“Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.” – Helen Rowland
Wall paneling is a traditional wall treatment that adds texture, depth, and design to your walls. If you’re looking for a creative wall covering, consider installing wood paneling over your drywall. You can leave the wood natural for a rustic look or paint it for a more sophisticated and uniform look.
What’s brilliant about wall paneling ideas is that you can adapt them to the interior design approach you have for your home. Picture frame trim work looks elegant and sophisticated, but you can give it a more unassuming feel with the right choice in trim pieces.
Shiplap tends to be the common choice for rustic and farmhouse design, but you could paint it and give it a more sophisticated look. These wall paneling ideas will help you decide on the best wall treatment for your home’s walls.
1. Wall Design
Modern design trends have allowed for a wide variety of wall panels to come pre-fabricated. This makes it easy, affordable, and fast to create any type of wall paneling treatment you can think of.
Mount 3D panels on your wall for a textured wall. Panels can come in expensive wood finishes with ornate trim work. This instantly gives your home an expensive feel without the investment or expense. Some don’t come as a complete panel but are pre-cut pieces. You then glue or nail them to the wall in a pattern.
These options are perfect for an accent wall where you want to add a bit of style to the room.
2. Living Room
Your living room probably has some of the largest wall space in your home. This gives you a large canvas for your wall panels.
Depending on the type, intricacy, and color, you may want to keep your paneling to one wall so that it’s a feature wall. This works well if you want to create a reclaimed plank wood wall. The varying textures and colors would be overwhelming if you tried to do every wall with them.
More subtle designs, like a board and batten, picture frame, or raised panel in a light color or white, can go all the way around the room and look beautiful. If you have a more open floor plan, you’ll want to consider continuing the paneling beyond your living room. Extend it into your kitchen, dining room, or down a hallway.
Modern wall paneling says goodbye to the trim pieces and intricate designs. Instead, you’ll see walls that have a floor to ceiling 3D wall panel. It’s a single sheet that’s shaped to create depth and dimension. It could be an abstract pattern of wavy lines or have a geometric shape.
Plan to have minimal wall decor if you take this approach. The decorative wall panel itself becomes your wall decor.
Another modern option is to mount several flat panels on the wall. They can be square or rectangular in shape for a more uniform look or have a randomized freeform shape. Mount them at different heights so that they create depth on the wall. Give your wall an extra bit of flash by installing lighting on the wall. Hidden LEDs can create a beautiful glow and futuristic effect.
When choosing wood paneling as your wall treatment, you need to consider the color and type of wood. Then decide how you want to design the panels on your wall. Choose too dark of a shade, and you risk your home looking dated. A lighter wood will look fresh and help brighten up the room.
Create a patterned design with your wood paneling to give it a modern feel. Use skinnier planks and space them out. Use wider wood planks arranged into a herringbone or chevron pattern.
Embrace the look of nature and use wood panels alternated with living wall panels. Use moss or succulents to cover the living wall panels. For a sleek minimalist look, add metal panels to the design.
You don’t have to hire an expert craftsman to create your paneled wall. You can easily adhere sheets of vertical paneling. Look for ones that have a texture or are 3D for a modern take. If you want a completely DIY project for your kitchen design, then make your own panels.
You could use wood planks, cut square pieces of wood across the grain, cover the wall in shims. Head to your local hardware store or online, and buy several pieces of decorative trim. Then cut them to length and arrange them on the wall. Use a geometric shape to add visual interest.
Try to keep your design as uniform as possible when repeating it. Any slight deviation will become even more noticeable when done. Measure twice and cut once.
Natural wood wall panels have their place in home design. However, they don’t work in all homes. A Scandinavian designed home can look beautiful with a light wood panel wall.
A reclaimed plank wall looks right at home in a rustic-inspired home. Those with a farmhouse appeal can support beadboard well.
If you want to use a particular type of wooden wall, but the natural look of the wood doesn’t quite work with your home, then you have one option, paint it. This hides the wood grain but also gives the paneling a refined look.
