Instead of bead board, give boring walls a little architectural interest by adding wainscoting made from 1x2s applied vertically and topped with a horizontal 1x3. Apply the boards directly to drywall or plaster using nails or screws. Add a second 1x3 as a useful shelf by gluing and nailing it to the wall and to the other 1x3.
Original...Board and Batten Actual results per Julie... We did this in our spare bathroom for around $150 for all supplies. It really does customize a plain wall. I love having the top shelf for pictures and knick knacks. It looks great and is an easy weekend project!