31+ Wainscoting Ideas and Design That You’ll Love

Wainscoting was used purely for utilitarian reasons in the past. It doesn’t necessarily lose its allure just because it isn’t necessary to keep your house warm anymore. This fairly traditional element can feel unexpectedly contemporary and fresh when used in the appropriate combination. Even today, wainscoting has two practical reasons: the usage of panels allows for the concealment of wall flaws, although both can be fixed or changed.

To be inspired to begin your venture and give your area a unique wall treatment, look at these stylish DIY wainscoting ideas.

Do You Know: How Modern Wainscoting Looks Like?

An empty room with a door and a mirror

A stunning wall paneling known as wainscoting is constructed with trim and boards of various sizes. It gives the impression of seamlessness throughout the entire area because it is attached to the lower part of the wall. Wainscotings  are thought to be as appealing and adaptable as they are compatible with many styles.

You Might Wonder: Why Do You Need To Apply Wainscotting Ideas?

A white bath tub sitting next to a white sink

Builders and homeowners have been protecting their walls from damage caused by scuffs from bare feet, tables, chairs, and other hazardous components for years by using wainscoting. Because it has a pleasing look, wainscoting’s popularity hasn’t diminished.

Wainscotting vs Panelling: Which One Should You Choose?

A room with a hard wood floor and white paneling

Wainscoting ideas are essentially a kind of decorative paneling. In contrast to paneling, which can be installed from floor to ceiling or even on the ceiling, wainscoting is normally only used on the bottom part of the 3/4th part of a wall.

Before You Scroll! Have A Read To This Rule For Modern Wainscoting Ideas

A table with two vases on top of it

A wainscot should be at least 1/3rd portion up the wall, which is a fair general guideline. For instance, if the ceiling height in the room is nine feet, the wainscoting would be three feet high. Want to add some contrast with a wainscot that is significantly taller? Consider using one that wraps around the bottom ⅔ portion of the wall.

The 5 Types of Wainscoting Ideas For You!

Raised Panel Wainscoting

Raised Panel Wainscoting

The panels of raised panel wainscoting are placed juxtaposed with the designs and rails. So, the panels appear to have been raised as a result.

Flat Panel Wainscoting

Flat Panel Wainscoting

The panels in flat-panel wainscoting are hidden under the styles and rails. To make the boards appear deeper than the stiles and rails, the appearance calls for boards without beveled edges or molding.

Beadboard Wainscoting

Beadboard Wainscoting

The thin, individual planks that makeup beadboard wainscoting are arranged adjacent to one another. A tongue-and-groove technique is used to connect each little board to its neighbor.

Overlay Wainscoting

Overlay Wainscoting

Raised panel and flat panel wainscoting are combined to create overlay wainscoting. After installing flat panels, more panels are centered around them. Sometimes moldings are used to line these extra panels.

Board and Batten Wainscoting

Board and Batten Wainscoting

Wainscoting that use vertical boards to hide seams or stiles are known as board and batten wainscoting. The extra boards are referred to as battens.

These 35 Wainscoting Ideas Are A Must If You Want To Create A Modern Wall Decor!

1. Consider The Height Of Your Wall

An empty room with a chandelier and hard wood floors

Wainscoting are an awesome method to bring a little extra flair to your walls, and not only this, but it even works well when the wainscoting is done at a height. If you consider the height of your wall, then the purpose of wainscoting will be served. 

Pro-Tip: While wainscoting, do make sure that you set your furniture right below the wainscoting paneling. 

2. Keep It Simple Keep it Clean

An empty room with a door and a wallpapered wall

Keeping it simple does not necessarily mean that it is boring. Especially in the case of wainscoting, the more simple and clean it is, the more elegant it will be. When you keep it simple, it not only makes your room modern but also reduces the stress of over-maintenance. 

Pro Tip: You can experiment with shiplap paneling with a whimsical style of wallpaper like the Pierre Frey wallpapers.

