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Abbie Downey

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Abbie is the Owner of Feather&Fossil and specialises in Maximalist Interior Design schemes for residential clients. Abbie has experience and qualifications in Interior Design and Project Management.

Home » Design Ideas & Inspirations » 20 Decorative Wall Paneling Ideas for Your Room

Wall Paneling Ideas

As a designer, sometimes it’s easy to feel daunted by an empty wall. The versatility of wall paneling can be surprising. It is one of the most widely used and accepted ways to stylize and add character, texture, or even hide errors in a wall in interior design.

Wall paneling is an economical way to mimic art and finery that would have been challenging to recreate in everyday households. There are plenty of creative and jaw-dropping choices available to purchase today. From traditional and rustic to contemporary and abstract, paneling gives wings to creative room ideas.

While panels made from wood or engineered wood are likely more durable and permanent, acrylic panels mimic old-school stucco, and 3D cut panels are also popular today. Sleek and modern vertical panels and bold grids impersonating wall trimmings are easy and practical ways of transforming home interiors.

The most crucial factor of wall paneling is that they allow you to customize the colors and sizes to fit your area perfectly. Even if you want a temporary way to brighten your room, you can opt for inexpensive stick-on vinyl wall panels in vogue. Another winning feature of these vinyl panels is that you can install and take them down all by yourself.

Read also – 20 Best Wall Decor Ideas

Different Types of Wall Paneling

Once you have decided to step into the very fun and diverse world of wall paneling, there are still many options. Paneling injects a verve into your walls, and each style has its own character. We can shorten the list to about 8 main types of decorative wall paneling that are summarized below:-

1. Wooden Paneling

Sheets of solid, engineered wood and other wood-like products are cut and made into large panels. These wooden panels can be made in different styles, from carvings and fenestrations to complex 3D designs. They are more resilient and will last a lifetime, just like traditional wooden furniture.

2. Wainscoting or beadboard paneling

Made from wood or other synthetic materials, this paneling style is carved into patterns similar to the woodwork found in wall trimmings and crown moldings. Wainscot paneling is mainly reserved for the bottom half of the wall and requires a healthy amount of skill and precision to install.

3. Veneer and laminate panelling

As the name suggests, they are made from particleboard or wood veneer. Veneer panels, though expensive, look highly sophisticated when finished with a coat of polish. These panels are commonly found in more formal settings of high-end dens, offices, and clinics. 

4. MDF paneling

MDF is produced by compressing wood shavings at a very high temperature. This style of paneling lends stability at affordable prices. MDF panels are ideal for 3D designs and carving. Finally, you can also paint them in a color of your choice since MDF doesn’t absorb the paint, unlike wood.

5. Fabric paneling

Fabric paneling is widely used in bedrooms and entertainment rooms because it is excellent for sound-proofing. Starting with a wooden base, they are padded with a foam layer and covered in fabric.

6. Metal paneling

Aluminium, corten steel, and copper are popular types of metal wall panels. These panels are not only durable but also add a modern and sleek twist to your walls. An added perk to metal panels is that they can form a beautiful patina over time. While this style is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is a contemporary paragon!

7. Chipboard paneling

Chipboard is made by pressing together sawdust with wood chips. It does not share the same strength as wood and can only be used in dry areas. If there is contact with water at any point, it will start to swell and disintegrate.

8. PVC paneling

A classic utilitarian style, PVC panels, are used mainly for their water resistance and robust properties. It consists of small amounts of plasticizer and polyvinyl chloride.

Read also – How To Paint A Room? – 15 Steps To Painting A Room Like A Pro

20 Amazing Wall Paneling Ideas for Your Room

Now that you have zeroed in on the type of panel you’d like to install, it’s time to adopt a design style! We have put together some spectacular wall paneling ideas to choose from for your inspiration.

1. Go horizontal

If the area you are designing has space constraints, you can consider composing the wooden battens horizontally or like a wood wall panel shiplap. Just as a vertical panel gives an illusion of height, a horizontal panel can make the room look vast.

Read also – The Definitive Guide To Use Line in Interior Design

wall paneling ideas - go horizontal

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2. Half wall molding

Dating back to the Victorian era, half-wall moldings were fitted for decorative and practical purposes. Consider only the bottom half of the wall paneling to lend the space a heritage vibe. Fix French trimmings in concentric squares or rectangles at equidistant points along the length for a traditional paneling look.

