Today’s Wood Paneled Walls: Not Your 1970s Look

Organic vibes and finishes are still going strong in today’s interior decorating world. People are leaving all-white rooms behind and choosing wood finishes and rooms that feature color. Today we’re focusing on wood paneled walls that go beyond the pressed fiberboard paneling of the 1970s era that was designed to look real.

Rustic home entry with wood paneled wallsPhoto by Battle Associates, Architects

The entryway above immediately embraces you in a warm hug. The front door has a large mullioned window along with sidelights to keep the foyer from feeling dark and foreboding. A stone floor enhances the earthy first impression upon stepping over the threshold. 

Wide horizontal planks are mixed with narrow vertical planks to create architectural interest in this stunning staircase. A curved wood banister adds to its rich appeal.

Wood paneled walls in stairwayPhoto by Tom Stringer Design Partners


Horizontal rough-hewn paneling makes this mostly white kitchen feel warm and cozy. The dark wood floors also help to ground the space.

Farmhouse kitchen with horizontal wood paneling on one wallPhoto by Clayton&Little Architects


It seems fitting that a home nestled in the woods would bring the outdoors in with vertical wood-planked walls. Large windows let natural light pour into the room and provide a great view of the forest outside.

Large rustic kitchen with island and hanging copper potsPhoto by EARTHTONE CONSTRUCTION


A porch dining room enjoys the organic addition of stone pillars and a large wildflower bouquet. Copper pendant lights and cool metal chairs add to the overall rusticity and rich beauty.

Rustic dining room with horizontal rough panelingPhoto by User


If you think wood paneling is only for rustic rooms, think again. A Persian rug and creamy wing chair lend a touch of elegance to this pretty dining room with a stone fireplace. 

Country style dining room with stone fireplacePhoto by Robert Brown Interior Design


Light or unstained wood walls create a lighter living room with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. The vaulted ceiling allows an opportunity to add windows toward the top to maximize natural light.

Light wood paneled walls in rustic vaulted living roomPhoto by Satterwhite Log Homes


You might think wood paneled walls are too overwhelming for a small living room, but this one doesn’t feel  heavy at all. Creamy fabrics, a large window, and vaulted ceiling lend a sense of airiness.

Warm and cozy small living roomPhoto by Tom Stringer Design Partners


I had to chuckle when I saw this bedroom with knotty pine paneling. My father hated seeing knots in wood (why, I don’t know). He owned a decorating business and would tell people how to fill and cover the knots. But that was a long time ago and I think most people embrace the texture of knots in wood.

Honey colored paneling in country style bedroomPhoto by Old Hampshire Designs Inc


Falling asleep in this wood-wrapped bedroom would be heaven. It feels cozy inside but you’ve got a great view of the great outdoors. I’d leave the curtains open while falling asleep so I could see the moon and stars. And then of course, you’re blessed with a beautiful sunrise in the morning.

Mountain style master bedroomPhoto by Ambiance Interiors


Are you a fan of wood paneled walls? Or do they feel too dark for you?


See More Interior Decorating Ideas:

9 Earthy Kitchen Ideas to Warm Your Heart

Vintage Oil Paintings to Spruce Up Your Home

Country Kitchen in Red and Cream



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  1. I bet these pictures brought back memories of childhood rooms for many of us. I kept noticing the beautiful rugs! I guess that I never really noticed how the use of wood walls, beams etc really causes the flooring, carpets, rugs to stand out. These were really cozy, warm rooms. What a perfect day to get this as it is our first Fall feeling day with a temperature of 52 at 11am!!

  2. Such pretty rooms. Especially love the blue kitchen with the view outside of the forest. Beautiful kitchen and beautiful view.
    Also like the last room of the bedroom with the beautiful view. Wood just adds such a cozy feeling to all these rooms.

  3. It seems like we go from one extreme to another, over and over again, in decorating. For too long everything had to be totally done, house wide, in all white faux farmhouse style or grey or beige, or griege. Now the whole house needs to be done in wood tones. And brown is now being sold as the “new neutral”. Meanwhile, in real life, a friend of mine has her entire house in rich red, white and blue with some yellows, sort of Old French Country/ Americana and it is gorgeous! Another has her home all neutrals based in a grey and tan blend, which works so well with her more modern home style. And some people have their homes done entirely in English Country with tons of old- fashioned floral patterns. It all depends on your own personal taste, and the style of your house- anything goes. I do find that so many people “decorate” their homes more for how it will appear to others, what will sell next, even if they plan to stay in that house for a decade.