3. Blending Wainscoting Ideas With Wallpaper

Blending Wainscoting Ideas With Wallpaper

If you want to achieve a winning combo for your wall, try experimenting with wallpaper and wainscoting. It is a great wainscoting idea to combine with wallpaper. Together, they will give you a timeless and classic pair.

Pro Tip: Feel free to experiment with various patterns of wallpaper so that you can finally come up with the one that will make you experience your space. 

4. Create Modern Wainscoting Ideas  

Create Modern Wainscoting Ideas  

Don’t make the mistake of thinking wainscoting is only for traditional home decor. You can always try modern wainscoting ideas. Keep the wainscoting simple to give your space a more contemporary look.

Pro Tip: You can try pairing silhouettes with sleek furniture. Incorporating pine wainscoting in your room can also be a good choice to create a refreshing and modern look.

5. Board And Batten Wainscoting 

Board And Batten Wainscoting 

The popularity of batten and board wall treatments has been growing for a long time, and it shows no signs of slowing down. It’s a simple method to give a room architectural interest. Although it isn’t typical wainscoting, this wall treatment belongs to the wainscoting family. 

Pro Tip: It is simple to apply it to walls without texture, but it takes a little more work to put it on textured walls. Do not be alarmed—we will demonstrate how to accomplish it!

6. Add Picture Frames For Depth

Add Picture Frames For Depth

Classic wainscoting resembles wall-mounted picture frames. Although it’s a simple undertaking, DIY projects take time. To complete this DIY, a lot of preparation and caulking are required.

Pro Tip: For installing these DIY wainscoting ideas, you would need trim and chair rail molding, but the result will be stunning!

7. Wainscoting Ideas For Modern Bathrooms

Wainscoting Ideas For Modern Bathrooms

Wainscoting is fairly common in bathrooms these days. It is a simple and affordable solution to upgrade your toilet. Oak paneling is one of the safer possibilities. 

It has a longer lifespan because of its resistance to rust and bacterial deterioration. But it is not a less expensive option, so if money is limited, consider using regular wood panels instead. Just make sure to paint and protect them for a longer life.

Pro Tip:  When installing wainscoting in bathrooms, be cautious to use panels that can withstand moisture. Otherwise, there is a potential for warping, which would make everything pointless.

8. Wainscoting Dining Room

Wainscoting Dining Room

The vibe in the dining space should be both sophisticated and inviting. If you frequently hold house parties for both work and pleasure or if you want to eat in a formal setting, you might opt to have some kind of wainscoting ideas installed in your dining area. The dining area might feel more intimate by being made smaller with paneling. 

Pro Tip: You have the option of using a raised or flat panel for wainscoting that extend up to or even above eye level on the wall. That would contribute to creating a more posh and refined atmosphere.

9. Wainscoting Ideas For Kitchen

Wainscoting Ideas For Kitchen

Although wainscoting is rarely utilized in kitchens for a variety of factors, there continue to be stylish and straightforward examples. 

By applying wainscoting for your kitchen island, you can effortlessly add personality to your boring kitchen space. Your kitchen will quickly change into a room that is elegant and attractive while also feeling cozy and welcoming.

Pro Tip: Paneling can be used to adorn kitchen islands, giving them a gorgeous appearance.

10. Wainscoting Ideas For Living Room

Wainscoting Ideas For Living Room

Every room with high paneling gives off the impression that the ceiling is high above, creating a sensation of openness. Yet, some interior designers believe that the windowsill height and wainscoting should be correlated. Some wainscoting ideas for the living room only accentuate the attractiveness of the rooms’ color schemes. 

Pro Tip: If you want to create a tranquil ambiance in your living room, you might use a white wainscot. Also, a few drapes that match the paneling and walls can give your living rooms a more finished appearance.

11. Wainscoting Ideas With Raised Panels

Wainscoting Ideas With Raised Panels

You can try creating DIY wainscoting with raised panels that will rise to the ceiling. But make sure, you provide proper space for electrical wirings before you fix the wainscoting in the wall. 

