Beadboard, or wainscoting, is a popular look in bathrooms. Usually, white beadboard, rather than a dark color, is chosen in bathrooms, where it evokes a clean but warm and cozy cottage feel. Beadboard is inexpensive, easy to install and can be purchased white, stained or natural from any local home and garden center. There are many ways to decorate with beadboard in a bathroom, including both traditional and inventive.
The most popular, and traditional, way of decorating with beadboard is to install it from the floor to about 1/3 of the way up the wall. You can install it with wire nails or a construction adhesive. Then, finish off the top of the beadboard with a piece of molding. Thicker molding is usually called ceiling molding, while thinner pieces are called chair rails. Finally, paint the walls above the beadboard to really set it off.
Another way to decorate with beadboard is to completely cover one or more of the walls with the board. Beadboard has thin vertical lines running through it. This gives the wall the appearance of being paneled, without the 70's vibe. This look is best done with white beadboard and looks great in beach-themed bathrooms, as it evokes the feeling of a beach cottage. Try doing just one wall, and painting the rest of the bathroom (including the ceiling) a pale sky blue color.
There are also more inventive ways of using beadboard in a bathroom. Consider using it on the side of your bathtub to give your tub a custom look. This looks best if the beadboard continues from your bathtub to the walls. Beadboard also looks great when placed behind a mirror to highlight it, or when attached to the front of bathroom vanity doors. If you are using raw wood beadboard, you can stain or paint it to match the rest of the vanity. Finally, try installing it with the lines running horizontally for a more updated look.