As I’ve been packing up our home over the past couple of weeks, (if you missed the big news, go here) I have noticed that even without art or decor, it’s still a beauty. I told a friend the other day it’s made me super proud of what I’ve created here because the beauty of each room is there even without stuff in it. I’m quite enjoying seeing the bones of what I built and also seeing each space “quieted.”

A lot of that is due to the calm colors I’ve picked for our home, and the built ins of course, but also all of the trim I’ve installed on the walls. I knew when we starting building this house 14 years ago that it was something I wanted to add to give a our home more character.

So today I’m sharing all of the trim I’ve put on our walls and tutorials for all of them. None of them were terribly expensive (I’d say board and batten was the most). But they all make a room feel more expensive than it really is!

One of the first molding projects I ever did was the wainscoting in our front living room and foyer. They’ve stayed for around for the nine years or so since I did it and still look beautiful:

How to add wainscoting to walls
I did a design with both larger and smaller boxes to give it some interest, but you can do whatever you want!:
Wainscoting tutorial for walls
I actually made videos back in the day on how to install this — you can see how to install this molding here and some more tips on this kind of wainscoting here. WARNING: These videos were before the slick stuff we make now — it was a little different back then. 😂 I say “um” a few too many times and it’s a little jerky, but again, these were made wayyy back.
Our main wall in the guest room has undergone a few makeovers, but the one I landed on (and love the most) is this simple trim in a square pattern. I shared how I added this board and batten look for only $13 here:
Square board and batten trim design
When I made over our loft last year I added quite a bit of the “shiplap” look to the walls. Back in the day us old fogey bloggers called it planking a wall — but Joanna changed that. 😉
I used the same super inexpensive material and it makes a dramatic difference:
How to install shiplap for less
You can see my full shiplap tutorial here. It’s a very easy project and is easily removable if you ever change your mind.
Speaking of — one thing I always like to note now…do NOT use glue to add your molding to a wall if you can help it. Nails into studs should be plenty. Many tutorials tell you to use glue but I really recommend you don’t. If your style changes (whose doesn’t) and you decide to remove it down the line you’ll have lots of fun drywall fixes to make. It’s just not needed in most cases.
How to add shiplap to walls for less
One of my favorite ways to add character to the walls in this house has been board and batten. It’s such a classic look and makes a room feel casual but gives it just a little something extra that most houses don’t have.
You can see my step-by-step board and batten tutorial here:
How to add board and batten molding
Board and batten tutorial
I love it!! It also looks super sharp in a dark gray — really any color. You don’t have to go white with any of these looks!
And finally, one where I mixed up the looks and it’s a favorite too — I did the planked walls with the board and batten over it in our powder room:
Shiplap and board and batten on walls
You can see my planked (or shiplap) wall tutorial here. Again, not an expensive project — just time consuming. It took forever to paint this stuff and looking back I should have sprayed it. It would have taken a fraction of the time!
I get asked a lot if there’s such a thing as too much molding in a house. No, I don’t. 🙂 I’ve been in houses where it’s on every wall — and it just feels expensive and classic. I love it. I do think changing up the look like I’ve done is good. You don’t have to stick with one style!
If you have questions on any of these projects feel free to ask! You can see all the paint colors for these rooms here. The big question is — will I add any of these looks to the new house? I’m sure I will. I already have a wall in mind for shiplap. But like this house, I’ll have to live in it for awhile before I decide. It’s been so much fun dreaming up projects for the new house! 🙂

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