How to Lighten a Wood-Paneled Room
Even though a room surrounded by timber paneling will evoke a lackluster, dull atmosphere, you can lighten the mood with a dose of decorating cheer. Introduce brightly colored furnishings, refresh dark-hued paneling and brighten the room with additional illumination to switch the ambiance.
Do a Switcheroo
Apply light-colored paint above the wood paneling to cover up outdated walls. Choose a neutral paint tone such as creamy ivory, almost beige, misty white or gray to offer a light backdrop for any decorating style. Prepare dark paneling with a shiny finish for painting by roughing up the shiny surface with a light sanding. Apply a primer prior to painting the panels to keep the dark wood tones from revealing through the new paint.
Create New Focus
Divert attention away from the timber walls. Put a watery-colored area rug above hard-surfaced flooring and then hang complementary curtains over the windows. The light-toned curtains and carpets reflect light across the room to create a narrower area. You can perk up paneled walls with outsized works of intriguing art, such as brilliant abstract paintings or framed prints in soothing pastel tones. Frame the prints with wide white matting to create a vivid contrast against the timber. Add mini focal points across the room, such as with a new vase of flowers, brightly colored pottery and brilliant-hued toss pillows.
Include metallic accent tables, large wall mirrors and silver-toned accents such as candlesticks, vases, bowls and lamps to rebound artificial and natural light across the room. Hang a sparkling crystal chandelier from the ceiling for illumination using a shiny touch. Install gleaming steel wall sconces on walls to get additional shimmer. Brighten up a dark corner with a shiny chrome torchiere floor lamp to elevate the room’s luminosity with a contemporary twist.
Introduce white to the gloomy wood room in spurts. Apply white paint into the doors, window frames, baseboards, molding and other trim pieces. White paint provides a light, contemporary contrast against dark-toned paneling. Decorate the region with white accessories such as wood blinds, area rugs, wall hangings and table lamps.