Love/Hate relationship with wood paneling

AliciaKOctober 5, 2012

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are purchasing a new house that needs some updating. There is a lot of dark real wood paneling (oak maybe?) on the walls. The house is a colonial style outside, tons of huge windows, built in 1977, 9ft ceilings on the main level, and large rooms. The house really hasn't been updated at all.

I have a love/hate relationship with the paneling. It is gorgeous in it's own right. But it lends itself to feeling more rustic, which isn't necessarily my style. My current home is a very traditional home (neighborhood setting) with medium stained maple woodwork, which I love. The new home is on wooded acreage so the setting is entirely different.

I'm trying to figure out a way to find the happy medium between maintaining the character and charm in the house and yet modernize it enough that my furniture doesn't just make it look odd.

I do not want to paint the woodwork, as I love stained...and I can't bring myself to painting the walls. I've had a couple of contractors looks at the paneling and they thought it was probably custom made and appears to be like 3/4' thick. It's definitely not cheap. The contractors recommended we sell the paneling, if we decide to remove it. There is an abundance of natural sunlight (6 6ft tall windows and 2 6ft sliders in the main living space), so it doesn't feel dark or 'cave-like'. So that's not an issue. And the main living area, which will be the eating area and great room, is approximately 25'x48'.

To add to the equation, I'm going to be renovating the kitchen and it's going to be open to the main living area. Currently it has the original oak kitchen cabinets. I just don't care for the oak. I have the opportunity to purchase new cabinets at an insane discount...unfortunately I have limited choices in stain colors so it's going to be a different color hue than what's currently installed. But it doesn't make sense to spend 5X's what I'm going to pay for cabinets to get another brand (we'll have about 120 linear ft of cabinets)...I would rather spend that money in some other updates to the house.

So my questions are as follows...any recommendations on how to bring some modern life into the living area with the paneling? Is there anyway to cover the paneling without making it permanent or destroying it? Any ideas on what to do, if you keep the paneling and end up with a cherry wood kitchen cabinets, on how to transition between the two areas and not look weird? Any input is greatly appreciated! Sorry for the long post :)

Here is a link that might be useful: House Pictures

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caminnc

Welcome and congratulations on your new home! I would remove the paneling and the carpet and use the wood on the floors. That way you could refinish the floors with a coordinating stain that would work with whatever cabinetry you pick. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:54AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It's a lovely room...so large and bright.

I can see where the paneling can feel overwhelming, though it is beautiful. I also don't see how, even if you eliminate the paneling, you're going to get totally away from the rustic feel with that wood stove.

You can leave the paneling and treat the room as if the walls were painted brown. Part of the issue I think is the stark contrast with the rug and the ceiling. If you get some more color in there, it will soften the brown. Once you add window treatments, wall art and furniture, I think it will be fine. You said your old house was traditional, so I'm assuming you have traditional furniture which can work here....you can blend of traditional and country colonial as certainly they were contemporary with each other. (Frankly I prefer an eclectic mix of styles rather than sticking rigidly with one as it makes a room more relaxed.)

Traditional Living Room design by San Francisco Interior Designer Brownhouse Design, Los Altos, CA

If you can't deal with the paneling, you certainly could have it removed. But then I think you'd have a large room, just like every other colonial....

You can do things like bring in book cases to look like built-ins to cover some of the walls.

You could have the walls quilted ($$$) and it could probably be done with a minimum amount of damage to the paneling underneath...a few holes where they tack up wooden strips. You could try temporary wallpaper, though the texture will still show through, you can change the look dramatically. I've had no experience with this, so can't vouch for removability. I've seen people put fabric on walls using liquid starch which is later very removable, but I have no idea what the starch might do to the paneling over the long term...and you'll still have the seams. You also have the option of doing 1 or 2 walls only and leaving the rest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tempaper temporary wall paper

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 7:46AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

The panelling is very taste specific. It sounds as if you don't care for it.
Just because it is quality doesn't mean you need to live with is to preserve it --- it's not the Sistine ceiling, right?

If it were me, I'd paint it a light color like off white or grey or cream. The room is a large box and the texture adds interest.

or, remove it and sell it

if you keep it as is, the floor and ceiling need to go darker to reduce the contrast

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:32AM
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Oakley

Maybe Bronwynsmom will chime in and post a picture of her LR with all creamy white paneling. It's to die for!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:43AM
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awm03

It looks like a fabulous house. The picture that shows the fireplace & the entry door -- beautiful! I see your dilemma though. One thing to consider: If the house is on a large wooded lot, that can lend a certain feel in itself and make rustic/country seem right. I never cared for country or rustic anything, but now I live in a wooded area with views of stone walls, wetlands, hills,& a variety of trees, and country/rustic works just fine in my house.

