Interior design has experienced a renaissance with innovative new ways to incorporate reclaimed wood. Designers are recognizing that wood paneling doesn’t have to conform to the standard full-room or chair-rail applications. Reclaimed oak paneling and redwood paneling are making a big entrance in the design world as decorative accents and redefined traditional applications.

What are Reclaimed Wood Panels?

Reclaimed wood paneling is the same as traditional wood paneling, but with an eco-friendly twist. Instead of cutting down new trees, reclaimed wood paneling is made from lumber that’s had a past life but is still perfectly usable. This means prime pieces of lumber skip the landfill and get repurposed. Redwood paneling, for example, may be made from old wine casks. It’s hard to find virgin tight-grained redwood today, but you can enjoy its rare qualities just by choosing reclaimed varieties, which often come from old-growth trees. It’s an equally sweet deal for you and the earth.

Ideas for Using Reclaimed Wood Paneling

Create an accent wall. Reclaimed oak paneling is great for giving spaces a warm, rustic feel. Mix up the traditional design and give it a modern twist by lining an accent wall with panels in a different direction. If three of the walls have vertical panels, for example, use horizontally- or diagonally-placed panels on the accent wall. Additional ideas include placing the reclaimed wood paneling in a herringbone or mosaic-like pattern.

Use reclaimed wood paneling around a fireplace. In lieu of a traditional mantel, line the wall around a fireplace with a multicolored blend of wood panels that reach up to the ceiling. This technique will make your space appear larger and draw the eyes upward. Try this idea with fireplaces that have two exposed glass walls, or with double-sided fireplaces that divide a room.

Make bins or display stands. Give your store an earthy or rustic feel by using reclaimed wood panels that match the color scheme or tone (warm or cool) of your space to create unique-looking storage solutions.

Give ceilings a modern appeal. Create a space that has a country, shabby-chic, colonial or Victorian feel by lining a ceiling with reclaimed wood paneling. As with paneled walls, you can arrange wood panels on a ceiling in non-traditional or clever patterns.

Create a room divider. Save money on construction materials and create a partial wall out of redwood paneling (or panels in the color of your choice) to divide a large space.

Line bars, counters and kitchen islands. Give these items in your home or business aesthetic appeal and durability with your choice of reclaimed lumber. Since the wood panels are made from lumber proven to withstand a beating, your bar, island or counter will be kick- and bump-resistant.

Make custom doors and tables. Who says you have to use reclaimed wood paneling to beautify the construction of a room? Use this lumber to create sturdy, unique-looking doors and tabletops. If you want to give an entrance an old-world flair, consider using wind-worn textured paneling. Use redwood paneling for tasting room tables and matching room accessories.

Panel a staircase. Instead of using iron or wood balusters on a staircase, use reclaimed wood paneling between the newels. Choose paneling that’s uniform in color for a sleek look, or mix it up with reclaimed wood paneling in light or dark blends.

You can’t go wrong when you integrate paneling into your interior design, especially if the panels are made from eco-friendly reclaimed wood. These panels boast some of the strongest and most beautiful types of lumber available, without the guilt that comes with using freshly cut timber.