15 Wall Paneling Ideas That Add Amazing Character to Any Room

blue pink bedroom geometric wall panels brass poster bed
Photo: Jay Wilde

Originally used for additional insulation and durability, paneling is now a mostly decorative element that adds texture and dimension to walls. Although it's a common feature in traditional or classically styled interiors, there are many ways to incorporate paneling. Try one of these gorgeous wall paneling ideas to achieve architectural character in any room.

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Board-and-Batten Paneling

white bedroom wall panels vaulted ceiling blue coverlet
Dana Gallagher

Board-and-batten is a type of wall paneling that consists of narrow strips called battens installed over larger, flat boards. It's often used in Craftsman-, cottage-, and farmhouse-style homes, but it can work with a wide variety of design aesthetics. Although it's typically installed on the lower portion of walls, board-and-batten extends up to the vaulted ceiling of this bedroom, delivering an unexpected twist on the traditional application.

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Painted Wood Paneling

hooks entryway hunter green wall panels boots basket
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Vertical wood paneling delivers natural texture to walls, but it can appear dark and dated in large doses. To update the look, try painting it. In this mudroom, a combination of deep hunter green and bright white creates a modern two-tone look.

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Farmhouse-Style Shiplap

bright shabby chic farmhouse bedroom shiplap
Anthony Masterson

Shiplap has become a hugely popular wall paneling idea that adds interest and character to any room. Although it's most closely associated with farmhouse-style, shiplap walls aren't limited to rustic designs. The boards traditionally measure about 6 inches wide, but you can vary that measurement to create a fresh look, like the extra-wide boards in this bedroom.

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Tongue-and-Groove Paneling

scandinavian style wood banquette firewood
Kim Cornelison

Similar to shiplap, tongue-and-groove paneling consists of individual planks that fit together in a horizontal or vertical arrangement. In this dining area, tongue-and-groove-paneled walls display vertical lines that draw the eye upward and visually expand the room. A coat of warm white paint gives the paneling a crisp, clean look.

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DIY Wall Paneling Idea

blue pink bedroom geometric wall panels brass poster bed
Jay Wilde

A fretwork-style pattern of trimwork adds dimension and sophistication to this bedroom wall. The DIY wall paneling idea uses round wood plaques and half-round molding to create a geometric design. Painted the same bold blue as the wall, the trimwork pattern recedes for a subtle texture.

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Beaded-Board Walls

black white farmhouse bedroom buffalo check wall panels
Christina Schmidhofer

Beaded-board showcases thin strips of wood with a small ridge (called the bead) in between. The vertical grooves typically give off a traditional look and can be installed as wainscoting or across the entire wall. Here, beaded-board topped with crown molding adds subtle texture to this cozy bedroom.

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Reclaimed Wood Plank Wall

modern farmhouse wood panels staircase sideboard
Nathan Schroder

For a rustic wall paneling idea, install reclaimed wood boards in a shiplap pattern. The wood's varying textures and tones add one-of-a-kind charm to a living room or bedroom accent wall. Exposed nailheads, knots, cracks, scuffs, and other markings add to the character.

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Raised Trimwork

bright living room white walls panels arched doorway
Brie Williams

Raised trim with beveled edges reinforces the traditional look of this living room. The series of rectangles elevates plain white walls with added dimension and style. For a more contemporary look, choose trim with flat edges or opt for an orderly grid pattern made up of squares instead of rectangles.

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Wood Wall Treatment

neutral bedroom white bed wood angled wall panels
John Granen

Narrow wood strips installed at an angle create a striking herringbone accent wall in this bedroom. The strips were installed with a slight gap for extra definition, and varying wood tones supplied eye-catching texture. The rest of the bedroom furniture and decor was kept fairly simple and neutral, so the wall stands out as the focal point.

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Modern Beaded-Board Wainscoting

black white bathroom double vanity gold mirrors herringbone subway tile
Nathan Schroder

When painted white or left in its natural wood finish, beaded-board wainscoting looks at home in cozy cottages and country-style interiors. However, this bathroom puts a bold spin on this traditional wood paneling idea with a dramatic black paint job. The dark paneling pairs with white tile and polished brass accents for a unique mix of modern and vintage glam.

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Unique Wall Paneling Ideas

wooden dresser in front of glass panes
Brie Williams

Combine wall paneling ideas with mirrors for even more visual depth. This homeowner installed a grid of molding over an existing mirrored wall to boost character. If you already have trimwork in place, consider attaching mirrors cut to fit inside the panels to create the illusion of more space.

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Picture Frame Molding

blue white modern bedroom color block wall paneling
Brie Williams

Picture frame molding can be used to make ceilings appear taller or highlight pieces of wall art. To create this look, molding is applied to walls to create a series of frame-like boxes that can be modified to showcase certain features. In this bedroom, the picture frame molding is sized to highlight the headboard, with smaller rectangles of molding on either side to frame the matching nightstand mirrors.

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Colorful Board-and-Batten

Dining room with house artwork on wall
Carson Downing

Use bold color combinations to make wall paneling ideas really pop. This board-and-batten wainscoting boasts a deep teal color that makes a splash against the black wall color above. The dramatic hues give the traditional paneling an edgier look.

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DIY Geometric Wall Paneling

teal pink bedroom soft colors geometric wall paneling
Jacob Fox

Create a geometric pattern that pops off the wall with this 3D wall paneling idea. Sketch out your design first, then install using narrow wood boards. Use a glossy paint finish for the boards to make them stand out from the wall and add dimension.

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Lattice Wall Treatment

Mirror above entryway bench
David Tsay

A combination of lattice and trim form the intricate wall treatment in this entryway. The DIY design alternates between diagonal and straight grids to mimic the look of wood paneling. The lattice panels also vary in size, which creates a charming assortment of textures.

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