Elevate Your Living Room: Creative Wainscoting Ideas for a Stylish Space

June 5, 2023

By: The Finished Space

What is Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is a design feature that involves installing wooden paneling on the lower part of interior walls. It initially served as insulation in the chilly old days, but today, it’s cherished for both its visual appeal, and vintage vibes.

In contemporary design, wainscoting is a creative tool that can break up wall space, add texture, and refine a room’s overall aesthetic. Picture your living room wall adorned with intricate patterns of white wooden paneling that creates color blocking with the vibrant hues in your wallpaper. That’s the power of wainscoting! It’s a feature that can transform any living area into a chic, inviting, and eye-catching space.

Where to Install Wainscoting

Before you discuss wainscoting ideas specifically for your living room, it’s important to know that wainscoting is a versatile design element that isn’t restricted to any particular room or area. In fact, here are ten distinctive areas where you can incorporate wainscoting to elevate your home’s aesthetic:

1. Living Room: As you probably already know, wainscoting can be the perfect companion to a living room. It can instantly upscale the design, and lend an intimate, sophisticated charm to the heart of a home.

2. Dining Room: Want a five-star restaurant experience at home? Wainscoting in the dining area provides an upscale touch that effortlessly complements the dining table and chairs, to help set the perfect mood for a lavish dinner.

3. Kitchen: Wainscoting in the kitchen seamlessly integrates with various design schemes. Matching it with cabinets can lead to a cohesive, well-designed space that is both inviting and chic.

4. Hallways: Hallways can be more than just room connectors, and with the right wainscoting, you can create a visual journey that makes them more engaging and pleasing to the eye.

5. Bedrooms: Bedrooms are a personal sanctuary, and wainscoting can make them feel even more special. Whether it’s a kid’s room or the main suite, it brings a sense of calm that’s perfect for rest and relaxation.

6. Bathroom: Your bathroom isn’t just a functional space. It can also be a luxurious, spa-like retreat! Wainscoting adds a layer of sophistication that makes every soak in the tub feel like a trip to an upscale spa.

7. Home Office: Now that many of us work from home, an office space that’s functional yet aesthetically pleasing is key. Wainscoting can define a focal point and provide a professional backdrop for video calls.

8. Stairways: Don’t make your stairways boring. Use wainscoting to create a sense of movement and directional cue that adds character and intrigues the eye.

9. Basement: Often the last space to receive design attention, your basement can be a cool hangout area. Wainscoting can elevate the overall look and feel, and turn it into an entertainment hub everyone will love.

10. Mudrooms: Mudrooms are transitional spaces that can be both functional and fabulous. Wainscoting lends an elegant touch that can turn this often neglected area into a neat, welcoming entrance.

Remember, no room is off-limits! Wainscoting is about personal expression and the freedom to transform your home in a way that reflects your style and sensibility. 

While we’re on the subject, let’s get down to why we’re here in the first place!

5 Inspiring Wainscoting Ideas for Living Rooms

As the heart of the home, the living room deserves special attention. Using wainscoting can completely redefine a home’s vibe, by transforming a simple space into a cozy and stylish haven. 

Need proof? Here are five wainscoting ideas for living rooms to inspire your next project:

1. Pairing Wainscoting with Vibrant Colors

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This design proves that wainscoting is the perfect way to create color blocking that accentuates gorgeous and vibrant colors. The simple white paneling serves as an elegant chair line that makes the bright orange walls really pop!

2. Revolutionizing Corners

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It’s not easy to create a wall feature that effortlessly wraps around corners, but this designer handled it with style. This is another great example of how wainscoting can be paired perfectly with vibrant, beautiful wall colors.

3. Transforming Entire Rooms

Study 5717 Ayrshire Blvd

If you were waiting for the image of an entire living room covered in wainscoting, look no further! This is a beautiful example of what a living room could look like, especially if the wainscoting is carefully matched with the doors, windows, and ceiling architecture.

4. Creating Picture Rails

Metrie Complete - Board & Batten Accent Wall - Light Blue

Most designers use wainscoting to create color blocking that stops at a chair rail height, but here’s proof that you can take your wainscoting to new heights. This is a perfect example of turning a decorative option into a functional wall feature. 

5. You Can Go Even Higher!

G.A. White Homes - Dining Room - Fashion Forward

If you thought we went high in the last picture, this one’s going to blow your mind! Instead of stopping halfway or creating a picture rail, this designer extended their wainscoting closer to the ceiling, which created an illusion of height that makes the room appear much larger.

Additional Wainscoting Ideas for Your Living Room

Those images tell a few great stories, but there are more ways to use wainscoting than what we described above. Here  are a few more innovative ways to use wainscoting in your living room design:

  • Accent Walls: By installing wainscoting on just one wall, you can create a dynamic focal point that draws the eye and adds a unique touch to your living room.

  • Playing with Patterns: Wainscoting doesn’t have to be uniform. Get creative with patterns and make your wainscoting into a chevron, diagonal, or herringbone layout.

  • Pairing with Wallpaper: All the images above showed how well wainscoting applies to vibrant colors, but the same principles also apply to wallpaper!

  • Incorporating Shelves: Incorporating built-in shelves into your wainscoting design can provide extra storage and a space to display trinkets or books.

Remember, wainscoting is a powerful design tool. It’s all about playing with proportions, colors, and materials to create a unique space that reflects your taste and lifestyle.

Get Gorgeous Wainscoting for Your Living Room Today

Don’t let your living room be just another room. Make it a conversation starter with beautiful wainscoting from Metrie. With our wide variety of designs and impeccable quality, your living room can become a stunning reflection of your style and taste.

If you have any questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help turn your home into a show-stopping marvel!