A single floor to ceiling treatment is simple and basic. It’s also very modern. Some call it sleek, others find it boring. Shadow boxes and wainscoting add great interest and depth to a room. Don’t get the idea that it’s going out of style soon. This timeless detail is as welcome today as it was hundreds of years ago. Classics never look dated.

Wainscoting doesn’t always feature paneling beneath the top rail. (Often called a chair rail.) Yet, if it lacks the dimensional interest the grooves add it defeats the purpose. It’s the least expensive way to divide a wall and use a second paint color or wallpaper for definition. That’s not luxurious. It lacks rich architectural benefits.

Beadboard and paneled wainscoting have a simpler, less refined effect. This is casual elegance perfect for farmhouse and cottage-style homes. Whether painted or stained, it is always a different color than the wall above the top rail. Wainscoting is always applied only to the bottom third of a wall. Going higher than 36-inches makes it paneling.

Shadow boxes offer us more options and delightful depth. This is luxurious, yet it can have degrees of refinement. For instance, Shaker-style shadow boxes use only smooth boards rails to create the framing. The basic simplicity has a farmhouse air but lends the best effect applied to the lower two-thirds of a wall. Capping it with plate rail creates a classic dining room look.

Gleaming white shadow boxes are classic luxury details. You can dress it up or down with molding selection. Raised panel shadow boxes are more luxurious than recessed panels. They also demand a lot more woodwork, which increases your cost.

Traditionally, this called for applying smooth wood panels followed by rail and molding framing. We often create the look using only molding frames beneath a chair rail. You do still see raised panel shadow boxes in new high-end homes. Flat-panel framing is more popular and affordable.

Shadow boxes aren’t confined to wainscoting. We can design them in tall rectangles, in rows of squares, or a blend of both. You can also create great interest with small boxes beneath the chair rail and tall boxes above. The best combination layout ends at picture rail height. We can do large panels above the wainscot and smaller boxes under the chair rail. Yet, the separate portions do not demand the boxes are all the same width.

There’s an art to using shadow boxes to their fullest capabilities. Paint it all one color or separate it beneath the chair rail. The result is unique, luxurious, and far more interesting than flat walls. Contact us for carpentry services in Media, PA.