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Reader request - wood panelling

Today's reader request comes from Anna in Norway: "I have just bought my dream apartment with my boyfriend, and even though I love it the way it is now there are a couple of things I would like to change. I want to make it a little bit warmer by adding some wood paneling to one of the walls downstairs. I was therefore wondering if you have some good inspirational pictures? I would greatly appreciate it!" Anna included a link to the listing of her apartment to show the space she's talking about, so here's her living room: 

It's a great space and I adore the staircase! So here are some photos of wood covered walls in living rooms. Anna, hopefully this will get you thinking a bit outside the box, away from traditional panelling as there are so many options you could go with.

Dwell Phoebe Howard
Country Home Country Home
Simon Brown GP

Isay Weinfeld
Bates Masi Architects
Jay Jeffers
Ken Hayden
Elle Deco SA
Emily Summers
Image Locations
Image Locations
Anna G Tufvesson
Costas Kondylis
Nate Berkus
Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects
Rod Mickley
Living Etc.
Living Etc.

Reader Comments (20)

I was a little shocked at what a negative response I had to this. I love the look of wood as much as anyone, wouldn't trade my wooden floor for carpeting, on health grounds alone. But the older, and the greener I get, the less I look at trees as decorative and personally useful, and more as a lifeline to global existance. Africa, Asia and South America are on their way to being essentially deforested. Britain used to have near-impenetrable forests. The cedar groves of Lebanon were once a tourist attraction, back when. The Sahara was once a smallish desert.

Yes, wooden panelling would lend warmth and a richness to a very nice home. But our choices should involve more than what we want, and find a way to include what should be.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroregonbird

I think the original room is perfection as it is! The only wood panelling I ever like is white, anyway. :-)

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKat

There is such thing as "sustainable" wood ie: reforistation. (planting practices used extensively in PNW and worldwide). I LOVED most of these rooms, especially the one by Bates Masi Architects!

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWY Gal

I love the room as it is, very airy and luminous; I'd make it cosier using soft furnishings - like throws & cushions - in warm colours. See-through curtains in warm colours would work, too. Another idea would be to hang a big digital macro of tree bark, or bamboo, or autumn leaves. Or a series of small panels made with different wood veneers and hung as pictures.
This solutions are more versatiles than wood panelling, and can be changed easily.
I would avoid wood panelling unless really sure, because you can get tired of it easily, but that's just my opinion.
If going for wood, Bamboo panelling could be an option to consider - more environment friendly.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCristina

I had to reread the post after reading the comments. The apartment is perfect as is!!! It doesn't need paneling. In fact, paneling would spoil the airiness of the place. What it does need is a larger painting over the sofa. Perhaps something very organic. For example, my sister-in-law did a large painting that looks like tree bark. I'll have to see if I can find a link.

Please, please don't panel!

12 May 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeggy

I think paneling could really cheapen the look of this beautiful crisp room.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremily

What great timing - I've just posted about painting my pine-panelled ceiling! I love that we have timber, but as far as I'm concerned it has to be white. We've lived with horrid yellow pine for too long now, and it's time to go!
I actually love this room just as it is - the timber on the staircase is perfect and I wouldn't mess with it at all. K x

12 May 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkerri

i think the room's fine as it is. you already have wooden floors and wooden staircase. wooden walls? hmm...

aah, im so envious.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterH

I have to say this room looks wonderful the way it is. I have to agree with others that have said that wood paneling would cheapen the room. The only place wood paneling belongs is in a log cabin. If you want to bring in more warmth try a different type of furniture, get rid of the metallic leg furniture, more upholstery, that type of thing. Good luck!

12 May 2010 | Unregistered Commenterleigh anne

I'm in love with the room the way it is. The white, the light, those gorgeous floors! This is the kind of space I daydream about.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Amazing photos. The photos of the country home remind me of my country french furniture and decor.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaylene

Sorry Anna but I am with everyone else - wood panelling is a no no.

12 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne

Ditto the above. I'd think long and hard before installing wood panelling - even though the inspirational shots are beautiful. (Thanks Kim) You might like to consider the gorgeous Cole and Sons Woods wallpaper. It works well in so many situations. Team it up with some big white fluffy sheepskins and some camel coloured leather. Yum!

It's your apartment though - I think the rest of us are just jealous!


13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSammy

I instantly fell in love with the petrol blue sofa in the top left picture, but I can't find it on the Dwell website. Can anyone help?

13 May 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarthe

i like natural wood panelling combined with black upholstery. it looks so stylish. like on the picture with the b+w striped rug

13 May 2010 | Unregistered Commentermonika

I hope we get to see what Anna decides to do with the room... which I love. Can I visit?

13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPriscilla

I love wood and I love the zig zag design (dwell) and the use of exterior shingles inside. However, I think the other options mentioned would be fantastic! The wallpaper is intriguing or a painting (that you can take with you!). I'm slowly converting my home and I have to say, wood paneling on the walls, if they have any (any whatsoever!) tooth or texture will capture dust and lint. It's kind of annoying... GREAT POST, Kim!!!

13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

We are doing the same thing for the Coastal Living Showhouse at Seabrook, WA


Exterior and Interior design was by Lew Oliver www.wholetownsolutions.com, interior finishes/decoration by Tim Clark


13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRtmorfin

Here are the links, these are great resources!!

Ultimate Beach House

Exterior and interior design by:
Lew Oliver

13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRtmorfin

My first thought after reading the intro to the post and then seeing her apartment was,"why would she want to spoil a good thing?" She can add accessories or art if she wants warmth but the wood paneling, come on! I was happy to see that others shared my point of view.

13 May 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

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