Wainscoting and Crown Molding Ideas for Top Visual Effects

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Each room in every home is different. No wonder why there are millions of interior design ideas! When it comes to wainscoting the walls and crowning the ceilings, there are all sorts of combinations too. You can wainscot the entire wall and let a crown molding make the soft transition to the ceiling or keep the wall panel short to make the ceiling look higher.

Create your personal ‘think tank’ before you install wainscoting & trims

It takes quite a good research and lots of creative thinking before you install crown molding and wall panels. Something similar to what think tanks do! Such steps are very important for various reasons. For starters, you need to discover what’s available on the market and how much different panels and interior trims cost.

But before you even get to this point, take a good look at the room you are about to renovate.

  • Is it a large room?
  • Is the ceiling high?
  • Is there already a shaker wainscoting panel?
  • Is there already a crown moulding?
  • What’s the decorative style in the room?
  • Are windows, doors, openings and other structural elements trimmed?

Why do you need to answer these questions? The answers will turn you in the right direction when you are trying to buy and combine wainscoting & crown molding designs.

It has to do whether or not you are interested to use interior molding and wainscots to make visual structural changes. For example: bring the ceiling up or make the room friendlier.

When you aim at making visual structural changes, beware of the trim size

Let’s say your ceiling is rather low and you don’t want to install a shaker that will bring it even further down. In such cases, you need to install short wall panels. The higher they should go up the wall is 1/3. Bring the wainscoting panel higher up if you have a tall or even a cathedral ceiling. In this case, what you are trying to do is make the room more intimate.

The crown moulding will be a nice match only if the ceiling is at least 8′ high. If it’s lower than that, you’d better omit it. If you insist on installing a ceiling molding, at least choose a very simple and slim trim that won’t make a bold statement and thus won’t bring the ceiling further down.

Aim at enhancing the aesthetics of the room with wainscots & trims?

The size of the wainscoting and crown molding profiles you choose will always play a role in your interior decorative attempts. Remember the interior design rules about scale and proportion. Trims and wall panels shouldn’t be too small in a large and tall room, or too big in a small and average tall or low room. Their size should be proportional to the room to make a nice visual effect. But they should also be proportional to each other. There should be some balance between the wainscot & base you choose and the ceiling trim.

Use interior design ideas based on each room’s style

To have the expected visual and thus aesthetic effects, pay attention to your home’s interior style. And always keep in mind what you aim at! For example, you might have a baroque style living room and wish to lighten it up. In this case, don’t use ornamental crown molding and wall panels. And then again it has to do with your desired focal point. If you want to draw attention to the ceiling, keep the wall panel simple and focus on ceiling trims. You can install a dentil crown molding and match it with a ceiling medallion, where you will hang a chandelier.

Another example would be a rather minimal home and your intention to add some classic glamour in a room. In order to keep it minimal but break the ice, you can cover the entire wall with a raised panel and make the transition to the ceiling with a simple trim.

Another interior decorative idea is to focus on the crown molding and baseboard and leave the wainscoting simple. If the ceiling is over 10′ high, the baseboard can be wide too. And you can choose an egg & dart crown molding embellished with ropes, beads, acanthus, or other ornaments.

Wouldn’t you agree that the simplest decorative ideas are always the best?

The simplest solution for rooms of average size and height is to install a flat panel and a 4” or 5” crown molding and focus more on color choices. Don’t forget that the colors you choose for your walls and trims will also make a huge difference to the visual effects in the room. And the hues are also related to your style. We believe that any color would look good in rooms where the style can welcome intense yellows, greens, and reds.

But as an overall, it’s always best to stick with neutral hues – even blacks and use plants and accessories to color up the space. That’s because we often get bored of intense colors. And they tend to keep us from expanding our imagination when it comes to decorative items. If your walls are red and the trims are black, there is only so much you can do to decorate the room without making it too stuffy. And it’s our job to always suggest tested methods to remodel. Best of luck!!!


Alexia studied sociology at Essex University and did postgraduate studies at Sussex University in the media field. In Greece she worked for many years in printed and electronic media. She has written and illustrated the children's book "Little Bobby Steps Into the World", which is available on Amazon. Today she is spending endless hours with homedearest.com, regularly writes articles for websites in America and Europe, and is a top rated content writer on Upwork. Alexia has always been interested in interior design and has written relative content over the years.

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