Six Millwork Trends for Living Rooms in 2022

Zoey Taylor

At Riverside Millwork Group, we have worked with builders and homeowners to construct new or renovate existing spaces for years. Although millwork tends to be the last detail on the design elements to plan for, we have noticed the living room has several millwork features that can be incorporated. It is best to consider these from the initial stages of the design process. 

Here we will list for you the top six millwork trends we see in the marketplace, and if we were you, we would be incorporating them into our next living room redesign. 

Shiplap or Tongue and Groove Paneling 

Shiplap is a wooden board installed directly on a wall or ceiling in many rooms in the home, either horizontally or vertically. Traditional shiplap has a rabbet cut into the top and bottom, allowing the pieces to fit together, forming a tight seal. While it can look remarkably like shiplap, tongue and groove paneling has a different installation process. Since the appearance of the two paneling techniques is similar, we are confident you cannot go wrong. Incorporating shiplap or tongue and groove into a living room can help to create a client’s dream living room.

In this image above, you can see tongue and groove covering the walls and the ceiling in this modern living room. They even use a nontraditional way of installing the panels on the ceiling in a chevron pattern to add more contrast to the white walls and white ceiling. 

Here is another image from the same home where tongue and groove covers the entire wall, installed horizontally in this living room. This living room design is very simple, and this homeowner wanted to keep the millwork classy, so they chose to have their shiplap painted a classic white.

Ceiling Beams

If a living room ceiling has the height, we love to see a good beam moment! When it comes to ceiling beams, we can keep the original wood and have it stained, or we can paint each beam to match the décor and colour scheme of a living room.

This spacious living room includes a beautiful ceiling that contains shiplap and white painted beams. This living room design with a sectional complements each accent in the home, giving off a lot of contrast in colours and textures. 

Coffered Ceiling

A coffered ceiling gives the appearance of the framework being exposed by installing beams both horizontally and vertically, most typically creating the shape of many squares on a ceiling. A coffered ceiling allows the room to feel like the ceilings are much higher, giving off a larger space feel. It’s been trendy in 2021 and will not be slowing down in 2022 if we had to guess. A coffered ceiling has options in beam choices, the size of the square created, and even what is on the ceiling around the beams. If you want to create large indentations or small ones, the options are all there! This image shows that this living room has a simple but stunning coffered ceiling with large indentations. 

Accent Wall

Accent walls have been trending for over a decade. Still, the idea of a feature wall using millwork has been beating out the accent wall feature of using a different paint colour or wallpaper in the last three to four years. We only see them growing in popularity as contrasting material trends take off. 

This accent wall is right off the kitchen and behind the comfy sectional couch, facing the TV. A white panel accent wall is extremely popular in many rooms of a home, including the living room. It can give off a minimalist design element to the room without having to work a new pattern or colour into the design elements of the entire space. This is why white accident walls with wood have been the most popular design in living rooms and other areas of a home, such as hallways or stairways. 


While mantels have been around for centuries, they continue to evolve with home design. A fireplace mantel can help make the room feel more at home, cozy, and a space where you want to simply lay on the couch and relax after a hard day at work. A living room design with a fireplace mantel speaks volumes, especially when what is under the mantel provides the ultimate comfort level on a winter’s day.

Here is a classic mantel in this small living room; the mantel with clean lines is becoming increasingly popular. People want the more modern approach to a fireplace with fewer references of many lines and columns. 

This mantel incorporates another millwork trend by using shiplap below it to make a statement. The horizontal shiplap surrounding the dark fireplace goes well with the dark furniture in this living room design. You can see the décor is used to compliment the fireplace with the small dark accents like the furniture, the décor placed on top of the mantel, and the curtain rods and curtains. 


Wainscoting is a decorative wall accent that typically ends or starts at the chair rail level. In the past, wainscoting had the purpose of protecting the walls from chairs in a dining room. These days, it is used more as a design feature and is visually appealing in any room of your home. Wainscoting started as a living room feature and is often seen in dining rooms or bathrooms. Like all other millwork elements, wainscoting can be installed as a simple design or a more intense, detailed version.

This wainscoting, seen in the image above, is an entirely custom design inspired by an old farmhouse that contained this design throughout the home. Riverside can create any custom trim; we start by using a sample from the old house or an image. Using the sample, a steel plate is machined to create the profile knife. The knife is inserted into a moulder, and is now ready for production. Wainscoting will likely continue to be a homeowner trend for living rooms and other rooms in the home. We see it fitting well into any interior design aesthetic, making it an excellent fit for a living room redesign.

Zoey is a marketer who has been working closely with the construction industry for six years. She has recently joined the fast-growing company of Riverside Millwork Group to help lead the marketing team. She is passionate about getting more women involved in the trades. She volunteers her time with the Women in Industry committee with the West-End Home Builders Association in hopes of attracting more women to get involved in the thriving construction industry in Canada.

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