Wood panelling was one of 2021’s hottest trends and we think it will continue this year. It’s relatively easy to put up, creates a stunning visual effect and hides a multitude of sins, if you live in an older house! Some people are also putting a twist on the trend with ‘wall panelling’ wallpaper and panelling made from more modern materials. Here’s our guide to why and how.
Pros and cons of wood panelling
Advantages – first and foremost, wood panelling allows you to channel your inner Downton Abbey, and who can say no to that! It will lend a hint of elegance to pretty much any room, and helps create a warm and cosy effect. As modern panelling is usually attached with an insulated panel, it can help to add acoustic and warmth protection. It’s relatively quick and easy to fit, and helps hide any flaws such as unevenness in the walls. You can use recycled wood for environmental purposes, and you can also use hardboard rather than solid wood and paint it to change the look.
Disadvantages – using ‘real’ wood can be expensive. Wood is prone to warp and deform in a damp atmosphere, and unpainted real wood will need some looking after in the form of regular wax treatments. Dark wood can also make a room feel smaller.
Modern twists on wood panelling
Although it’s associated with stately homes and ballrooms, wood panelling works very well in the modern home. Using it on the ceiling instead of the walls helps create visual and textural interest and stops a room feeling too stark and boxy.
You could also try using panelling to divide a room up visually. For example, a free-standing partition should be used as a permanent screen for a home office corner.
Rustic walnut acoustic wall panels, Acupanel
Acupanel is a beautiful wood strip decorative panel which has high-quality acoustic properties. It can be easily applied to walls and ceilings, be it domestic or commercial use. Modern styling personified in every way. Panels measure 240cm by 60cm and cost £159.99 from The Wooden Veneer Hub.
Panelling doesn’t have to be the traditional wide, flat panels that you’d find at Gosford Park. Narrow tongue and groove panels laid vertically or horizontally will give the advantages of traditional panelling with a sleeker look. You could also try panelling only the bottom third of the wall (panelling which doesn’t cover the entire wall is known as wainscotting, fact fans!)
If you like the look but don’t want anything as permanent (or don’t have the budget), then wood panelling effect wallpaper could be the answer.
Mustard panelling wallpaper, Mineheart
This sumptuous mustard panelling wallpaper (above and main image) by Mineheart combines Georgian elegance with contemporary colour. Wallpaper that looks like panelling is great for a traditional home – but equally adds a luxurious feel in a modern setting too. Made in England by Mineheart and printed onto 300g textured paper. It costs £48 for a 10m x 52cm roll from Lime Lace.
Dark blue panelled wallpaper mural, Wallsauce
To get the look in a hurry, you can order a custom-sized stick-on mural. Easy to install, you can just stick it onto your wall. Priced from £30/square metre, it’s available from Wallsauce.
If you feel that using panelling on the whole room would be overkill, you could also try putting panelling on just one wall. Panelling an end wall will help a small room appear deeper, for example. Putting panelling around another feature such as a fireplace will help to emphasis it and make it into a real eye catcher!
Main image shows mustard panelling wallpaper by Mineheart.