Look up paneled library of paneled den on Google Images and see if any of the pictures appeal to you or offer a style you can work with. Also look up painted paneled rooms to compare.

Your room is beautiful. It could look lovely either painted or left as is. I'm with AnnieD. though about reducing the contrast between the floor & walls & perhaps ceiling too.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:36AM
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mahatmacat1

I'm a great lover of paneling, if it's done well and the wood is left natural, maybe with a matte oil finish. The paneling in your house, while maybe thick and expensive, has been stained and polyurethaned to a semi-gloss shine. While it's not the worst of 70s faux paneling, it has also already been compromised and looks cheaper than it should. It's *not* befitting the rest of the style of your beautiful home.

If it were mine, if I wanted to keep it, I'd strip it completely back to natural oak and finish it with an oil, or even paint it with a Swedish milk paint kind of thing that lightens them and mattifies them out. The sheen has to *go*. No guarantees that you'd like it, though, and you'd be stuck with oak.

If you don't want to keep it, which I can completely understand and would probably be my choice even though I'm a paneling appreciator in general, I'd sell it and never look back. Put in a simpler, cleaner wall and use some of the money to buy the kitchen cabinets *you* want, which will go with your vision of the home. I can envision the room without that paneling and it's about 500 pounds lighter in feeling and dropdead gorgeous!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 6:07PM
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randita

Paneling dates a home, IMO, to about the 60's or 70's. If it were a basement or man cave, then it might lend the mood you want to the room. But in a living/family room, maybe not.

I'd remove it or paint it. If there's no drywall behind it, then it might definitely be cheaper to paint it rather than have the room dry walled. But if you could sell it, that would offset the cost of the drywall job.

Some people fill in the grooves, then paint it and it looks just like painted drywall. Some people just keep the grooves in it. Then just paint it the color you want in the room.

If you decide to paint it, consider an eggshell or satin finish rather than semi-gloss.

I had half paneling in the family room of my former home and to update it, I just painted it white and it looked like wainscoting. But full wall paneling is different.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. If it were me, I'd want to update the kitchen first. You can always attack the paneling at a later time.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:04PM
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AliciaK

Thank you everyone for you input! It's great to get other ideas.

Caminnc - We thought about doing wood floors, but we have two dogs (one is almost 80lbs) and I'm afraid his nails would destroy it in no time. And I'm one of those people that once I see the damage, it's going to drive me crazy until it's fixed. So it seems like tile is safer for my own sanity sake :) We also want to install a pool so having flooring that will hold up to water is necessary.

Mtnrdredux - Some days I think it's really cool and other days I hate it. I think it changes almost every time I'm in the house. My husband loves it and while he'll change it if I really want to, I know he wants to keep it.

AWM03 & AnnieDeighnaugh - We are having to remove all of the flooring as a result of a mold remediation. When I remodeled my current kitchen earlier this year, I put in Monocibec Graal Arras tile and absolutely love it. I was going to put it in again in the new house. The main level of our new house is 2000sq ft - I had thought about installing the tile throughout and then using huge rugs to add some extra dimension and warmth (thinking the thick, frizae style rugs from Pottery Barn). Then I ran across tile that looks like wood and thought that was an awesome idea...but was afraid it would be too much "wood" unless we removed the paneling. I think think it's a sweet idea though so I can't say I've completely eliminated the idea. We have two dogs (one is 80lbs) and want to install a pool so we need something that will hold up to the wear and tear. The house is on 5 acres - 4 of which is wooded. So I know it's going to be more rustic...I'm just trying to figure out how my stuff fits. I attached a picture of my current family room so you can see what I'm coming from - much different look!

Keep the ideas coming! It's a huge help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Monocibec Graal Arras

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:29AM
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polly929

I know you don't want to paint it. And I know it's considered a sin to paint wood. But I did just that. Our entire first floor was paneled in knotty pine. It was not original to our 1905 house, someone "modernized" it in the 50s. I know there are a lot of knotty pine lovers out there, I'm just not one of them, and it made me feel like I was in a cave. I knew I would paint it before we bought the house.

Here is before:

And after:

Another before (previous owners stuff):

And after:

Not the best lighting with my cell phone camera, but you get the idea. Painted paneling is not for everyone, but it suits the look I was going for.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:22AM
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gsciencechick

Take a look at Tinker2006's thread to see how good painted paneling can look.

But I really like your paneling, and there are ways to make it work. If the room gets lots of natural light and it looks like it does, I would work with more color accents with lighter furnishings to offset the darkenss of the wood.

OTOH, if you sold it, you would get some extra money.

But I would live with it for awhile before I make a decision.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:00AM
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lakeaffect

We have painted poplar paneling throughout our downstairs that we had put in when we built the house, I like a lot of visual interest and saw a pic in a mag that we copied. In addition to visual interest, it is very practical, you can hang anything anywhere with no worries about finding a stud or using Molly bolts (or whatever they're called).

