Music Room Walls: To Wainscot Or Not?

Yep, I’m back to this question. And for the life of me, I can’t seem to make a decision.

At the end of this week, I should be ready to start on the walls in my music room. My plan is to finish up my new French door wall panels today (I decided to go ahead and do the wood filling, sanding, caulking, priming, and painting). Then I’ll take Tuesday and Wednesday to finish the music room ceiling (it’s about halfway done). If things go as planned, that means that by Thursday or Friday, I’ll be ready to start on the walls.

But then there’s the question of wainscoting. Do I wainscot that room or not? And if I do wainscoting, should it be white? Or another color? And what background color should I use for the “wallpaper”? White? Another light-but-not-white color?

I’m driving myself crazy with indecision over this, and the last thing I want is for progress on this room to be delayed because I can’t make up my mind. I still have a few days, but if I haven’t made up my mind by the time I’m ready to start, I’m going to have Siri flip a coin for me, and I’ll just let her decision stand. 😀

The three options I keep tossing around in my head are these:

First, white wainscoting on the bottom, and the wallpaper with a light-but-not-white background above. The actual wallpaper that has inspired my design has an off-white background. That’s fine, I suppose, but I really prefer something with a little more color, like the light blue background that Shannon Berrey used on her hand-drawn wallpaper.

hand drawn wallpaper design inspired by Schumacher Birds & Butterflies wallpaper, by Shannon Berreyvia Shannon Berrey Design

And she paired her wallpaper with white wainscoting. I think it’s beautiful! I also think it’s much more interesting to look at than a white background on the wallpaper with white waincoting on the bottom. Blue naturally makes sense as a background since a sky would be blue, but if I go with this option, I’m actually leaning towards a really super light green background. I’m not sure yet, though.

The second option is to use wainscoting and paint it black. I keep going back to this entryway designed by Bailey McCarthy.

Schumacher Birds & Butterflies wallpaper in entryway designed by Bailey McCarthy, via Style Me Prettyvia Style Me Pretty

My hesitation with that is that while I love the idea of black wainscoting in my head, when it comes right down to the practical application, I really dislike baseboards and crown moulding painted black. As a general rule, and especially for my own home, I’m a pretty strict “white trim only” kind of person.

But it’s quite possible to have my black wainscoting AND my white trim. This entryway is one of the most beautiful examples I’ve seen.

Eclectic Hall by Morgante Wilson Architects

But with this option, I have one main concern, and that’s that my rolling doors will blend right in with the wainscoting when they’re open. When they’re closed, that’s not an issue, since the doorway is framed with white trim. But when the doors are open, there’s no white trim around the doors to define them and set them apart from the wainscoting. And if the wainscoting is black, I’ll have black doors blending in with black wainscoting.  UNLESS…I paint the wainscoting a very dark charcoal gray or off-black so that it’s a slightly different color.

One thing I’m not concerned about at all is the “bumblebee” effect of my yellow piano against black wainscoting. 🙂 In fact, I find it a little humorous, and I think a little lightheartedness in decorating is perfectly fine.

And of course, the obvious third option is to “wallpaper” the whole walls with no wainscoting.

Contemporary Laundry Room by Design Transformations

Every time I start to convince myself that this is the best option, I get worried that the end result will look way too busy, and I talk myself out of it.

So, the clock is ticking, and I have to make a decision by Wednesday night at the latest. If I were to choose my absolute favorite, regardless of any other factors, I’d go with the black wainscoting with white trim. That’s by far my favorite look. But when I factor in those black rolling doors, I just don’t know if it’ll work (although I just realized that it works in the entryway by Bailey McCarthy above, which has a black door).

*Sigh* I just don’t know.

One thing that I love about my new French door wall panels is that it gives much more definition between the entryway and the music room than the pony walls and columns ever did, which I really like. With the pony walls and columns, I don’t think black wainscoting would have worked at all. Now that there’s more definiton/separation, I think it’s a viable option if it’ll work with my rolling doors. I’ll show y’all tomorrow how the French door panels turned out!



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  1. Take some pictures of your room and try and Photoshop it all the ways you might like it. Maybe if you see the visuals for a couple of days your inner-voice will be able to help you finally decided how you want to do it.

    1. I agree with Zmb. If you start on the walls, intending to go completely with the wall paper and you begin to see its too busy (which I’m thinking it might be) you can always go to Plan B and add the wainscotting to the heiight you need to balance it all out.

