tall wainscotingTraditional Style, 1913

Photos courtesy of Paul Castrilli.

This tall wainscoting, located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is the perfect thing to grace the walls of your great room.

And even though it’s finished with a luxurious stain, you could just as easily make this wainscoting from mdf and then paint it, making it both affordable and very easy to install.

After all, that is The Joy of Moldings way of doing things.


A California reader asked me a few months back for advice about tall wainscoting for a great room, and I was so bummed that I couldn’t show him my pictures of this hotel lobby because they didn’t come out good enough to post here.

But the other day, my friend Paul gave me the pictures from our trip to Grand Rapids, and wouldn’t you know he had a few pictures of this wainscoting. I totally forgot that I asked him to snap a few in case mine didn’t come out.

Hotel lobbies are great places to get molding design ideas for your great room because they are often laid out the same way, have the high ceilings and they spend the most amount of money on architectural details to impress guests.

So, why not borrow ideas from their lobbies?


This historic building is classified as American Beaux Arts, a style that borrows from many architectural periods, hence my assigning it my simplistic “Traditional” catch-all category.

Eventually I’ll go back to Grand Rapids just to take better photos of this wainscoting.

In the mean time, if you want to build one like this, you can use assembly techniques from my WAINSCOTING-100 post for building the frames and rail cap, and then for the inset frames you might want to look at this category from Half Bathroom Molding Makeover.

tall wainscoting

Have a great Sunday!

Cheers, Ken