Read also – 9 Best Victorian Interior Design Ideas

wall paneling ideas - half wall moulding

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3. Panels over tiles

Panels are cheaper, more accessible, and quicker to install than wall tiles. Switching up a panel is a breeze when compared to replacing tiles. Homeowners will find that panels like wood planks on the wall are a thoughtful yet effective way to spruce up a living space while undertaking a home improvement project.

Read also – 15 Best Winter Decorating Ideas and Trends

panels over tiles - wall paneling ideas

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4. Wood with wallpaper

Wallpapers can hold their own and act as a statement background to your décor. However, go one step further and pair patterned or floral wall coverings with a classic wall panel to witness firsthand the glow-up of your room! 

wall paneling ideas - wood with wallpaper

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5. Picture-frame wall panels

The wall paneling must follow the architectural style of the home in question. You can try adding low trim wall panels that also act as a base to hang some pictures on.

Similar to the wallpaper idea, photographs are a great way to step up the paneling game. Consider communal areas like the dining room or living room. Interlacing framed family photographs with the paneling will turn a standard paneled wall into a multi-layered memory wall!

Read also – 14 Wonderful Fireplace Decor Ideas

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6. Dress things up with marble

Try throwing in a little marble finish with the paneling. A wall panel with a marble texture can look elevated and rich as a feature wall in any room.

wall paneling ideas - dress things up with marble

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7. Disguise panels with a bookshelf or TV unit

In areas like the home office or the study, it’s a bright idea to combine a bookshelf with the paneling. This means that you can not only get away with cost-effective paneling materials like MDF but also work out an attractive storage solution. You can finish it with a Duco, a laminate, or a veneer coat, according to the room’s design style.

Read also – 8 Best Window Treatment Ideas

disguise wall panels with a bookshelf

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8. Extend your wall paneling onto the ceiling

Why should walls have all the fun? You can also consider letting the wall panel design run onto the ceiling for a seamless flair. However, ensure that you apply this technique to an otherwise simple or understated room.

This style can quickly look congested in a small space or a room rife with architectural elements. The same rule applied to introducing a shiplap wall into a room. In the hands of a proficient designer, this technique can envelop the room in a cozy, log-cabin air.

Read also – 50 Fabulous Patio Design Ideas

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9. Create a French cane room divider

French cane wall panels are the epitome of boho-chic! When framed with light or white wood, these cane panels offer an airy, coastal undertone to the overall design. These wall panels can also be free-standing and moonlight as a room divider or wardrobe shutter. Talk about a stylish focal point!

Read also – 14 Best Small Studio Apartment Decorating Ideas

wall paneling ideas - create french cane room divider

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10. Incorporate open shelving into paneling

Wall panels can double up as shelving units to promote smart storage in miniature and confined spaces. Think beyond the usual floating shelves; you can utilize a wall panel’s storage. Painting the shelving panel and the wall the same color, called a “drenched” wall, will leave the space unbroken and flowing.

Read also – 15 Best Bedroom Shelving Ideas

incorporate open shelving into paneling

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11. Use white tongue-and-groove slats for a coastal look

Slated panels with white paint, paired with tan or beige décor, can quickly achieve a Californian sun-n-sand room feel. Whatever the pattern of the panel, a rustic brush of paint from time to time is enough maintenance. Light-colored paneling also bounces natural light around and helps brighten the room.

Read also – 25 Stylish Headboard Ideas for Your Bedroom

use white tongue and groove panels for a coastal look

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12. Sustainable wall paneling designs

Going green has graduated from being a slow movement to being a design necessity, and wall panels have paid heed to that development. Many designers try to inculcate greenery into a project by using wall panels with recycled wood or eco-friendly wallpaper.

If your clients feel up to the challenge, you can always fix a green wall with vertical plants and a built-in water supply. This can act as an accent wall in transition areas like the patio or a balcony.

Read also – 10 Tips To Create Healthy Spaces

sustainable wall paneling designs

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13. Enhance space with 2d paneling

2D and 3D wall panels are some of the most exploratory ways to spice up an area. 2D paneling allows a small room to feel more spacious by shifting focus to its abstract and muted patterns. They work best as a textured white wall behind a painting or serve as a background for a plush sofa.

