How to Design Interior Wall Panels

What You'll Need
Graph paper
Samples of materials to be used in paneling

You can have a lot of fun when you design your own interior wall panels. It’s much more satisfying that paying someone else to come up with the design and infinitely better than buying something from a store. Designing your own interior wall panels is a great way to exercise your creative side and you might well come up with something that suits the room much better than any commercial option.

Step 1 - Creating the Wall

Measure the wall you’ll be paneling and mark it out to a suitable scale on the graph paper. Make it large enough to work comfortably with samples but not so big that it’s difficult to wield. A good scale is around 2 inches to every foot. This will give you enough space to work freely and to see what your paneling ideas look like.

Remember, there are no cast-iron rules as to what you can do with interior wall panels. You can try unusual materials or mix and match your ideas to create paneling in several different styles. The more you think outside the box, the more likely you’ll create something that really pleases the eye and reflects your own personality.

Step 2 - Trying Materials

Start by trying fairly standard materials on the wall such as wood or textured wallpaper. Use small samples cut to the size of the wall on your graph paper to offer an idea of how it will eventually look. If something looks good, hold it up to the actual wall as this will offer a better idea of the how the interior wall panels will appear if a particular material is used to cover the entire surface.

Step 3 - Create Something Different

You could consider fabric panels which consist of fabric stapled around foam insulation boards that is securely attached to the wall. You can try to make up small ones and place them on your scale wall. Try making fabrics of different, yet complementary, fabric and try placing several of them side by side to fill the wall.

Step 4 - Borrow Ideas

Look through interior design magazines and books for inspiration for interior wall panels and don’t be afraid of borrowing the ideas you find there. Popular ideas usually involve cheap alternative to solid oak paneling or paints made to look like marble or stone. These are techniques you can copy yourself. Try it on test panels first before using them on your wall.

You can also look with a very critical eye at the houses of friends. Don’t be afraid to ask how they achieved an effect you admire and find out if they did it themselves or hired a professional. Try these ideas on your graph paper to see how it would look on your own wall.

Step 5 - Working With Wood

Wood is a standard material for paneling but try to look at the full range of options. Try thin reeds of bamboo, placed tightly next to each other along the whole wall for an Asian look that can be particularly powerful. Get some thin reeds, cut to size and try the design on the graph paper. You may wish to incorporate the design with a different wood in the middle. The beauty of working these things out on graph paper is that it allows you to try all the ideas easily without running the risk of making expensive mistakes.