Tricks of the Trade: Wainscotting

  |   Tips, Tricks and Insights

Big isn’t always better. Ask your pet! They know it feels much better to nestle up to a corner or wall. People like points of reference. Large rooms can make a person feel uncomfortable, feeling almost lost in space. The humanist architects had an intuitive trick for making an inhabitant feel more comfortable in a room: WAINSCOTING. By applying a layer of wood, fabric, or other surface material below the chair rail height, it broke up the wall mass, letting the eye rest at a level more scaled to the human. But, here’s the tip to gain full effectiveness of this trick. If in a bedroom, the wainscoting needs to be placed at the level of the bed height. Why? Because when is person is lying in bed, they will feel enclosed. In effect, wrapping the space with a soft layer of fabric or wood will make the inhabit feel warm and safe, much in the same way we naturally gravitate to the corners of sofas, when we sit down.