Is Wainscoting Still In Style? Experts Weigh In

Wainscoting has been around for centuries, but is it still in style?

The answer is a resounding yes! This classic interior design feature has never gone out of fashion, and in fact, it’s making a major comeback in 2022 with a modern twist.

Wainscoting is a decorative wall trim that adds texture, depth, and elegance to any room. It’s versatile and can suit any design style, from traditional to minimalist.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of wainscoting, its purpose, and why it’s still a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike.

So, if you’re wondering whether wainscoting is still in style, keep reading to find out!

Is Wainscoting Still In Style

Wainscoting has been a popular interior design feature for centuries, and it’s still in style today. In fact, it’s set to be a major trend in 2022 with a modern update.

According to experts, wainscoting is the perfect way to upstyle cookie-cutter homes and make them feel regal and elevated. It adds an element of uniqueness to any room, depending on your color choices and design.

While the classic white wainscoting is no longer in trend, deeper, moodier shades are becoming increasingly popular. Wainscoting in a deep, saturated color adds an elevated look to any room with features that make the space look much more expensive.

Wainscoting is often seen on the bottom half of walls in rooms like dining and living rooms. And according to interior design experts, it’s become popular again, but in dark hues. Dark wainscoting is a trend that has blown up in the design world in 2021 and will continue to rule 2022.

But wainscoting isn’t just a stylish addition to any room; it also serves a practical purpose. Traditionally, wainscoting was a system of durable, decorative wooden panels that protected walls from scrapes and scuffs. Today, it still serves as a seasoned wall protector, but these wall paneling ideas are more than just reliable relics.

Modern wainscoting can actually trick the eye, making a room appear taller, while even minimal wainscoting can add texture and charm to clean-lined interiors. Better yet, simply painting tired wainscoting with a refreshingly modern color can quickly update the entire vibe of your interior – think of it like a blank canvas.

The History Of Wainscoting: From Medieval Times To Modern Day

Wainscoting has a rich history that dates back to medieval times. It was initially used as a practical solution to protect the lower portion of walls from damage caused by moisture, drafts, and rough handling. In those times, rooms were often cold and damp, and wood panels made from riven oak were nailed across the lower half of walls to keep dampness away. The word “wainscot” itself comes from the Dutch word “wageschot,” which referred to that type of oak board.

During the Renaissance period, wainscoting became more popular as a decorative element. It was used to add visual interest and grandeur to the interiors of castles, mansions, and other grand buildings. The wealthy and powerful used wainscoting to showcase their wealth and status, and it became a symbol of elegance and refinement.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, wainscoting was embraced by the middle class and became a popular feature in homes and public buildings. It was often used in conjunction with other decorative elements, such as moldings and plasterwork, to create elaborate and ornate interiors.

As time passed, wainscoting evolved into different styles and materials. In days of old, marble and cloth were the two materials of choice for wainscoting. Depending on the room and the practicality of the materials, these were often debated upon and chosen between. Obviously linen and cotton would be the more inexpensive choice, so even the material of your wainscoting could be a reflection of your status in bygone eras.

Today, wainscoting is still a popular decorative element in homes and buildings around the world. It is used to add character and charm to interiors, and can be found in a variety of styles, from traditional and formal to modern and minimalistic. From rustic farmhouse homes to ultramodern ones, wainscoting fits in well with any décor style. It’s also touted as easy enough for a DIYer and a relatively cost-effective way to dress up a room.

The Purpose Of Wainscoting: Practical And Aesthetic Benefits

Wainscoting has both practical and aesthetic benefits that make it a popular design choice for homeowners. From its origins in the 14th century as a way to protect walls from dampness, wainscoting has evolved into a versatile design element that can enhance any room in the house.

One of the most practical benefits of wainscoting is its ability to protect walls from damage. Whether it’s scuffs and scrapes from furniture or moisture damage from bathrooms, wainscoting can provide a durable barrier that keeps walls looking new for longer. This makes it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas of the home, such as hallways, entryways, and mudrooms.

In addition to its protective qualities, wainscoting can also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. With a variety of styles and finishes to choose from, homeowners can create a customized look that complements their personal style and the overall aesthetic of their home.