Your room and home are beautiful but I would paint the paneling, cuz oak is not my fav wood. However, if you like the oak, I think you can make it work either way. Also, I don't know where you are, but IMO a large room like that with a tile floor would be echoy and cold. I understand about dogs, we have two, but have hardwoods oiled rather than done with a poly finish. No scratches at all, just a nice, matte finish.

Good luck-

Sandyponder

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Oakley

I have to agree with Sandy about the room echoing if you lay tile. We have two large dogs, one weighs 60 pounds, the other 50. We installed engineered hardwood, hickory which is the toughest, and neither dog has made one scratch, even when going bonkers when running or being goofy when one of us comes home. lol

A piece of furniture scratched the floor and we used those pens that cover scratches for wood flooring. I was looking for the scratch the other day and I couldn't find it.

My dogs are always coming in with wet paws from the rain or morning dew and it's an easy wipe.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:11AM
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barb5

I'm not sure your paneling is oak. But I don't know what it is. The dentil crown is beautiful and would be very expensive to replace. And I don't know if your paneling is high gloss of if the bit of shine in the pic is from flash or light coming from the windows. I think the key to the success of the room is all the natural light.

I look at my LR with its drywall, and I wonder why anyone would take down that quality of paneling to get what I have: a wall that looks like every other house everywhere.

I think your light colored furniture would look good in that room. Check out the pic that AnnieD posted. The light colored couch brightens the brown walls.

I personally wouldn't do anything hasty with that room. I agree with living with it for awhile and then make decisions.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:14AM
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lee676

IMO nothing shouts "cheap slapdash remodeling job" like painted panelling. If you don't like the stuff, remove it and replace with drywall, then paint that. If you have cheap '70s veneer-over-MDF paneling, you wont even need to add drywall because that stuff was so thin it couldn't be attached directly to the studs. I craiglisted the thick, hardwood paneling in a recent wall removal and got a sizable quantity of $ - high-quality new paneling is expensive and the demand seems to be rising. And why not? Nothing quite warms up a room like wood paneling.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 9:43AM
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porkandham

I don't think painted paneling necessarily looks like a "cheap slapdash remodeling job." My breakfast room was originally a small den with 1950s pine paneling. I'm so glad the previous owners painted rather than remove it. It adds wonderful texture. The walls are painted white, and I imagine it would be quite boring without the texture.

My parent's house was built in the 1960s and their family room has paneling similar to the OP's. It was painted along with the brick fireplace by a previous owner. The texture really adds to the room, and it would be cave like if it hadn't been painted a light color.

Generally I like painted woodwork unless the house has historical significance or the wood is really superb. We almost bought a house that had the most amazing mahogany judge's paneling in the small den/family room The plan was to build a larger family room off the kitchen and turn the den into a study/office/library. I wouldn't have considered painting that wood. It was spectacular!

If it was my house, I'd paint it and install hardwood floors - evn with dogs.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:50AM
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ttodd

Not a lot of time to post - it's Saturday soccer time, but I wanted to through this picture in. Didn't have time to read all of the responses or exactly what you were looking for - just skimmed. Sorry!

Source: Uploaded by user via Tiffani on Pinterest

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:52AM
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awm03

I don't think painted paneling looks cheap & slapdash in the least. We've painted paneling in two homes & I thought it looked wonderful -- added a subtle background texture to otherwise dull rooms. You see painted paneling in high end home decor, too.

But I love unpainted paneling too, if you have the decor to pull off a library retreat/English country home look AND if the paneling is good looking to begin with. AliciaK's paneling is nice enough to work with, if that's what she chooses.

I think tiled floors would look really luxe in this room if you have plenty of rugs, drapery, & upholstered pieces to soften it. Throw in some chandeliers & sconces & art work into the mix, & you've got a nice country estate vibe. I looked up the Monocibec Graal Arras tile -- great looking tile!

Do you like the views out the windows? The dark unpainted paneling emphasizes the views; dark surfaces recede visually. If you have a nice looking property, that would be a decorating feature to consider.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:59AM
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awm03

several good ideas in one picture:

Beams for the ceiling & wainscoting perhaps? I love the color & the wrought iron chandy too.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:32AM
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polly929

I just love when someone posts pics of their home (me), And another poster comes along with an opinion, which they are completely entitled to, but it is quite insulting the way it is written. "Cheap and slapdash" could have easily been written differently with a little more tact. You may have well just written- Hey polly what a cheap and slapdash job you did with updating your home.

Perhaps the fake thin wood paneling may look like a quick remodel, but when real wood is painted and painted right, it adds a lot of texture to the walls, and can look quite beautiful as it does in the picture above posted by awm03.

