Interior wall panelling design ideas

Written by erik devaney
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Interior wall panelling design ideas
An example of wood panelling. (panel image by Dave from Fotolia.com)

People use interior wall panelling to cover walls composed of plaster, drywall, or other materials. Panelling can run from the floor to the ceiling, or it can extend just halfway or three-quarters of the way up a wall. This kind of partial panelling is known as wainscoting. If you are thinking of installing new interior wall panelling or of sprucing up existing panelling, several design ideas can help.

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Repainting old paneling

Dark floor-to-ceiling wood panelling was fashionable during the 1960s and 1970s, and many Brits installed it in their homes. That look has fallen out of style, but many homes still have this kind of panelling in one or more rooms. If you want to keep old wood panelling but give it a modern upgrade, consider painting it. By painting dark panelling a light colour such as white or off-white, you can transform the look of a room from dark and den-like to clean, bright, and open. To cover up all of the dark wood, make sure to apply one or two layers of primer before you start painting.

Bamboo panelling

If you don't care for wood panelling, install bamboo panelling instead. Bamboo can make a versatile panelling material. It comes in a variety of lengths and thicknesses. One option is to staple or nail long, skinny stalks of bamboo in rows so that they extend from the floor to the ceiling. Alternatively, you can use rows of shorter, thicker bamboo stalks to form wainscoting around the perimeter of a room. In comparison with traditional wood panelling, bamboo panelling is more environmentally friendly. It grows very quickly and is thus a sustainable building material.

Fabric and foam panelling

Another alternative to wood panelling is to use sections of foam insulation board covered in fabric. You can find foam insulation board at your local hardware or home supply shop. This option allows for a high degree of creativity, since you get to decide on the colours, patterns, and textures of your fabric. Some interesting possibilities include using suede, leather, vinyl, or denim. Once you have chosen your fabric, wrap it over the foam insulation boards and secure it in place with staples. Then adhere the panelling sections to the wall with double-sided tape or double-stick tape.

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