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Wood paneling is back and better than ever in 2023

We're wowed by these wood paneling trends

Bedroom with green wood panel accent wall
Getty Images

Most home decorating trends eventually make a comeback in popularity. Look no further than the moment wallpaper is having in home design, with no sign of slowing down (which is good because it’s a real pain to remove). Another trend coming back from the ’70s and early ’80s is wood wall paneling.

Not only does this trend embrace patterns and textures, but it offers depth and interest to what can otherwise be a boring kitchen or living room wall. Whether you’re looking to add an accent wall or reimagine an entire space, wood paneling is having a big moment with all types of designers — from farmhouse and midcentury modern to boho chic.

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Fun patterns

Sure, standard vertical paneling is stunning, but why not play with patterns and texture to create something truly unique? It’s time to get creative with options like chevron or herringbone or using varying spaces between vertical panels. You can also choose one pattern on the bottom of a wall divided by a thin horizontal wood piece and a completely different pattern for the top. You can keep both the same color or opt for a complementary tone for one or the other.

Natural materials

If you want to bring the outside indoors, consider using natural materials like bamboo, wicker, or naturally stained wood to create an atmosphere of serenity and calm. Mixing other natural elements like stone wall hooks, frames, and paper or cloth wallpaper can be used in combination with the natural wood paneling to offer a truly individualized space. This works especially well if you have a smaller room and want to keep things feeling bright.

Red wood paneling in living room

Going bold

Gone are the days of dark walnut wood paneling on every wall of a living room — one of the biggest ways wood paneling is coming into homes today is by using bold colors. This is especially true if you’re designing an accent wall or adding dimension by paneling just the lower half of a room with a wainscoting look.

Using matte black, navy, army green, red, or bright pops of yellow or orange makes an immediate impact and draws your eyes up and out. We love the idea of bright colors to spruce up the living room, a guest bath, or the kid’s playroom.

We love the use of wood paneling to add dimension to a dining room, create warmth to an entryway, or as a feature wall behind a bed frame or living room sofa. You can vary the width of the wood if you want a more dramatic look (2-inch pieces) or keep it simple with 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch pieces, which are preferred when creating complex patterns. The options are limitless, which is why these walls can give homes the unique style necessary to set your house apart from the rest.

Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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