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6 Ways to make wood paneling actually look cool

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

After it fell out of home-design favor a few decades ago, wood paneling is making a gorgeous comeback as it adds warmth and character to your abode. Instead of the oh-so-old 1970s rec-room look, wood paneling is becoming hip again with updated colors, new directions and enviable types of wood. We found some uber-groovy ways to give wood paneling a cool style update.

1. A beautiful marriage of modern style and retro wood paneling

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

Take one look at this inviting combination of old and new home-decor elements and you instantly feel a sense of peace soothe you. Wood is a natural element that lends a cozy, connected feel to this living room. If you have existing wood paneling that looks less than desirable, update it with new stain. The shag rug here looks right at home with the more modern accessories and beckons you to lie down and relax.

2. Keep the wood paneling and paint it anew

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

When you live in an older home, you don't have to settle for an outdated style. The interior of this 1950s beach house was reinvented by replacing every surface except the wood paneling on the wall. A smart alternative to ripping it out was to paint it a color that coordinates with the new design elements of the living room.

3. Redwood gets an update

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

The wood paneling in this midcentury home is a combination of stained redwood and whitewashed redwood panels, giving the usual wood-panel look a stylish update. Restoring wood allows you to work with the materials you have instead of opting for a drastic and more expensive makeover.

4. Take it to the ceiling

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

In another midcentury home update, the wood paneling in this loft bedroom was extended up the ceiling to give the cozy space a textural change and to make the paneling look like a desired design element. Painting the paneling and the plain walls a light color opens up the room and gives it a clean look.

5. A new direction for wood panels

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

So you really dig wood paneling? If wood or the look of wood is your heart's home-design desire, consider an updated approach with rectangular-shape wood panels stained in your favorite hue. This contemporary wood paneling is an inventive way to bring a welcome warmth to the clean lines and tidy appeal of this living room.

6. Make your wood paneling a work of art

Stylish updates for wood paneling that make it a desirable home design element

Stay ahead of the wood-paneling comeback by transforming your walls into an eye-catching display of wood and lighting. This walnut wood paneling, which is made up of wood boxes, was designed to mimic a 3-D city skyline and give the living room intrigue and warmth. The lighting further updates the wood-panel style and highlights the beauty of the walnut.

More ways to update your home

5 Easy cabinet upgrades for less than $100
Front door makeovers that add charm to your home
These tiled countertops look amazing

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