Wall Panelling Ideas & Inspo
wall panelling ideas


Written by Maddie

Thinking about transforming your interior walls but stuck for wall panelling ideas? We’ve got heaps of panelling inspo to help you kickstart your DIY project. 

What Does Wall Panelling Involve? 

In essence wall panelling is an art form, there are a plethora of different panelling styles and designs out there but ultimately it boils down to placement and pattern. Wall panels can be fixed along the wall to make a symmetrical pattern, you can cover half of the wall or the entirety of the space from floor to ceiling. Usually wall panels are cut into strips and glued to the wall to form a design, such as slats, squares and rectangles. The panels give texture to the area, and bring character to any room via the clever guise of shadow and light.


Panelling dates back hundreds of years, but a recent resurgence in the trend means that there is now an abundance of wall panelling ideas available to everyone. With there being so many MDF panelling designs for the house, it can be hard to pick a style that suits you – we’ve put together our favourite wall panelling ideas to give you some panelling inspiration. 

A beautiful country style bathroom featuring slat wall panelling from Ideal Home. https://www.idealhome.co.uk/pictures/country-bathroom-pictures/page/2

Wall Panelling Ideas – What styles are there?

Choosing the right wall panel style for your room can be quite difficult, especially when you’re presented with so many options. We’ve narrowed it down to make it less overwhelming, we’ve included the pinnacle panel styles which are currently on trend and growing more popular everyday. We’ve listed both traditional panelling designs and some contemporary panel styles, we’ve added a little something for everyone. 

The spike in the popularity of wall panelling is no real surprise, after all it’s a classic but with the right paint job it can transform any home and be tailored to suit any taste. So, let’s cover the basics – the four most popular types of wall panels. 

Shaker Style Panelling  – The shaker style wall panel is very on trend right now. Recognisable by the rectangular shapes evenly spaced out to create an elegant aesthetic. This type of panel is often used on doors and cabinets as well as walls. You will find this style of panelling in living rooms, dinings rooms and bedrooms. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the design, once painted it instantly transforms any room into a decadent living space. 

Shaker Style Wall Panelling
Shaker Style Wall Panels via https://www.neptune.com/

Tongue & Groove MDF Wall Panelling – This is a classic style, often placed in bathrooms and hallways. We call it slat panelling, why? Because it’s made up of slats / strips that are placed next to each other across the wall. Usually the individual strips are 100mm – 120mm wide and the length can be tailored to the wall coverage, they can be attached to the lower portion of the wall or cover the full height from floor to ceiling. They can even be placed horizontally if you’re looking to do something a bit different. 

Tongue & Groove Wall Panelling
Tongue & Groove Wall Panelling Image Credit Pam Davey https://pin.it/6hukRHt

Jacobean Wall Panelling  – A firm favourite with interior designers right now. This panel design consists of panels that are square in shape and when installed resemble a grid. Once painted they give texture and a bold aesthetic to any room. You will commonly find this wall design in living rooms, dining rooms and more recently bedrooms. 

Jacobean Style Wall Panelling via Panel Master https://www.panelmaster.co.uk/panel_prices.php

Geometric Wall Panel Designs – This style is relatively new to market, but make no mistake this is going to be extremely popular! We like to think of it as the contemporary version of traditional wall panelling. It’s very versatile and can be used to accentuate one wall or a whole space. If you’re looking for a quirky feature wall, this is for you. Geometric wall panels are usually made up of fine strips which are then placed on the wall in a geometric design – like triangles and lines. They can be fixed horizontally, diagonally or vertically. Once paint has been applied it reveals a fashionable feature wall.

Geometric Wall Panelling courtesy of https://i.etsystatic.com/21740681/r/il/6a821e/2664138964/il_794xN.2664138964_52gh.jpg

What colours can I use for wall panelling?

The honest answer? Any colour you like. It’s entirely down to your imagination and taste. It depends on the wall panelling look you’re trying to achieve. If you want something light and fresh looking, then a neutral or muted shade would be best.

Slat wall panels in a neutral tone from Swan Studio https://www.swanstudio.com.au/

If you’re going for a more daring approach then bold and intense colours are the way forward. If your wall panelling idea is an amalgamation of both styles, why not meet in the middle and pair bright and brilliant tones with softer shades to create a stylish contrast. If you want to switch up your aesthetic, the combination of wall panelling and wallpaper is a stylish means of making a bold statement. 

A beautifully panelled dining room in a bold shade via House & Garden https://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/gallery/autumn-colours#Yjwmx2Y6wLP

Can I Panel Any Room In My House?

Yes! You aren’t limited to specific rooms, if you have panelling ideas for every room – we say go for it. Wall panelling is such a versatile trend it can align with any aesthetic and as such can be used in any room you wish.  

We’ve listed the rooms in your house you can panel and the best styles to fulfill their potential:

Bedroom – If there’s one thing we truly love, it’s wall panelling in bedrooms. If you’re finding it hard to find wall panelling ideas for your bedroom – you’re spoilt for choice. Once again it comes down to your own personal taste, and the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. For contemporary designs we recommend the geometric or shaker style panelling. If you’re looking for a more classic style, then perhaps try the Tongue & Groove strip panels or Jacobean. The accompanying paint and furnishings will see your boudoir transformed into a truly unique space. 

