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Traditional, Practical, and Trendy: Wainscoting Ideas for Your Home

wainscoting under dark accent wall

Hundreds of years ago, homeowners and builders applied wainscoting out of necessity. Especially in the Northeast, where winters can be brutally cold, wainscoting provided an extra layer of insulation while preserving the delicate plaster that constructed the walls. Today, it’s become a popular design trend that elevates a home’s aesthetic while still adding a measure of durability and protection to interior walls.

The extra layer of defense is why you often see wainscoting in areas of the home that take a beating, like the kitchen, dining room, entryway, bathroom, or kid’s rooms. There’s no better way to add a little bit of texture or add visual interest to a plain old wall than installing wainscoting, and it comes in a variety of panel options and trim selections to suit any interior.

Next Day Moulding Doors and Stairs carries a vast selection of paneling, trim, and moulding options to help introduce some contrast, protection, and style to any room in your home.

What Is Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is a wall treatment applied to the lower third of an interior wall, typically made up of paneling and trim pairings that complement the overall aesthetic of the home. Wainscoting is often shaped by using repeated patterns and straight lines. Traditionally, wainscoting was made of solid wood. These days, it comes in various materials from plywood to plastic or even MDF (medium-density fiberboard).

Wainscoting panels and chair rail on a corner wall

With wainscoting, you have complete creative freedom to design the patterns and trim that mimic your personal style while nodding to the architectural style of your home. Whether you want thick trim, square panel detail, traditional raised panels, or modern tongue and groove patterns, wainscoting can give you the look you want while keeping your wall free of scuffs and scratches.

Types of Wainscoting

Next Day Moulding Doors and Stairs carries a wide variety of materials you can use to construct your wainscoting. Some of the most popular styles include wall-panel wainscoting, flat-panel wainscoting, beaded-panel wainscoting, or raised-panel wainscoting.

Wall-panel wainscoting is constructed by attaching strips of moulding directly to the wall to achieve a pattern of rectangular frames. Next Day Moulding Doors and Stairs carries a selection of panel mould styles to fit your needs.

Flat-panel wainscoting (also referred to as board and batten panel wainscoting) uses thin plywood or MDF boards that adhere to the walls. Decorate those boards with strips of moulding to create your desired framing.

Beaded-panel wainscoting relies on using beadboard, which is a long sheet of paneling that comes with vertical grooves almost like a vertical shiplap. Trim can be applied to the top and bottom of the beadboard to create a paneled look.  

Raised-panel wainscoting is the traditional wainscoting look, achieved by beveling the edges of each panel before adding wood trim around each of the raised panels (see image below).

Traditional raised-panel wainscoting

Trends for All Home Types

Historic homes are a staple here in the Northeast, and here at Next Day Moulding Doors and Stairs, our goal is to honor the timeless design of a home’s architecture. That’s why we can help you customize wainscoting options to fit your home’s unique style.

While you might have a traditional home, playing with paint colors and panel sizes can add a touch of modern flair to an older home.

Making use of contrasting lines can add some character to a cookie-cutter home. Pairing beaded panel wainscoting on the bottom with shiplap on the top portion of a wall can add a little personality to an otherwise flat room.

Next Day Moulding Doors and Stairs is here to support your vision and style. Visit us at one of our four convenient Boston-area locations or give us a call at 781-843-6666 to see how we can bring your wainscoting vision to life.

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