There are many ways to add depth, interest, and beauty to your interiors, but there are few products that rival the beauty and warmth of natural wood. Wood wall panels have been used for centuries to create beautiful, natural finishes for interiors that are inviting to the viewer.
And while wood is a sustainable material, not all trees have the same growth cycles. Softwoods grow more quickly but limit you in the type of grain and use they have. Hardwoods have more character and interest, but don’t grow as quickly, which can lead to deforestation.
For this reason, many home and business owners who enjoy the look of real wood are turning to reclaimed wood wall panels to decorate their spaces. Reclaimed wood is real wood that’s had another life and use prior to its installation. Taken from barns, homes, and buildings, reclaimed wood will show the patina and marks of its previous use, which adds interest and character to your walls.
Available in several wood species and finishes, reclaimed wood wall panels can be used in numerous areas in and around your home or business to give you a unique and interesting finish, with all the warmth and beauty of wood.
Choosing Your Panels
Any reclaimed wood is going to differ from a new wood product in both subtle and dramatic ways. Because the wood has been used previously, you may see nail holes, saw marks, wear marks, and a patina that only develops with age.
And like all wood materials, there is also variation in the wood species, grain, and color of the product. Therefore, it’s best to keep an open mind when selecting your reclaimed wood panels; your material will have some variation in color, texture, grain, and finish from piece to piece and within one piece. This is what lends the panels their interest and beauty.
Select the species of wood you want first – Elm, Hickory, Oak, Heart Pine, or Douglas Fir – then the overall look. Antique grade will show the warmth, beauty, and character of aged wood more clearly, while rustic grade will show more of its history such as saw marks and a darker patina. Both will have at least some degree of variation, as well as character and dimension that only reclaimed wood can have.
Reclaimed wood wall panels can be used in a number of applications including walls, kitchen islands, bookcases, benches, and more. It’s important, though, that the area you are installing the wood panels on is in the right condition to accept them.
Reclaimed wood wall panels are heavy; these are made of real, solid pieces of wood, not a veneer. So, the substrate you install them on must be in good condition with no signs of softening, rot, or other issues. Make sure that the wall itself is dry and not peeling or flaking, as this can mean that the panels do not adhere to it properly.
Before installation, make sure that the walls are level, not bowing or sagging in any way. They should be free of any other surface material such as moldings or tile, and the drywall or plaster should be in good shape. The panels will be attached to the studs behind your current walls. This is particularly important if you are installing large panels; smaller pieces may be adhered using an adhesive combined with nailing techniques.
Applications and Design Ideas
Wall panels have been used for centuries, with some of the most popular types dating back to roughly 1880. They were typically considered a wainscot, or a way to protect the wall behind from damage.
Now, wall panels can be installed nearly anywhere to create a unique and interesting accent within the home. They can be installed on kitchen backsplashes, behind furniture, or around columns. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you can use wood to accent any room of the home.
Check out these nine design ideas to get a better concept of what may be available for your use.
1. Cabinet Accents
This contemporary kitchen uses reclaimed wood wall panels to accent the cabinetry and define the space. While a bold red island brings color to the room, the wood paneling in and around the kitchen add depth and contrast. It’s this juxtaposition of older wood and newer materials makes for a very interesting and unique space.
2. Full Wall Coverage
Wood wall panels don’t need to be confined to chair rail height or to accent walls. Used floor to ceiling in the majority of the room, the panels help bring a lot of warmth and richness to the space. In a large room like this one, the wood can have the effect of making the area feel cozier, rather than cold or sterile.
3. Bench Facing
Reclaimed wood panels don’t need to be used on the walls to have an impact on the space. These panels are used on the face of this seating area. The wood adds dimension and definition to the space, creating a cozy nook beneath the stairs for people to sit and converse.
4. Defining Spaces
In commercial settings, like this one, reclaimed wood wall panels can be used to outline and define areas. The wood here is used to call better attention to the wall displays. By being used above and around each inset area, the wood makes the displays stand out, adding contrast and depth to the design.
5. Textural Complement
While contrast is one way to create an impact in a room, it isn’t the only way to create a stunning design. In this space, the rustic wood wall panels complement the fieldstone and the style of the fireplace surround. Together, the two materials make a cohesive style and design.
6. Rustic Accent
The front paneling of this bar gets a makeover with rustic wood. The vertical application of the wood follows the contours of the bar and adds character at the same time. Areas like this one often look their best when they show some use and history; with reclaimed wood wall panels, you get instant character in the room.
7. Column Support
Office spaces like this one can often use a little character and interest to keep them from getting too impersonal. Installing reclaimed wood wall panels around this column adds just the right touch of warmth and depth to the room, but without overwhelming the space.
8. Accent Dividers
In large areas, sometimes the best way to define a space is to completely change the materials used there. To cordon off this section, reclaimed wood is used on the walls entering the new space. This technique not only adds interest to the room, it’s also attention gathering, letting people know that there’s something new in the area.
9. Outdoor Bar
Outdoor kitchens and bars need to complement the landscaping in order to create one, cohesive space. With the amount of nature in the outdoors, it makes sense to use materials like wood to help complement it. This rustic wood paneling adds interest without adding competition, letting it blend in well with its surroundings.
Update Your Home or Business with Reclaimed Wood Panels
Reclaimed wood wall panels add instant warmth, character, and interest to anywhere they’re installed. Consider using them in your space to dress up the décor and get the benefits of real wood for yourself.