One of the most visually interesting ways to bring an eclectic farmhouse vibe into your home is to install a barnwood accent wall. Made of reclaimed wood (either faux or real) these walls add character to your interior and can instantly warm up a space. "Barnwood accents and barnwood walls are the perfect way to add a rustic, authentic feel to your home,” says Mimi Meacham of Marian Louise Designs. "They add instant charm, are easy to maintain, and will always be in style.” Not to mention, using reclaimed wood is a cool way to reuse materials, cutting down on construction waste and bringing a bit of history into your space.
The key to this design element is the natural look of the wood material, which is achieved with wood planks. To get the scoop on barnwood accent walls, we rounded some ideas and inspiration—plus, tapped interior designers for their take on how to get the look. See our favorite barnwood accent wall ideas below.
Create a Faux Headboard
No headboard? No problem. Ground a neutral white room by placing a barnwood accent wall behind the bed. This one, made of unfinished pine, gives the room a natural feel, and the wood brings a bit of outdoors, in. By leaving the rest of the décor white and bright, the accent wall is able to really shine and ground the space.
Though you've likely seen most barnwood accent walls with the planks installed vertically, don't be afraid to try something different and put them in at an angle. Here, this horse-stable-turned-home by Ashley Montgomery Design gets a unique kitchen accent with this chevron barnwood wall.
Add It to a Bathroom
Forget what you think you know about bathroom design and embrace wood. Here, a pocket door doubles as a unique accent wall when shut, playing on the wood of the cabinets and tying the space together seamlessly. It's the perfect way to warm up a sleek farmhouse en suite.
Create a Bold Backdrop
Barnwood walls can be done in a variety of colors, patterns, and finishes, depending on your desired outcome. Go for dark wood to create a bold backdrop—just like it is done in this rustic, equestrian-inspired bedroom.
Use Reclaimed Wood
Juxtapose the polish of a sleek, updated bathroom or modern-designed room by using worn, weathered wood. Complete with a naturally distressed color and finish (knicks, knobs, and all) these planks instantly give the room an elegant, aged look and makes the space look less sterile and more inviting.
Opt for Vertical Planks
Playing with the planks can completely transform the way the barnwood looks on the wall. If you have large, long planks, consider placing them vertically on the wall, mimicking the look of a tree. This gives off an outdoorsy vibe that you can play up with wooden wall hooks and other accessories.
A natural palette lends itself nicely to a barnwood accent wall. Here, the wall behind the four-post bed creates a subtle contrast with the rest of the room, adding a refined sense of coziness to the space.
Think Outside the Box
"Try using a barnwood accent wall in a very unexpected way and place—like we did here in this shower, with porcelain tile that looks like barnwood," says Amy Leferink, an interior designer at Interior Impressions. "It adds a lot of interest and design impact in an easy and timeless way." We also love the contrast it provides against the clean, white palette, providing just enough color and dimension to elevate a space without going over the top.
Cover the Walls
You can't get much more rustic than multiple wood walls, but using barnwood instead of old-school wood paneling is charming rather than dated. This wide-planked weathered wood almost makes you feel like you're in an upscale treehouse.
Create a Focal Point
Keep the rest of your room's décor simple and understated to create a cool focal point using barnwood. The refined décor of this room allows the perfectly imperfect texture of these exposed wood panels to take center stage on the wall.
Envelop the Room
For classic and cabin-like feel, don't stop at just a barnwood wall—think about how the material can be used throughout the space. Consider continuing the wood up into the ceiling to envelop the room in a true barn-like feel. Keep the rest of your finishes simple to avoid overwhelming the room.
Use Narrow Planks
Narrow barnwood planks have a totally different look and feel from their wide-plank counterparts. If you're working with a smaller wall, this may be a good option. They still provide a cozy, earthy vibe, without overcomplicating the small square footage.
Don't be afraid to add artwork atop your banwood wall. As Meacham tells us, "When it comes to barnwood, you can easily dress it up or down with artwork or accessories, and it serves as a neutral background for any color palette." In fact, your most beloved art pieces may stand out even more against the rough backdrop.
Give It an Industrial Feel
A little bit farmhouse, a little bit shabby chic, a little bit industrial, barnwood has the ability to mesh well with a variety of design styles. Iron finishes and metal accents bring out the more industrial side, giving an ideal balance between sleek and rustic.
Go Full Modern Farmhouse
Switch up the traditional tile look in the kitchen by opting to go for unconventional barnwood walls. It's a great way to embrace both old-school traditional charm and new-age modern finishes, the pillars of the modern farmhouse aesthetic. Here, aluminum cabinetry and brightly-colored steel chairs contrast nicely with the floor-to-ceiling wood.
Use Wide Planks
Instead of using wallpaper in your powder room, try wide plank barnwood. This soft, light-colored white pine is authentic and inviting.
Make the Door Pop
We couldn't have a bunch of barnwood accent ideas without mentioning one barnwood door. With their rise in popularity, don't stop with just a barnwood door. Consider making it really stand out by mimicking the barn look on either side of the wall. It's functional, cool, and unexpected.