Jacobean wall panelling from Better Homes & Gardens https://www.bhg.com.au/master-bedroom-board-batten-feature-wall

Bathroom – Typically the most popular style of wall panelling for bathrooms is Tongue & Groove, you can fix it to the lower portion of the wall and cap it off with a dado rail for a traditional effect or for a more modern approach it can cover the entirety of the wall. This wall panel design is timeless. To create a more open space you can use light shades to extend the room, if dark and deep colours are your thing this looks equally as striking. We really enjoy the combination of dark shades and wall panelling in bathrooms, if you’re worried about making your bathroom appear smaller – you can contrast dark panelling with a neutral tone. It’s important to keep in mind the amount of natural light your bathroom receives, if it’s below an average amount – you might want to avoid a dark colour scheme. 

A beautifully panelled bathroom courtesy of Ideal Home https://www.idealhome.co.uk/all-rooms-ideas/wall-panelling-ideas-229783/amp

Dining room – Wall panelling in dining rooms was once a traditional staple in country homes – however it’s now being reimagined with contemporary styles in all manner of dwellings. Whether you reside in a bustling townhouse or a quaint cottage – panelling in your dining room is the perfect way to transform your house. Shaker and Jacobean style wall panels are growing increasingly popular in dining rooms, it’s not hard to see why. They add an elegant flourish to a room that is typically overlooked, despite being the beating heart of any home. Regardless of the look you’re curating, these panels can work with any decor – be it fun and quirky or understated and simplistic. 

Pastel Jacobean Wall Panelling via Ideal Home https://www.idealhome.co.uk/all-rooms-ideas/wall-panelling-ideas-229783/amp

Living room – It’s in the name – living room – a room you spend a lot of time in – so why wouldn’t you want to breathe life into it? Geometric panelling is one of the best ways to add some oomph to your living room space. You can make it bold yet minimalistic or busy and flamboyant. You can limit it to a one wall design or install the geometric patterns across the entirety of the walls. Eccentric shades or muted tones, both will work in this room. 

A Geometric Feature Wall Courtesy of Home Talk https://www.hometalk.com/44286712/geometric-accent-wall?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=soc_btn&utm_campaign=shared_cntnt&date=20200727&ps=datapin&utm_media=6135142

Hallway – Panelling is a very popular feature in hallways, after all this is the area in the house which sees the most traffic and is ultimately exposed to the most wear and tear. By installing wall panels in the hallway you’re protecting the walls from scuffs and knocks. The Tongue & Groove style strip wall panels are the most sought after design for hallways. It’s a classic method of panelling for the hallway due to how easy it is to clean and due to the uniform pattern – scuffs and knocks are harder to notice.

Hallway Shaker Style Panelling from The Home That Made Me https://thehomethatmademe.com/2020/12/hallway-panelling-revamp.html

Stairs & Landing – How do you transform your stairs and landing with minimal effort? Wall panelling of course! We often take these spaces for granted but they can easily be upgraded with wall panels. For both the stairs and landing – two styles of panelling are predominantly used. Shaker and Tongue & Groove panels. Neither supersedes the other, both have their merits and make stunning additions to any home. They turn drab and dull walls into sophisticated spaces. 

A panelled staircase and landing from The Home That Made Me https://thehomethatmademe.com/2020/12/hallway-panelling-revamp.html

Panelling isn’t restricted to these rooms by any means, you can panel kitchens, nurseries and even toilets. 

It’s important to keep in mind that you will need a specific type of panelling for certain rooms, namely kitchens and bathrooms. We highly recommend only using MR MDF wall panels in these rooms. MR is short for moisture resistant – this doesn’t mean waterproof but it does have a higher tolerance for moisture over standard MDF – which you do not want to get wet at any point. It’s really important to use MR MDF in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens as there’s always a chance that it could get splashed with water, and if you use MR MDF your panelling won’t be destroyed. 

The world of panelling is your oyster, if you’re unsure of what panels you’d like where, we’ve included a panelling inspo gallery below to get the creative juices flowing. 

Panelling Inspo Gallery

We’ve curated a gallery of our favourite panelling design ideas, a collection of various panelling styles in different applications and rooms. If you’re thinking of embarking on your own panelling project, make sure you read our latest blog post on The Top 5 Mistakes People Make With Panelling to avoid making the same errors. 

Panelling Ideas For The Bedroom

Ideas for decorative walls to convert your bedroom into a beautiful space.

Panelling Designs for The Living Room

Upgrade your living space with these stunning wall patterns. 

Dining Room Wall Panel Designs

Dine in decadence with these decorative panelling designs. 

Kitchen Wall Panelling Ideas

Transform your kitchen from ordinary to outstanding with these cool and clever wall panel ideas.

Bathroom Panelling Designs

Scrub your worries away in a room fit for royalty, with these stunning panel designs.

A gorgeous bathroom with panelling in muted tones via Ideal Home https://www.idealhome.co.uk/all-rooms-ideas/wall-panelling-ideas-229783/amp

Hallway Panelling Inspo

Hip hallways are all the rage, first impressions are important – upgrade your hallway space with decorative walls. 

Hallway panelling via Homify https://www.homify.co.uk/photo/1923740/dark-green-wood-panelling-in-the-hallway

Stairs & Landing Panelling Ideas

Stairway to heaven? We think so. From boring to blissful these designs are simply dreamy.

If you’d like a more in-depth understanding of the history of wall panelling, check out The Ultimate Guide To Wall Panelling.

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