Innovative Ways to Use Decorative Panels in Furniture Design

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Whether you’re going for a minimalist, luxe look or you want to create a stand-out feature wall, decorative panels can be very effective. Mix and match ornate ribbed and portrait panels to make your walls really pop.

If you want the look of panelling but don’t fancy installing it full-height, try a cleverly printed wallpaper. This slim slat design works well with rattan furnishings and can be painted dark for a cocooning feel.


Nothing dresses up naked walls like wainscoting, an umbrella term for all types of paneling that occupies the lower portion of a wall. This traditional feature can provide contrast with a bold wallpaper or print, while also serving as a base to anchor any bright accent walls you might include in your room.

There is no one-size-fits-all design rule when it comes to the height versus length of panels; you should trust your instinct to determine what works best for your home. For example, shorter panels may work better if you plan on hanging decor right above them.

If your space is tight on budget and you still want the look of wainscoting, you can create a more modern version by adding a picture rail molding with a molded panel to your wall surface. This way you’ll be able to use shorter panels and avoid having vertical joints every 48”. When it comes to painting, contemporary styles usually call for contrast while traditional style leans more toward compliments.

Wall Panels

Whether your client is after a rustic country house look, or simply looking to add more design interest to a featureless room, wall panelling (or cladding) offers an easy way to transform a space without a major renovation. It’s also a great way to protect walls from wear and tear and cover any marks caused by children or pets, too.

Consider adding a geometric panel pattern to plain white or cream-colored walls for a bold decorative look. This design option works well in bedrooms or home offices and can be complemented by a matching bookshelf.

Raw wood panels are a staple of farmhouse style and work well with modern Scandi décor, too. If you want to keep it simple, try using a chalkboard finish to achieve laidback Scandinavian allure. Or, for a chic and elegant aesthetic, use black panels to give your space a dramatic flair. For a more contemporary paragon, choose aluminium or corten steel wall panels that will naturally develop a lustrous patina over time.

3D Wall Installations

Decorative 3D wall panels eliminate the need for additional finishing materials on walls and offer consistency in appearance. They can be painted in a variety of colours to suit different styles and themes, plus they insulate and protect walls. Depending on the material and design, they can be used in residential or commercial (offices, retail spaces and hospitality interiors) buildings.

For a modern take on traditional panelling, create a geometric pattern with narrow strip wood panels that contrast with dark walls. Choose a deep teal or navy for an on-trend colour or use a dark grey to make walls really pop.

Tongue-and-groove wood panelling is easy to do on a DIY basis, using lengths of wooden moulding that are cut and then attached along the walls. You can even use reclaimed wood for a rustic, eco-friendly look that’s on-trend right now. Paint in a rich, dark colour like this sultry charcoal grey to give an ordinary room a cocooning feel.

Accent Walls

Creating an accent wall is one of the easiest ways to make your furniture stand out. Pick paint, wallpaper or even a patterned wall panel for an eye-catching look. Stencils and decals also provide a fun alternative to paint, allowing you to add patterns like flowers, cityscapes or nautical themes. They also come in a variety of colors, so you can match the design to your furniture.

A wood accent wall is a great way to add warmth to any space. Installing custom wood paneling can be a DIY project, but it’s also easy to buy pre-made panels that are ready for installation.

If you have a creative flair, consider painting a mural on an accent wall. This can be a fun leisure activity for kids, and it’s a unique way to make a room pop with color. Alternatively, a whiteboard wall can be used in a home office or kitchen for quick notes. Frame your wall with moulding for a finished look.

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