9 On-Trend Ideas for Textured Wall Panels

Updated: Sep. 23, 2023

Designers love prescribing paint or wallpaper to quickly (and affordably) change the ambiance and look of a room in a short amount of time—but there's another intriguing, emerging trend that can really pack a wallop: textured wall panels. With a bit of elbow grease, you can add visual interest and dimension to almost any room, and accommodate nearly any decorating style, traditional to contemporary to modern.

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Brett Taylor Photography/Shutterstock

Put a Bead On It

Most people get introduced to textured wall paneling by beadboard, which is the term for the traditional type of wainscoting you see pictured here. Vertical lines draw the eye up, the horizontal chair rail protects your walls and you’re free to paint, hang art or otherwise decorate the wall space above. It’s also great for hiding a multitude of imperfect wall texture issues or adding traditional structure to an otherwise ho-hum room. Here are our complete how-to instructions for installing beadboard wainscotting.

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Lynne Ann/Shutterstock

Batten Down

Board and batten is like the little black dress of wall-dressing: It never goes out of style, and looks good with just about anything, from a leather Chesterfield sofa and club chairs to an angular Danish mid-century set.

This photo shows a board-and-batten exterior wall, but the concept for an interior wall is the same, wide boards covered at the seams by narrow (usually 2-inch) wood pieces called battens. Create a beautiful paneled wall over a weekend for less than $100.

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Marvelous Molding

This particular molding is like a modern take on Parisian style—more traditional Parisian style would be even more complex, with fanciful curlicues and multiple beveled edges. This refined take is more of a style chameleon, and it will play nicely with softer-lined bedroom furniture (think Victorian fainting couches) as it would with a commanding home office setting. Luxe Architectural offers panels to upgrade your doors, too. They offer both install-ready and DIY kits.

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Dariusz Jarzabek/Shutterstock

A New Angle

Here’s one statement wall in action: Texture alone does the heavy lifting, elevating a room even with a minimalist color palette. Many, but not all, wall panels are made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and come primed and ready for your own paint. See 10 other wall textures you can’t miss.

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Feel-Good Felt

Craving a softer touch? Inhabit has really cornered the market on 3D wall panels, thanks to their forward-thinking designs. The latest? These warm and cozy felt wall panels, which come in a rainbow of soothing, eye-catching colors. Bonus: They have acoustic properties, too.

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Warm It Up with Walnut

This is not the nightmare ’70s paneling you ripped out in a remodel years ago. Wood veneer planks have been re-imagined and the walnut in particular feels warm, bright and welcoming. Some come with installation as simple as peel and stick. Yes. Peel. And. Stick. New walls in a weekend! Don’t forget your ceiling! A tongue-and-groove wood ceiling can really cap off a room.

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Light a Fire

Consider adding to a room’s existing star feature to make it shine even brighter. Case in point: Framing out the fireplace with this subtle wave pattern draws attention while adding a gentle organic twist to soften interior lines and connect indoors to out.

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Level Up

Your stairwell probably isn’t the first place you think of to add a textured wall, but why not? Jump in with a bold pattern, such as this PVC tile, which is paintable, water- and dent-resistant; easy to install (some just require glue) and affordable. It takes this space up a level in more ways than one. Small spaces can also be great for creative paint—here are 10 colorful ideas to get you started.

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No list of textured wall panels would be complete without mentioning shiplap, which has positively exploded in recent years. (We’re looking at you, Chip and Joanna!) This horizontal wood paneling feels straight out of a modern farmhouse, especially in white, but will work nicely in a cabin, lakeside home and even a mid-century ranch house. Learn how to make shiplap siding on a tablesaw.