Pro Tip: Try MDF wood for the raised panels of your wainscoting. They are can be found in various styles you want. And even they are easy to install with tongue and groove joining.

12. Wainscoting Ideas With Barn Door

Wainscoting Ideas With Barn Door

A unique wall treatment to add to your room is barn door wainscoting. For creating a wainscoting wall with a barn door, you may need, a 1x6s, 1x4s, and MDF board.

Pro Tip: It is preferable to paint before installing to ensure that every edge is covered; after that, all you will need is caulk and apply any touch-up paint as necessary.

13. Add Formal Wainscoting Touch

Add Formal Wainscoting Touch

While exploring the wainscoting ideas, you may try giving the room a formal touch. A quirky space can be made sophisticated with proper wainscoting. It can help make the space more spacious and elegant. 

Pro Tip: You can add gray detailing skillfully and juxtapose the wallcovering with a mirror to get an even more formal touch.

14. Monochromatic Wainscoting Magic

Monochromatic Wainscoting Magic

You should never belittle the capacity of the painted wall. Monochromatic wainscoting are always the best choice to give your space a calming aura. This will create a soothing space on a low budget. 

Pro Tip: You can experiment with wainscotting a light-colored wall in a dark blue-gray to create a contrasting monochrome wainscoting wall. 

15. Functional and Fashionable Wainscoting Ideas

Functional and Fashionable Wainscoting Ideas

While wainscoting in an interior deserves to be praised, the rest of the space doesn’t have to follow its lead. By positioning a chair in the right spot, putting up a towel rack, and supporting a framed painting, you can diminish the line between function and form.

Pro Tip: You can always create a wainscotting idea that is both functional and fashionable. 

16. Wainscoting Paint Ideas

Wainscoting Paint Ideas

Wainscoting doesn’t have to be white; for a gorgeous and understated appearance, it’s possible to have it painted the same rich color as that of the remainder of the walls.

Pro Tip: Choose the paint color of the wainscoting that matches your taste so that you can have a better user experience.

17. Dimensional Design Of Wainscoting

Dimensional Design Of Wainscoting

While exploring the wainscoting ideas, you should think of making a dimensional design so that you get a spacious and airy room experience. Never constrain yourself to a typical template for wainscoting. 

Pro Tip: You can use recessed beadboards with a ledge to create a dimensional design for the wainscoting. 

18. Try To Create A Statement Wainscoting Wall

Try To Create A Statement Wainscoting Wall

If you’re thinking of adding wainscoting to your bedroom but are hesitant to go all out, consider starting with just one statement wall. This will help you create a focus in your space.

Pro Tip: A statement wall helps you create definitions in your space. It will always catch your eye, whenever you enter your room. 

19. Find Some Historic Roots Of Wainscoting Ideas

Find Some Historic Roots Of Wainscoting Ideas

Wainscoted walls can be complemented with historical elements like a grand staircase, an elaborate mirror, and a white-washed bust to draw attention to the element’s historical roots.

Pro Tip: Adding classic elements like wainscoting to your space will help you create an antique ambiance. 

20. Add Some Wallpaper Mural

Add Some Wallpaper Mural

You can create study room wainscoting that serves as the ideal backdrop for the stunning wallpaper mural. Adding a mural to your wainscoting will act as the focus of the space. 

Pro Tip: You can add crown molding on top of your wainscoting, and make sure, your wainscoting is ⅓ below it. 

21. Experiment With Bold Colors For Wainscoting Ideas

Experiment With Bold Colors For Wainscoting Ideas

Using bold colors is a must if you want anything to stand out. It will help you give your room a contemporary feel. Your room will transform into a vibrant, enjoyable area. 

Try choosing from a wide range of vibrant wainscoting colors, including electric blue and magenta. The paneling’s striking color will give any room a lively, welcoming feel. 

Pro Tip: For the trims and panels, you can use various colors to draw attention to the walls. Alternatively, you might use bare wainscoting with inlaid rectangles placed against white walls and contrasting tints or colors. You can also paint the interior rectangles while leaving the outer ones white.

