Our dining room is in the center of our home. It is a defined space that is open to our kitchen and living areas with two large cased openings.
And to be honest, I never loved it. Mainly because it was defined just enough by walls that I couldn’t necessarily do whatever I wanted in there decor-wise.
But it was also open enough where it needed to fit in with the rest of the spaces. I found myself constantly wanting to look through it instead of at it.
So once the kitchen renovation was done, it seemed totally necessary to focus my attention on the dining room next.
I went into it knowing I wanted to add feature walls (not just one), and I knew I wanted to do something unique, but simple. Because every wall needed something, but a whole bunch of decor just wouldn’t do in this kind of space!
And that’s how I ended up with this.
DINING ROOM FEATURE WALLS – HOW I ADDED CHARACTER & DESIGN TO THE ROOM WITHOUT DECOR
I promise it’s easier than it looks! First things first, measure your space and gather your materials!
Think it through. I knew I wanted a chair rail all the way around the room that would consist of 1×4 boards, and I knew I wanted board and batten on the bottom with a herringbone feature on top.
For the batten and herringbone, I knew I wanted to use pine lattice moulding so it was nice and thin.
Based on this, I measured my walls and estimated my materials!
STEP 1: MEASURE & GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
Here’s what I used…
- 1×4 primed MDF boards
- 1/4″x1.5″ pine lattice moulding
- Plastic Wood
- Paint – I used Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore & Early Riser by Magnolia
And here are the tools you need…
Once you have your measurements, design plan, and materials, it’s time to get to work!
STEP 2: PUT YOUR CHAIR RAIL UP
For the height, I always simply eyeball it depending on how I want it to look in the room! This chair rail ended up being about 4 feet above the baseboards.
This is totally up to you! Use painters tape to help you determine where you want your chair rail on your wall, then make a decision and get it up there!
Simply use your miter saw to cut down your boards as needed. I mitered the joints and where each board met in the corners of the walls so the seams were nice and subtle.
Then I made sure they were level before securing into the wall with my finish nailer!
STEP 3: BOARD AND BATTEN
Next, it was time to get my board and batten up! Since I decided to use pine lattice for my batten, I didn’t need to remove my baseboards (since the lattice was thinner than the baseboard).
So I simply determined how far apart I wanted the batten on the walls, cut down my boards, and started putting them up on the wall with my finish nailer!
My lower batten boards are all 17″ apart, and I measured between each with a tape measure, made a mark where the next board would go, and made sure each board was level before securing it with my nailer.
I also angled the nails into the wall in opposite angles on each board so they couldn’t be pulled out easily since not all of them went into studs!
Once I was done with that part, it was time to move on to the herringbone!
STEP 4: HERRINGBONE BOARD AND BATTEN
For the top half of the wall, I wanted the spaces between each vertical board to be wider, so I went with 23 3/4″ apart. Again, I just eyeballed this to make it what I wanted!
I followed the same steps as step 3 for this for my vertical boards.
Once they were all on the wall, I started the herringbone pattern! I cut down my boards at 45 degree angles and determined where I wanted them in the spaces. I ended up with 3 boards per space that were about 12″ apart.
Once I had the first herringbone section done, it got easier! I simply continued the pattern, matching the boards up with opposite angles as I went! I again just secured to the wall with finishing nails, and continued the pattern until the walls were done!
For the corners of the room, I simple continued the pattern as if there was no turn in the wall.
STEP 5: WOOD FILL & CAULK
The most time intensive part of board and batten is the touch up step to make it look nice and pretty!
I used plastic wood to fill all the nail holes, then I caulked where each board either met another board or met the wall. This really helps make the wall look much more finished.
To caulk, I cut the tip at an angle, run a bead of caulk where I need it to go, follow it with my finger to press it into the seam, then follow it with a baby wipe to clean up the extra!
STEP 6: PAINT!
Now for the fun part! Choose your paint colors and get to painting! I used Early Riser by Magnolia for the lower half of the wall and Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore for the upper half.
I used a brush to get around all the lattice moulding and boards, then a roller to paint in the spaces.
When painting a feature wall, I always paint my baseboards and light switch covers to match so it all blends together and looks that much more finished, but to each their own! That totally isn’t necessary!
Get two coats onto your walls, then you’re done!
STEP 7: ADMIRE YOUR WORK
YOU DID IT! Now that you’re done, add any decor you want, step back, and admire the fact that you just took your plain walls and added so much life to them!