Wainscoting returns as a popular interior design trend

Posted on
Share this article   

By Vigneswar Rajasurian

Wainscoting returns as a popular interior design trend in Malaysia

Wainscoting may sound peculiar but merely refers to panelling, typically made of wood, that lines the interior walls of a home. 

Homeowners seeking to add a touch of luxury and elegance to a living space increasingly turn to wainscoting as opposed to mere wallpaper or painted designs.

Easy enough to do-it-yourself (DIY) and a cost-effective interior decor option, the trend has seen a resurgence over the recent decade and is currently popular on social media in Malaysia.

Humble Origins

White enamel wainscot tracing back centuries as can be observed on the walls of this replica of White House Oval Office, Washington DC.

White enamel wainscot tracing back centuries as can be observed on the walls of this replica of White House Oval Office, Washington DC.

The term ‘wainscot’ is derived from the German word ‘wagenschot’ and can be traced as far back as the 14th century. The French equivalent is ‘boiserie’.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term initially meant ‘a fine grade of oak meant for panelling’. Eventually, the terminology evolved in the 15th century to mean ‘panels lining the walls of rooms’.

Wainscot panelling typically covered the lower half of walls and once served a functional purpose despite being purely decorative today.

The panelling was used as a band-aid to hide water damage resulting from damp walls, particularly in a European climate with frequent rain.  

As insulation, piping and drainage improved, the need for protective panelling declined in the average home. Wainscot evolved from a useful quick fix to a luxurious aesthetic that can span from floor to ceiling.

From manors to palaces

Gold-coloured wainscot adorn the Palace of Versailles, first built by King Henry IV in 1623 and rebuilt by King Louis XIII in 1634.

Gold-coloured wainscot adorn the Palace of Versailles, first built by King Henry IV in 1623 and rebuilt by King Louis XIII in 1634.

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Centuries-old royal palaces and luxury manors flaunt extravagant wainscot made of varied materials as a hallmark of prestige and opulence.

From the rooms of Buckingham Palace to Seri Perdana, one would be sure to find elements of wainscot incorporated into the interior design.

Wainscot your home

Choices range from half-length, full-length and multicoloured wainscoting.

Choices range from half-length, full-length and multicoloured wainscoting.

Besides creating a luxurious ambience in a room, wainscot coupled with tasteful interior design could add value and desirability to a home.

Checks online show that wainscot services offered by professional painters and interior designers are charged per square feet and vary based on length, colours and intricacy.

Alternatively, one could try a more affordable but labour-intensive DIY approach. To save time pre-made wooden or plastic panels are available via online marketplaces but can also be custom-made, leaving only installation and painting to do yourself.


Stay ahead of the crowd and enjoy fresh insights on real estate, property development, and lifestyle trends when you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Want to contribute articles to StarProperty.my? Email: editor@starproperty.my
Was this article helpful?
Related News

Fresh from the news oven

15:08 PM
Home & Living
16:05 PM
Home & Living
15:04 PM
Home & Living
Latest News

Stories and news that might pique your interest

17:08 PM
News & Articles
17:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
Home & Living
15:08 PM
News & Articles
14:08 PM
Events
12:03 PM
Home & Living
17:03 PM
Featured
12:04 PM
News & Articles
17:01 PM
News & Articles
17:08 PM
News & Articles
17:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
Home & Living
15:08 PM
News & Articles
14:08 PM
News & Articles
17:08 PM
News & Articles
17:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
Home & Living
15:08 PM
News & Articles
14:08 PM
News & Articles
15:08 PM
Home & Living
10:08 AM
Home & Living
15:07 PM
Home & Living
16:07 PM
Home & Living
16:07 PM
Home & Living
11:07 AM
Home & Living
22:06 PM
Featured Dev
15:05 PM
Featured Dev
09:05 AM
Featured Dev
11:05 AM
Featured Dev
15:05 PM
Featured Dev
14:08 PM
Events
10:07 AM
Events
16:06 PM
Events
09:05 AM
Events
11:05 AM
Events
17:04 PM
Events
14:04 PM
Featured
09:03 AM
News & Articles
09:10 AM
Awards 2018
17:10 PM
Best@
13:04 PM
News & Articles
16:03 PM
News & Articles
14:08 PM
Investment
12:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
10:07 AM
潮樓產業
16:07 PM
潮樓產業
14:07 PM
潮樓產業
12:07 PM
潮樓產業