22. Rustic Green Beadboard For Wainscoting Ideas

Rustic Green Beadboard For Wainscoting Ideas

For a bathroom, a rustic aesthetic would be ideal. If you want wainscoting in your bathroom, you might choose a rustic green beadboard. It will infuse your environment with a feeling of comfort and freshness that is ideal for a day’s enthusiastic beginning and a relaxed end.

Pro Tip: A rustic green beadboard used in wainscoting ideas is always a great choice to create a soothing and natural aura.

23. Try Creating Contrast 

Try Creating Contrast 

The most striking elements are created when you use contrasting pairs. And wainscoting ideas work well when you create depth in the space with contrasting colors. Contrasting colors also help to create a focus in the space. 

Pro Tip: Try fusing black wainscoting with a cool, light-colored illustration or a mural on your wall. 

24. Experiment With Wainscoting Heights

Experiment With Wainscoting Heights

After considering the height of your wall, you can also experiment with the height of the wainscoting. It is generally advised to keep 1/3rd of the wall as the standard height for the wainscoting, but you are always free to experiment. 

Pro Tip:  Having tall wainscoting in the foyer creates a series of dramas. And if you add artwork with accent paint and a pendant light there, that will act as the cherry on top.

25. Add A Picture Ledge In Wainscoting Wall

Add A Picture Ledge In Wainscoting Wall

Adding a photo frame is a great idea, but you can also try to have a picture ledge on your wainscoting wall. Use your wainscoting ideas to give your bedroom an additional display area to give it a little more functionality. 

Pro Tip: It makes perfect sense to top your wainscoting with a picture ledge.

26. Double Up The Wainscoting Ideas

Double Up The Wainscoting Ideas

Utilize two or more pieces of wainscoting to create a greater impact in your room. For a unified and well-put-together appearance, try utilizing it in both of your connecting spaces, such as bedrooms and ensuite baths.

Pro Tip: Adding an extra wainscoting layer is a great idea to create depth in your space. 

27. Keep Short And Simple Wainscoting

Keep Short And Simple Wainscoting

It’s not that you always have to have long wainscoting panels. You can also have short and simple wainscoting as well. Having short wainscoting makes your wall long and spacious. Also, if you have vertical moldings, it will help create the illusion of height in your space.

Pro Tip: Wainscoting should be 1/3rd or 1/4th the height of the wall. 

28. Bring Natural Wainscoting Ideas

Bring Natural Wainscoting Ideas

Think of wainscoting ideas that find the right balance between subtle and striking. While the dove gray walls and white wainscoting make a lovely contrast, the dining table and artwork in the room aren’t overshadowed by the pairing.

Pro Tip: The more natural the wainscoting, the easier your job will be. 

29. Try Wainscoting Ideas In The Home Office

Try Wainscoting Ideas In The Home Office

A few extra pieces of wall art and whatever is left over from the remainder of the residence are all too frequently thrown together in home offices. Whether you add a little or a lot of wainscoting ideas to your home office, it will give it a more deliberate and polished appearance.

Pro Tip: It is not compulsory to add wainscoting only in the home, you can add it in your home office as well. 

30. Geometrical Wainscoting Ideas

Geometrical Wainscoting Ideas

Many patterns and forms can be made with wainscoting ideas. Consider installing wainscoting with something like a square design if you want to provide your wainscoting with a more contemporary appearance.

Pro Tip: Geometry is always the key when you want to create something formal yet interesting. 

31. Add Some Wood For Wainscoting Ideas

Add Some Wood For Wainscoting Ideas

Making the outer sheath of trim out of a strip of raw (or barely finished) wood will give wainscoting an earthy and contemporary feel. This updates a centuries-old style with a modern touch.

Pro Tip: Wood is the ultimate solution for any kind of wainscoting idea; just make sure you are using it the right way. 

