Interior architecture is just as important as exterior architecture, and one way to add a little to your home is with wainscoting. Wainscoting is described by one historic preservation group as “the wood covered lower portion of an interior wall, usually topped by a chair rail.” What makes wainscoting a great material for architectural interest in interiors is how it can be used in a variety of ways.

Whether is is plain, paneled or features a raised wood trim pattern, wainscoting offers decorative and functional benefits. On the decorative side, wainscoting can help define the style of a room or home. Tongue-and-groove beaded board wainscoting offers a country look while recessed flat panels can be found in Arts and Crafts and Mission style homes. Wainscoting also gives rooms a “finished” look.

The primary functional benefit of wainscoting is protecting walls from damage by chairs, door knobs, etc. That’s why placing wainscoting in high traffic areas such as entryways is a smart choice. Another functional benefit is that wainscoting is easy to wipe down if it gets scuffed, and it can be painted and repainted easily.

If you’re not sure which type of wainscoting would be best for your home, consider these popular styles to complement your interior:

Raised panel. Raised panel wainscoting is perhaps the most common choice for a formal or traditional look. Old House Online says the style dates back to the late 18th century and “consists of a floating wood panel with beveled edges, held in place between vertical stiles and horizontal rails.”

Bead board. For a casual or cottage look, bead board wainscoting is a good choice. It features panels with symmetrical vertical lines and is regarded as a cost-effective choice.

New Hampshire architects

Source: TMS Architects via Houzz

Recessed flat panel. This simple, clean-lined style of wainscoting includes a series of flat recessed panels outlined by rails and stiles.

Or, consider combining styles of wainscoting for a truly unique look.

Wainscoting is just one of the many details that the architects and designers at TMS Architects can help you select when planning a new home or renovating your current home. Contact us today to schedule a time to speak with our team to learn more about working with us. We’ll make sure no detail is left out of your dream home!