Wood paneling is one of the most popular features included in custom homes. It adds an extra layer of detail and luxury to a home. There are many different styles of wood paneling, from the classic wainscoting to a more rustic shiplap. As beautiful as this feature is, it doesn’t always work in every room in a home. Here are the best and worst places to use wood paneling in your custom home!


Best Places to Use Wood Paneling



Wood paneling works best in smaller spaces that take wear and tear, but also where you want to make an impact. This is why it works so perfectly in entryways. It will make your entryway stand out to guests, while also shielding your walls from things such as shoe scuff marks, doors opening, and more.



Wood paneling is a great alternative to tile walls in bathrooms. It works particularly well in more formal bathrooms such as the master bathroom or guest powder room. It will not only protect your wall from water splashes, but it will also make your bathroom feel luxurious. Just remember to use warp-resistant wood or specially treated MDF if you’re putting it in a bath area.


Dining Room

More elegant wood paneling options like wainscoting were traditionally found in eating rooms. It was used not only to elevate the style but also to protect the walls from chairs hitting them. It also was often used to display fine china and serving pieces. Today, it still serves the same purpose and looks amazing!



Wood paneling adds a richness to any room, which is why it works well in formal spaces such as a den or study. It will really add charm and sophistication to this space, making it feel like an old-timey library.


Worst Places to Use Wood Paneling



While wood paneling can sometimes be found in master bedrooms, in general, most people don’t opt for it bedrooms these days. That’s because it brings a formal vibe that feels out of place in a relaxing space like a bedroom. Even cozier options like shiplap can feel too out of space in bedrooms. Feel free to use it as a feature wall in a master, but don’t over-style spaces that are meant to be used for relaxing.


Living Room

Just as with bedrooms, living rooms are meant for everyday living. If you have both a formal and casual living space, feel free to run wood paneling into the formal space. Wood paneling in living rooms can create issues with laying out furniture and handing artwork or a TV.



As with bedrooms and living rooms, wood paneling often feels too formal for a kitchen space. Kitchens already have a lot of other design elements from the backsplash, countertop, cabinets, hardware, floors, appliances, etc. Adding another element into the space can be overwhelming.


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