Dress Up Your Walls
Plain drywall walls are a typical feature of most American homes. But they are a blank canvas for more attractive design ideas achievable with paneling and trim.
Wainscoting, or paneling that comes partway up the wall is a manageable way to add architecture to an otherwise unremarkable room. In a traditional house, large flat panels of wood, either painted or stained, can be dressed up with straightforward trim for an elegant look.
Fully paneled rooms are often found in historic homes — a great way to get a dose of established, traditional style in a stylish home. If budget allows, adding paneling in a lovely wood like butternut, walnut, or even limed oak adds the most significant depth and warmth to a space.
Libraries are a prominent place to use paneling, creating an atmosphere that men, in particular, seem to love. But paneling can help achieve a clean, stylish look as well.
Houses from the Arts and Crafts era often have heavy, dark paneling and woodwork, and they're usually significantly plainly trimmed. A cabin or lake house is a superb place to use this look to support the simplicity of a rustic design project. Similarly, beach houses with simple white-painted paneling have an airy, low-maintenance vibe.
In a bungalow or cottage, beadboard wainscoting adds texture and dimension without reducing the simple charm of this style room. Striped rugs, slip-covered furniture, and beadboard wainscoting combine for a no-fail formula for breezy style.