Wainscoting, Paneling & Trim

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Wainscoting, paneling & trim ideas for old house interiors, including beadboard, custom moldings and wood panels. 

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A quintessential colonial revival entrance hall is complete with a raised-panel wainscot and bold moldings.

Paneling & Wainscoting for Old Houses

Bare but for a thin skin of paint, modern walls are a stylistic aberration. For most of our history, the lower wall has been decently dressed in decorative paneling and various wainscoting styles.

wall laminate

Wall Panels in the Age of Plastics

More on Marlite and other early laminates for walls.

A wainscot of painted blind-nailed planks dates to the 1700s.

5 Wainscot & Wall Paneling Styles

Plank walls, paneling, dadoes, batten paneling and beadboard—we delve into five old-house wainscot & wall paneling styles.

Handsome oak entry doors are period replacements for missing originals; the beveled-glass panels are also salvage and complement those still on the house. Staircase and trim are original.

19th Century Millwork

A vocabulary of exterior and interior ornament in wood.

Cottage bath with painted beadboard walls

Behind the Scenes with Beadboard

The ubiquitous, all-purpose paneling of the Victorian era is still versatile today.

headerless moulding

Early Modern Mouldings

Various styles of moulding have been utilized across many styles of architecture.

Board wainscot in a Federal house

6 Ideas for Country Wainscots

Plain-spoken wainscot treatments create architectural interest for farmhouse walls.

Wood carvings from Architectural Products by Outwater.

Decorative Trim Options for Old Houses

Some older homes possess showier charms than others: decorative ornament in the form of plaster, composition molding, or wood paneling.

The Caryatids from the Erechtheion at the Acropolis highlight the human body’s close ties to proportions in the classical orders.

The Right Way to Use Trim in Old Houses

A century ago, builders, craftsmen, architects, and designers knew something that’s been mostly forgotten today: the rules of classical design.

Architectural trim details complete a room and give it personality. Shown here is the carpentry work of Doug Gest of Hartland, Vermont.

Tips for Using Trim

When we make buildings, we fashion raw materials into tectonic elements. Much like cotton and wool are carded, spun, and woven to create clothing, trees are transformed into lumber, and stones are shaped into blocks.

Products of the Week

Brookside

Pewabic Pottery

Pewabic fabricates heirloom quality architectural tiles for public and private installations, gift and commemorative tiles, vessels, gardenware, ornaments and both reproductions and adaptations of its historic designs and offers classes, workshops, lectures, internships and residency programs for studio potters and other artists.