

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Horchow

This color adds warmth.

COASTAL GETAWAY

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
RemodelWest

Feels like a happy coastal vacation.

PRACTICAL APPRECIATION

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Gray House Furniture via Chris Kauffman

Great idea for displaying your children’s special art pieces or photos.

TUFTED LEATHER

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Anne Rue Interiors via Preserve Point

The tufted leather squares add such interesting rich detail.

TIMELESS

The 39 Most Desirable Ideas for Wainscoating - Sebring Services
Historical Concepts

Like the classic feel of this wainscotting. The rectangular area is a little closer together and seems to match the size of the room.

With so many styles to choose from, you are assured of finding one that is perfect for your home. Remember to get a style that will blend in well with your existing room décor and which you love. With the right choice, you can transform an ordinary kitchen or living room into a chic yet homely space.

To take a look at our previous projects for Home Remodeling Ideas.

Whether you are constructing a new home or you plan to do some remodeling, we can help you achieve the look you want with the right wainscoting. If you have any questions regarding design, material or installation of wainscoting, we are more than glad to be of help. Contact us with whatever question you might have.

This post was created to showcase other reputable contracting companies’ work.  To have any of the images removed, please reach out and we would be happy to do so.

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" We are very passionate about educating homeowners. From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this blog helps you in the process of remodeling your home. " ~ Bryan Sebring

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