Bedroom wall panelling ideas to add the smart interior trend to your space

Give your walls an on-trend textured upgrade

Rattan headboard in front of pink bedroom wall panelling ideas
(Image credit: Future PLC)

As we spend such a significant portion of our time in bed, we might as well make sure the spaces we sleep in are as beautiful as they can be. Bedroom wall panelling ideas are a wonderful way of adding depth and pattern without overwhelming a space made for rest.

There's a serious trend for wall panelling ideas right now - and with little surprise. With the right design choices you can create a personality filled wall with texture and dimension.

'Wooden wall panels can help to soften a space - especially white bedroom ideas with minimal decor,' notes Simon Myatt, Brand Ambassador, Havwoods.

From beautiful colourways, to unique shapes and even the ability to zone, bedroom panelling ideas are an incredibly versatile decor option. Plus, there are even ways to fake panels for a cheaper and even more flexible choice.

Bedroom wall panelling ideas

Discover how to up the design ante of your rest space with bedroom wall panelling ideas for every interiors style.

1. Cover the walls and ceiling

Bedroom with walls and ceiling covered in white panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Give your space a comforting, cohesive feel by taking your bedroom wall panelling ideas onto the ceiling.

This enveloping effect can be comforting and calming, making it perfect for a restful space.

Opt for blonde or white painted wood to open up your space, making it feel lighter and brighter. These fresher choices help boost light levels in bedroom ideas where natural sources may be lacking. For a super cosy, warm feel, look to deeper wood or paint for your panels.

2. Elongate with slimline panels

White bedroom with vertical blonde wood panelling behind bned

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Jane Watson)

Make your walls seem taller than they actually stand with a strategic choice in the size and layout of your panels.

'If they are applied vertically, they can create the illusion of an extended space,' advises Olivia Crosher, Interior Designer, Naturewall

'Wall panels can also be as wide as you desire,' adds Olivia. 'You apply a couple of 600mm wall panels to a wall to create a zone or provide a stylish backdrop to a standout piece of furniture. Equally, wall panels can span the whole width of a feature wall to have a bigger impact.'

3. Go for geometrics

Bedroom with rattan headboard in front of pink panelled wall

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There's no rule which dictates that wall panels have to be rectangular or square planks of wood. Offer your walls individualistic personality by creating stylish geometric shapes.

As well as looking cool, this is a great way of making your money go further. You need far fewer panels to create these effects, making it a great example of budget bedroom decor ideas.

4. Create a unique space with reclaimed wood

Bedroom with reclaimed wood wall panelling behind bed

(Image credit: Naturewall)

Use your bedroom wall panelling ideas to show off the beauty of natural wood by using reclaimed planks.

'Natural materials are on-trend within interiors for 2022 and beyond,' says Olivia from Naturewall. 'Adding a material like natural wood brings warmth to your home and creates a connection to the outside which has proven to be beneficial for wellbeing.'

'The interesting variation of colour, tone and texture within the wood brings a sophisticated feel to an interior. Combined with the versatility of the wood, you can find a colour and finish to suit your current furnishings and décor scheme – making them complementary to any interior style.'

5. Get playful with paint

Bedroom window seat with panelled walls painted blue and yellow

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Add some joy to your wall panels by combining them with bedroom paint ideas. While you can of course paint the walls all one colour, add an extra level of design flair by painting the two halves of the walls in different colours. This combination will create both a vertical and horizontal pattern.

Choose two tonal shades for a sophisticated effect, or contrasting colours for a more playful approach - perfect for kids room ideas.

6. Fake it with wallpaper

Bedroom with panelled effect grey wallpaper

(Image credit: I Love Wallpaper)

For a budget friendly and easy way to get the wall panel effect, then look to bedroom wallpaper ideas.

Not only is this a less expensive option than actual panelling, but you have near unlimited choices for patterns and colourways. Plus, it's easy and relatively inexpensive to replace should you grow tired of the design.

7. Double up your headboard

Bedroom with blue panelled wall behind bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Large or boldly patterned headboards become a natural focal point in a bedroom. However, it's a big investment and doesn't suit every style.

Cheat your way to dramatic DIY headboard ideas by planning your space so it sits in front of a statement area of wall panelling. Paint the panels in a brighter and lighter shade than the headboard. This will make sure it stands out and creates contrast without adding extra darkness to the higher points in the room and making the ceiling appear lower than it is.

8. Make it an artistic choice

Neutral bedroom with white decorative panel above headboard

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

A panel of fretwork adds a delicate decorative element into your room and shows off your artistic sensibilities. Place above your bed to centre it as the focal point of the room.

In addition to looking like a piece of art, this is a great choice if you don't want to commit to a fully panelled wall (or room!). And since you can easily move or paint it, it's a flexible and long lasting example of bedroom panelling ideas.

9. Choose a bold palette

Blue bedroom with purple bedding

(Image credit: Crown)

Painting your bedroom wall panelling ideas in a deep, bold colour can seem daunting, but will offer a lot if you're feeling brave enough. Darker colours really highlight the shapes and shadows created by the panels, forming the appearance of an even deeper wall.

It may seem scary to double up panelling and colour drenching, but if you coat all - or most of - your surfaces in the one colour, it can look seriously chic.

'Rich, bold colours work best for colour drenching,' advises Justyna Korczynska, Senior Designer, Crown. 'If you feel brave you can go for a really dark shade for a strong, dramatic effect, but it's better to avoid too bright shades, as they could become overpowering, especially in smaller spaces.'

10. Gain an extra surface

Neutral bedroom with wrought iron bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Matt Cant)

Bedroom panelling ideas can be made to work harder than just looking good.

Gain yourself an extra surface by only taking your panelling halfway up your wall, and making sure it comes out a few centimetres rather than laying fairly flush to the wall. Add a slim ledge and voilà! A perfect area for propping up artwork, displaying objects and adding seasonal touches.

Does panelling work in small bedrooms?

Wall panels are a wonderful decor choice, however large or small your space. That said, panelling is especially effective in small bedroom ideas.

'Wall panels can make spaces appear larger and more spacious,' agrees Simon from Havwoods.

'Particularly when applied to a full wall,' adds Olivia from Naturewall. 'If the wall panels are horizontal, they can elongate a room.'

'Even applying wall panels to half the wall height can evoke the feeling of a bigger area, by breaking up solid and enclosing walls.'

Should panelling be lighter or darker?

'It all depends on the type of wood panelling you choose,' advises Chelsea Clark, Head of Brand at I Love Wallpaper. 'A darker finish can make a room feel small, however still cosy and inviting.'

'If opting for a darker hue of wood, create a distinct focal point by limiting the panelling to only one wall, it will help make the space feel bigger. Reflecting natural light, a lighter-coloured wood can help really open up a room, especially small spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.'

Thea Babington-Stitt
Managing Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Managing Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for around 10 years.

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.