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Six Reasons to Fall in Love with Wood Panelling All Over Again

03/04/2015 05:59 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT
Robert Lang Photography via Getty Images

Think wood-panelling is a thing of the past? Think again.

Everything old is new again, but then, did this trend ever even go away? Here are six reasons why you should considering wood panelling for your wall treatment (and beyond), all over the home -- and all over the style spectrum.

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It's Naturally Warm:

-One of the best features of wood panelling is the immense warmth it can add to a space. It's more inviting than drywall, less fussy than wallpaper, and not overwhelming like many "hot" paint colours can be--and typically less trendy too. Tip: Mix wood panelling and a low tile backsplash to get a welcoming kitchen look with extra moisture resistance where it counts. Floating shelves are a great bonus!

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2. It's Textural

-Notice how, in the photo above, even though the panelling is painted an off-white, barely-there hue--and accented with very little colour--the space feels like it has plenty of character and life. The texture of strip panelling adds interest automatically, even without the natural patterns of exposed grain (which takes the effect even further). Again, this all creates an overall sense of warmth, even through a cool blue drapery treatment.

Tip: Vertical tongue and groove panels help lengthen the visual height of the room, like a subtle stripe.

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3. It's Unique

-Because no true wood planks will be exactly the same, every panelled wall will be unique. Whether you choose a wild or exotic grain (like walnut or bamboo), an understated Canadian classic (like maple or oak), or even salvaged boards, the look will be one of a kind and therefore a beautiful timeless investment.

Tip: Recycled wood from a construction project makes a beautiful feature wall, often at a bargain price with extra character built in.

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4. It's Versatile

-Although we may associate it first and foremost with wood cabins and cozy living rooms, wood can be a great option for virtually any space. From the bathroom to the kitchen and beyond, wood panelling can work as a high-drama feature or a subtle background, so it's worth thinking about for literally anywhere.

Tip: A panelled ceiling makes a space feel more intimate, and is the ultimate surprising, yet inviting, detail.

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5. It's Classic

-So much of the beauty (and the sense of luxury) of elegant traditional spaces comes from the depth that layered panelling provides. For an intellectual's study or a sumptuous parlour, intricate panelling gives an air of sophistication and true timelessness like no other.

Tip: Ornate panelling in rare woods can be a worthwhile splurge, but creating a similar effect in an inexpensive material with a deep espresso stain can also add the luxe look at an accessible price.

Bonus Tip: Hanging art over wood panelling gives a gallery wall a sense of structure and the ultimate layered look.

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6. It's Modern

-It's important to remember, even with the potential for great traditional appeal, that sleek wood panels can also be the perfect addition to a modern, contemporary, or transitional space as well, bringing an architectural sensibility that's right at home with clean lines and minimalistic furnishings.

Tip: Panelling an island gives it that standalone furniture effect, which can balance out clean white cabinetry for a perfect transitional mix.

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Ultimately, wood panelling is a classic that's ready to make a comeback in a big way. Whether your tastes run traditional, modern, cozy, or eclectic, it's a natural look that's waiting for you to put your stamp on it, so go wild!

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