Wainscoting....yay or nay

September 11, 2019
last modified: September 11, 2019

We are currently renovating our Florida house top to bottom. We have a small guest bath. It will be all white with SW Sea Salt for the walls.

We have one bathroom in our NE home here and I still like the look of it.

DH and I are both waffling. He just asked if it was "old fashioned."

I know, I know.....do what you like.

But.....what do you think? Is it (the dreaded word) dated or is it classic? We are going for overall beachy look in this home.

Comments (15)

  • IdaClaire

    To me, it's a charming but old-fashioned look (not that there's anything wrong with being old-fashioned). I think it totally depends on the style of the rest of the house. You say "beachy", but is that more of a sleek, "clean" beachiness or a vibe that's also giving a nod to the past? If the latter, I'd say wainscoting would likely fit in nicely. If the former, however, I would think twice as it may detract from an overall simple, uncluttered vibe.

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  • Kool Beans

    I love wainscoting and the character it adds to a smaller space. And there are lots of ways it can lend to that beachy feel your looking for. However, I also think there are some fun and creative things you can do that might be a better fit, like shiplap. Here’s some examples I saw where it’s like the wainscoting.

    I love the way it’s used here in this bedroom. Of course it doesn’t have to be as high on the wall.

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  • Kool Beans

    Here’s one more that is a good example

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  • Linda

    What Kool beans said! Florida, beachy, ship lap. Colonial style wainscotting would be out of place in Florida, at the beach and in Sea Salt.

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  • 3katz4me

    Ship lap seems very popular at the moment. I thought you were talking about the more traditional "old fashioned" wainscoting which I happen to like. Ida pretty much says what I was thinking about traditional wainscoting and whether it would be right or not. I tend not to choose what's popular because I don't want what everyone else has so at the moment I'd forego ship lap but that's just me. A friend just built a new lake cabin and it looks great in her place - it's more cottagey than beachy.

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  • nini804

    I think wainscoting looks great in a bathroom. And Sea Salt is so pretty.

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  • aktillery9

    i love wainscoting!

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  • Andie


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  • mtnrdredux_gw

    It depends on the rest of the house.

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  • cawaps

    How old is the house? What is the style of the house? If it's a mid-century home, I'm going to say no. Pre-WWII, wainscoting would probably suit most home styles. Built 80s or later? It depends on the style of the home. Some newer homes (yes, I regard 80s as "newer", it's 50 years younger than anything you'll find in my neighborhood) have traditional styling where wainscoting would work, others don't.

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  • eld6161

    The wainscoting would be white, the walls Sea Salt.

    The house is a ranch style built 30 years ago. We are renovating the entire house.

    So far we have but in Cortec luxury vinyl in a beach drift wood look.

    Kitchen will be white with Silestone quartz in Calcutta Gold. BS to be determined.

    Dining room, living room is all open. The there is a small added on space that goes out to the lanai.

    Walls in main area will be a creamy off white. It's a formula that we are "stealing" from someone else's house.

    I would like to do beiges and blues for the furniture.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    Yes, I think beadboard would fit the style of the house. Shiplap I see as possibly more trendy. I like the driftwood/cream palette, sounds nice!

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  • tinam61

    I came back to answer this after looking at my instagram feed this morning. One of the first pics is a dining room with wainscoting. The picture frame wainscoting, which people may think of as "old fashioned" but I see it in quite a few houses both online and in magazines. For a bathroom, I think beadboard or shiplap would both work. I like shiplap applied either vertical or horizontal.

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  • pamghatten

    I have a 1950's ranch, and I redid the powder room last year. Not sure if this is actual wainscoting?

    eld6161 thanked pamghatten

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