    2. I agree. That was your original plan, if I’m not mistaken. But then you got worried that it would be too busy. Try the wall paper over all the room and if after living with it you still think it’s too busy, then cover it with the wainscoting.

      Can’t wait to see what you end up deciding!

    3. I believe she is using the wallpaper as inspiration and hand drawing the room. Would be a shame to hand draw the whole room and then wainscotting over it.

      I think the question is what will make the piano POP, after all it will be the center piece of the room.

    4. Or start with the drawing at the top near the ceiling, and taper off as you go down. Will give you a sense of whether it will be too busy, if you like full walls, or like half wall. Can either leave as is with the “drippy” effect (if that makes sense? I actually like this vision when I picture it) or add the wainscot if you decide prefer half wall. It is going to be so cool looking through those French doors into that room–like a peek through a window to the outside? or maybe into a conservatory or greenhouse?

      As to black, it does look beautiful, but with that room not having any direct natural light, I’d be really concerned that it would be too dark in there. It is supposed to be a bit bright, fun, and playful, right? I’d be afraid that mood wouldn’t carry through without a lot of natural light. But, hey! Can always try…it is just paint…the easiest and cheapest course correction ever! : )

  2. WHOLE ROOM! It will NOT be too busy, with the rolling black doors, and the entryway, and then the piano in front of the big wall. It will be gorgeous. Any thing else will make that small room shrink IMO. Do the whole room!
    (can’t wait to see what you decide!)

  3. I like the black with white trim. Can you not do it exactly like the pic…coming up just a couple of feet from the floor? You’ll have your black, you’ll have the white trim, the wallpaper will be grounded, and the doors won’t blend in….

  4. The white wainscoting with your wallpaper looks “granny” to me. The black wainscoting with the same wallpaper looks classic and sophisticated. I think your doors will look great with either choice. Can’t wait to see what you decide.

  5. I agree that the French door panels create more separation now, so you have more options. Some questions: Should you trim out and rehang your doors in white, first? I have no DIY skills, so I don’t know if that is possible. Would you want the background color of the wallpaper to be the same as the color you use in the dining room and entryway? Is this room no longer “part of the entry way/ dining room”? Do you want it to stand alone?

    Personally I can’t visualize going from white wainscoting to black. And I don’t think full walls of wallpaper will be too busy, BUT I definitely don’t have visual skills like you!!

  6. 1. It’s OK to let the room sit and go work on the dining room until inspiration strikes.
    2. I think the wallpaper might be hanging you up. I know you like it, but it strikes me as being VERY different from the style in the rest of the house. And in what I’ve seen you do in the past.

    1. Deb, I think your comment on the wallpaper is true. I fell in love with a marble that is not available in the USA and I fretted about it for weeks. I came to realize, while I still love that marble, it would not have been the best choice…because it really did not “go” with the rest of the house. I give Kristi credit in that she isn’t afraid to change things if they don’t please her.

    2. I’m with Deb on this. I think you should wait until you get your dining room done before you make a move on this. As much as I love bird and flower motifs (lots!), there’s something about this particular one in this particular space that seems out of place.* You have so many things that will be bold statements in your dining room (the horizontal B&W curtains, the watercolor print chairs). Focus on them – you aren’t too far away! As soon as your dining room is in place, put your yellow piano where it belongs and then let the room speak to you. It may have something altogether different to say.

      * Would you consider doing this on your office walls, instead?

  7. I vote for keeping the white trim and the charcoal wainscoting. I get why you might want a light green background for the wallpaper but I actually think it would look best with the palest of blue background. My reasoning for the charcoal wainscoting vs the black like the doors is two fold, 1) it won’t take away from your beautiful doors and 2) the charcoal color won’t be such a stark contract to the wallpaper and will soften the look a bit. After all, I think the wallpaper should be the focus in the room (and those doors), not the wainscoting. Also with all the other white trim in the front rooms I think it just makes sense to keep all the trim white.

    1. I agree! I think the white trim will give a sense of continuity and light blue background will blend well with the charcoal wainscoting. Good luck! I also like the idea of the yellow piano against the blue and charcoal.

  8. Does the wainscoting have to be black or white? I like the idea of the trim being white but what about a dark green instead of black for the wainscoting? And I say this because I not a black kind of paint person.

