First Christian Church

Adding Rich, Dark Cherry Wainscoting To A Traditional Den

By Jessica Ackerman

Dens are notorious for having dark decor, not as the bright and cheery spaces that are characteristic of family rooms or living rooms. Instead, they hold onto the image of a bear’s den: dark and cozy, but far from elegant. If you have a den that you want to transform while still holding onto a bit of that dark, mysterious feel, try adding wainscoting to the walls. A rich, dark cherry is particularly appropriate and elegant.

The Why

Wainscoting is a beautiful addition to any wall. It adds visual interest, texture and it can be customized to achieve the look and feel that you want. This is especially important if you already have the furnishing for the room and you want the walls to match them. Wainscoting is also beneficial to use if there are imperfections in the wall’s surface, as it hides them from view. There are not many other types of wall covering that can completely disguise the wall’s texture underneath.

The Choice


Choosing a rich, dark cherry for the den’s wainscoting is a great strategic move. The dark wood helps to maintain the mystery of the space, while the beauty of the cherry helps to bring out a layer of sophistication that might not otherwise be there. Cherry is usually quite expensive and will eat into your redecorating budget, so be sure that you shop around for materials to find the one that best suits your budget and your needs.

The Installation

Just like any other type of wainscoting, cherry wood is usually nailed into place. The homeowner or contractor begins by measuring the amount of wood needed and orders the pieces from there. It is usually good to add slightly more than what you measured, just in case your measurements were askew. Nail the pieces into place along the top and bottom edges before the baseboards and chair rail are installed. This will help to hide the nails and also keep the wainscoting securely fastened to the walls. Once the panels are in place, hang up the chair rail and the baseboards to cover the top edge of the panels.

Coordinating Materials

The bottom half of the wall may be cherry wainscoting, but what should you use for the top half? If the walls are in poor condition or if you are a fan of patterned walls, hang wallpaper that fits the look and theme of the room. Do not hang floral wallpaper in a man’s den or sports figure wallpaper in a woman’s sitting room. If wallpaper is not appealing, you can also paint the walls above the wainscoting. Lighter, neutral colors will brighten the space and make it appear less intimidating. Darker, more somber tones will contribute to the traditional den appeal.

Adding cherry wood wainscoting is an expensive undertaking for any den remodel, but it will be a material that will last for many generations. It has unsurpassed beauty and elegance that appears equally at home in a man’s den as it does in a woman’s.

About the Author: Jessica Ackerman from generously shares everything she knows about

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