It allows the details to become more subtle and gives your walls an elegant feel they wouldn’t typically have. For a bold look, try painting your wall one color and then trim another. This works well with picture frame panels. You could also paint the wall one color and your raised or sunken panels another for a contrasting look.
You could use wall tile from the floor to the ceiling. This creates a solid look that can blend the bathroom together. For a fresh take on your bathroom walls, try adding a wood panel treatment to the walls’ bottom half.
Wainscotting is a traditional wall paneling treatment that can look fresh when used in the bathroom. Typically, you find it in other areas of the home, such as hallways and dining rooms. When adding it to the bathroom, you can use various paneling types for the bottom half of the wall.
Beadboard, picture frame, and raised panels all look beautiful as a lower wall treatment in your bathroom. Then you can paint or use tile on the upper half of the wall.
8. Half Wall
While you could apply your wood paneling to the entire wall, this can look overwhelming or become expensive. A smart budget and design option is to only use it on half of the wall.
The traditional approach is to use the paneling on the bottom half of your wall. However, this isn’t the rule in modern times. You could use the paneling on only the top half or use two different kinds for the top and bottom.
Pair your paneling with a complementary design. Many people choose to paint or use wallpaper on the half that doesn’t have paneling. They keep the paneling a clean white or other delicate neutral. Then they let the other half of the wall have a louder design.
All-white rooms are beautiful and present a clean and crisp design aesthetic. However, done incorrectly, and you end up with a stark and barren room. Wall paneling is a perfect solution for adding texture and visual interest to the room while keeping in line with the all-white approach.
Consider wall paneling that will add depth and texture to your room. A whitewashed shiplap is suitable for a farmhouse or rustic room. Board and batten in a large square or rectangle pattern can blend well with a variety of design themes.
Picture frame molding can give your home a distinctly sophisticated and traditional look. Leave the space in the frames empty to keep your paneling looking modern.
10. Dining Room
Most people view their dining room as one of the most formal rooms in their home. This makes it the perfect place to try out some of the fancier wainscoting, molding, and wood paneling ideas. Look for wood trim pieces that have multiple levels and added design.
Accent your walls with additional scrollwork and millwork appliques pieces. Then complete the look by adding complementary pieces on the ceiling.
Skip the board and batten and instead create a raised panel or picture frame design. You can create multiple levels and have additional shapes and designs added to the mainframe. If you don’t want to create these designs from scratch, you can buy premade panels that come with the design already applied. Then all you have to do is mount the panels on your wall.
All too often, people forget about designing their hallways. This space in the home becomes the method of getting from one well-designed room to another. Your hallways have interior walls in your home and deserve decoration.
A low wooden paneling can define the space and make it feel longer. It can also help define the space by giving it its own distinct style. For a refined look, try a wainscotting with a raised panel or board and batten design. These are simple and can easily be scaled to fit the size of your hallway.
Too large, and the pattern won’t repeat enough, making it look poorly planned and haphazard. Too small, and it will repeat too often, making your hallways feel smaller than it really is.
Add a wood panel wall to one of the walls of your bedroom to create an accent wall. The wall behind the head of your bed is a perfect place for making this accent wall. Wood paneling, in its natural glory, gives your bedroom a warm and natural feel. It successfully brings nature into the room.
However, not all of us want a rustic or farmhouse bedroom design. In this case, you can paint the paneling a bold color. This will make even shiplap look like a fresh design. Try creating a unique design, such as using faux leather panels, 3D panels, or metal panels with a design cut into them.
Shiplap or plank walls are the classic wall paneling option. It’s clean, easy to install, and adds texture to the room. This makes it one of the most popular wall covering options. It comes in a variety of finishes, including natural, stained, and whitewashing.
For an authentic look, use reclaimed wood. However, this will require a lot more work as you’ll need to trim and shape each piece of wood into the proper shape.
An easier option is to use wooden panels. These are premade pieces that you can easily clip together and mount on the wall. You can use this wall treatment in your kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, or hallway. Give your wall covering visual interest by using wood planks that are of different colors. Balance them to have an even distribution.