Wood Paneling is a design trend that has received quite a bit of attention this past year. Many may remember (and probably would like to forget) the wood paneling of the 70s , but wood paneling in its latest reincarnation is quite different, as the latest tones are a bit more grey and have more of a retro-vintage, somewhat industrial look and feel. I wrote about wood paneling not too long ago- one on the revival of wood paneled walls and the other on patchwork wood paneling, both of which are still popular and continue to get quite a number of page views. Today, I am covering the next thing in wood paneling – smart alternatives to wood paneling. Installing wood paneling not only can be quite a significant investment, but it can also be a big disruption in the home. It is also quite permanent, which is why many homes today still have the wood paneling of the 70s still installed in their homes. If you’ve spent the time and money, you’re going to keep it for a while, even if it is well past its design prime (and if I remember correctly, 70s style wood paneling was passé before we even entered the 80s) As a designer, permanent is a big turnoff as we designers want to be able to change things up on a whim . Any chance to get the look without the hassle AND without the price tag is a plus.
Wallpaper that Looks (and Feels) Like Weathered Wood Paneling
First up is Thibaut‘s Eastwood wallpaper – a deeply textured scrubbable vinyl wallpaper that not only resembles, but also feel like weathered planks of wood. I first stumbled upon Eastwood when I walked into the Thibaut’s High Point showroom last October, and I was blown away at how real it looks and feels. At $94 for a single roll, this is probably the closest one will get to the wood paneled look without breaking the bank. Here is Eastwood installed horizontally in my own living room. With it’s softly weathered, bleached wood effect, it compliments my eclectic mix of Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency decor just beautifully!
And this is a photo I shot of Eastwood this past fall, installed in the most common way – vertically, at Thibaut’s High Point Showroom.
Take notice of the realistic, deep textured wood grain that looks AND feels like real weathered wood planks, but has the added bonus of being able to be cleaned with ease.
If textured wallpaper is not your thing, Thibaut also has another wallpaper, Rodanthe, which has the look of weathered wood paneling, but is not textured like Eastwood.
Both Eastwood and Rodanthe are equally as beautiful, but there is something about texture that gets me every time, so you know which one is my personal favorite!
Peel and Stick Wood Planking
The next alternative to wood paneling is Stikwood, the world’s first peel and stick solid wood planking. Stikwood utilizes real hard wood. A variety of styles are available, ranging from bamboo to reclaimed wood, rustic to contemporary. The prices range from $8.00 per square foot for a new wood or bamboo, and goes up as high as $12.50 per square foot for a reclaimed wood. It is sustainable, VOC free, and is environmentally friendly, and it is easy to install with the pre-applied adhesive. In addition, it can be applied a number of ways – horizontally, vertically, or even in a herringbone pattern, which seems to be all the rage at the moment. The adhesive is rated for 10 years but keep in mind that if you do decide to remove it, prying is necessary and expect minor wall repair.
The two shots above I took at Young America’s High Point showroom last April, and I didn’t realize that it was Stikwood until I came across it on the Stikwood website. It has a rustic cabin appearance and is perfect for a boy’s bedroom.
So which one is my favorite, you ask? I love them both, but for different reasons. If cost is a consideration, wallpaper is the way to go because Thibaut’s Eastwood comes out to roughly $3.10 per square foot MSRP to Stikwood’s $8.00-$12.50 per square foot. If you’re doing a small accent wall or have an unlimited budget, using Stikwood would be a suitable solution, but if you need more coverage or need to cover every wall in a large room, using Thibaut’s Eastwood wallpaper as a wood paneling alternative would be the most economical solution, but is equally as beautiful. Also, keep in mind the type of area you are covering – if you are in a high traffic area, a scrubbable vinyl wallpaper such as Eastwood might be the way to go as it is extremely durable and is easily cleaned. Having two boys in my house, who LOVE to run their grimy fingers down the hallway walls when they are walking means that durable and cleanable is of utmost importance in my home.