Wainscoting, chair rail and crown molding are interesting ways to embellish your home. All three come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes, from overly-ornate to simple and modern — choose the design that fits the architecture of your home the best.
Wainscoting is interlocking wood (or plastic) that covers a wall about one-third of the way up from the floor. It looks great in a nursery, an office or a dining room. Since the wood interlocks, it's fairly easy to assemble, and you can install it yourself. Once assembled, simply nail it to the wall and paint it a color of your choice — most people choose creams and off-whites. This can be done for around $200-$300. To make it a little less expensive, do two walls in a room instead of the entire room. Most rooms have large pieces of furniture covering one or more walls, so make sure to choose the walls that will get noticed.
A simple way to describe a chair rail is a piece of molding that runs horizontally across the center of a wall — versus baseboard which runs between the floor and the wall, or crown molding which runs between the ceiling and the wall. Originally, the purpose of chair rail was to protect plaster walls from being dented by the backs of chairs. However, now it is added to modern homes as an inexpensive way to add texture and decorative accents to otherwise boring walls. Living and dining rooms will benefit most from this enhancement. Chair rail is also rather easy to install and can be done in a day.
Regal and sophisticated, crown molding is the perfect way to make any room pop. Interior designers agree that this will make your house feel like a resort. Found most often in older homes, it can be added to newer homes for a timeless look. It is applied along the seams where the ceiling meets the wall, smoothing the transition from the wall to the ceiling. It is most commonly found in foyers, living areas and master bedrooms. It's best to hire a professional, since this is the most difficult of the three to install because you need to cut perfect 45-degree angles and you're working with height. If you want to brave this project yourself, check out this tutorial.
Wainscoting, chair rail and crown molding are all going to make a room unique and really stand out, but what if you just don't have the time or energy for such a big project? You can start small by painting an accent wall, adding artwork, applying wallpaper or even just rearranging your furniture. If you're going to paint, pick a fun color that will make you feel happy in that room, such as bright blue or neons. It might sound crazy, but it's just one wall, and it really will elevate the room and brighten your mood.
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