There’s always something to do in a house to make it a home – whether it’s painting the windowsills a different color or laying new carpets, something can always be done to refresh the house and make it your own.
If you are one of the people who fall into this group, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll also know that, even though you want to modernize your home, you’d also like to create a sense of class and sophistication. Then you need to know about wainscoting.
Wainscoting is a technique that can be ascribed to old world carpentry and will lend an element of richness and charm to a room. It consists of wooden trim and panels installed in a pattern along the lower wall. It is topped off with a chair rail which is a horizontal strip of molding that spans the circumference of a room. It was originally designed to prevent the backs of chairs from damaging the walls, but today it is used as a decorative tool, with routered edges and designs that functions as a border.
There are three main types of wainscoting. Firstly, there is beadboard, which is the most basic type and consists of simple wooden panels with vertically routered lines and a baseboard beneath the chair rail, providing an elegant country charm. The second type is shadow boxes which use ogee molding to create a series of frames on the face of the wall, adding new dimension and depth to the room. The third type is panel molding in which rails and raised panels are used to create classic recessed boxes along the lower part of the wall.
Wainscoting is best used in self-contained rooms – rooms which do not directly open into hallways or other rooms. Offices and living rooms are usually the best candidates for this technique, but because of its striking features it is usually applied to the dining room walls.
Wainscoting is a modern technique that will lend traditional elegance to any room. It is perfect for the homeowner who wants to redecorate, but wants to retain that charm an old house has to offer.
Check out these projects that include wainscoting that feature wall panels, shadow boxes and beadboard from the Design Build Planners Network of Preferred Remodelers.
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