I have a serious confession to make: I actually like paneling. Yep, It’s true. I know what people are saying behind paneling’s back (or maybe in front of its face): “It darkens a room” and “It dates the space” not to mention “It’s hideous.” I wasn’t always a fan. In fact, when I first stepped inside the combination living room/dining room/kitchen of the home I fell in love with, I thought, “This paneling will be the first thing to go.”
The living room paneling, pre-move in.
But after living with it for a few months, I’ve changed my tune a little. Maybe it’s the nature-lover in me. Maybe it’s in my genes (My dad makes live-edge furniture, so I’ve always loved to see wood in its natural state.) All I know is, I no longer shudder when I walk into the room. And since the huge windows give this space tons of light, it doesn’t seem too den-like. (Don’t worry, I’m still not a fan of this kind of paneling.)
Paneling, front and center.
While I don’t want to ditch it completely, I do want to modernize it a bit. Even adding colorful mod furniture and art, like Genifer Sohr did below in her home, creates a “modern cabin” feel that I like.
Photo by Tec Petaja for Design Sponge
However, while I like the visible wood grain, I’m not as big of a fan of the color. I’d love to sand it down to its just-cut state and finish it with a UV-protecting finish to give it a more Scandinavian look, like Swedish architect Per Bornstein did in his knotty pine-happy home in Sweden.
Design by Swedish achitect Per Bornstein; photo by Pia Ulin for Dwell
Natural-hued knotty pine also lends itself well to both modern…
Design by UNI Architects via Remodelista
…and more eclectic furnishings (I’d like to do a mix.)
Design by Blackman Cruz; Photo by Timothy Street-Porter for Elle Decor
What would you do? Paint it, stain it, leave it natural or tear it out completely? Tell me your take.
Read Liz’s previous House Diaries posts here and follow her home inspiration board on Pinterest.