When you think of wall molding, your first thought is probably a formal living room or fanciful dining room, most likely outfitted in a traditional aesthetic. But as a small detail that makes a big difference, wall molding deserves a revisit. No longer just for dignified dining rooms and stately sitting rooms, wall molding adds dimension and showcases an attention to detail in any space. Use it to create contrast with a bright pop of color, or go monochrome and subtly infuse a room with sophistication. From the bedroom to the bathroom, the dining room to the mud room, here are smart wall molding ideas that instantly add polished panache.
Set the Stage
In this eclectic living room, subtle, tone-on-tone molding creates a stately but serene backdrop for a collection of colorful furnishings.
Embrace the Ethereal
Tori Alexander of Alexander Interiors used Little Boy Blu by Sherwin-Williams (SW 9054) on the wainscoting and trim of this primary bathroom to create a divinely spa-like space.
Get the Library Look
The living room of the 2010 Southern Living Idea House was designed to resemble an early 1900s library. When paired with a classic beige and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the wall molding cements the library look.
Elevate Your Dining
The subtle sophistication carries over from the library-style living room into this Georgia home’s dining space where the wall molding sets the stage for an elegant art display.
Mix and Match
In the 2018 Southern Living Idea House, designer Meredith Ellis showcases the art of pattern mixing by framing up two different printed fabrics using molding in the powder bathroom.
Put a Twist on Traditional
Designer Andrew Howard transformed this Florida dining room into a jewel box with a coat of glossy mauve paint and teal accents. Traditional trim, a modern chandelier and statement-making art completes the look.
Level Up the Laundry Room
Meld Classic and Contemporary
This pretty-in-pink bathroom by Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora Interiors in Katy, Texas shows how to mix classic details like molding with contemporary trends like the soft pink walls coated in Benjamin Moore Pleasant Pink (2094-60) and funky fixtures.
Cozy Up with Cottage Style
Decorator Alana Woerpel dialed up the cottage style in this Virginia retreat with a bit of board-and-batten-style molding.
In this zesty dining room, white wainscoting helps break up the bold color palette and creates a pleasant balance between the green chairs and green walls.
Decorate with Detail
In this eclectic scheme, it’s the details that make the design really pop, and the wall molding is no exception.
Contrast with Color
A patinated chandelier, traditional wall molding and a pretty, polished color palette give this bedroom a timeless elegance.
Create an Instant Classic
When paired with dark floors, rustic brick, light walls and a pleasing mix of antique and vintage finds, the perfectly greige wainscoting in this Chattanooga dining room adds an extra layer of character and charm.
Embrace Cottage Style
This dining space feels breezy and classic thanks to crisp white walls with vertical molding and a charming, cottage-y mix of antiques.
Showcase Graceful Aging
This rustic, 5-foot-tall wainscoting in the 2011 Southern Living Idea House was scraped and painted by a local artist to resemble weathered wood.
Contrast with Chair Rails
Symmetry takes center stage in this inviting dining space while the white chair rail molding adds contrast to the dark brown walls.
Punch Up the Palette
In this glitzy and glam dining room, contrasting blues on the trim and walls makes for a statement-making space.
Pair it with Pattern
Want wallpaper but hesitant to go all-out? A tall white wainscoting brings balance to busy patterns.
Bring on the Beadboard
Extra-tall beadboard wainscoting gives this cheery bathroom classic cottage charm.
Add Character with Picture Molding
Show off your favorite art and family memories using picture molding, a classic element that adds both character and functionality.
Layer in Horizontal Boards
This breezy bedroom gets the farmhouse treatment with horizontal board-and-batten paneling and a coat of Fanfare by Benjamin Moore (874).
Add Style to Small Spaces
The use of open shelving, smart storage and tall vertical trim in this efficient kitchen proves you don’t have to sacrifice form or function in small spaces.
Charm with a Nautical Nook
Vertical board-and-batten molding gives this family space a casual nautical charm.
Punch It Up
In the 2017 Southern Living Idea House, cheery yellow ribbon adds major panache to the gray-striped wallpaper and creamy white wainscoting.
Have Fun With It
In this Georgia mountain home, inexpensive furring strips give the walls of the children’s room a unique look for less.