Top 4 Favorite Wall Treatments and Ideas to DIY Them

Adding personal style to your home is a big mantra of mine. Wall treatments are one way to really pump up the style volume and add a layer to your home design. Today I’d like to share my top 4 favorite wall treatments and ideas to DIY them.

paneling in the kitchen on the ceiling and in the built in hutch

Adding personal style through layers of design

When visiting a friend or clients home for the first time, I love those rooms that tell me you have a strong sense of personal style, without you telling me that you do.

Those are the rooms with multiple layers. Great flooring, texture, colors, patterns, fabrics, interesting light fixtures, and art, they all will tell your story. It doesn’t have to be my style or what I might put in my own home for me to love it, but I can always appreciate and admire them.

A nod to individuality is always a good design choice.

paneling and wallpaper in the entry

One of the things that can really pull a room together is unique (and even simple) wall treatments. From wood wall treatments (a shiplap wall, bead board, traditional wainscoting, or other wood wall panels), brick walls, a contrast coat of paint, a hand painted mural, or wallpaper, these wall treatments can really elevate a room.

Even if you are a beginning DIYer, some wall treatments can be an easy way to add much character to your space. Don’t be afraid to try something different, we all learn along the way!

Interior walls and DIY projects

When looking to add a focal point to a room, an accent wall is a great way to get it. There are a few things to consider before diving in. Ask yourself these questions to help you decide the type of wall treatment that would be best for your space.

paneling work on the ceiling

First, how high are the ceilings in your space?

You will need to consider accessibility of how to get the project done. Will you be able to create a feature wall with really high ceilings if you plan to DIY it?

Second, will your new look be about adding a different color, a pattern, or a texture?

What do you believe the room needs? Look around and see what is missing.

Next, will you be placing your treatment on one whole wall?

Or will you embellish the entire room, or just a portion of the wall space? There are many easy DIY wall treatment options. And not every wall surface needs to be done in a room. Sometimes one accent wall can make the most impact.

Here are my top four favorite wall treatments:

Favorite wall treatment #1: Traditional wainscoting with an easy DIY way to get it

They say it’s all about the details, and that is always true in every space. If you love a traditional look, then a boxed moulding under chair rails is a great option.

But keep in mind, your decor should always be about your needs. You do not need to make yours look like everyone elses.

Choose the height that your paneling will be and what would look best in your space. You can even use a bit of unconventional moulding for your trim boxes for a super custom look.

Many older homes come with these wall treatment looks. If yours doesn’t or you have a newer home, the box moulding is an easy add.

A few years back, I put this wall decor in our main entry. This do-it-yourself wall paneling was a super easy, cost-effective way to do this project. I was able to create this look with minimal moulding and paint.

If your walls are smooth like mine, it really is a quick project! When I put mine up, it was the perfect addition the room needed to make a statement. It set the tone for the rest of the house.

If you can start with smooth walls, all you will be adding is the moulding directly to the wall. The finishing will make it really pop.

Our home is a Cape Cod style, with classic elements throughout. This unique wall treatment added a sense of history and updated a once boring entry.

custom wall treatment with moulding and wallpaper

If you have a miter saw, and some basic wood working skills, this is a simple DIY project. I think this easy wall treatment really makes a big impact. It definitely does in our space.

I even updated the door trim work in this room to set off the openings going into other rooms. The living room and hallways to the kitchen and primary bedroom got a special update with a more detailed trim.

If you have wall texture, such as an orange peel finish, there is a simple solution. You can create this square paneled wall treatment easily with one simple trick. I’ve included that in my post linked above.

Favorite wall treatment #2: Wallpaper and the tips you need to know

My all-time favorite way to make a statement wall is with wallpaper. Hands down, I feel like this is a winner, as you can get color and pattern in one treatment. Plus there are literally millions of choices.

hanging regular wallpaper

I hang my own wallpaper, but if you haven’t done it before, it is a doable DIY project.

