If you are like most people, you associate wood paneling with a dated, 70s look that has no room in a modern design. However, wood paneling has not seen its last days just yet. By incorporating a couple of changes into the design concept, wood panels can actually breathe the new depth and intriguing texture into any room. So, forget the overwhelming wall-to-wall-to-ceiling panels of the past, and take a look at a fresh and modern approach to wood paneling. You just might get inspired to incorporate it into your own home.
One of the simplest ways with which you can immediately impact old wood paneling is by whitewashing it. If you know how to whitewash wood, you can turn your dated panels into a mesh of whites and blanche natural colors. Because of its mild tones, it gives your wood panel a vintage look, and is ideal for living rooms and bedrooms.
2. Turn It Sideways
Since most wood panels are placed vertically, place them horizontally to add a second dimension to your wall. With this, the panels take up less surface area. Used like this, and in combination with a basic plaster wall, wood panels give your walls an interesting dual-texture design.
3. Paint It Over
Nothing is more distasteful than a wooden paneled ceiling in a bedroom. If you have it in your bathroom – and hate it – paint it over with a color that matches the color scheme of the entire room. Used in combination with quality bedroom lighting, the panels add subtle change in texture, making the entire room pop.
4. Polish to Perfection
Instead of painting it over, use a matte wood-polish to finish off your wood panels. Suggested by the professionals over at Koenig, it tones down the natural color of the wood. This is a great solution for kitchens, since it makes cleaning of the panels much easier.
5. Add Modern Furniture
Another ample way you can make your old wood panels look modern and new, is by introducing contemporary furniture. The pieces of furniture will serve as centerpieces, with the panel being a subtle backdrop, giving the room a cozy atmosphere.
Just like modern furniture, you can use modern home accessories to move the focus away from the panels. Place modern paintings or posters on the panel in your living room, or a collection of vinyls in your study. Alternatively, use lighting tips for the bedroom when placing a night stand, bookshelf, or mirror, to help you modernize the space where you sleep.
7. Panel Strips
Modern kitchens are usually dominated by steel and concrete, so leaving long strips of wood panel can be a surprising move. However, selectively leaving wood panels in unexpected areas of the room softens the cold effect of steel and concrete. Combine it with ample light sources, and your kitchen will have both a homey feel and a modern design.
8. A Wooden Bathroom
Probably the only place where you would want to place wood-paneling is in your bathroom. In combination with the best modern bathtub design, the wood will bring a spa-like feel to the room. Not only that, but it will add a layer of texture, and bring harmony to a once pale white bathroom.
Even though open-concept design homes have no walls, most of them use panels to separate the rooms. Using wood panels for this purpose is both modern and practical. It adds a dose of seclusion to each room, and an air of coziness you cannot achieve with glass-based panels.
10. 3D Panels
Finally, the most modern approach to wood panels is the 3D concept. It uses square-shaped pieces of wood panels, placed at various depth, to create a multi-dimensional wall. Beside the modern design, the plus side of this use of wooden panels is the space you get within the interlocking pieces that make up the wall.
Ultimately, wooden panels can provide your design with richness in texture, softer tones and contrast. Together with all the various contemporary application you’ve seen, you will definitely never associate wooden panels with something old ever again. You might be even tempted to introduce them into your home!