Since 2022, bespoke wall panelling has been an interior design trend that has grown in popularity. Ideal for highly trafficked areas thanks to its hardwearing nature, it also is a great way to add depth, texture and create that high-end luxury finish.
From contemporary to classic, our team share their expert ideas and design tips for wall panelling beyond the hallway in 2023.
While you may think “wall panelling” and embellished and lavishly ornate walls of a grand stately home such as Hampton Court Palace immediately spring to mind, in antiquity its raison d’etre lies in functionality. The tradition of wall panelling dates back as far as the 13th century, when it was initially used for insulation purposes. Wall panelling was installed as a barrier against the damp, cold stone of the walls and to help keep the radiant heat from wood fires in.
According to history, it was King Henry III who famously started the trend. He imported wood from Norway to adorn the walls of Windsor Castle. From there on in, the popularity of panelling began to flourish. As the centuries went by, wall panelling became considered decorative and even moved into the realms of fine art.
“Drawing on the functional element, it is often used in hallways, libraries, offices and areas which are prone to getting knocked and scuffed. It provides a hardier solution to painting. Wall panelling also works incredibly well in a boot and utility room. It is a great way to box off and hide unsightly pipework.”
James Murphy – Project Installation Manager
“Whatever the size or space of a room, carefully considered panelling can be used to enhance and make the most of every inch of it. In smaller spaces and rooms with low ceilings, vertical panelling is a great technique for making walls appear taller as it helps draw the eye upwards. Try combining it with colour drenching. Choose one colour and paint it across multiple surfaces to further accentuate the space and give your home a brilliantly bold and modern appearance.
In larger areas, full-height panelling prevents the room from feeling sparse. It can really help pull an interior scheme together and create a more cohesive space. “
Matilda Deal – Head of Sales & Design
Crafty storage solutions
“Wall panelling comes in particularly useful in any room where you want to create built-in features, such as storage cupboards or shelving. It is perfect for sleekly hiding that unwanted clutter in a utility room. A half-panelled wall behind a bed or sofa can also double up as a shelf for artwork. How about creating a media area which hides the TV when not in use. Just a few of the ways we have used it so far.”
Michael Goacher – Production Manager
Experiment with style
“One of the beauties of wall panelling is its sheer abundance of styles. A few of the most common and well-known styles are the highly versatile shaker; which uses strips to form even-spaced rectangular shapes, Jacobean panelling; which looks a little more like a chess board, using square-shaped panels, and a traditional slat style; where 10-12cm wide rectangular slats are placed side by side usually up to dado rail height. Why not consider experimenting with geometrical patterns for a stylish feature wall or ornate panels to add that extra stand-out character? Feeling more adventurous? What about a mix and match of styles? “
Sales and Designer – Jo Goacher