25 Wall Molding Ideas That’ll Dress Up Any Room

By Katherine Owen
Katherine Owen
25 Wall Molding Ideas That’ll Dress Up Any Room

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.

01 of 25

Set the Stage

Eclectic living room
LAUREY W. GLENN

In this eclectic living room, subtle, tone-on-tone molding creates a stately but serene backdrop for a collection of colorful furnishings.

02 of 25

Embrace the Ethereal

Blue wainscoting and trim in the bathroom
LESLEE MITCHELL

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.

03 of 25

Get the Library Look

Living Room Bookcase Wall
Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Olga Naiman

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.

04 of 25

Elevate Your Dining

Moulding sets this dining room apart from an art display
PHOTO: TRIA GIOVAN, STYLING: OLGA NAIMAN

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.

05 of 25

Mix and Match

2018 Idea House in Austin, Texas Powder room
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

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.

06 of 25

Put a Twist on Traditional

Traditional trim and a modern chandelier
PHOTO: MAX KIM-BEE, STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILLEGAS

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.

07 of 25

Level Up the Laundry Room

Dark Green Mudroom
Carmel Brantley; Styling: Matthew Gleason

A coat of Benjamin Moore Garden Cucumber (644) on the wainsoting dials up the drama in this chic laundry room.

08 of 25

Meld Classic and Contemporary

Pink bathroom
CASA VILORA INTERIORS, PHOTO: COLLEEN SCOTT

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.

09 of 25

Cozy Up with Cottage Style

Board-and-batten-style molding
LAUREY W. GLENN

Decorator Alana Woerpel dialed up the cottage style in this Virginia retreat with a bit of board-and-batten-style molding.

10 of 25

Create Contrast

White wainscoting
PHOTOGRAPHY LAUREY W. GLENN, STYLING: LEIGH ANNE MONTGOMERY

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.

11 of 25

Decorate with Detail

detailed molding
PHOTOGRAPHY: VAN CHAPLIN, CHARLES WALTON IV, STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT

In this eclectic scheme, it’s the details that make the design really pop, and the wall molding is no exception.

12 of 25

Contrast with Color

chandelier and traditional wall molding
PHOTOGRAPHY: VAN CHAPLIN, CHARLES WALTON IV, STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT

A patinated chandelier, traditional wall molding and a pretty, polished color palette give this bedroom a timeless elegance.

13 of 25

Create an Instant Classic

Craftsman Style Home Decorating Ideas: Paint Dark Wood a Fresh Color
Photo: Tria Giovan

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.

14 of 25

Embrace Cottage Style

Vertical molding and antiques
LAUREY W. GLENN

This dining space feels breezy and classic thanks to crisp white walls with vertical molding and a charming, cottage-y mix of antiques.

15 of 25

Showcase Graceful Aging

2011 Idea House Living Room
Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Matthew Gleason

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.

16 of 25

Contrast with Chair Rails

white chair rail molding
PHOTO: LAUREY W. GLENN, STYLING: MATTHEW GLEASON

Symmetry takes center stage in this inviting dining space while the white chair rail molding adds contrast to the dark brown walls.

17 of 25

Punch Up the Palette

contrasting blues on the trim and walls
LAUREY W. GLENN

In this glitzy and glam dining room, contrasting blues on the trim and walls makes for a statement-making space.

18 of 25

Pair it with Pattern

tall white wainscoting
ALEXANDER INTERIORS, PHOTO: MARY CRAVEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Want wallpaper but hesitant to go all-out? A tall white wainscoting brings balance to busy patterns.

19 of 25

Bring on the Beadboard

Extra-tall beadboard wainscoting
LAUREY W. GLENN

Extra-tall beadboard wainscoting gives this cheery bathroom classic cottage charm.

20 of 25

Add Character with Picture Molding

Picture molding shows off art
JUSTIN BERNHAUT

Show off your favorite art and family memories using picture molding, a classic element that adds both character and functionality.

21 of 25

Layer in Horizontal Boards

horizontal board-and-batten paneling
LAUREY W. GLENN

This breezy bedroom gets the farmhouse treatment with horizontal board-and-batten paneling and a coat of Fanfare by Benjamin Moore (874).

22 of 25

Add Style to Small Spaces

small space tall vertical trim

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.

23 of 25

Charm with a Nautical Nook

Vertical board-and-batten molding

Vertical board-and-batten molding gives this family space a casual nautical charm.

24 of 25

Punch It Up

Yellow Bath
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

In the 2017 Southern Living Idea House, cheery yellow ribbon adds major panache to the gray-striped wallpaper and creamy white wainscoting.

25 of 25

Have Fun With It

Children's Room
Photography Van Chaplin, Charles Walton IV / Styling Buffy Hargett

In this Georgia mountain home, inexpensive furring strips give the walls of the children’s room a unique look for less.

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