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Colour Lookbook: Create an On-Trend Statement in Any Room with Perfect Panels

What’s all the fuss about?

When you think painted wall panels, your mind probably drifts to a charming country house or a grand stately home. But decorative wall panels are no longer just for period properties; they’re being admired in modern-day homes, too.

Painting panelling is a great way to add character and texture to a room. When decorated in the right colour, you can create a really interesting architectural feature. Wall panelling also serves practical purposes. Did you know they can be used to insulate a room or hide uneven walls?

If you’re feeling inspired, check out these contemporary wall panelling ideas below. 

Painting Wall Panelling

Wood panelling is a trendy way to make your home feel cosy and comfortable. Plus, it’s easy to paint once you know how. Prepare the panelling in the same way you would an indoor wall, by cleaning it, sanding it, filling in any cracks or grooves, and applying a thin coat of primer. We recommend the Dulux Primer & Undercoat for Wood.

When you’ve selected your colour, apply a thin coat of paint to the panelling surfaces, beginning at the top and working your way down. Let the first coat dry, then apply a second coat. After that, paint the trim – a satin paint finish is the best paint finish for wall panelling. 

Living Room Wall Panelling Ideas

Go for a Jacobean-style grid

Dulux UK Brave Ground wall Panel Design Ideas

While decorative wall panels have a historical feel, they can work beautifully in modern spaces, too. We painted these living room wall panels in Brave GroundTM, our Colour of the Year 2021. The warm, natural neutral adds to the sophistication and grandeur of the wall panelling. 

If you’re feeling confident, why not go a step further and paint the inside of the panel in a different colour? Here we chose energising Cardamom Pod and surrounded it with calming Brave GroundTM.


Use all-black wood panelling

Dulux UK Brave Ground Cardamom Pod Candels Wall

For a sophisticated touch to the living room, choose all-black wood panelling. Select a colour such as Rich Black and paint all over, adding texture, depth and elegance to your space. The great thing about a black colour scheme is that it complements all sorts of style trends, from minimalist to boho chic. Plus, you can pair this colour with any choice of materials and end up with a sleek result. 

Ideas for Bedroom Wall Panels

Try something fun and modern

The wall panelling trend can also be used in a playful way, whether you’re decorating a kids bedroom or designing a home office. We think ribbed painted wall panels are a great choice if you’re after a contemporary space. To help us jazz up this reading nook, we painted the bedroom wall panels in Mineral Mist. The result? A cool and cosy hangout spot. 

Dulux UK Wall panel design ideas reading

Panels on panels

If you’ve chosen wood panelling for your bedroom, why not double up with a wood panel headboard, too? Choose wood panelling styles that complement one another, such as slim panels for the wall and a pattern of panels for the headboard. When it comes to colours, you want to make sure the wall panels and headboard panels don’t clash. We recommend using a bold colour for the wall panels, such as Sapphire Salute, and leaving the headboard panels untreated for a natural look. 

Choose ornamental wall panels

Incorporating ornamental wall panels into your bedroom is a great way to add character to your space. For a truly elegant look, we recommend choosing a bright, light colour for ornamental wall panels, such as Jasmine White or Pure Brilliant White

Pastel bedroom

Create the ultimate cosy, homely look with pastel wall panelling in the bedroom. Add in a sense of fun with dark pink panelling – use a colour such as Raspberry Diva for ultimate effect. Match with pastel-coloured and white accessories such as rugs, cushions, blankets and throws. 

Bright wall panelling

Want to add a pop of colour to your bedroom? Choose brightly coloured wall panels for a contemporary look that will undoubtedly make an impact. Select a bright colour such as Emerald Glade or Teal Touch, paint all over, and voilà! You’ve got yourself a stylish space. Consider adding in a few pieces of contemporary art to make the wall stand out even more. 

Hallway Wall Panelling Ideas

Contemporary wainscotting

Wainscotting consists of incorporating panels on the bottom half of the hallway wall – the area where scuffs are most likely to occur. Half panelling helps protect the walls and leaves your hallway looking super stylish, too. If your hallway is painted white, you can choose just about any colour you like to paint your panelling. We love the look of bold colour for the panelling, such as Breton Blue, contrasted with a light wall.

Inspired to decorate your home but don’t know where to start? Check out our tips on creating a colour scheme for your space today.  

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