The Wood Paneling Trend Is Back With a Twist

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Wood paneling is back, but we’re not talking about he 1960s version that you may still be peeling down from some of your listings.

Instead, today’s wood paneling trend is being used as an accent wall, instead of a complete cover of an entire room. For example, wood panels in walnut may be used as an accent wall behind the bed in the master bedroom. Or, maybe one wall will be covered in white distressed shiplap, a trend popularized by HGTV “Fixer Upper” hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Wood in all finishes, whether clear stain or in its natural form, are being used to create sophisticated, sleek accent walls. You may even find wood panels in the closets, such as cedar-covered closet walls  (with added bonuses of having a distinctive smell and being a natural repellant to insects, like moths, too).® reports on the trend: “Knotty pieces of wood bring a very organic look, while painted varieties are classic and always popular with homeowners and potential buyers.”

Designers are certainly proving you dress up and modernize any space with wood panels. See a few examples from Houzz.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

More Posts - Website

  1. Wainscoting is making a significant comeback in luxury homes in our area to add some interest to parts of walls

  2. Great article with very good insight into how this “retro” material are used in a very modern way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great ideas! I was wondering what I could do with some of the properties we buy that have paneling in them. I can’t wait to try these on the next house we buy. Thanks for putting this post together.

  4. This is really a great article about how we can use vintage wooding style in a modern way and make them look better and attractive. Please add some more tips and pictures so that we can get a better idea and implement this at our own place. Thanks for sharing the article.

  5. Spot on write up Melissa. Adding an accent wood wall to a room today can totally transform the space and it can be done for minimal cost. Done correctly with the right wood creates a wow factor that will increase the value of any home. It also gives you the flexibility to achieve a modern look or it can transition well with rustic styling. Nice pics as well and thanks for the insight!