  9. I’m liking the black with white trim. The dark green in the entry way looks ‘off’ somehow. Perhaps because it is a small area.
    The whole room? Not a fan of that look. For some reason to me, wall paper like that, seems to cry out for the need of a ‘break point’. And, I don’t think that the cost of the wallpaper would be easy to justify papering the entire room first, and then going back to it. It also seems a bit stark when it doesn’t have a break point. Not too busy, but not enough, if that makes sense. It almost gives the eyes a break, and lets you take in the whole wall. Of course it could be that it’s looking that way because of the mural type wall paper that it is paired with. Can you do a photoshop of your walls with each of the looks that you are considering so we might have a better idea of what your walls would look like with them in place.
    This is definitely a hard choice to make for sure! I don’t envy you! 🙂

  10. While the idea of black wainscoting is good, I think it might take too much away from your beautiful rolling doors. I like the first idea of white wainscoting and a light blue background for your painting. It will be light and bright with your piano as the center of attention.

    Relax and you know your answer will come to you. It always does!

  11. I vote for wainscoting. It will tie the music room together with the dining room and add a calming element to contrast with the print of the wallpaper.

  12. I was wondering about just not putting any wainscoting on the wall of the rolling doors. You could just do the wall paper print on on that entire wall and above the wainscoting on the other walls. Just an idea.

  13. Now, am I remembering right — you are installing a wood ceiling? If so, I assume it would be dark like your bathroom ceiling (which I love). With also having wood floors I would say no, to black wainscoting. it would be too much dark in creating a cheery music room. Someone above had mentioned a light blue or a light green (maybe going with more of a medium hue. I think adding both these colors to your music room would be cool by putting a blue on the ceiling and green in the wainscoting and trimming the room in white. That would keep the room cheery with the birds of your wallpaper.

  14. I always think that your best work is when you do what you think you would love for your home even though most of what you do is completely different than what I would want to live with in mine. I wanted to suggest that you take a piece of sheetrock and make a quick mockup of your “absolute favorite, regardless of any other factors” and place it near the black sliding doors, but it looks like you have removed them while you work in that area. If they are easy to get to, you can maybe still do this. From there, you could try different options if you didn’t like it.

  15. I have white trim, black (short) wainscoting, and grasscloth with a black background above in my entry. I’ve had it for 5 years and still love it.

  16. Yes to the wainscot! Given that you don’t like grey, I would suggest not doing the charcoal grey thing. What if you did some other color like navy or use the light green on that and the background of your “wallpaper” white? I don’t know, just a few ideas to add to the myriad of options. 🙂

  17. Go with the ‘all wallpaper’ look. This isn’t a room you will actually BE in for hours every day, so having a somewhat busy background won’t be a problem. If you do go with the wainscoting look, it could be the same as that in the entryway, so it won’t look hodge-podge.

  18. I’m voting for the white wainscoting. Those doors are a piece of artwork and the black wainscoting would completely mute the grandeur they exude. Also, I think the white is a great background for the piano. I love black accents in a room but black on walls has always given me a heavy feeling. I can appreciate the look in someone else’s home but I don’t think I could live with it every day.

  19. Love everything you’ve done! I personally think white wainscoting matching the entryway and dining room would provide a seamless, sophisticated and classic background for all your other wonderful plans. Since the music room is windowless, and you can see peeks of the kitchen, introducing black doesn’t seem like it would continue the flow. Perhaps, if you really really want a color, you may want to use the green from your kitchen cabinets. I’d still vote for white but it is yet another option you might want to consider. 😉

  20. If you are this undecided maybe none of these options is the one. Maybe even the wallpaper, as much as you love it, is really not right for this room. Why not just finish your new french doors and ceiling and paint the walls a lovely neutral for now? With or without wainscoting. Maybe chose a light blue wall color that could eventually become the background of the wail paper. Then concentrate on building a lovely light fixture for the room. The room will look beautiful. You could then give yourself time to consider what you really want for this room after all the other design elements are in place. It would be a potential future project without a looming deadline.

    1. I agree with Char, this seems like a good choice at this point. Once you have all the fabrics in your dining room you will have a much better idea how to finish your music room.

