18 Stylish Wall Paneling Ideas

Caroline Gilbert
Written by Caroline Gilbert
Updated October 18, 2021
Contemporary living room with decorative light brown wood wall panel, gray couch and table, and soft lighting
ostap25 – stock.adobe.com

Don't settle for boring walls

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Maybe you want to add a little personality to your home. Maybe you want to cover up drywall with unsightly dents and dings. Whatever your ultimate goal, transform your space with the help of these stylish wall paneling ideas. 

1. Traditional Wainscoting

Foyer and staircase with gray walls, white wainscoting, and hardwood floors
Javani LLC – stock.adobe.com

One of the more common wall panel decorations, wainscoting breaks up large swaths of drywall with white trim and wood paneling that runs along the lower half of the wall. The decorative wall paneling has been around for centuries and can add character to even the smallest rooms. 

Remember, the ideal wainscoting height for a bathroom or other small space is about 1/3 of the wall. Otherwise, the look can overwhelm the room.

2. Contemporary Wainscoting

Luxury bedroom with tan bedding and rug, small modern end tables, and wainscoting wall paneling
Vladdeep – stock.adobe.com

Does traditional wainscoting feel too, well, traditional, for you? Put a contemporary spin on it by pairing it with picture frame moulding and painting everything the same color for a monochromatic modern design.

To save money on trim—especially if you have to install potentially costly drywall too—consider using inexpensive MDF, rather than solid wood trim.

3. Skinny Wood Slats

Bedroom with moss green walls and wood slat wall panel behind bed with tan bedding
denisismagilov – stock.adobe.com

Skinny wood wall paneling is a great way to dress up the wall behind a headboard, especially if you want the focal point of the bedroom to be something other than your bedding. 

4. Tongue and Groove Wood Planks

Slanted tongue and groove wood wall paneling in mid century modern living room with blue modern chair
Jodie Johnson – stock.adobe.com

These tongue and groove wood planks nestle tightly together to form a flat wooden wall surface that adds mid century charm to this living room. For a contemporary update, think about painting grooved wall panels white. 

5. Wood Shiplap

Modern farmhouse kitchen with shiplap wall, white open shelves, white cabinets, and black metal accents
photosbysabkapl – stock.adobe.com

Similar to tongue and groove, you can’t go wrong with shiplap—a type of wood paneling commonly used in modern farmhouse decor. Shiplap turns any wall into an accent wall, adding warmth and texture to kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. 

6. Painted Vertical Shiplap

Kids’ room with a toddler bed, armchair, and navy blue vertical shiplap accent wall decorated with yellow suns
UnitedPhotoStudio – stock.adobe.com

Shiplap can be a fun addition to a kids’ room, too, especially when the wood boards are installed vertically, painted a bold color, and decorated with something adorable, like these two happy suns. 

7. Colorful Board and Batten

Bedroom with pink and green bedding, green rug, and emerald board and batten against moss green walls
FollowTheFlow – stock.adobe.com

Instead of a traditional white board-and-batten wall panel, go for something daring, like emerald green board and batten against lighter moss green walls. You’ll instantly up the glamour of a bedroom or home office. 

8. Floor to Ceiling Board and Batten

Living room with gray modern furniture and white board and batten walls
XtravaganT– stock.adobe.com

We also love this shiplap-esque take on classic white board and batten. It’s a great trick to try when you want the room to look taller than it actually is. 

9. 3D Semicircle Textured Wall

Modern bedroom with white 3D semicircle textured wall and gray bed
XtravaganT – stock.adobe.com

Want wall paneling ideas that feel ultra-modern? You might like 3D wall paneling. These panels feature eye-popping 3D designs that lightly protrude out from the wall. They are typically made from lightweight, easy-to-clean PVC and add drama to any room. 

10. 3D Abstract Geometric Panel

Living room with white geometric 3D wall panel, gray couch, green sack couch, and round coffee table
Dariusz Jarzabek – stock.adobe.com

For a slightly subtler 3D design, opt for flatter 3D panels with an abstract geometric pattern. 

11. Upholstered Fabric

Small, narrow white bedroom with upholstered fabric wall panel behind bed
Dariusz Jarzabek – stock.adobe.com

Velvety upholstered fabric panels are bedroom mainstays. What we like about this version is that the panel features vertical upholstered planks that run from floor to ceiling, making this small bedroom feel more spacious. 

12. Brick

Gray armchair and lamp against red brick wall
Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com

Did you know that you can have a brick accent wall without installing individual bricks? Yup, there’s such a thing as faux brick wall panels that mimic the look and texture of real bricks and work perfectly as decorative accent wall panels. 

13. Metal

luxury living room with metal panel wall, chevron-patterned hardwood floor, and modern green chairs
denisismagilov – stock.adobe.com

Get a glamorous, high-end look with a metal accent wall made from steel panels. Or, if you don’t have gobs of money, swap out the steel for nail-up faux tin tiles that you can attach to the drywall with construction glue and nails.

14. Wood Blocks

Primary bedroom with two-toned wood block wall panel behind modern white bed overlooking a bedroom terrace and the sea
Archideaphoto – stock.adobe.com

You may not be able to replicate this bedroom view, but you can replicate its two-toned wood block paneling. Even at half the size, it would still be an impressive way to zhuzh up a room. 

15. Mixed Panels

Living room with wooden wall panel, gray tile wall panel, and modern rug
ostap25 – stock.adobe.com

Can’t decide on a favorite wall panel style? Try mixing panel types, such as wood slats with oversized gray tiles, to create your own unique look. 

16. Beadboard

Dark green bathroom with marble double vanity and white beadboard
David Papazian/Photographer's Choice RF via Getty Images

This custom-designed main bathroom pairs old-school white beadboard with a marble floor and vanity. The wood paneling adds a humbleness to the overall design, keeping it from feeling too ostentatious. 

17. Barn Wood

Midcentury modern scandivian interior with barn wood walls, plants, and a piano.
Hugo – stock.adobe.com

One of our favorite wall panel decor ideas is taking reclaimed wood from an old barn and repurposing it into an accent wall. Because the boards have been out in the elements, no two boards look the same, giving your space a completely unique look.  

18. Wood Screen Panel

Room with wood lattice screen wall panel in Guinevere Antiques in London
Andreas von Einsiedel/Corbis Documentary via Getty Images

If the thought of a wall panel feels too permanent, try a movable wood lattice screen panel like the one seen here in Guinevere Antiques in London.

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