9 design ideas for wood from panelling to painted furniture

Wood brings a warmth to any decorating scheme whatever the style. Here are nine stylish ways to use wood from panelling your walls to choosing beautiful furniture.

kitchen area with photo frame on plywood wall
(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

table lamp near staircase

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

1 Timber-clad walls are wonderfully versatile. To make a room seem larger, increase the scale and proportion of wooden panelling by using wide boards either vertically or horizontally.

book shelf in study room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

2 Using a mix of harmonious materials creates a more refined look. Try combining timber finishes with inset stone tops or handles wrapped in leather.

bed with pillow in bedroom

(Image credit: TBC)

3 Wooden headboards are very practical and can be carved in a variety of shapes, from simple to very ornate, to complement the style of the room.

sofa with cushion in living room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

4 Introducing overscale or decorative architectural details, such as skirtings, cornices and beams, will add grandeur.

sink with spout in kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

5 Wood veneers are a great way of making a piece of furniture or joinery more cost effective. You can also take advantage of the natural patterns by setting the grains in different directions.Kitchen manufacturers use this technique to add interest to a wall of cabinetry.

bed in bedroom

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

6 Play around with painted timber wall panelling: to create a more modern look, scale up the proportion, simplify the detailing, and use geometric shapes.

white drawer

(Image credit: TBC)

7 Bring an old piece of wooden furniture back to life by painting it in a fresh colour. For an interesting finish you could swop the handles for something more contemporary.

table lamp with mirror

(Image credit: TBC)

8 Use lacquered timber furniture in your home. It may seem more expensive but it is incredibly hardwearing, especially for high traffic areas such as hallways, which makes it a good investment.

house with potting shed

(Image credit: TBC)

9 Wood is perfect for outdoor use. For a pool house or potting shed, choose timber painted in a colour that sits calmly in the landscape.


Thea Babington-Stitt
Assistant Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 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.