  21. I had to think about this and it is not my house! LOL I get that you love the look in someone else’s home. But your gut is telling you it is not right for your home. A do know that you loved the black door with the white trim so perhaps that is what you really want in the music room. But, I would say that you should first complete the “wall paper” I know that it is a great deal of work. But I think completing it over the entire wall or walls make sense for continuity. If you put up the wainscotting first you run the risk of having hesitation marks in you art work. Take time to let the “wallpaper” live in the room and as you walk through and decorate the final decision will come. Does this make sense????
    Sheila F.

  22. You might hate this idea but you could just do an barely-there color on the bottom with a chair rail and the wall paper on the top with the same barely-there color, or a different one, for the background. For some reason I am just thinking wainscotting in all those rooms will be a little overkill and it will lose its appeal. And perhaps you will have enough furniture and wall decor to make the room not look too busy if you just wall paper the whole room…but what do I know really?! 🙂

  23. Whoever already said they think the real sticking point is the wallpaper throwing you off, I agree, and am thinking black/dark wainscoting (draws the eye down and is heavy) is not the answer. White wainscoting will keep light and balanced. You can still have off white/palest blue as background of birds. What would you choose if the wallpaper were not involved?

  24. I think it would look odd to have the wainscoting in one room a different color. if you are going to have it throughout at least the front part of your house, it should be the same color in each room. As far as the wallpaper is concerned, I say light blue background (like the sky). I also think it can either be full wall wallpaper or white wainscoting on the bottom, but not a different color on the wainscoting. To me that would just look odd, but It’s your house and you should do what you like. I’m just throwin my 2 cents into the mix.

  25. Okay… just my two cents 🙂 If you aren’t sure how it will look, why not photoshop it or mock it up in real life to see how it will turn out? You could easily make a template using a large roll of white paper (hung down the wall) and on each piece, draw out your options and hang them side by side to see which you like. Bonus, you can hang them in different places around the room and see from different views. That way you could play around with white vs black, 3ft vs 5ft wainscoting, blue background vs green background and all you will waste is a bit of paper and time to draw them all out. Photoshop may be easier but for me I need to actually “see it” 🙂 Or you could do like others suggested and start with the entry or dining room 1st and come back to the music room. Best of luck! Can’t wait to see what you decide!

  26. My Vote: “Wallpaper” the entire room with the “barely there” blue background. (The “wallpaper” would be cute “peeking” through the black doors when they are open!)

    My Second Place Vote: White wainscoting with “barely there” blue background for the wallpaper.

  27. I think having your “wallpaper” covering the entire wall might be a bit much and overpower the space. I think having black wainscoting and white trim would look nice.

  28. I think the first option will make your low ceilings look higher. But, I also think the second option, with the wainscoting at chair rail height, will look more fluid with the panels in your dining room.

    I vote against doing the entire wall and against black wainscoting.

  29. Kristi — since you are hand drawing this “wallpaper” I think that doing the whole room would 1) look too busy and 2) take the rest of your life!! Well maybe not that bad but a long time and then if you think it is too busy and do something over the bottom of it think of all that time you could have been doing something else. I vote for the light blue or green background also.

    As to the wainscoting — no vote from me. I can’t really visualize it that well. I know whatever you do will be lovely and it is your house to change a million times if you want to.


  30. Dear Kristi,

    I love love love stainless steel appliances and was so excited when we were remodeling our house and I was finally going to get stainless steel appliances. But then of course there was such a deal on flooring that we went dark and then the cabinets were in such great shape that we decided to keep them and finish them to match the floors, and guess what. After the gorgeous flooring and cabinets and granite were installed, I hated stainless steel with the cherry finish. I mean when I saw it in the showroom and my Hubs was saying Oh which SS do you want to buy. This one, this one, this one!? So I said No to SS and chose black instead!!! I could not believe it, I still want SS but for me deep inside I know the black is the best choice for the kitchen but sigh I still deeply miss it! The point is, you can want something badly but it just isn’t the right time to do it and I think that is your conundrum with the wall paper. You should not be debating this, you should know what you want. So I agree with finishing up all you can in the piano room like someone mentioned above, even priming everything in white in the music room so you have a blank canvas. Let it rest for a bit and enjoy the lovely doors in the room and do the dining room and entry way as a unit and then when the music room is framed with the kitchen in green and the dining room in what ever it will be, teal sofa, and the entry with the coral entry console THEN you can have a clear vision for the music room. Enjoy it don’t sweat it, you are doing a gorgeous job on the whole house and I love that you choose to realize when you are not happy with something and take the time and THOUGH and energy to make it just right! You go Woman!

