Facing a panel

Panelling was developed historically as an effort to insulate and decorate old stone buildings.

It can be extremely ornate, incorporating carved, gothic patterns or very simple and minimal. Panelling can complement any style of building.

This beautiful living room is in the home of Jo Tutton Styling & Interiors

I love seeing it in contemporary homes. Preserving existing panelling in a period property is an obvious decision to me, but adding it to a new build or a relatively humble abode is a great way to inject character.

The kitchen in the image above is clearly in a period home, a Victorian villa, but Fife based designer, Donna Caira has added contemporary panelling to cover up a multitude of sins on a wall that was almost beyond repair. The simple lines are so punchy painted that vivid pink!

The bedroom above is in a new build, executive style home in a cul de sac. Designer, Donna Caira, installed the simple panelled effect behind the bed with MDF strips in a grid pattern and painted it a matt charcoal for a cool, contemporary effect.

Image supplied by designer, Emma Hoyle

Here is another example of a panelled bedroom, in a period property again this time. Edinburgh based designer Emma Hoyle has added a lot of warmth to the room with the addition of this classic wainscot style panelling using a palette of soft taupes. Here is the room before –

Image supplied by designer Emma Hoyle

It looks so much more cohesive now and ‘meant’ doesn’t it?

I came across this amazing home in Northern Ireland – fast becoming one of Douglas and I’s favourite design destinations!

A former rectory, the owner, Jayne Quigley has an instagram account called Beech Meadow Farm. Here is the hallway before –

The impact is amazing isn’t it?

I was delighted to have the opportunity to have a short interview with Jayne. All the images of Beech Meadow Farm are supplied by Jayne Quigley.

AG: Is the panelling original Or did you install it yourselves?

JQ: No, it is not original, we installed it in 2017. We are big fans of panelling in our house. Especially with such high ceilings here, it really helps to give lovely depth and character. 

AG: Can you tell me about the prep you did and the kind of paint you used? 

JAYNE: There are no straight walls in our house due to the age, so a lot of prep was required. Battens were placed onto the walls first to plumb them.

Sheets of MDF were then added to create a level surface and then finally each piece for the panelling was cut to size and routed to get the desired design.

Prep for painting the panelling for the first time took a lot of work. Our painter used a small amount of isopon to blend all joins, a filler more typically used to repair car body work – it was the only thing that worked well enough, sanded and then painted ‘Juniper Ash’ by Little Greene.  

AG: What was your thinking behind the scheme and your inspiration? 

JQ: We felt that a house of this age, would have typically had panelling. We knew it needed to be something that was the full height to add the depth and character and needed to be more bold, rather than a picture frame style. It took a lot of planning, sketching it out on paper, on the walls before we got to the stage of finalising a design that worked.

Changing the width of the panels, the width between the panels etc. By drawing the panelling on the wall first, we were able to understand how it would look around each doorway, this really helped us to pinpoint the best size to use. 

So perfect isn’t it?

All images, unless otherwise stated, are by Douglas Gibb


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