Panel Discussion

One way or another, with the nights drawing in, 10pm curfews and local lockdowns we’re going to be spending a lot more time in our homes.

William Morris famously said ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ so now we have all converted our spare rooms, landings and sheds into home office spaces it’s time to move away from utilitarian projects and focus on the beauty.

Panelling has been a major trend this year and is a great way to breathe new life into a room without the cost and upheaval of a full scale refurbishment. Working equally well in period or contemporary properties panelling brings structure and balance to living space.


Photo credit: Londonist

London hallways are often long and narrow so fitting classic framing adds interest and helps to avoid an institutional corridor feel.


Photo credit: Net Luxury

Thicker frames create a sense of real grandeur, so if you are blessed with high ceilings you can go big and go home.


Photo credit: Zulu Fish

If you would rather draw the eye skyward, or have feature wallpaper, a panelled ceiling is well worth considering. As you can see from this picture, it’s a great way to showcase statement lighting.


Photo credit: Fritz Hansen

Panelling is an obvious feature in period properties but it works just as well in contemporary homes. Striking geometric designs allow you to really put your stamp on a place, adding texture and depth. Johnny really loves getting his teeth stuck into stuff like this. This Fritz Hansen ad is supposed to be showcasing the classic egg chair, but we’re just as taken with the stylish framing and bitter chocolate tones.


Photo credit: Little Greene

Colour selection plays a key role. Simple vertical designs painted with high quality rich pigment create interesting shadows. Painting the remaining walls in the same tones builds a cohesive space allowing your panels to blend into the background whilst offering a subtle focal point.


Photo credit: Vosges Paris

That said, natural timber also looks great with a simple, modern design.


Photo credit: Black Bull Cottage

And let’s not forget about good old tongue and groove. Whether you take it full height, part way up the wall, or create seating, T&G somehow works in any room. Magic. We made a real feature of T&G in a recent holiday cottage project, packing in sustainable insulation behind the panelling for extra warmth.


Photo credit: Angela Marie Made

A clean, fresh scandi board and batten design works well in utility rooms, bedrooms and hallways. Adding wooden pegs or decorative hooks under the shelf gives extra hanging space for coats. You could even add a herringbone design to the vertical sections.


Photo credit: Shorely Chic

So far we’ve focused on vertical panelling, but timber cladding and tongue and groove also work when fitted horizontally, adding a modern twist to a classic design.


If you’re nervous about committing to a full wall or room, a headboard or office backdrop is a great way to dip a toe in the panelling water and experiment with textures.

Give us a call, we’d love to work with you to design your perfect space. In the meantime take a look through our Pinterest panelling board We have pulled together lots of ideas – take a look and let us know your favourite looks.

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