INSPIRATION: Wood Paneling

My recent Farmhaus Dining Room Reveal made great use of wood paneling.  I choose to add the shiplap paneling in the entire Farmhaus because the walls and ceilings are textured. I wanted to draw the eye away from the texture through the use of lines.  If you didn’t know this before, your eye will naturally gravitate to lines, especially when they are repeated.  This got me thinking about wood paneling and how it can be used to great effect to add interest to any room.

To some wood paneling may sound retro or rustic, but it is far more versatile than you might think. Check out how it can be used whether your style is New Traditional, Modern, Scandinavian, Rustic Modern, or Original.


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Whether stained or painted these examples of new traditional wood panels feel fresh. Repetition, geometry and modern paint selection help bring these rooms out of the 19th century and into today. Many of the examples above use low profile molding to create details on the wall that blend seamlessly with a home’s more traditional architecture.


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If your decor style is modern, wood paneling can add interesting textures and patterns.  That’s where I was going with my choice of a clean shiplap look.  But don’t you love the look of the gray stained plywood? It’s moody and modern. I hope I can use this look in a future project.  So, I’m not one of those chevron loving people, but I do love a chevron or herringbone pattern with wood. Maybe it’s because the oak floors I grew up with in Paris were chevron. Either way, I think it works well with wood, either on the floor or on the wall because the effect of the pattern is subtle.


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If you want to go for a clean, simple, yet warm aesthetic, nothing beats the Scandinavian look.  In this case, I think what really captures the spirit of this style is the spare design and the use of simple, functional materials. In fact, you can take a utilitarian sheet of plywood and transform your home into your own version of a Stockholm apartment.


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Recently, however, reclaimed wood has really been on trend (read hipster bars and restaurants all feature this material) What’s nice about reclaimed wood is that it’s a recycled material and the patina of the wood gives it its charm. If this is the look for you, you can easily replicated it using a product like Stikwood which comes in many finishes and literally sticks on the your wall. No tools needed. But if you want to go for a modern rustic look, reclaimed wood isn’t the only way to go.  Board and batten can be super rustic modern, as can shiplap or vertical planks.

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But why stop there?  You can create your own original pattern, add greater depth, mix materials, etc.  Heck, the only limit is your imagination. Just make sure it works in your particular space.  One of the best most, original wood panel wall treatments I’ve seen is from Vintage Revivals. A multicolored hex wall may not be for everyone, but in her space it is absolutely brilliant.

If you want to try some of these looks for yourself, you can find DIY tutorials for some of these looks here:

Traditional Molding Squares

Faux Shiplap

Reclaimed Wood

Board and Batten

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