Want a fancier-looking room? Try wainscoting

Do-it-yourself design and installation tips

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

One way to really dress up a room and try your hand at some different decorating techniques is to consider wainscoting. There are a number of ways to combine materials to create some very attractive wainscoting effects, and the cost doesn't need to be prohibitive. Traditionally, wainscoting is tongue and groove boards or raised or flat paneling sections that are applied to the lower part of a wall. The wainscoting extends from the top of the baseboard up to a height of usually between 3 and 5 feet off the floor, and is topped off with a horizontal molding. In addition to its decorative appeal, wainscoting had the very practical advantage of protecting the lower portion of the wall from wear and tear. Today, however, wainscoting has taken on a somewhat less specific definition. It can be just about any combination of materials, including paint, wood, wallpaper and even fabric. A wainscoting application consists of three elements: the lower portion of the wall, the upper port...