Wainscoting is a wood paneling that lines the lower part of the walls in a room or hallway. Common styles can range from a “farmhouse” style that uses beadboard and a more basic chair rail and is typically painted white, to elaborate panels made of stain grade wood in an array of shades to match the style or time period of the house. The possibilities with wainscoting are endless, but in this article we want to highlight 3 of our favorite ways to use wainscoting in your home to add that extra touch of charm and character.
1. Add Visual Interest to Large Open Areas:
Modern homes today are tending toward large open living spaces. We love the “Open Concept” trend for entertaining, as well as everyday life, but it poses a challenge with decorating. Often open concept floor plans struggle with blending the style from room-to-room because there aren’t defined boundaries between, for example, living and dining rooms, or kitchen and entryway.
One great way to remedy this problem is with wainscoting. By adding wainscoting to one area, you can make it distinct from the rest of the living space. Breaking up the larger space with variations in trim or flooring will help it feel less cavernous, and make it more visually appealing.
2. Bring Back Some of the Antique Charm in a Historic Home:
If you live in an older home that has been remodeled over the years then you know that over time and generations, many of the original woodwork tends to be removed to suit changing styles through the years. While some older or historic homes have been kept in pristine condition, we know this is not the case with the majority. Bringing back period accurate wainscoting in your historic home can go a long way to restoring its original charm.
Period and style accuracy here is key. The types of wainscoting and the finishes used will vary significantly across decades. What you might have seen in a Turn-of-the-Century Victorian Style home, would not necessarily be found in a home built in the late 20’s. There are plenty of great resources to be found online once you know the age of your home that can help you choose period and style accurate wainscoting.
3. Form AND Function:
One great trend we are seeing more and more of today is incorporating functional built-in features into wainscoting. Whether it’s seating by the door, Coat hooks, or built-in storage, wainscoting doesn’t have to be all about style.
Think about incorporating wainscoting into a mudroom or entryway. Adding seating for putting on shoes, storage for backpacks, purses and gym bags, and hooks for coats, leashes and more can transform an otherwise blank wall, into an organized and highly functional area.