32. Keep Some Breathing Space In Your Wainscoting Ideas

Keep Some Breathing Space In Your Wainscoting Ideas

The wainscotted panel is a brilliant technique to break up opposing patterns if your taste tends towards the maximum end of the range. The beadboard wall in this striking breakfast nook creates some breathing space between both the painted floor and the striped wallpaper.

Pro Tip: Don’t make your wainscoting wall too congested, keep some breathable space for the room to look elegant. 

33. Add An Extra Storage In Wainscoting Ideas

Add An Extra Storage In Wainscoting Ideas

Want more storage? Consider wainscoting. It is simple to add some shelves and lots of hooks and knobs to the top of the wainscoting. So, don’t waste that space; use it consciously. 

Pro Tip: Your wainscoting can even be used to add extra space to your room. 

34. Ground Your Space For Wainscoting Ideas

Ground Your Space For Wainscoting Ideas

In a room with a lot of vibrant colors and patterns, wainscoting ideas can add a sense of stability and depth. To add it to a room with a maximalist design, consider adding a wall that is dark black or plain white.

Pro Tip: Try wainscoting to create a feeling of depth and grounding in your space.

35. Create Wainscoting Ideas In Kitchen Island

Create Wainscoting Ideas In Kitchen Island

It may seem like a waste of space to have a wall under a kitchen counter or bar. To change this, add some wainscoting, and it’s great if it is painted as well.

Pro Tip: Don’t waste the kitchen space, use wainscoting ideas to utilize the space underneath the kitchen bar or island. 

It’s Time To Implement The Wainscoting Ideas In Your Space!

The original intent of wainscoting was to shield walls from scuff marks caused by chairs or tables and other harmful events. Wainscoting wall coverings have altered and evolved, including new components, designs, and aesthetics. 

And having read this article, you must have understood all about it. So, now it’s time to install for yourself these wainscoting ideas in your home that will enhance your space as well as save you a lot of money. 

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A white bath tub sitting next to a window
A dining room with a table and chairs
A kitchen with a center island and a stove top oven
A room with a staircase and a blue wall
A staircase leading to a living room and dining room
A room with a bed and two windows
A large empty room with wood paneling and a mirror
A bathroom with a sink, toilet and mirror
A room with a table, chairs, and potted plants
A empty room with three windows and a hard wood floor
An empty room with hard wood floors and a ceiling fan
A living room with two chairs and a table
A dining room with a table and chairs
A table with a vase of flowers on top of it
A bedroom with a bed, dresser, and pictures on the wall
A living room filled with furniture and a wooden door
A room with a wooden floor and white walls


1. Does Wainscotting Cost a Lot?

According to HomeAdvisor, “The average price of wainscoting is $1,325, or about $5.50 per square foot. Expect to pay $1,050 to $1,600 including materials and labor to install 5-foot-high unpainted solid wood wainscoting in a 12-by-12-foot room.”

2. Why Is Wainscoting So-Called?

Both the Dutch word waegenschotten for a wooden wall covering and the German word wageschot, which means “wallboard,” are the origins of the term wainscot.

3. What Material Can I Use for Wainscoting?

The wainscoting was traditionally made of solid wood, although nowadays it can also be found made of plastic, plywood, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

4. Are Wainscoting More Modern or Traditional?

The use of wainscoting as a design element dates back many centuries. But from its traditional British beginnings as oak paneling, it has come a long way. This decorative item is now available in a wide range of materials and decorating styles.

5. How Many Types of Wainscoting Ideas Are Available in the Market?

You can a variety of wainscoting options in the market, but these five are majorly used – 
Raised Panels
Flat Panels
Board and Batten

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Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantt
Saili, once an architect, has seamlessly transitioned into the world of writing. With a background in architectural writing, content strategy, and curation, she now brings a unique perspective to fashion. For the past three years, Saili has collaborated with various multimedia publication houses, design firms, studios, organizations, luxury brands, and educational institutions. Beyond her professional endeavors, Saili is an avid reader and an adventurous traveler, channeling her experiences into her work.

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