25+ Stylish Wainscoting Ideas

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The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting:
25+ Stylish Wainscoting Ideas

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.

Why Wainscoting?

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, shared with us by Decor Chick:

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, shared by Design Dump.

Wainscoting can also be a wonderful solution to disguising some of your home’s quirks, such as oddly placed utility access points. The Modern Parsonage shared how they hid their plumbing access by dressing it up to match the wainscoting.

Taller wainscoting ideas 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 Wainscot

Beadboard 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. Check out these beadboard wainscoting ideas.

Simple Beautiful Home installed in a half bath remodel.

And The Reformed Ranch installed a tall beadboard wainscot in a farmhouse dining room.

You can also add a ledge to beadboard wainscoting like we did in our Logan House bathroom

or install the beadboard horizontally like we did in the half bath that we added to our Logan House.

And if you’re going for a different look, just paint the beadboard black like The DIY Diaries did in their 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 that Small Town Idaho Life shared with us:

 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 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 you.)

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 by Little Blue Chairs | dining room stacked square wainscoting by LA LA Land

 And board and batten is a and stair walls… so long as you’re willing to do some angular math!

Picture frame style wainscoting is another popular style, especially in older homes where you need more classic styles to match the architecture. See some picture frame wainscoting ideas.

“True” wainscoting is a raised panel like Our Home from Scratch shared (with a tutorial!):

But you can create a faux picture frame wainscot like Southern Lovely shared here

and Involving Color shared here:

You can also change things up and have two-tone picture frame molding like Little Miss Penny Wenny installed in her master bedroom:

Or add a little oomph to the picture frames by using like Suzy’s Sitcom did:

Or you could follow this great tutorial from The Mustard Ceiling 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:

trellis wainscoting by Watch Me Daddy

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!)

Try it…

in the entry (by Willow Wisp Cottage)

in the basement (by Dixie Delights)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?

For more stylish wall ideas, check out these:

Originally posted 8.12.2013 // Updated 2.3.2021

About Cassity

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three homes from top to bottom and are working on their fourth. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.


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