I prefer working with regular wallpaper, as opposed to the temporary wallpaper, that is peel and stick that we are seeing readily available now. But that quick stick wallpaper kind is a bit like contact paper and more cumbersome, in my opinion.

focal point wallpaper in the dining room

There are definitely different skill levels needed to navigate hanging wallpaper, but this blog post I wrote on all the tips and tricks needed should give you all the knowledge you need to add this wonderful layer to your walls.

Wallpaper is so great to add a fun pop of color to your space along with a pattern. I added this simple design wallpaper to the entire wall in the back of our dining room, which is open to the living room. It really draws your eye through the space and adds pattern and color to the room.

Rather than just plain white walls throughout, wallpaper gives your eye a place to wander and explore its colors and pattern.

wallpaper and paneling in a half bath

And a patterned wall covering is always the perfect solution to jazz up a small room, such as a half bath. Two wall treatments (wallpaper and nickel gap paneling) bring style to this small room.

Favorite wall treatment #3: A gingham wall pattern painted on the wall

One of my favorite creative ideas to add a fun twist to any room is to paint a gingham or other simple wall pattern directly on the wall.

It definitely adds a dramatic effect but in a simple and classic way. And the best part is, if you are tired of the look of a wall pattern that you painted on, then you can just paint right over it!

I painted a bold gingham wall pattern in my home studio, and share a step by step tutorial in this post. It was so fun to customize the size and color schemes, and definitely added personal style to this part of my home.

hand painted gingham wall treatment

I also feel like gingham matches many design styles and is a good idea if you are on a budget and want to add some WOW to your blank, white paint wall. Hand painting mine was fairly easy to obtain clean lines, even without using tape, which you can view in the full tutorial.

I also painted it in the laundry room area in our last house, knowing that if the buyers didn’t like it, it was easy to get rid of by simply painting over it. The pattern size was customized to the space and it gave your eye a focal point in the room.

paint gingham

Simple patterns work great in small houses, and this one that was painted in my daughters half bath remodel is an easy pattern anyone can do. If you don’t feel like you have a steady hand, there are even vinyl decals that will give you this same look, and they are easy to add and remove.

focal point wall in small bathroom

Either way, whether using gingham or any other simple pattern, it is a fun way to add a style layer to any space.

Favorite wall treatment #4: Wood panels that make amazing decorative walls (and ceilings!)

From bead board, to shiplap, batten wall board, and any other type of wood paneling, adding wood walls (painted or stained) adds wonderful texture and backdrop to your blank walls. And don’t forget to look up!

The ceiling is like a fifth wall and should not be forgotten when hanging this traditional board. If you took a little home tour at our current house, you would find these classic wood panels in many spots.

Not only have we used them on the walls, and up on the ceilings, but they add texture and detail behind shelves as well.

bead board wall treatment

When we renovated the kitchen there were several areas where there were holes in the ceiling from having to thread electrical wire for updated lighting. Older homes around my neighborhood were built in the 50s and many needed to be brought up to code.

Bead board paneling was a great choice to add the character we wanted. It was also a good option to not have to repair all the holes in the ceiling. We just insulated the area and covered them up. You can read this post here to see how to add more character with wall paneling.

Another key point, paneling can be painted any color. A darker color paneling in our guest room adds strong architectural interest. I love the way it looks as a back drop to the upholstered headboard in the room.

bead board wall treatment paneling painted in a darker blue

Wood panels will also take less time to install than individual wood planks. Give it a try, it adds a ton of personality. The 4 x 8 foot sheets make it a doable DIY project.

Add personal style with wall treatments

I hope that you will try one of my favorite wall treatments. They are easy to do and will add so much personality and style to your home.

If you have any in your space, please tell me in the comments which ones are your favorite. I’d love to hear how you like to add style to your space.

paneling in the mudroom

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  1. These pictures are beautiful! You’ve got great style and talent!!

  2. Thank you so much Susan. I really love to add personal style to a space.

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