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Decorating & Furniture/Chair Rail Versus Wainscotting


Thanks so much for getting back to me, Jenny.  I appreciate your expertise.  One additional question:  In maintaining the openness of the room w/the cleanest/most soothing lines, is there nothing you could recommend that I could do to add depth or personality to the painted drywall OTHER THAN the chair rail or wainscotting that I had suggested.  Would stained crown molding help (would that pull your eye up and "heighten" the room or create "boundaries" that would close in the room?) My bedding is in a seagreen/blue Laura Ashley floral (so I am hesitant about your taupe color suggestion for the wall), the sisal color is a "straw" color and my furniture is a natural stained pine which matches all the stained woodwork - - any further suggestions you can give me would definitely be appreciated!  Thanks so much for your time!
Followup To
Question -
Hello: I just painted my large bedroom a cream color. In it are 3 natural-color stained pine doors/moldings and 3 large windows (1) 70" x 45" and (2) 45" x 45", all also with stained moldings/trim. The baseboards are also in a natural color stain and are pine. I would like to add some wall moldings to this room to dress up what is now plain old drywall. I am debating between a stained chairrail to match all the other moldings/trim in the room or a cream color painted wainscotting (@ 44" tall)w/cream capboards and baseboards. I do not want to lose the "openness" of this large room and am concerned that if I go with either the chairrail or the wainscotting it will do just that. What is your opinion as to what would be best in "opening up" this room? By the way, I live on a lake which my bedroom overlooks (have a sisal rug on the floor) and am also interested in choosing the project with the "cleanest" looking finished lines. Thank you!

Answer -

Thanks for writing and for your question.  If you add a chair-railing (wainscotting) on the wall, it visually divides the wall in half which does not create an open feeling.  More importantly, all your wood trims should be the same -- either all painted or all stained, but not both.  

My best suggestion to you is to paint your beautiful lakeside bedroom in a color other than off-white.  Even taupe (Toasty Grey from Glidden) is a great neutral -- as is your sisal rug -- and will enliven the space without cutting down on it's size.  White and off-white create too much contrast when paired with wood tones or dark hues.  The eye is never comfortable in "viewing" the white and the wood.  

Cleanest?  Monochromatic color.  Same floors, walls, ceilings.  Paint, paint, paint.


The taupe I mentioned (Toasty Grey) would coordinate nicely with your bedding, but use your own judgement.  (The shade is like fine sand on a beach.)  Whatever you do, get rid of the beige.  Even if you want to paint the wall one of your bed ensemble colors, do that.  Just don't leave it beige.

Crown molding is always a "plus" in my book.  It adds scale and height to the room and is always a welcomed addition.  Stain it the same color as your other molding.  All moldings, door facings, chair rails, wainscotting, window facings, quarter round, floor moldings etc. should be the same.  Painted or stained doesn't matter as long as it's all the same.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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