Wainscoting Styles

Aparna Jadhav Dec 17, 2018
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Boring and plain interior walls look more attractive and stylish with wainscoting panels. Read on to know some elegant wainscoting styles that you can choose from.
Wainscoting or wainscot paneling is installing stylish panels on the lower part of the interior walls of the house. These panels were traditionally made of wood, like oak, which gave the walls a very rich and cozy look.
In today's interior designing, wainscotings are made of a number of other materials, for ease of installation and low cost values. Though these styles became extremely popular after the Renaissance period, they are still used in many cold and wet countries for a number of reasons.
Along with being used for the purpose of adding warmth to the cold stone walls, and protecting the room from dampness, they also give the room a beautiful look. Find some attractive wainscoting ideas mentioned here to decorate your home walls with.

Styles of Wainscoting

When wainscots were first introduced to home decor, they were as tall as 8 to 9 feet and were made of heavy wood. But the wainscots used for decoration purposes in today's homes are not more than 3 feet in height, which is usually the height of a chair rail. Hard wood is one of the materials still used to make these panels.
But there are others like hardwood veneer, molded plastic, and pressed board which are also preferred. The decorative effects can be given with white tiles, wall paper, cloth panels, or simple paint. Let's take a look at some unique wainscoting styles which are used by a number of people for their homes.


This is one of the most informal styles, and also was the first to be used in cottages and vacation homes. It is usually installed to give the rooms a touch of elegance and class, with the effect of relaxation.
Since it is a very informal style of paneling, it is mostly used for wainscoting bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and foyers. They are installed in the lower parts of the walls, and are made of wood or given a wooden look.

Raised Panel

This style is typical to the New England culture, and is a classic reflection of its elegance. It is used exclusively for formal areas and rooms where there are fireplaces, chandeliers, and high ceilings and walls. Dining rooms, libraries, living rooms, and studies are the rooms where these panels look beautiful and rich. 
The standard heights of a raised panel can be between 30 to 40 inches, with two rows of panels using a center rail. These are always made of rails, stiles, and panels as they have to be high on the walls.

Flat Panels

These are more of the transitional styles of wainscoting, and have a lower degree of formality, used in the same rooms as the raised panels. They too give an elegant look, but are slightly casual to make the rooms feel homely and cozy.
These are found in kitchens, family rooms, living rooms, and dining areas. They need rails, stiles, and panels as well, but create a boxed effect against the wall. Flat panel wainscoting ideas are finished or concluded with a chair rail installed above the top panel.


This style is also an attractive option for your wall decor. It is found in large homes, libraries, and formal rooms, like halls and auditoriums. Being similar to the raised panel type of wainscoting, this style allows a more intricate effect with the panels themselves.
You can mix any of the styles mentioned with an overlay piece of wood, to make a completely different wainscoting. This style of decorative wall panels is also finished with a chair rail above the top panel.
With these choices for wainscoting styles for your home and walls, take your pick and find out which one suits your home the best.