Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

There’s no denying panelled walls are having a moment. Just a quick browse of Instagram and Pinterest will demonstrate that this is a trend that is gaining momentum. And with good reason. From a practical point of view it’s a good solution for hiding uneven or bumpy walls. It can even help with soundproofing a room or adding extra thermal insulation. But aesthetically it’s hard to beat as a way to create character where there is none, add period drama, divide up a wall in a fashionable way, and provide a base for adding strong colour to a room scheme. It’s also an excellent solution for giving a home a more luxurious edge. So which type of wall panelling to choose is the only question?

Flat Board Panelling for Simple Country Style

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Prussian Blue 200TC Cotton Bedding from Loom & Last

Using wide flat boards is a simple but effective way of creating a modern country look in a room. What’s more they can either be hung vertically or horizontally, or be used just on one wall as an updated country version of the ‘feature wall’. To give an even more modern edge, you could try painting the edges of the panels before installing to create a stripy effect. This works very well with white boards and a black stripe. Also, make sure the skirting board is at least as deep as the planks are wide to keep the proportions even.

Traditional Style Panelling for Adding Period Drama

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Limesicle Paint Shade from Benjamin Moore 

If it’s traditional style you’re craving, why not choose a panelling style that mimics original period details. The dado rail breaks the wall up horizontally, and allows for two paint colours to be used effectively. While the crisp white detailing is carried on around the window and onto the cornicing above.

Shaker Style Panels for a Modern Edge

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Swedish Blue 907 Eggshell from Cox & Cox

Shaker style is probably the most popular of all of the panelling trends currently. It’s more economical too as you don’t need to cover the entire wall with expensive timber while at the same time creating the effect that you have. Consider the rooms proportions when deciding how high to panel the walls – picture rail height works well, but you could stop at the dado height too. 

Get Creative for a Traditional Meets Contemporary Style

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Lundy Bay Teepee Carpet from Lifestyle Floors

If you’re feeling creative, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t even create patterns and grids with panelling. It’s an effective way of adding more interest and pattern, and will result in a more contemporary overall effect. 

Bead Panelling for Adding a Charming Rustic Edge

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Pick Wall Light and Elsa Table Lamp from Pooky

Beaded panelling is another traditional and probably more rustic use of panelling. You could imagine that this would have been used in the ‘understairs’ rooms in a country house. Which makes it a very good choice for simple country bedrooms or kitchens and bathrooms. It’s a pretty effective alternative to tiling too in areas that may get splashed with water. 

Create a Practical Panelled Shelf

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Caro Oatmeal Bed from Furniture and Choice

Panelling can also disguise structual problems, help to create hidden storage, and even add pleasing details where none existed before. Building a shelf behind a bed is a great way of adding display space in a small room as well as a practical place to keep to hand lamps, clocks and reading material.

Wallpaper Panels for True Cottagecore Style

Which Wall Panelling Style and Where to Use It

Image: Fearne Cotton, Pondering Peonies Duck Egg Wallpaper from Woodchip and Magnolia

Wallpapering between the grid of wall panels is the ultimate in cottagecore style whether you use it on one wall or take it all around the room. You can use a small scale pattern or a larger one depending on the size of the grid. You can paint the woodwork to match, or use a contrasting shade. The only limit to this more-is-more look is your imagination.

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