Wainscoting can also be used to create visual interest in a room by breaking up large expanses of wall space. By adding texture and depth to walls, wainscoting can make a room feel cozier and more inviting. This is especially true when paired with the right lighting and accessories.

Another benefit of wainscoting is its versatility. Whether you prefer traditional or modern design styles, there is a wainscoting option that will work for you. From classic beadboard to more intricate paneling designs, wainscoting can be customized to fit any home decor style.

Finally, wainscoting is an investment in your home that can increase its value over time. By adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your interior design, you’re creating a space that potential buyers will find attractive and desirable. This makes it a smart choice for homeowners who are looking to sell their home in the future.

The Different Styles Of Wainscoting: Traditional, Modern, And Everything In Between

Wainscoting comes in many different styles, from traditional to modern and everything in between. Here are some of the most popular styles:

1. Raised Panel: This style features a raised panel in the center of each section, surrounded by a frame of molding. It’s a classic style that works well in traditional homes.

2. Flat Panel: This style is similar to raised panel, but with a flat panel instead. It’s a more modern take on wainscoting and works well in contemporary homes.

3. Beadboard: Beadboard wainscoting features narrow, vertical planks with a beaded edge. It’s a classic style that works well in coastal or cottage-style homes.

4. Overlay: Overlay wainscoting is made up of thin sheets of wood or MDF that are applied directly to the wall. It’s a more affordable option than traditional wainscoting and works well in modern homes.

5. Board and Batten: This style features wide, vertical boards with narrow strips of molding (battens) covering the seams. It’s a rustic style that works well in farmhouse-style homes.

No matter what style of wainscoting you choose, it’s important to consider the overall design of your home and choose a style that complements it. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a style that works for you.

Wainscoting Materials: Wood, MDF, And Other Options

When it comes to wainscoting, there are various materials to choose from, including wood, MDF, and other options. Traditional wooden wainscoting is a popular choice, but it can be expensive due to the cost of raw materials and installation. However, it offers a classic look and durability that can last for years.

For those on a budget, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a more affordable alternative to hardwood. MDF is made from a mix of wood chips, plant fibers, and sawdust, which are compressed into panels. It’s also available in water-resistant varieties, making it an excellent choice for high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Another option is PVC wainscoting, which is made from plastic and has the appearance of wood. It’s lightweight and easy to install, making it a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts. PVC wainscoting is also water-resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for areas that are prone to moisture.

Embossed metal wainscoting is another option that adds a touch of elegance to any room. It’s available in various patterns and finishes, including copper, brass, and stainless steel. Embossed metal wainscoting is durable and easy to clean, making it perfect for high-traffic areas.

Ceramic tile wainscoting is also an option for those who want a unique look. It’s available in various colors and patterns, allowing you to create a personalized design that complements your decor. Ceramic tile wainscoting is also durable and easy to clean.

How To DIY Wainscoting: Tips And Tricks For A Successful Project

If you’re looking to add wainscoting to your home, it’s important to consider both design principles and practical tips for a successful DIY project. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

1. Plan out your design: Use a pencil and tape measure to mark out where you want your panels to be and what size and shape you want them to be. Make sure all the panels are the same distance from the edge of the wall, at the same height, and at the same distance from the floor and ceiling. You can create one panel on each wall or multiple panels that go halfway up the wall, with a chair rail along the top.

2. Use painter’s tape: Before cutting wood, plan out your chair rail and boxes with painter’s tape. This allows you to visualize the boxes/chair rails and take measurements before you cut your wood.

3. Determine the height: Wainscoting is usually 32 inches tall, but the height of your wainscoting depends on the look you want.

4. Consider pre-finished molding: Pre-finished molding can make your DIY wainscoting project easy and quick. Chair rail molding is installed first, then base cap molding is used to make the picture frame shapes of the wainscoting pattern. Paint it all to match when you’re done installing!

5. Calculate frame size: To calculate a rough frame size, measure the length of each wall in inches, add them together, then add 14 inches. Then subtract 7 inches for a 3 1/2 inch space top and bottom, or the width of two 1×4 “rails.”

By following these tips and tricks, you can create beautiful wainscoting that not only adds style to your home but also serves as a practical wall protector.