Wall Panelling

Wall panelling has been around for centuries, dating all the way back to the 13th century, and is one of those interior design styles that falls into a timeless aesthetic rather than a ‘current trend’. If you’re considering adding some panelling to your home, it’s worth knowing the different types so you can decide what you feel would fit best.

Shaker style / raised panelling

One of the most popular ways to add wood panelling to your home is with the addition of raised panelling, also referred to as shaker-style wall panelling. This is essentially plain, square wall panelling that creates multiple frame-like designs across the wall. Raised panels are a perfect way to add depth and texture to any wall and can be created by simply adhering thin strips of MDF, timber, or dado/picture rails to your walls in a uniform pattern.

Despite initially being associated with classic or formal rooms in stately homes, shaker-style wall panelling as it is also referred to as is now commonly found in standard properties up and down the UK thanks to the fact that they’re easy-to-install and have transformative benefits.


Beadboard wall panelling gets its name from the combination of grooves and small ridges between each vertical board, creating an indented parallel beaded effect. These vertical boards are then completed with a decorative picture rail fitted horizontally along the top, for a neat installation that generally sits around a third of the way up the wall.

Often found in high-traffic areas of the home such as the hallway, beadboard panelling styles are an attractive and practical addition to your walls and will help to protect the lower half from knocks and dirt, whilst adding a rustic charm.


Traditional wainscoting is decorative wood panelling along the lower wall that protects the wall from scuffs. The height of traditional wainscoting is usually 36 to 42 inches, with chair rail going along the top and baseboard across the bottom. The middle part is made with either raised panels, flat panels, vertical v-joint tongue and groove (T&G) or beadboard tongue and groove. 

Traditional wainscoting from 18th century England was made from quarter sawn Oak and finished with an oil turpentine protective coating. Today, a lot of wainscoting is being painted solid colours but many people still prefer a stained wood look.

Victorian wall panelling

Classically seen in historical architecture, this decorative panelling was once used as a clever way to protect walls from marks left by chairs and furniture in dining rooms, as well as enhance the look of the space. In the past, this style of panelling would have been fitted part way up the walls of stately homes before being capped off with a dado rail to complement the era’s rich designs – and act as a protective barrier. Now, we are seeing these feature wall ideas having a modern-day-moment with the traditional panelling and geometric interior styles of the Victorian era making a comeback in regular houses.

Tongue and groove

A wall panelling idea for both interior and exterior walls is tongue and groove panelling. It can be installed horizontally and vertically, is relatively cost-effective and easy to install thanks to its click-in-place fit. These days, this type of traditional panelling is often manufactured from mould proof MDF and is found in bathrooms, generally installed about one third of the way up the walls, protecting them from moisture build-up and water splashes. The simple tongue and groove installation technique means they can be fitted to improve the interior style and add character to any room, and they can be painted in almost any colour to suit your home.

Slatted wall panels

Slatted wall panels are an interior design solution that enhances both the visual appeal and acoustic properties of interior spaces. This slatted style is sometimes referred to as acoustic panelling thanks to its sound-enhancing properties and makes for a favoured choice in home environments ranging from offices to living rooms.

Slatted wall panels are low-maintenance, lightweight, and easily installed, offering an immediate interior transformation. They can be manufactured from wood veneered MDF, which emulates a realistic woodgrain surface, providing an authentic look with a modern twist. These internal panels can be installed both horizontally and vertically as a feature wall or around other architectural features like chimney breasts and wall-mounted TV units.

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