Kitchen Remodel wainscoting in red kitchen. Vertical panels

Wainscoting 101

Reflect with us on a project we’ve done for a previous client. The high ceilings, big windows, and wainscoting work helps elevate your space to the next level!

What is Wainscoting?

Wainscot is a term originally used to describe high-quality riven oak boards. Riven wood means the lumber is created by splitting the wood along the grain, instead of using a saw or other contemporary milling method. Usage dates back to the 1300s Dutch who placed the panels along the lower portions of walls as protection from scuffs and damage. It was also used for extra insulation against harsh weather. This was before modern luxuries like insulation existed!

Nowadays we use the term, wainscot, to describe the decorative wall accents or paneling on interior walls. Modern wainscoting is made from a variety of materials, and while it no longer serves the same insulation purposes, it still can safeguard against modern life’s “uh-oh” moments. Adding wainscoting to your walls also provides extra depth and layers to your home’s design.

Design and Style Suggestions

There are 5 main types of wainscoting to consider: raised panel, flat panel, beadboard, overlay, and board and batten. Each is uniquely structured and will work well with many different types of style preferences. Raised panel means the center panel has a beveled edge and is flush with the molding. Simply enough, flat panel means that the molding is placed on top of the center panel. Beadboard is made from panels of skinny vertical boards that are connected by tongue and grove. Overlay involves flat panels built on top of each other giving the illusion of raised panels. Board and batten, also known as shaker, places strips or boards directly onto the sheetrock to create a design.

Technically speaking wainscot height shouldn’t be more than two-thirds the height of your wall. Of course, this is just a suggestion as each design situation is unique. Play around with visual aids before making a decision and see what works best for your space. It’s not unusual to see wainscoting run all the way to the ceiling in modern designs.

Solid oak or wood is no longer the only option for wainscoting, although it is the classic choice for elegance and durability. Materials such as MDF, plastic, and plywood work well for decorative applications and are a cost-effective alternative.

Where should it go? Wainscoting works well in many rooms! Favorite spaces for designers are bathrooms, hallways, mudrooms, and dining rooms. Painting the wainscoting and wall the same color is a neat way to add texture to a room. Whatever style or type of material, wainscoting will bring a touch of class, and elegance to your space.

Three Necessities for an Attic Renovation

Attic space in progress

Is your house bursting at the seams? Do you feel like no matter what you do there just isn’t enough room for everything? Feeling like you are living on top of each other, and you just can’t take it anymore? If the answer is yes, look up to the attic!

If you have an unfinished attic, you are one step closer to having a home that works with you, not against you. Attic spaces already have the basics – a floor, walls, and roof. With a little creativity, your attic can become that playroom, extra bedroom, home office, gym, or hobby room of your dreams!


Choosing A Vanity for your Bathroom Remodel

There are lots of styles and considerations when choosing the vanity for your bathroom remodel. Cabinetry designs have really changed in the last 30 years. One of the biggest differences is in vanity height. A standard bathroom vanity was 30″ high in the 1980’s, now the standard vanity height is 36.” The reason for the change is all about comfort. It is much easier on the back to have a bathroom sink the same height as a typical kitchen sink. Leaning over causes stress on the lower back and having a surface at work- station height makes sense in most instances. Custom vanities can be made for ADA height requirements, or if you want something lower for children. Most families are fine with a step stool for young children – they grow fast!


Luxury Bath Remodel

Scaled floor plan of original master bath.
Before Floor Plan

This is the original Master Bath floor plan of a two-story colonial home built in the 1960’s. Notice a tiny bathroom with a single sink and a cramped corner shower. Outside of the bathroom was an awkward dressing space with two closets. The closet doors hinged into each other and much of the space was not easily accessible.


Kitchen Remodel Ideas

There are so many options to consider when planning a kitchen remodel, that it is often overwhelming to think about beginning the process. To avoid getting mired in all of the details, it is best to use the services of an experienced kitchen remodel designer. But before you take that step, there is some research that you can do to help make the process as seamless as possible.

Creative Contracting Kitchen

How to Make a Home Workspace That Actually Works

Home Office Remodeling Creative Contracting

More of us are working from home than ever before. Thanks to the nasty virus COVID-19, our lives have been upended in a historically dramatic fashion. As we try to do what’s best for our society and loved ones, the phrase “Stay at Home” changes every aspect of our daily lives; from work and school to isolation and limited social interaction. Fortunately, many of us continue to be productive and to engage with family and friends through the technology of our time. 


White is the New Orange

It’s Fall – and you’re not a huge fan of orange?!

We’ve seen a trending pattern in design to be more modern and neutral, but what happens as we are celebrating one of the great traditional American Holidays – Thanksgiving? Shouldn’t it be all about Orange Pumpkins, Indian Corn and Harvest Colored mums? As beautiful as these things are – if you are ready to change things up – there are lots of options.


Design trends: Stone, Wood and Brick

Luxury Remodel Creative Contracting

Over the last few month we have seen an increasing number of clients who are looking for more rustic finishes and natural materials. Although colors still tend to remain in a soft neutral palette, there is a lot of interest in the texture found in stone, wood and brick. Fortunately, the possibilities of incorporating these materials are endless and manufacturers are helping by supplying some very good practical means of application.


Best Pick Badge Award!

Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom Lighting Creative Contracting

Bathroom lighting is often put on the back burner when making home improvements, but it is one of the places that a good lighting plan is especially important. There are times when bright task lighting is essential and times when a glaringly bright light in the bathroom is not the best choice – consider a late night call of nature. Having options in lighting, depending on needs and moods, is essential in the design of a new bathroom.

Here are some of my favorite options:


Designing a Nursery

Designing a nursery for a new baby is a very exiting process. Planning an environment for your new little one to experience the world, is an act of love. Safety, security, comfort and happiness should all be taken into account when planning this space for your bundle of joy!