Goodbye, Boring Walls - Hello, Molding!

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Unless you're buying an 18-century French chateau or a meticulously restored craftsman home, your walls may lack a little character. This is especially true if you have new construction, and super especially if your home was on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.

Plain drywall is the hallmark of many a modern-day home. You may have some sort of spray-on texture finish, but, let's be honest - all that really does is create a problem and an unsightly booboo when someone inevitably knocks into it, throws a ball against it, or time and humidity have their way with it. Thankfully, you don't have to move to France, or to California circa 1920, to create a rich, layered look in your home. Moldings can transform your walls in numerous ways, and adding them is an inexpensive and relatively easy DIY project (EDIT: We say "relatively" because there is typically mitering involved, so if calculating angles isn't your thing, you may need handyman help.)

Fit for a King

You can easily create the look of European royalty with a quick trip to Lowe's and some metallic paint. Varying the widths of the panels gives this look even more depth.

Board and batten wainscoting

This is another project you can do yourself with a little skill and some patience. It is also extremely economical, especially when you consider the impact - Hello, luxurious living space! Use MDF to keep the cost as low as possible. You can see a supply list and a complete tutorial here.

Applied box molding

"This is one of the most simple and easiest of the options that we have in this category," said Emily Henderson. "It consists of adding strips of wood to your already existing walls (either with glue or nails) and then painting the entire wall to match. You can customize not only the size of the boxes, to be squares rectangles or a combo of each, but also the thickness of the boards that you add to the wall to achieve just about any look."

Create a grid

You can use molding to create any type of pattern you envision (as long as it has straight lines). If rectangles aren't your thing, maybe this look will do it for you. The advantage to creating a large-scale installation is that, not only does it draw the eye, but it helps cozy up a large space or one with large or tall walls. "By using wood trim to create architectural interest, a tall wall goes from bland and boring to a piece of art itself," said Forbes. "Further adornment isn't necessary when you have gorgeous floor-to-ceiling and three-dimensional texture."

Tip: Design your pattern on paper and tape it out on the wall before putting up wood trim. And always remember to measure, measure, measure!"

Open up to something new

A little molding can also transform a boring, flat door into something special.

No space for a mudroom? No problem!

All you need is an empty wall and a thorough scouring of your local home improvement store to create a mudroom alternative that will bring function, and a great look, to the space.

A cozy place to have a seat

A blank wall, an awkward space, or the area on either side of a fireplace or TV niche can become a focal point with wall panels, trim, and a few decorative handles. "A classic window seat provides the perfect opportunity for both comfort and storage," said Better Homes and Gardens. This can also be made with inexpensive, unfinished kitchen cabinets from Home Depot trimmed out to look custom.

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