14 Times Wall Paneling Made a Boring Room So Much More Charming

Get ready to lose your shiplap.

Wood wall paneling ideas
PHOTO: Alexandra Ribar; DESIGN: Leanne Ford Interiors

Wood paneling can make a room feel a little chaotic (not to mention dark, musty, and reminiscent of the '70s), but it can also be seriously stylish when done right. Whether you want to add paneling to your house—or need a few ways to update your existing walls—get inspired by these wood paneling ideas and see how the pros do it. We promise these examples will help your shiplap stand out in a good way.

White washed wood walls
Fantastic Frank
Whitewash Your Panels

This technique allows you to keep the woodgrain texture of walls, but not the deep color. Start by watering down your paint, then you'll want to brush on, immediately wipe, and repeat until you get your desired color.

Get the tutorial at Maison de Pax.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt
Back In Black

Is this the sexiest bathroom ever? We think so. Sometimes painting smaller rooms in a darker color can actually make it feel larger and more intimate the same time). It's also a good way to disguise paneling you don't love.

See more at Amber Interiors.

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Decorative wall paneling 
Leanne Ford Interiors
Dress Things Up With Marble

Contrasting your wall panels with a luxe texture like marble will always make things look and feel more elevated. Also note the thinner wood wall panels, here. Opt for more narrow slats for an understated twist.

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Catherine Kwong
Use Them As A Design Template

A deep slate gray paint is strategically placed on paneling, which acts as a nice border around the brighter painted portions of the wall. It takes the emphasis off the ridges while also creating a geometric pattern.

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Nicole Franzen
Play It Up With Furniture

If you have wood wall panels in the bedroom, play on the theme by bringing in a statement-making wooden headboard. Paint them white so our eyes can focus on the bespoke bed frame.

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colorful wall paneling ideas
Studio DB
Go Bold With Color

Just because you have wood wall panels doesn't mean you can't paint the entire room a fun color or experiment with textured paints. Envelop the whole space in a bright lacquer from floor to ceiling for a high impact, wall paneling or no wall paneling.

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Leanne Ford Interiors
Color-block and Add Tiles

Give your walls extra style in the kitchen by color-blocking wood paneling and then added a tile backsplash over it. This will create geometric dimension and can easily dress up lackluster areas, like the oven zone.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt
On The Edge

If you don't want wood paneling to make your house look shabby chic, don't decorate like it's a cottage. Choose boho, edgy accents, like dark, leather furniture, patterned pillows, and geometric, modern lighting.

See more at Amber Interiors.

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shiplap
Cameron St.
Disguise Them With a Bookshelf

Built-in bookcases help obscure paneling, while cute accessories turn them into a decorative backdrop. But if you really hate those lines, just stack books in front of them until not an inch shows through.

See more at Coco & Jack.

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Courtesy of Lark & Linen
Spread Them Out

You don't have to pack your panels together—instead, try only installing a few, and space them out. It'll help create a more modern vibe.

See more at Lark & Linen.

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wood paneling
J+J Design Group
Think Beyond Farmhouse

Here's proof that shiplap can do way more than farmhouse decor. The horizontal wood-paneled white walls help balance out the bold pinks, oranges, and blues in this room.

See more at J+J Design Group.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Designs
Keep It On the Ceiling

Removing wood paneling is no easy task, so it's best to not overdo it with this material. Use it on the ceiling instead of covering all your walls.

See more at Emily Henderson.

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Courtesy of Sugar & Cloth
Remember: Less Is More

Keep your walls simple and use wood paneling just behind your fireplace. It'll help it stand out, and make it the focal point of your room.

See more at Sugar & Cloth.

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shiplap
The Vintage Rug Shop
White Out

Painting panels white quickly brightens up a space and gives the boards a cute, cottage vibe. (And we know Joanna Gaines would totally approve.)

See more at The Vintage Rug Shop.

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