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My Top Tips For Adding Wall Panelling

It probably comes as no surprise that I love wall panelling or wainscoting as it is traditionally called. It is a design element regularly included in Hamptons-inspired homes. Wall panelling can be added to existing walls or as part of a new build design. Either way, there are a few things to consider to get the right look and take your space to the next level. Here are My Top Tips for Adding Wall Panelling.

1. Planning

Spending some time planning out the details of the design will help you get an idea of the overall look. If you are adding the panelling to an existing wall, draw the dimensions on to the wall first to make sure the proportions are correct. You will need a chair or Dado rail at the top, strapping around the perimeter that meets the Dado rail and skirting boards and a decorative inner moulding insert.  For my own new build home, the carpenter created a mock up for me to check everything looked to scale. This design below was slightly too high so we ended up reducing the spacing between the moulding to reduce the overall height. Position the Dado rail at around one third of your total ceiling height.

Tips for adding wall panelling

2. Skirting and Architraves

If your existing skirting and architrave profiles are small or relatively plain then I would consider replacing them. This will improve the overall look and ensure the panelling looks seamless and not noticeably an ‘add-on’.

Tips for adding wall panelling

3. Extent of Panelling

Consider where the panelling will start and finish. Ideally the moulding will meet a door architrave so there is a neat join. At the end of our hallway, I created an opening with architraves so that the panelling had somewhere to butt into.

Tips for adding wall panelling

Photo via Armelle Habib

4. Adjacent Doors and Cabinetry

The door profile of any doors that adjoin the panelling need to be complementary in style. I chose a door profile with two panels to reflect the detail of the moulding.

Tips for wall panelling

5. Depth of the Dado Rail

Check that the Dado rail doesn’t project too far past the existing door architraves, otherwise it can make a hallway feel narrower and look like an ‘add-on’. My railing is 30mm deep.

My Top Tips for adding Wall Panelling

Photo via Suzi Appel

6. Position of Power Points

Consider the location of any power points. You may need to relocate them so they aren’t in the line of the moulding. For this new build project we positioned the power points at the skirting board level.

My Top Tips for adding Wall Panelling

Photo via Suzi Appel

7. Paint Colour & Product

Make sure the paint colour (and product) are the same for the mouldings, wall behind it and skirting boards for an overall seamless look. I like to use a semi-gloss paint that gives a lovely classic finish.

My Top Tips for adding Wall Panelling

Photo via Suzi Appel

8. Beyond The Hallway

You don’t need to limit the panelling to just your hallway. If you love this look, panelling can be used in bedrooms and more formal living rooms to add a beautiful detail.

My Top Tips for adding Wall Panelling

My Top Tips for adding Wall Panelling

Photos via Suzi Appel

By doing a little bit of research and planning, you can add this beautiful detail to any space. I hope My Top Tips for Adding Wall Panelling have been useful.

If you are planning a renovation or new build and feel a bit overwhelmed with how to pull it all together, please get in touch, I would love to help ([email protected])

Belinda XO



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