Sitting in my bedroom writing, with the autumn sunshine streaming in through the window, I can’t help but let my eyes wander around the room we have created for ourselves. From the panelled wall behind the bed, with the pretty nature inspired wallpaper above, and the gorgeous handcrafted Darwin chair from Cheeky Chairs which looks so lovely next to the vintage wardrobes, to the painted floor and fresh white walls – I feel very proud of what we have achieved.
Having a beautiful bedroom in which to work, lounge and sleep is vital to our wellbeing, and I am so thrilled to finally have my dream bedroom space to enjoy. When we moved in, I (unsurprisingly) already had mood boards created for our main bedroom, bathroom, dining room, kitchen, and the girl’s bedrooms! For this room, I knew I wanted a fresh, tranquil feel, and a panelled wall behind the bed. Below, you can see my mood board design.
I always get asked what I use to make my mood boards and it’s an app called Morpholio which I use on my iPhone. I find it really useful to collate images and ideas together to envisage what a room will look like, and this particular app is very user-friendly, allowing you to easily layer up wall-treatments, colours and furnishings to give you a real sense of what the end result will be. It is also addictive, so you have been warned!
Panelling has been around for centuries, and you might therefore associate it with your great grandfather’s stuffy old office space, but it’s definitely becoming a popular DIY project in our homes again, from the traditional tongue and groove design, to horizontal shiplap, and board and batten in all kinds of adventurous geometric designs. It can provide real wow factor to a room and is a welcome change from using wallpaper or paint to create a feature wall.
Traditionally panelling was installed using dark wood which can feel overbearing and frankly slightly old-fashioned unless you reside in a stately home, but we aren’t all as lucky as Sarah Beeny, now are we? Why not paint it in light greys or white for a fresh, modern look, or use dramatic dark hues for a cosy, but contemporary feel? You could leave it au naturel, to replicate a Scandinavian cabin in the woods, or limewash it and let the grain subtly show though.
The wall behind our bed used to be plain, light blue, and uninviting. Now it is warm, textural and full of personality. The choice is yours whether to panel half a wall, or the whole thing, depending on the feel you desire. Half a wall gives a room a cottagey, homely vibe, and a whole wall creates more dramatic impact. Panelling the whole wall, or even the whole room works fantastically well in houses with high ceilings such as Victorian, Georgian or Edwardian properties.
My husband and I applied the panelling ourselves, using materials from a local timber merchant. We had no prior experience, but we are so happy we gave it a go, as it saved us lots of money and really wasn’t that difficult. We first battened the wall using 2 x 2 lengths placed horizontally across the wall, so we had something to screw the tongue and groove onto. Then we started in the middle of the wall and worked outwards, nailing the panels in with panel pins and gluing each length with wood glue as we went along. As soon as we got the hang of it, we were off and the whole job took only half a day. We added a thicker plank of wood at the bottom of the wall and again at the top to finish it off neatly. We treated the knots in the wood, filled the nail holes and then primed it, ready for painting. The only thing was that I actually liked the look of it like this, with the warmth of the wood and the grain showing through so I decided to leave it!
Other interior bloggers have also done panelling in their homes, in different ways, all to stunning effect. Below are some of my favourites:
I would love to add more panelling to my home – I am considering using it both in Molly’s room and the hallway, so watch this space!
I hope you feel inspired to give it a go.
Until next time,
*The wooden chair was gifted to me by Cheeky Chairs.