Is Wainscoting Still Popular? A Comprehensive Analysis

Wainscoting has been around for centuries, and it’s no surprise that it’s still a popular design element in homes today.

This decorative wall trim not only adds visual interest to a room, but it also serves a practical purpose by protecting walls from damage. While wainscoting has gone through periods of heightened popularity, it has never truly gone out of style.

In fact, it’s making a comeback in 2022 with a modern twist. So, is wainscoting still popular? The answer is a resounding yes!

In this article, we’ll explore the history of wainscoting, its current trends, and why it’s still a beloved design feature in homes today.

Is Wainscoting Still Popular

Despite being centuries old, wainscoting is still a popular design element in homes today. It’s a versatile feature that can suit just about any design style, making it a timeless addition to any room.

According to experts, wainscoting is set to be a major interior design trend in 2022. It’s the perfect way to add some uniqueness and visual interest to cookie-cutter homes. Plus, depending on your color choices and design, it can add an elevated and regal look to any room.

The classic white wainscoting is no longer the type that’s coming back. Instead, it’s going to follow an existing trend of using deeper, moodier shades. Wainscoting in a deep, saturated color is popular because it leans into the moody color trend, adding an elevated look to any room with features that make the space look much more expensive.

Wainscoting not only adds visual interest but also serves a practical purpose by protecting walls from damage. It can be used to keep walls safe from damage and blemishes in heavy-traffic areas like entryways, stairways, and hallways. In dining rooms, topped by a wainscot cap, which is molding, the paneling can protect the walls from being banged up by chairs.

The History Of Wainscoting: From Tudor Times To Modern Day

Wainscoting has been around for centuries, with its origins dating back to 14th century Holland. It was initially used as a protective and decorative covering for the lower half of walls in homes. During this time, interior plaster walls were vulnerable to damage, making wainscoting a practical solution to protect the lower portion of walls.

In Tudor times, wainscoting became more prevalent in England, where it was used to cover up unwanted dampness in the lower part of the wall. It was considered a band-aid solution to protect the walls from moisture and provide insulation in homes.

As time passed, wainscoting evolved from being a practical solution to a status symbol. It became a way to add elegance and prestige to homes. The average height of full paneled wainscoting increased from 42 inches to 72 inches during the 1900s, with many homes featuring dining rooms with near floor-to-ceiling wainscoting.

Wainscoting was traditionally made of wood, but later innovations introduced many alternatives. Marble and cloth were once popular materials for wainscoting, but today, wooden raised panel, flat panel, and bead board are the most common choices. Raised panel wainscoting is perfect for colonial style homes that prefer a traditional look, while flat panel wainscoting works well for modern or mission style homes. Bead board is ideal for shabby chic decorators and cozy cottages.

When it comes to installation, wainscoting can be a DIY project or left to professionals depending on the intricacy of the moldings, measurements of the installment, and number of pieces to be put together. A professional job may be more costly but will result in a streamlined and even finished look.

In modern times, designers use wainscoting as a backdrop for modern accents and silhouettes. By juxtaposing classic wainscoting with contemporary materials and fixtures, designers create contrast and add visual interest to rooms. Wainscoting is still a popular design element in homes today and is set to be a major interior design trend in 2022.

The Benefits Of Wainscoting: Practical And Aesthetic

Wainscoting is a design element that can provide both practical and aesthetic benefits to any home. Here are some of the benefits of adding wainscoting to your walls:

1. Protection: Wainscoting can protect your walls from damage caused by furniture, pets, and children. It acts as a barrier between the wall and any potential harm, keeping your walls looking pristine for longer.

2. Visual interest: Wainscoting adds texture and depth to a room, breaking up large, blank walls and creating visual interest. It can also add symmetry and balance to a space, making it feel more cohesive.

3. Timeless design: Wainscoting has been around for centuries and has remained popular due to its classic and timeless design. It’s a safe bet for any home renovation or design project as it’s unlikely to go out of style.

4. Versatility: Wainscoting comes in various styles and materials, making it a versatile design element that can fit into any home decor style. From traditional to modern, there is a wainscoting option for every taste.

5. Easy installation: Unlike other wall treatments like wallpaper or tile, wainscoting is relatively easy to install. It can be a DIY project or done by a professional, making it accessible for all homeowners.