Whereas creative innovation and modern technologies used in 3D panels can give the room a futuristic makeover. They also have other benefits, like acoustic retention and diffusion of harsh light.

Read also – 15 Best Master Bedroom Makeover Ideas

enhance space with 2d paneling

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14. Use paneling to disguise a door

Floor-to-ceiling wall paneling can easily camouflage a door. This technique adds a bit of dynamism to the interiors and becomes. A mundane entryway to the toilet or the store room becomes a fun conversation starter!

However, it can be particularly tricky to get this technique right. You must only use solid and sturdy materials for this paneling. Cheaper materials like chipboard can crack from the repeated opening and closing of the door. Choosing a Duco spray paint finish over regular paint is also ideal, as standard paint tends to crack and flake at the joints.

Read also – How To Choose The Best Materials and Finishes for Interior Design?

use paneling to disguise a door

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15. Built-in closet wall paneling

As with the concept of a hidden door, you can apply the same practice to conceal your closet space. Stylizing the wall in the same style as the wardrobe doors will look highly engaging. Paneling the closet can also help eliminate monotony in the bedroom, where you usually witness plain wooden shutters for all closet doors. 

Read also – 8 Best Wardrobe Design Ideas

built-in closet wall paneling

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16. Three-Quarter Paneling

Nothing cries grand like a high ceiling in a retro space. But bring in the three-quarter panel, and your room now looks more luxurious, taller, and sophisticated. 

Offsetting the panel with a different color than the ceiling can inversely break the visuals and make the room seem more tangible and warm.

wall paneling ideas - geometric paneling

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17. Upholstered fabric

 A fabric wall panel as the headboard for your bed is definitely not a new concept. The rise in the popularity of fabrics like velvet, leather, and linen has made this technique all the rage. A panel that runs wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling behind the bed can make your bedroom look more glamorous. Diamond tufting, biscuit tufting, button tufting, blind tufting, and channel tufting are simply a few options available at your disposal.

Read also – How To Choose the Right Fabrics for Interior Design?

wall paneling ideas - upholstered fabric

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18. Quirky with PVC

If you are in the mood for something unique, PVC panels are available in different shapes, patterns, and colors. They are comparatively very cheap and can look exceptionally quirky! The flip side of having a PVC panel is that while it is resistant to corrosion and moisture, the chlorine released into the air from the panels can be harmful.

You can instead go for the more expensive option such as UPVC panels, an unplasticized version of the same. Considering using this waterproof technique as the backsplash for a complete kitchen makeover.

Read also – 20 Best Kitchen Wall Decor Ideas

wall paneling ideas - quirky with pvc

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19. Rustic wood slices

Processed and polished wood lacks the character and story of reclaimed or raw wood. Introducing natural wood in the panel with its knots and rings intact adds a rustic charm to your room. For an eclectic, modern farmhouse aesthetic, seek out wood panels of different colors and make to adorn the entire wall.

Read also – 14 Best Rustic Bedroom Ideas

wall paneling ideas - rustic wood slices

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20. Go back to black

For centuries, black has been an outcast. But with the advent of modern design, black has been embraced for all its worth! A panel in chalkboard finish achieves a laidback Scandinavian allure with a modern twist. Versatility is the main advantage of a black paneled look. Virtually any other color or home décor item will consort to a black panel.

Read also – 20 Best Ways To Create an Open Floor Plan

wall paneling ideas - go back to black

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With so many clever paneling tricks and design ideas at your disposal, it’s easy for you to want to experiment with some fun styles. However, remember most paneling is not just expensive but also cumbersome to redo.

It’s always better to confer with your clients before setting anything in stone. An efficient and fool-proof way to explain all possible options to your clients is through a detailed 3D image or model.

This is when Foyr Neo’s rendering software comes to the rescue. Compared to other laborious and complicated software that requires endless hours and manpower to be dispensed, Foyr Neo is a cinch! You can add furniture, décor, textures, and material finishes to your wall paneling and produce quality renders within minutes. Fall for the FoyrNeo rendering engine experience by signing up for a 14-day free trial.

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