What to do with wood paneling

As a home stager, sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got.


I was given free rein in this family room with one exception: The husband insisted that the wood paneling stay. What is it about men and wood paneling? There, I said it.  Maybe I’m stereotyping, but I come across this quite often. Men seem to really like wood paneling; women not so much. This was, however, a very good quality of paneling and it was a redesign project and not a staging job so I agreed to do it. After all, I love a good challenge.

I should add at this point that this family room happens to be in our home. Yes, the stubborn husband mentioned above is all mine. I’m totally OK with him wanting to keep the paneling though. It’s the only thing in the house that he has insisted on. I was able to do pretty much anything else I wanted to in our home, so it’s only fair that he got his way on this one.

The above photo shows what the family room looked like when we bought our home.  The first thing to go was the dated and tired furniture. With that out of the way, next on the list was to replace the orange carpet with a taupe berber.

Next, we had black wooden blinds installed to add drama. (I’ll never forget the look on the sales rep’s face when I told him that I wanted black. That’s OK, I’m sure he’s over it by now.)

Next was to bring in some “newish” furniture. I say that because we bought the sofa, loveseat and chair from a staging client after their home sold.

Then came my favorite part: styling.

Bringing in black accessories helped to add richness and depth to the paneling. I don’t usually place an area rug on carpet, but in this case I made an exception. I think the black rug pulls together the look I was going for. It draws the eye away from the paneling and makes it more of a subtle backdrop.

Installing several pieces of Northwest Coast native art gave the room added character and an organic feel to tie in with the paneling.

A couple of throw blankets and a sheepskin rug were then added to soften up the room and add texture.


The family room is still a work in progress. There are still three more things left on the ‘to do list’:

(1) Reface the fireplace with floor-to-ceiling black granite;

(2) Paint the baseboards and window trim black and

(3) Build black window box valances for above the blinds.

By the time this room is completely finished, it’s really going to make a statement.

I wanted to share this post with my REALTOR® friends to show you that with the help of a professional home stager there’s hope – even with your most dated and challenging listings.

When we’re eventually ready to sell our home, who knows, I may just leave this room as is. I didn’t think I’d ever consider keeping that darn paneling, but I just might now.  Maybe that’s a bit of a risk, but it’s one that I’ll consider taking. Love it or hate it, it is what it is.

What are your thoughts?  What WOOD you do?


One thought on “What to do with wood paneling

  1. Looks great! I have a wood paneled room was originally intended to be an office. I use it as my kids toy room. It’s currently functionally, but so not so cute — kind of dark. Maybe I’ll keep it the paneling and try to work around it to lighten it up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s