    1. I meant to say THOUGHT and I don’t know what color you are doing the dining room but I think the teal velvet for the sofa goes some place else? haha

  31. I really like the first photo of the bathroom. If it were me, I think this is the route I would go:

    – Definitely some wainscoting or delineation (chair rail?) between top and bottom with a solid color on the bottom. White on the bottom probably detracts the least from the piano, the wallpaper, and the sliding doors (as you pointed-out). I think if you do wallpaper top-to-bottom, it would be too busy…unless you were doing an accent wall of it (which is a whole other animal and I know you don’t care for them).

    – I think an off-white color would look nice as the wallpaper background, but just a tiny tint off from white. Maybe in the blue or blue-gray range rather than a creamy range. That’ll look nice and probably compliment the piano better (since cream can clash with yellow). If you were going to do a creamy off-white, I think I’d play it safe and tint the white myself with some of the piano paint to make sure it’s in the same family.

    – I hadn’t really thought about it until I saw the bathroom photo, but have you considered whether 2/3-height wainscoting might be an alternative to chair-rail height wainscoting? I’m not sure how much you want the wainscoting to be a focus, especially with so much of the picture frame molding already in the dining room. However, it would make less area you have to hand-paint those birds. Just a thought to throw out there.

  32. If you are having so much trouble deciding, then maybe you should not decide yet. Finish the ceiling, then go back and finish the entry and dining room.

    I happened upon and saw that she was making a table base from plumbing pipe. It definitely reminded me of the table design you liked.

  33. I love the “wallpaper” you have chosen. I like it best with option #1. However, if you want to do one entire wall of paper make it an accent and finish the other walls like the dining room. It will really stand out and show off the “wallpaper” without being too busy.

  34. Whew there you go spinning my head again ( Halloween is over you know lol) My two cents for what that is worth… white wainscoting yes, no to wallpaper all over. yes to pale green background. Yet I have read some of the comments and agree that maybe you should paint walls with primer and sit on it while working on the other rooms (finish the ceiling though in the music room) I can’t help but think that would be the way to go a clean pallet in that room to just mull over as you prep the other areas, by that time you should have had time to really think it through and decide. Have a beautiful blessed day Kristi.

  35. I was surprised to find the black really made the wallpaper pop for me, instead of feeling washed out like it does with the white wainscoting. I’d incorporate black somehow, but I think you would not like all black wainscoting either, so maybe that mean #3 is it. I think the yellow piano would rock with that combo 🙂 Oh I think all wallpaper is way too busy and would not let your eye rest in that room.

  36. Wallpaper the entire rolling door wall; black wainscoting, white trim the other walls. Artwork back in the entryway and the mirrors to the music room is a thought :).

  37. Why not paint the whole room either the light green or blue, and do white baseboard and wainscot trim, with the bird pattern above it? That way the beautiful doors will still stand out, but the division between the wainscot and birds won’t be so stark. If I recall, it’s a smallish room….there will be A LOT going on in there.

  38. Don’t forget all of the things in the dining room and kitchen. Drapes, rug, upholstery, buffet, art, and lots of pretty green in the kitchen. From the front door you will see all of these plus the music room. Maybe you should finish the dining area first.

  39. I would go with the third option, if you don’t like it, you can always add wainscoting afterwards. I, also, do not like painted trims. I like white trims.

  40. I feel there are a couple of issues you’re struggling with. One is the overall “feel” of the home. If I can remind you of your words when you changed up the fireplace: “I finally had a clear vision of where I’m heading with my living room (more elegant and traditional with a few contemporary and modern touches).” Re-visit the purpose of the “music” room–is it really just a transitional walk-through space? The piano, while fun, is more whimsical in character than the rest of the home. Also, you’ve book ended that room with two different style doors/reflective surfaces. Had you considered using the bird wallpaper as a panel filler for wainscoting like you were testing in the entry? Can’t wait to see how you finish it. Your work is always lovely.

  41. This isn’t an option listed, but what if you continued your wainscoting from the entry way, to include the upper wall wainscoting, into the music room. You could then put your “wallpaper” drawing design in the picture panels on the upper wall. As far as coloring…I’m not sure, but I did like the light blue as a background for the painting…it gave the design a little more depth.

