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34 Wainscoting Ideas for Every Wall in Every Room

Small Workout Room Ideas when space in your home is tight.

By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Wainscoting Ideas

A lovely way to enhance the walls of your home is by adding wainscoting along your baseboards and walls. Wainscoting is a simple and long-lasting improvement that can breathe new life into just about any room of your home, on any wall, and in practically any style and design.

Wainscoting was originally used as a functional component in homes. Today, we see them as an element of elegant interior decoration that infuses color, size, and shape in a wide array of environments. Due to its widespread utilization in modern architecture, some might find a home without at least some wainscoting on the wall somewhat of an anomaly. In fact, in many homes, wainscoting seems to exist in just about every room. The same is true even in many apartment buildings and condos.

This doesn’t mean that wainscoting is always used well or incorporated into interior design in an effective or aesthetically pleasing way. For that reason, we’ve put together the 34 most inspired wainscoting ideas that you’ll love to use in your own home on any wall. You’ll see wainscoting used on the walls of dining rooms, living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, and more.

Take a look at my curated list of Wainscoting Designs and Wainscoting Styles to give you ideas for your next DIY home improvement project! Let me know which photos you like best. You’ll find many room-specific wall ideas to fit any home design style!

Read also: We have an article about the different Wainscoting styles, to help you get a grasp on all the options available: 3 Best Wainscoting Styles for your Walls

Classic White Cottage Wainscoting Style

Create a timeless look with simple white wainscoting around the walls of your dining room or kitchen nook. This effortless paneling style easily complements nearly any style you want to achieve. Add additional wall covering, like wallpaper, above the wainscoting installation or chair rail for even more style in your room design.

wainscoting ideas for dining room

bathroom wainscoting ideas

Tall Panel Board and Batten Wainscoting

If your room has high or lofted ceilings, extra-tall board and batten wainscoting panels can dress the walls and bring attention to the beauty of vaulted ceilings with clarity and life, no matter what room you decide to highlight. Board and Batten goes great on dining rooms, bathroom, living room, or home office. As you can see below, you can paint it in various colors like white, black, or gray. Add wallpaper or accent color on the wall above it to create an eye-catching room.

wall wainscoting

bathroom remodel with wainscoting

wainscoting ideas for kitchen

Rustic Green Beadboard

Nothing quite says rustic or provincial like a perfectly weathered green beadboard wainscoting adorning your wall. Try this style in your bathroom to give the area a homely and comforting appearance.

rustic wainscoting ideas

Industrial Chic Tin-Roof Wainscoting

Keep in mind that not all wainscoting needs to be made of wood. One particular replacement wall covering material comes by way of metal, especially in the form of repurposed or distressed aluminum. Check to this bathroom design below with rusty metal panels along the wall.

powder room wainscoting ideas

Oblique Lines in Relief

To bring the walls into focus without calling too much attention to them, you can craft plain white crisscrossing lines that intersect in a repeating pattern. This design element works incredibly well in long hallways or along stairs that need a bit of panache.

hallway wainscoting ideas

stairway wainscoting ideas

Chevron Panel Wainscoting

If the look you’re after calls for simplicity, but you also want to achieve a bit of intrigue, employ a simple chevron pattern (with or without a bifurcating line). While seemingly straightforward, this design creates movement while simultaneously drawing the eye around the room. Add a contrasting color above the wood paneling. For example in the photo below, a dark wall color contrasts nicely with the white wainscoting installation.

bathroom beadboard wainscoting ideas

beadboard wainscoting bathroom

Art Deco Inspired Wainscoting

While many homeowners opt for white, other colors can be just as striking, if not more so in the right circumstances. In an art deco-inspired space, install wainscoting with raised geometric molding patterns on the wall to complement any environment, be it a bathroom or unfinished basement. As you can see, any color goes, from black to blue.

black wainscoting

blue wainscoting

Faded Rustic Chic Paneling on the Wall and Ceiling

In some instances, you can match the ceiling with the wainscoting to tie the whole room together and build a cohesive appearance throughout. This works particularly well for looks specific to a certain design aesthetic, such as a mix of rustic and chic wooden elements.

bedroom wainscoting

Mahogany Wood Wainscoting

If, like Ron Burgundy, you’re the type to have a library filled with many leather-bound books, then consider adding to the sense of sophistication with mahogany wood wainscoting. Use curves instead of right-angles to really drive home the look and feel you want.

wainscoting bathroom pictures

Nursery Room Wainscoting with Wallpaper Print

Some people might think that a room can either have wallpaper or wainscoting, but not both. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In any room that needs a little extra pizzazz on the wall, craft rectangular shapes with picture frame molding and install wallpaper within the frames. While this idea goes for nurseries, it can bring life to virtually any space.

wainscoting nursery

Regal Powder Room Paneling

Wainscoting is remarkably versatile, as is evidenced by its use in practically any style, including more opulent looks like this one. Shapes, spirals, and other patterns create mystique and intrigue throughout the room, especially in smaller spaces like bathrooms or vanity closets.

wainscoting small bathroom

Gorgeous White Marble Wainscoting

Clear the way for modern luxury! Few things shout elegance quite like marble. To gift your bathroom (or other space) a little more richness, use marble or quartz wainscoting instead of traditional wood. You won’t regret it.

carrara marble wainscoting

Contemporary Coffee Colored Beadboard Paneling

If contemporary is more your speed, don’t feel the need to force something extravagant. Instead, use simple, traditional, vertical lines with a bit of beige or coffee color to elevate this classic beadboard look.

