Get a Cottage Look with Beadboard Paneling
Beadboard is a vintage style of paneling that is very versatile. It can be used in almost any room of your home with success because of its informal charm. If you love the look of a cottage, a lake house, or a country Victorian farmhouse then beadboard paneling may be exactly what you are looking for. This versatile trim is not just a casual look however. Depending on whether you choose to paint or stain the beadboard, and which colors you choose, it can also look just right in a formal setting.
It can be made from several types of wood. You will want to make your choice depending on whether you will be painting or staining, making this trim an affordable option for nearly anyone.
The varieties of wood most commonly used are:
- Wood composite
History of Beadboard
Beadboard became very popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. During this time it was used for the more informal areas of the home; halls, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Builders used leftover wood to create thin strips that were joined to make panels. These panels were usually applied at chair rail height, although they could at times, be applied higher.
The purpose of the beadboard was to protect the paint on the walls in high traffic areas, a use that is still popular today. Lining a hallway with beadboard will help make cleaning a breeze as fingerprints can just be wiped off with a damp cloth
Decorating with Beadboard
There are many ways to use beadboard in homes today.
By using beadboard in a bathroom you give the room an instant vintage charm. It is easier to clean than paint and so makes a nice addition to the room. Since bathrooms have a lot of horizontal lines the vertical lines in the beadboard help to draw the eye upward and create a sensation of roominess in this (usually) small room.
Some homeowners use beadboard on the ceiling, especially in a kitchen or sunroom. Beadboard can help cover up problem areas on a ceiling and give the room a cozy look. A country kitchen with cranberry red painted beadboard on the ceiling will be warm and inviting any time of the year.
Other areas of the kitchen can be good spots for beadboard. Using it on cupboards, backsplashes, and chair rails creates a comfortable, country look in these areas
- Give your home a beach cottage look by keeping the beadboard light, either with paint or with a pine finish. You aren't stuck with just white however, a light sea foam green, sky blue, or butter yellow can give the same casual cottage look.
- For a Victorian country look use dusty colors; mauve, sage green, rose, dusty blue. Use deep tones for an elegant look.
- Burgundy, pine green, and navy blue can all give the feel of a country manor.
- Stained beadboard will give your home a Bungalow or Arts and Crafts look. Rich, dark stains are best for this.
Norm Abrams Instuctions on Installing Beadboard
If you have an older home you may have beautiful vintage beadboard. It may be hiding under thirty layers of paint or need to be stripped and revarnished but it is worth it to try to save the original wood at all costs. This vintage trim was made from old growth trees and the look and quality of it is different from anything currently available. If you need to replace some of the vintage beadboard or if you want to use the vintage beadboard in your decorating then search the local architectural salvage companies. They often have old house parts that you can pick up for a reasonable price.
If you don't have salvage companies locally then eBay may be a good place to try.
Using beautiful beadboard in your home can add warmth and character and speed up cleaning. What's not to like?
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