  42. Krisiti,

    Here is what works for me when I am unable to decide. Walk away from it, do something totally different. Sometimes, I have to walk away for a couple days and sometimes just a couple hours. Go do something that gives you inspiration, wether that be hammering, listening to music, going for a drive, writing, or visiting your favorite museum or library. This allows the mind to clear and refocus. Get to a place mentally doing whatever else you are doing where you feel very confident in your abilities and good about yourself. Then go back and look at your options, it may be more clear.

    Often times I for us creative people, decisions can be hard if our brain is cluttered with other junk. All of this may sound completely crazy, but it works for me.

  43. You have two large doorways and two regular doorways in this room that break up all of the wall space so the full wall of “wallpaper” are not going to look as busy as you think. You can always cover it up later if it is too much.

  44. I like the whole room in wallpaper. Considering the the size of the room and the fact that three of the walls have doors AND there will be a piano against a wall, I don’t think it will be to busy at all. The wainscoting actually may end up being more busy for the same reason that your pony walls ended up not fitting in. I like the idea of a light colored background, too.

  45. Okay, so I used Pixlr to put some examples together. My favorites are definitely the short charcoal wainscoting with charcoal trim with the blue background AND the one with the pale yellow background (embrace the bumble bee!), and the tall white wainscoting with the blue background.

    1. There’s nothing like photos to help one make a decision! I was having a terrible time trying to visualize the black wainscoting and white trim, but now… I LOVE it! I think it sets off the piano beautifully and coordinates with the wallpaper just perfectly.
      The background color that appealed to me most was the first lighter one… I’m not sure if this was off-white or pale pale green? But it kept everything clean and bright and fun, to my eye.
      Thank you Keiko for sharing the photo work!

    2. Thanx Keiko, these visuals help! Loving the white background for the wall paper with black wainscoting and white trim. Beautiful! I honestly don’t know if it would flow from the front rooms, but it sure looks so pretty!

  46. Love the whole room of wallpaper with a very light color but not white background. Especially because you have the beautiful black doors and yellow piano – both large solid colors pieces- to ground the wallpaper design. But if you do go with wainscotting (which, bonus, would drastically reduce the amount of space you need to hand paint your wallpaper), I vote white. Black may take away from the doors and charcoal may be one too many things going on in the room.

  47. Also–Just remembered that you are doing the wood paneled ceiling. Now I’m thinking short black wainscoting, white background on the pattern, and a pale blue paneled ceiling!

  48. Well, since this is a lot of work, and it won’t be easy to change it, why don’t you work on the dining room and entrance? Having the entrance finished would probably make a difference…

  49. Hi Kristi: I think painting the background a pale green would be yuck and here is why. Isn’t the kitchen off of this room. Having a mint green and then the beautiful green of your kitchen i think will clash. I like the black low wainscotting. It seems to suit your style. The first one (although lovely) seems a bit too country. If you leave the background of the hand drawn paper white, it gives you more color options for the birds. I think whatever you do will be beautiful.

  50. Wow, this is a tough decision. I think it would be best to stay with all white trim because if you paint it black, it becomes more of a focus of the room. To me, the room will already have enough beautiful focal points that the black will compete too much. You have a bold piano, a beautiful set of doors and wonderful “wall paper”. I don’t think you need the additional feature of black trim/wainscot.

    The example you posted with the black wainscot has a much more limited color palette than your room.

    Excited to see what you pick!

  51. Why don’t you just do it in stages? Draw the wallpaper pattern down to wainscoting height, then see if you like it. If you do decide on the wainscoting, prime it out and if you love it light then there you go. If not, try the black on a wall. If you hate it you can paint over it.

  52. My simple personal opinion is that maybe that wallpaper you love so much would look better in the hall or another area of your home. That music room already has so many gorgeous features ie: ceiling, rolling doors, stationary French window dividers,& the yellow piano.

    Just walk away and finish the entry or dining room and I’m sure it will come to you. Whatever you do will look picture perfect.

  53. Kristi,
    What an amazing woman you are! I think you have forgotten to consider one important thing as far as the “wallpaper” is conserned and that is how it transitions to your kitchen. You can see the kitchen through the opening in you music room therefore I think a pale blue background would not be the best choice although it is beautiful, because it does not blend in with the green color of your kitchen. A pale green or pale yellow would. For continuity and smooth transition from hall to dinning to music I vote for the white wainscoting to be continued. The wall treatment and sliding doors will not have competion and will stand out and sing! Good luck!!!

