A Short Guide to Wood Panelling

When it comes to updating a room in your home, it can sometimes be hard to find inspiration. There are many different styles, features, and flourishes that can help to transform your interior. One option worth considering is to add some wood panelling. This versatile feature can be used in both classic and contemporary designs and make for a real statement piece. We take a look at what to do with wood panelling and provide some ideas for inspiration. 

What Is Wood Panelling?

White wall panelling

If you’re taking on a project to update your home, wood panelling can be a fantastic design choice. It’s a feature that comes in many different styles and types. However, it’s usually wooden (or wood-like material) boards that cover some or all of a wall. It’s an aesthetic that dates back as far as the 13th century, where it was used to coat the walls of grand mansions. 

Today, wood panelling can be used in all sorts of designs. It adds flair to a room and gives you an extra element of customisation. You might want to use it to emphasise a feature wall or give an entire room a rustic feel – the possibilities are plentiful. 

Types Of Wood Panelling

You’ll find that there are several different types of wood panelling available. These give you the freedom to choose one that suits your needs and design choices. However, each one comes with some considerations. Here are some of the main types available:

  • Shiplap. This is one of the most popular styles at the moment. It uses grooved boards that fit together, forming a waterproof seal. Design-wise, things like farmhouse and beach house styles often use them.  
  • Tongue and groove. Similar to shiplap, although they use a different joint to connect with. They look pretty much the same but are often far cheaper than the alternative. 
Wall with brown wood panelling
  • Reclaimed wood. Another popular style, this uses wood that has been reclaimed from old properties. It has a distressed yet warm look. People often use wood boards to achieve this look, rather than expensive reclaimed wood. 
  • Board and batten. This look often appears in bathrooms and dining rooms. It features boards and planks of wood, and it fits in many different designs. 

With each type, you’ll need to consider the care and upkeep. For example, you’ll want to know how to clean wood panelling as well as how to paint varnished wood panelling if you’re redecorating.  

When it comes to how to install wood panelling on walls, some are easier than others. You can buy imitation board and batten or reclaimed wood that you can fit yourself. However, with tongue and groove and shiplap, you’ll likely want a professional to install it.

What Would Work Best For Your House

It can be difficult to decide which type of wood panelling to use in your home. In reality, the decision depends on a variety of factors. However, there are certain styles and designs where particular types of panelling work best. 

For those looking to create a rustic farmhouse look, reclaimed wood is always popular. It brings warmth and character to the walls and can create a really cosy environment. As such, a study would also benefit from this type. 

If you’re looking for a more light and roomy design, shiplap or tongue and groove are both good choices. A beach house bathroom or kitchen would benefit from horizontal shiplap with a neutral colour, for example. 

Elegant room with dark wood-panelled walls

Finally, for those seeking a classic design with some grandeur, a jacobean board and batten choice of wood panelling can look fantastic. If you’re wondering how to paint wood panelling walls, your choice should act to contrast or complement your design scheme. 

Of course, with all of these designs, you need to make sure that your walls are suitable for installation. Make sure to check with a professional if you’re unsure. 

8 Wood Panelling Design Ideas

If you’re short of inspiration for your wood panelling wall design, we’ve picked out some ideas to get you started. No matter where you’re planning on installing or building this feature, you can find some styles below:

Wall panelling painted white

In this room, the light and airy design is complemented by full-length panelling. The grey tones contrast nicely with the natural wood flooring.

Wall panelling in a dining room

This board and batten panelling covers half of this dining room’s wall. It brings an additional elegance and adds to the natural tones of the rest of the room.

White panelling in a dining room

The wooden panelling in this room is the ideal contrast to the colour of the wall. It serves to break up and lighten the grey and adds some class to the room.

white panelling in an empty room

This single line of dado rail also serves to break up the block of colour on the wall. It works well with the skirting board and coving.

Modern wood wall panelling

This modern twist on wood panelling gives a really striking effect in this room. The straight lines are mesmerising, and it really sections off the dining area of this room. 

Wooden panelling in a living room

The reclaimed wood effect of this room makes it feel both rustic and modern at the same time. The natural colours complete the look, and it fits perfectly with the rest of the decor. 

Chair near a dark brown panelled wall

The darker tones of this wooden panelling create a look that’s classic and cosy. If you’re looking to create a calming effect, this is a good choice.

Dark brown panelling on wall

Again, the panelling seen here gives a traditionally cosy feel. It’s reminiscent of that you’d see in a grand manor house years ago.

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