By Elly Leavitt and Liz Thompson

Published on June 26, 2018

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Photography by ADULTRUNAWAY.TUMBLR.COM

Lately, it seems like nothing’s more fresh than old school. Gingham, not just for picnic blankets or grandma’s tablecloth, is back for another season in the spotlight as one of summer’s foremost trends. Kitschy pieces from decades past are getting a modern revamp. And as for wood paneling? This traditionally dated style is feeling more mod than ever—provided it’s used correctly, of course. Take a look at some of our favorite examples of wood paneling this way of the ’70s.

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Photography by Cody Guilfoyle

Washed out

Light-washed wood is the perfect backdrop for art in this seaside Connecticut home. The washed out style of the wood makes the space feel light and airy rather than closed off, a risk you run when using darker shades of wood paneling indoors.

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

Small doses

Who says wood paneling has to be relegated to the wall? Test it out in a smaller (and less risky) way via your furniture. Tasting Table’s founder and CEO has the right idea with this tall and narrow dresser, used in his NYC apartment to fill up an empty corner in a functional way.

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Photography by Mason St. Peter

No-frills natural

Large panels of wood get no special treatment here. This unadorned look is perfect for a minimalist natural abode.

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Photography by DELIGHTFULL.EU

Geeling groovy

Yes, this is mid-century modern all the way. ’70s-style paneling pairs up with era-specific furnishings and a modern rug for a space that’s retro in the coolest way.

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Photography by Design Indulgence

Go for gray

Everything about this look is sleek and current. They’ve added a bit of rough wood paneling that gives the space a warm, grounded effect. The grey hue blends seamlessly with more modern bathroom elements like the minimalist hardware.

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Photography by Will Austin

Tunnel vision

Vaulted ceilings? Why not completely go for it by trimming the walls and ceiling in the same wood paneling? A bright tone is inviting and avant-garde.

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Photography by Design Sponge

Clean slate

If you have a wood wall you don’t know what to do with, add interest with a smoky hue like this deep slate blue. It goes smashingly with brass fixtures.

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Photography by Marcus Lawett

Mad for masculine

As far as wood paneling goes, it doesn’t get more Mad Men than this. You can almost imagine Don Draper living here.

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Photography by Ikea

Tile style

Large wood tiles are a new take on a wood paneled wall—plus, it looks great offset with other wooden pieces in lighter shades. This look begs for modern furniture and décor.

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Photography by Nexus Design

Dark meets light

This bedroom would be nothing out of the ordinary without that awesome dark wood paneling The fresh white paint jobs on the surrounding walls lends a pleasing contrast.

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Photography by Design Within Reach

Total trifecta

Super wide wood panels, a sputnik chandelier, and a cowhide rug walk into a bar…No joke, this look is seriously good looking.

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Photography by Lincoln Barbour 

Straw, stick, brick

A mid-century modern classic with wood detail on walls and ceiling pair up nicely with a dark brick fireplace. Add stripey pillows and a patterned rug, and you are good to go.

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Photography by Emily Henson

Dream woods

Wood paneling that may ordinarily be too rustic is nothing short of dreamy when teamed with bright colors, florals, and soft textiles. Here’s proof.

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Photography by Emily Henson

Spot-on color

So you want to steer as far away from rustic as possible, huh? And you want absolutely nothing to do with wood paneling, hmm? Take a look at this canary yellow wood paneled wall and get back to us.

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Photography by Lovely Life

In the rough

We dare you to try and resist curling up in this cozy nook. Rough hewn wood walls get a bit of dressing up with cozy textiles and fluffiness all around.

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Photography by Farrow & Ball

It’s an old new world

Darkly brooding paneling and furniture play against brass accoutrements.

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Photography by Corian Design

High style wood

If you are fortunate enough to have a bathroom with a view of this ornate paneling, don’t be afraid to go for the moody look and paint it a dark charcoal. You won’t be sorry.

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Photography by Athena Calderone for The Glamourai

Beautiful backdrop

Okay, we admit this over-the-top look is not for everyone. But for those of you with a love of color and an assortment of collectibles? A dark wood paneled wall makes nothing less than an ideal backdrop.

This story was originally published on June 28, 2018. It has been updated with new information.

See more old-school trends we still love:


Kitsch Is Trending—Here’s How to Bring This Tricky Style Home
12 Modern Ways to Decorate With Gingham
Is Art Deco the Next Mid-Century Modern?

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