  54. I love the elegant grisaille foyer with black wainscoting and white trim, especially with the dark-walled room beyond, but this is so NOT the personality of your house. Your house is going to be sophisticated in a different way. I have no problem with whimsy in decorating, but I don’t see your yellow piano against black wainscoting as a humorous take on a bumblebee. I think it could end up a bit garish. Think of all the bright colors you see as you walk in the door. Don’t you think your eye needs a place to rest, and you need the colors to flow, not collide? I know you love the wallpaper, but isn’t there somewhere else you could use it? Perhaps the breakfast room? Master bath?

  55. Keep talking yourself out of wall papering the entire room. With everything else going on in that room it is just too much.

  56. Hi
    I think you should continue your wainscotting exactly like your dining room. Paint it the same colour as your dining room. This will make all areas cohesive while your hand drawn wall paper and beautiful doors will be the stars. I also think your yellow piano will look great in this room. Introducing more colour and textures will muddy the look of the room. Sometimes less is more. Save the black wainscotting with white trim for another room that has less going on. It’s a lovely look but not for the music room. Just my humble opinion of course. Looking forward to seeing what you decide.cheers

  57. I concur with all the other suggestions to take a break from the music room and complete the dining room and entry next. You will instinctively know what to do in the music room once the front rooms are complete.

    I enjoy the blog immensely and appreciate your eye and skill to make your vision a reality. The rooms you have completed so far are beautiful.

    YHWH Bless You 🙂

  58. Here’s a suggestion, start with the faux wallpaper from the top of the wall and work your way down. When you come to the height where you might want wainscotting, grab two pieces of board, one painted black and the other white. Prop them against the wall and live with them a few days, moving them around to check the lighting, etc. either you’ll love one or want to continue the faux wallpaper.

  59. Just to add an option I haven’t seen posted:
    Wainscoting in white. And the background for the ‘wallpaper’ in black. This would allow white trees. And a lot of metallics could be added to the birds to really make them pop on the black background. Yellow on the birds would really stand out as well. Just a thought.

  60. Hi Kristi,
    I’m a long time follower but 1st time poster. I agree with some of the previous posts that state less is more. If you stand at your front door & visualize your options, the rooms seem to be competing for attention. I think you need to decide which feature is your focal point & the rest need to be supporting characters. My vote is for the wallpaper inside framed out molding with white wainscoting below. I think this would be lovely while still allowing your beautiful black doors to take center stage with your yellow piano providing the pop of fun.

    I enjoy your posts!

  61. so, my latest thought would be for you to continue the same picture frame molding that you have in the entry/dining into the music room. paint it all white. then fill the frames with the wallpaper with a barely green or barely blue background.

    Can’t wait to see what you do!

  62. I agree with the others who say too many focal points. On my list, I cross off the black wainscoting with a big black marker. It’s a big ‘no’ for me. Now it’s down to white or full wall wallpaper. I think either one would recede with standing at the front door and allow your beautiful doors to shine. I’d be inclined to wainscot it and use a pale yellow or robin’s egg blue (very pale, almost a tinted white, but just enough contrast that the white pops) or use a white background and paper it all. Add whimsy by putting unexpected details in your wallpaper design, perhaps a bee, lady beetle or tiny butterfly in a way such that you have to look to see it. Or your and Matt’s monogram artfully written in/with branches.

  63. You could just go ahead and do the whole thing in your hand drawn wallpaper then re-evaluate when you get all the adjoining rooms finished to see if you really want to add wainscot or not. The only cost to doing that is time.

  64. Hi Kristi!
    I usually don’t give my opinion, because usually I don’t have one, or I’m more indecisive than you, or you have asked for an opinion, which you haven’t specifically here, but just thought I’d throw my opinion in for a change: I think all “wallpaper” is too busy, otherwise, I have no opinion. LOL!

  65. The first option by far is my favorite. I like the idea of a light color background on the wallpaper. I also think the white wainscoting grounds it and gives the eye a place to rest. And I really like the contrast of the dark mirror against all that. Maybe you could bring the drama of black in through furnishings and maybe the doors?