Drop the Paint Brush: Wood Paneling is Officially Cool Again

published Oct 14, 2016
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(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

Growing up, the walls of my parents’ living room den were narrow, dark wood panels. No matter the time of day, the place felt like a cave. But though I finally persuaded them to paint them to match the rest of the house a few years ago (and it really did brighten the place up), after seeing these stylish spaces, I’m starting to rethink the wood paneling look. It’s definitely distinctive. It adds texture to a space and it certainly ups the warmth factor. Check out these homes that display their paneling proudly, and see how distinctive design personalities combine with this architectural feature to create truly beautiful blends.

(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)
(Image credit: Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

In Teresa’s “Modern-ish” Renovated Portland House, knotty pine wood panels are the canvas for her eclectic style. As she writes in her house tour: “I really do love the knotty pine, it’s such a defining feature of the house, and plays a huge part in creating the overall mood. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking it out, but it would just completely change the feeling of the house, and I think I’d be bummed about it.”

(Image credit: Julia Steele)

There’s a ton to love in Baylee and Dylan’s Nashville home, from the bold furniture, painted doors and Stanley Kubrick vibes, but what surprised me was how much I absolutely dug the ’50s-era wood paneled walls in their dining room.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Pine wood paneling on the walls (and ceiling!) make the rooms in Thomas and Amy’s house in the North Carolina mountains simply stunning. The lighter wood tone gives off more Scandinavian vibes than a “dark mountain cabin” look, but the result is cozy no matter what.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

House tour photographer Emily wrote that Julia and Stone’s Naturally Modern Multi-Level in Massachusetts is a”heavily wood paneled nest that has been well maintained for decades,” and I completely agree. I’m not the only one in love the wood walls of this home, as Julia wrote that they “bliss out over the inherent beauty of the wood walls.”

(Image credit: Julia Steele)

Violet’s Nashville home definitely displays a love of all things mid-century and nautical, but this singer-songwriter’s house also has some pretty awesome wood-paneled walls. Though Violet wrote that “working around the original wood paneling in the living room to both maintain the character of the house and keep the space feeling open and light” was her biggest challenge, her attention to design paid off.

(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Even though Chris and Amber put a lot of fresh, modern sensibilities into their North Hollywood home when they renovated it, they also kept some of the original architectural details to maintain the house’s character, like the wood paneling in the front sitting area. The result is a beautiful blend of old and new.