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16 Reasons to Love Painted Wainscoting

by Grace Bonney

I’ve always been a little clueless when it comes to wainscoting. I love it, but didn’t really know much about it. For years I used the terms wainscoting, beadboard and chair rail interchangeably until, thankfully, Max decided to do a quick 101 post on them to help me get up to speed. I love the structure and definition that wainscoting gives to a space, whether it’s used part-way up the wall or in a floor-to-ceiling application. That small bit of architectural detailing can greatly enhance the presence of a room, making it feel more stately or even a little bit taller. So today I’m sharing 16 of my favorite painted wainscoting moments, from traditional white panels to bold, deep grey walls and shiny blue hues. xo, grace

 

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Images above: (Top) A cheerful hallway at Hogan Inc, (Middle) This North London home uses colorful wainscoting to accent a whimsical Trustworth wallpaper design, (Bottom) This incredible bathroom is the work of designer Jenny Komenda, who paired blue wainscoting with one of Eskayel’s watercolor-inspired wallpaper designs. 

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A full wall of grey wainscoting was part of this dramatic bedroom makeover.

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Pink wainscoting acts as a de facto headboard in this Swedish home.

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This spooky-cool all-black bathroom in Toronto uses shiny black wainscoting to contrast the white interior of the clawfoot tub.

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This Hudson Valley home has a dramatic black-and-white theme, carried through to the room’s wainscoting and doors.

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I used to live right around the corner from Bakeri in Brooklyn, and their painted/aged wainscoting is a wonderful complement to this dramatic floral wallpaper (which might be one of the most Instagrammed spaces in Brooklyn now).

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This historic Kingston, New York home has incredible original details, like this wainscoting and chair molding painted in “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore.

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I love the way this all-white wainscoting is dramatically contrasted by black painted ceilings and walls. The rich terra cotta rug makes it all feel warm and inviting.

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Wainscoting became a creative decorating tool in this Seattle restaurant.

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Accents of pink and peach play nicely off of this classic white wainscoting in this Illinois family home.

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Megan Pflug’s Brooklyn home got a strong black-and-grey makeover, including black painted wainscoting that continues the two-tone feel across doors and stairs.

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I love the way the grey painted wainscoting is continued on the ceiling of this Portland home that Jessica Helgerson designed.

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When painted wainscoting is coordinated with the ceiling and window trim, like in this Providence home, it helps enhance a room’s architectural feel.

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One last soft grey wainscoting (with color coordinated sink!) from Jessica Helgerson.

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