Wainscoting Styles: Traditional, Modern, And Everything In Between

Wainscoting comes in a variety of styles, making it a versatile choice for any home. Traditional wainscoting styles include raised panel, flat panel, and beadboard. Raised panel wainscoting features a series of rectangular panels that are raised above the surface of the wall. This style is often seen in more formal spaces, such as dining rooms or libraries. Flat panel wainscoting is similar to raised panel, but the panels are flat instead of raised. This style is more understated and can work well in both traditional and modern spaces. Beadboard wainscoting features narrow, vertical planks with a beaded edge. This style is often seen in more casual spaces, such as bathrooms or mudrooms.

Modern wainscoting styles include shiplap and board and batten. Shiplap wainscoting features horizontal planks with a small gap between each board. This style has gained popularity in recent years, particularly in farmhouse-style homes. Board and batten wainscoting features alternating wide boards and narrow strips of wood, creating a grid-like pattern on the wall.

For those who want something unique, there are also many variations on traditional wainscoting styles. For example, picture frame wainscoting creates a series of rectangles on the wall, similar to a picture frame. Boxed beam wainscoting features horizontal beams that create a grid-like pattern on the wall.

Wainscoting Materials: Wood, MDF, And Beyond

Wainscoting has traditionally been made from solid wood panels, but these days, there are many materials to choose from. While solid wood is still a popular choice, wainscoting can also be milled from plywood, plastic, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF).

MDF is a popular choice for wainscoting because it’s affordable and easy to work with. It’s also available in different grades, including interior grade MDF, primed MDF, moisture-resistant/no added formaldehyde MDF (MRI/NAF), exterior MDF (MRX), and fire-rated MDF (FR). These different grades of MDF offer varying levels of durability and moisture resistance, making them suitable for different areas of the home.

Another popular material for wainscoting is PVC. PVC wainscoting is lightweight, durable, and easy to maintain. It’s also resistant to moisture and can be used in high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

In addition to these materials, there are also custom hardwood paneling options available. These can be more expensive than other materials but offer a unique and luxurious look to any space.

When choosing a wainscoting material, consider the style of your home and the area where it will be installed. Solid wood paneling may be better suited for traditional or rustic homes, while MDF or PVC may be a better fit for modern or contemporary spaces. Ultimately, the material you choose will depend on your personal preferences and budget.

Wainscoting Trends In 2022: Bold Colors, Geometric Patterns, And More

In 2022, wainscoting is set to be a major interior design trend, and it’s not just about the classic white paneling anymore. Instead, designers are opting for bolder colors and geometric patterns to add visual interest and uniqueness to any room.

One trend that has blown up in the design world is dark wainscoting. According to experts, wainscoting in a deep, saturated color adds an elevated look to any room with features that make the space look much more expensive. This trend leans into the moody color trend that has been popular in recent years.

Geometric patterns are also becoming increasingly popular in wainscoting designs. Modern wainscoting can actually trick the eye, making a room appear taller, while even a minimal wainscoting can add texture and charm to clean-lined interiors. Asymmetrical and geometric designs are perfect for creating a more modern look.

Wainscoting is no longer limited to just wood paneling either. Designers are experimenting with different materials like stone, tile, and even wallpaper to create unique and eye-catching wainscoting designs.

Another trend that’s set to be big in 2022 is bespoke wainscoting. Custom-made designs can be tailored to fit any room and can be used to create a one-of-a-kind look that truly reflects your personal style.

How To Incorporate Wainscoting Into Your Home: DIY Or Hire A Pro?

If you’re considering incorporating wainscoting into your home, you have two options: DIY or hire a professional. While hiring a pro may seem like the easier option, it can also be quite costly. Labor costs make up a large portion of the expense, so if you’re looking to save money, doing the project yourself is a great option.

However, it’s important to note that some types of wainscoting require extensive knowledge and woodworking skills. Raised-panel and overlay wainscoting, for example, have beveled edges that require precise cutting and fitting. If you’re not confident in your woodworking abilities, it’s best to opt for an easier style like wall-panel or beadboard.

Before starting the project, consider your skill level and the complexity of the design you want to achieve. If you’re a beginner, start with a simple design and work your way up. It’s also important to have all the necessary tools and materials on hand before starting.

If you do decide to hire a professional, make sure to do your research and choose someone with experience in wainscoting installation. Ask for references and photos of their previous work to ensure they have the skills needed to complete the project to your satisfaction.

In conclusion, incorporating wainscoting into your home can add visual interest and protect your walls from damage. Whether you choose to DIY or hire a pro, make sure to consider your skill level and the complexity of the design before starting. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve a beautiful wainscoting design that will stand the test of time.