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One simple change elevates kitchen cabinet design

Wood paneling is a perfect way to update a tired kitchen

The kitchen is one of those rooms that’s always fun to update. Whether it’s flooring, decor, or backsplash, giving our kitchen a facelift is always money well spent. If you’re tired of older-looking kitchen cabinets, one easy and relatively inexpensive way to transform their look is by adding wood paneling to the back of glass kitchen cabinets. Not only does it add dimension and depth to your kitchen design (and is a pretty low-stress way to change up your kitchen), adding wood is on trend and will increase the value of your home.


DIY Cabinet Upgrade! Adding wood panelling to the backs of your glass panel cabinets are a simple way to add some dimension & style to orginary cabinets! ? #diy #diyproject #kitchendiy #kitchenhack #kitchendesign #kitchendecor #shelfstyling #interiordesign #interiordesigner #homeinteriors #homedecor #decor #decorating #homediy

♬ Wings – Jonas Brothers

Wood paneling in action

TikToker Liz Lovery showed her followers how it’s done and the immediate impact dark wood paneling can make behind glass cabinets. “DIY cabinet upgrade!” she wrote next to her video. “Adding wood paneling to the back of your glass panel cabinets [is] a simple way to add some dimension & style to ordinary cabinets.” You can see how the dishware and other decor immediately pops in front of the dark background, offering a dimension the plain white backs didn’t before. If you have darker wood cabinets, you could paint the wood paneling a lighter ivory or pale yellow to give contrast to the cabinets.

Other uses for wood paneling

If you don’t have glass cabinets or don’t like having the inside of your cabinets on display, there are plenty of other places you can put paneling to make a statement in your kitchen. If you have a wood center island, consider placing wood paneling on the back of the island that faces outward. You can pick a standard vertical pattern or mix things up with chevron or herringbone to give it some depth.

Another option is a feature wall where you could mix up patterns and have vertical on the bottom in varying lengths and then herringbone on the top, like this interior designer, Savage DIY Mom, created.

Finally, one trend that’s really taken off is wood paneling on the ceiling. You could play with a fun pattern in the middle of the kitchen, surrounding your main light fixture, or the ceiling above your dining space if you have one. It draws the eye up and is a stunning addition to any space.

Check your references

If you don’t feel comfortable adding wood paneling to your kitchen cabinets, find a reputable contractor who can install them on your behalf. There is a lot of precision in the work, so ensuring you have someone that comes with a lot of references and you can see the work they’ve done in the past is important. Read reviews and ask to talk to previous customers. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and a space used daily for entertaining, meals, and family time, so you want to make sure the work that’s being done is something you can be proud to showcase.

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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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