wainscoting paint brown

Wainscoting with Backsplash

Another misconception about wall paneling comes in the form of mixed materials use (again!). Here, we can see that wainscoting and backsplash can be utilized in the same space without one overpowering the other. On the contrary, they complement each another perfectly.

wainscotting bathroom

French Colonial Wainscoting with Picture Frame Molding

Take a page out of the French colonial handbook and bring a feeling of elevated and classic elegance to any entryway, dining room, or parlor with soft white or charcoal color wainscoting with simple rectangles in relief. I love the use of wallpaper above the chair rail.

french country wainscoting

dining room wainscoting paint


Urban Industrial Opulence

To bring out the fullest sense of your personality and style, allow the color, furniture, and materials in your space to speak for themselves. Give your walls a low seated wainscoting with dark paint and let the walls and leather and leopard print do the real talking.

ideas for black wainscoting

Lumber Cabin Walls

This is my favorite on the whole list! Take wooden lumber from the nearby forest and turn it into the uppermost bar of your arboretum-inspired bathroom space. Trees aren’t just for outside anymore, they can be the chair rail!

rustic wood wainscoting

Comfy Traditional Wooden Paneling

wainscoting bedroom

Don’t overthink it. With vertical wood paneling, you can infuse an otherwise dull space with a lot of life, without a lot of effort.

Classy Gloss Finish Wainscotting

craftsman style wainscoting

The same shapes and patterns can be utilized over and over again with new and surprising results. Here, take a simple rectangular motif and apply a glossy finish to make the wood pop and shine.

Reclaimed Board Wall Paneling

You just have to know that I love this photo. What appears complex on the surface is actually nothing more than multiple styles of unfinished reclaimed board laid side-by-side. It’s rustic and fun from start to finish.

dark rustic Reclaimed Board wainscoting ideas

Mountain Lodge Wainscoting

Here, we can see the use of deep brown wood color reminiscent of dark chocolate lining the entryway. You don’t need anything more than this to recall the mountains and the forests in a cabin or lodge atmosphere.

wainscotting for entry hall

Mirrored Board and Batten Reliefs

Sometimes, one shape just isn’t enough. When that’s the case, utilize two or more geometric figures — something simple like a square or rectangle — beside and atop one another. It’s classic and traditional and elegant all at once, whether in white, black, or another color altogether. You can use this board and batten style to enhance your hallways, entryway, or dining space.

crown molding wainscoting

floor to ceiling wainscoting

tall wainscoting

Geometric Stone Pattern Paneling

To really strike a bold impression on your walls, use a stone-like material as the wainscoting base and have a geometric pattern scroll top-to-bottom and side-to-side like beautifully crafted waves.

wainscoting pattern

Traditional Vertical Panels

If simplicity is your thing, consider straightforward vertically oriented dark cutout panels in your wainscoting. And if you want to jazz it up a little bit, go with a bright pop of wall color like teal.

gray wainscoting

coastal wainscoting

bathroom wainscotting

Colonial Relief Wainscoting Shadow Boxes

The colonial facade typically composes itself of primary elements like brick or wood. You can add to these shadow boxes into your interior design by adding components such as plain picture frame molding rectangles in relief.

wainscoting for living room

paint for bedroom with wainscoting

Alternating Shapes Pattern

Though these may appear similar to some we’ve shown you above, the patterns here holds a unique distinction. The board and batten rectangles vary in size around the wall, creating a more distinctive (and modern) composition.

wainscotting bathroom

bathroom design with wainscoting

Vertical Pinstripe Beadboard Wainscoting

Stripes function as a mark of simplicity and authenticity in fashion, and the same holds true in interior design. Use these wainscoting panels on your walls of your bathroom or living room to strike consistent visual notes without a lot of work.

bathroom wall wainscoting

wainscoting for family room

Full Wall Board and Batten Wainscoting

I know I keep saying this (sorry not sorry), but this one is another of my absolute, all-time favorites. These blue cubes in this full wall board and batten wainscoting are set in relief throughout the entire wall, making it less wainscoting and more of a wallpaper that’s come to life. How great is that?! Notice how the artwork contrasts, enhancing the interior design.

modern wainscoting living room

Solid Black Wainscoting

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Sometimes black is the most striking color you can use in interior design. Give your wainscoting the LBD treatment. It never fails to impress.

black wainscotting

Elegant Colonial Dining Room

At first blush, this dining room might appear like the earlier colonial ideas, but this one has an intricate design hiding in the corner, as well as a “rope” line along the top of the wainscoting in this somewhat pastoral inspired idea. Dining rooms are usually the most popular rooms in the home to use wainscoting.

 wainscoting dining room

Traditional Wainscoting with Paint Coat or Wallpaper

Take a simple, traditional wainscoting and give it a coat of paint it completely changes the feel of the interior design. In one instance below, we’ve used a hunter or forest green on the wall to give it a feeling of deep, rich elegance and sophistication, as well as a very modern sensibility. In the other case, black paint does the trick all on its own. Add wallpaper above the panels to give the room an even more dramatic feel.

home office wainscoting

wainscoting paint color

Multidimensional Tile Siding

Ground control to Major Tom… Your bathroom wainscoting is calling. This wall design is worthy of rock stars and anybody that wants to live like one. If you use this wainscoting, please invite me over ASAP. Because it’s incredible, and so are you.

modern wainscoting

Ski Chalet Wood Paneling

Long wooden horizontal boards extend along the wall from one side of the living room to the other, creating a clean lodge look in any space that calls for it.

horizontal wainscoting

Rustic Distressed Wall Panels

Take traditional wainscoting, give it an eggshell or beige coat of paint, then distress the bevel. This is all it takes to make a contemporary room uniquely your own.

rustic bathroom wainscoting

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