22 On-Trend Wood Paneling Ideas to Spruce Up Your Walls

Bedroom with 70s wood paneling

Laura Olden

Wood paneling can get a bad reputation, but we think it's underrated when it comes to adding texture and interest to your walls. Few makeovers can transform a bedroom or a bathroom as quickly as a wood-paneled accent wall. And if you already have a room with wood paneling that you've been thinking of replacing? These lovely and modern ideas will make you reconsider drywalling over that '70s paneling and instead have you reaching for a gallon of paint instead.

From accent walls to wall-to-wall paneling, here are some of our favorite wood paneling ideas that feel modern, fresh, and perfect for any room in your house.

01 of 21

Paint it White

Wood paneling with cabinet in front of it

Ashley Montgomery Design

Do you already have existing wood paneling that needs a makeover? The easiest way to refresh it is with a gallon of paint. Pick a clean, crisp white paint and cover those walls for a shiplap-inspired re-do. This look works with many decor styles but we think it's the perfect pairing for a country chic or vintage-inspired home.

02 of 21

Decorate an Island

Kitchen with island and wood paneling

Sandra Baker Interior Styling

This stunning moody kitchen is packed with personality, so the kitchen island centerpiece needed to really stand out against the rest of the space. A pop of wood paneling on the island creates a lot of texture and helps the countertop pop against the black cabinets.

03 of 21

Paint it Pink

Pink painted paneling bookshelf

Lou Honeyman

There are few things that a coat of coral pink can't improve. This cute and cozy bookshelf is painted a warm pink color that gives off major cottage core vibes.

Consider straying from white and painting your paneling a surprising color to really draw attention and make your paneling work as an accent wall.

04 of 21

Create a Paneled Accent Wall

Bathroom with green paneling

Design: Ashley Montgomery Design

Photography: Lauren Miller

Sure, a painted accent wall is nice, but a paneled one is even nicer. Consider installing a wood paneling accent wall in an oversized master bathroom or behind a bed for an accent wall that is heavy on personality.

05 of 21

Consider the 5th Wall

Room with wood paneled ceiling

Design: JLK Interiors 

Photography: Public 311

Don't neglect your ceiling. A wood-paneled ceiling is a great way to give your living space a rustic feel and a lot of charm. The panels plus warm wood beams give this space a modern farmhouse feel.

If you have popcorn or acoustic panels, wood-paneled ceiling tiles can be a great way to cover up an unsightly ceiling and give it a totally fresh look.

06 of 21

Frame Your Fireplace

Living room with paneled fireplace

Design: Interior Impressions 

Photography: Sasha Skendzel

Your fireplace is the centerpiece of your living room and floor-to-ceiling decorative paneling can elevate your entire living space. If you have extra tall ceilings, wood paneling can help fill up the space and keep things interesting.

07 of 21

Improve Your Mudroom

Entryway with paneling

Design: Interior Impressions 

Photography: Mary Guilliani

Your mudroom is one of the most used spaces in your home, so you should give it the same consideration you give the rest of the rooms in your house. Consider DIYing a wall of simple beadboard to give your entryway or mudroom a makeover and a landing pad for your guests' stuff.

08 of 21

Keep it Neutral

Room with white wood paneling

Designer: KT2 Design 

Photography: Michael Lee

While we love the texture and interest wood paneling adds to a room, for some it may be too much for a small space. If you're concerned paneling will overtake your room, keep the color palette simple with clean, white accents.

09 of 21

DIY a Built-In

Room with green paneling

Design: Marian Louise Design

Photography: Kaley Elaine Photo

A built-in unit can completely elevate a room and give it an expensive, high-end feel. You can DIY the look with floating shelves and wood paneling to create a bookcase or a desk for your home office. Paint it mint green for a pop of color.

10 of 21

Upgrade a Powder Room

Bathroom with paneling

Designer: PDG Studios 

Photography: Good Carma Photography

If you feel as though there's not a lot you can do in a small powder room, you're wrong. Install horizontal paneling in a cozy bathroom to give it a lot of charm and create the illusion of more space.

11 of 21

Take a Rustic Approach

Room with wooden paneled ceiling

Design: Perlmutter Freiwald

Not all wood paneling must be painted. Few things make as much of a design statement as a paneled ceiling with exposed beams, and when you let the natural wood shine through you can lend a lovely, rustic feel to your bedroom.

12 of 21

Decorate Behind the Bed

Bed with paneling behind it

Tanglewood Homes

What do the spaces behind your bed, your TV, and your couch have in common? They can all be difficult to decorate. If you're struggling with how to fill that awkward space behind your bed, consider a modern wood-paneled wall.

13 of 21

Lean Into the Retro Look

Bedroom with 70s wood paneling

Laura Olden

There's no denying that exposed wood paneling can feel a little, well, 1970s, but with the right accessories, you can really lean into that groovy look. Opt for retro-inspired colors such as mustard or gold and head to your local flea market to give your space a '70s makeover.

14 of 21

Transform Your Entryway

Wood paneling in home

Interiors by Popov

If you don't have a formal entryway, you can delineate the space with a dedicated accent wall that makes it feel purposeful and separate from the rest of the home. Keep it natural for a mid-century modern feel.

15 of 21

Go for Wood and Navy

Blue kitchen with wood paneling

Laura Handler

Navy blue is one of those colors that simply goes with every decor style and we love it when it's paired with natural wood. Pair wood paneling with navy cabinets for a high-end kitchen that has a load of personality.

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Go for a Geometric Look

Pink wood paneling

Zoe Davitt

Wood paneling doesn't always have to be vertical. Instead, consider a more contemporary, geometric paneling look. Paint it a light blush for a pop of color that isn't overwhelming for a minimalist space.

Always sketch out your design before you start cutting to save yourself a future headache.

17 of 21

Go for Earthy Colors

Black bathtub

Two Bears at No. 96

Beadboard paneling adds a load of charm to a bathroom, but you can give it a simple update without taking away from the vintage look. Opt for earthy, muted colors that add a touch of interest without feeling overly modern and out of place.

18 of 21

Take a Modern Approach

Bedroom with large panels

Shoreline Construction

Rethink your wood paneling and go with something a little more contemporary and hotel-like by opting for large square panels instead of long vertical panels.

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Keep It Natural

Rustic wood paneling

Your Everyday Reno

There's something about unfinished, natural wood that is so cozy and welcoming. Consider hanging unfinished wood planks behind a couch or in an entryway to give your space a warm, Scandi feel.

20 of 21

Paint It Pink

Paneling behind a bed

Chrissie Adams

Step one: DIY a board and batten wall. Step two: Find the perfect shade of pink. Step three: Transform your entire bedroom in an afternoon.

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Go Narrower

Thin wood paneling

Claire Latchem

If wide wood planks aren't your thing, go thinner. A more narrow wood paneling look can feel utterly modern and visually interesting. This is a great idea to help delineate the spaces in an open floor plan home while still keeping the look open and airy.

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