I still think the OPs room will look beautiful painted. But another poster suggested stripping it to lighten it up, and I think that's a great idea too.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:51AM
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kswl2

I don't think painted paneling necessarily looks like a "cheap slapdash remodeling job."

Nor do I--- I love the look of painted paneling. And some people actually install new, higher quality wood paneling that is intended to be painted. I think your room would look fabulous with those walls painted a creamy color. I'd do it in a red hot minute.

Congrats on your new house!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:53AM
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eandhl

I agree, good wood paneling looks great painted. Just look at the nice room awm03 posted. If you don't really love it, don't live with it. Personally I would paint it to add interest in a wooded setting rather than remove it.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:19PM
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hilltop_gw

I recently watched an episode of Holmes on Homes and his comment was "do it right the first time". Don't dance around the issue by painting it or trying to live with it if it's not your style. Admit it and move on. You'll have a mess due to the kitchen reno anyway, so do it up right and enjoy it.

It's a beautiful space - enjoy your new home!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:54PM
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ttodd

'throw not 'through'.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I would agree with painting it if it was in poor condition or very dated like knotty pine or a bad color....but I think this is a lovely and warm shade of brown that would be reasonably easy to work with.

I would find the fireplace area more difficult to deal with

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Rich looking...

More traditional....

And I like that it's not cookie cutter.

I think one thing that troubles me is the paneling keeps going into the foyer area with little relief. Perhaps coming up with a way to remove the paneling in the foyer and the area behind the fireplace and have a nice transition to paneling in just this room may work.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 1:46PM
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awm03

I like the fireplace area! It's more handsome than beautiful or elegant. You could work with it, though: the brick is attractive, the stone mantle is cool, and the fireplace serves as a room divider, which is kind of interesting spatially. Nice counterpoint to the airiness of the entry door. It could look nice painted too (another thread for discussion, probably).

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:01PM
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AliciaK

Thank you everyone for you input! It's great to get other ideas.

Caminnc - We thought about doing wood floors, but we have two dogs (one is almost 80lbs) and I'm afraid his nails would destroy it in no time. And I'm one of those people that once I see the damage, it's going to drive me crazy until it's fixed. So it seems like tile is safer for my own sanity sake :) We also want to install a pool so having flooring that will hold up to water is necessary.

Mtnrdredux - Some days I think it's really cool and other days I hate it. I think it changes almost every time I'm in the house. My husband loves it and while he'll change it if I really want to, I know he wants to keep it.

AWM03 & AnnieDeighnaugh - We are having to remove all of the flooring as a result of a mold remediation. When I remodeled my current kitchen earlier this year, I put in Monocibec Graal Arras tile and absolutely love it. I was going to put it in again in the new house. The main level of our new house is 2000sq ft - I had thought about installing the tile throughout and then using huge rugs to add some extra dimension and warmth (thinking the thick, frizae style rugs from Pottery Barn). Then I ran across tile that looks like wood and thought that was an awesome idea...but was afraid it would be too much "wood" unless we removed the paneling. I think think it's a sweet idea though so I can't say I've completely eliminated the idea. We have two dogs (one is 80lbs) and want to install a pool so we need something that will hold up to the wear and tear. The house is on 5 acres - 4 of which is wooded. So I know it's going to be more rustic...I'm just trying to figure out how my stuff fits. I attached a picture of my current family room so you can see what I'm coming from - much different look!

Keep the ideas coming! It's a huge help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Monocibec Graal Arras

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 3:36PM
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tinan

I think the situation is complicated by the fact that your husband loves it and wants to keep it. Everyone is saying don't live with it if you hate it... but what about her husband? I was prepared for the ugly stuff when I opened the thread but when I looked at the photos I thought that is some of the nicest panelling I have ever seen.

I don't think removing it and selling it would be practical - it would be very difficult to remove without damaging it, and the buyer would have to have similar size walls, a lot would be wasted in cutting to size, etc.

So I think you should either keep it as is for now, see how you like it with new flooring and a painted ceiling, and your furniture. You can always paint it later!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:26PM
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randita

You might want to look at the wood flooring that looks "distressed". Then you wouldn't have to worry about the dogs scratching it up.

In the right setting, I think that type of flooring looks really cool. It would be as easy as tile to clean up and as long as you mop up the water promptly, no problem. You'd want to mop water off tile promptly as well, so it wouldn't be slippery.

But I do think that wood flooring AND wood paneling are too much so if you decide to keep the paneling, tile or carpet would be better.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 10:41PM
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lee676

> "Cheap and slapdash" could have easily been written differently with a little more tact. You may have well just written- Hey polly what a cheap and slapdash job you did with updating your home.

Did you miss the "IMO"? That's all it is - one person's opinion. Not the gospel truth. And even if it was, really, I don't judge people by
their tastes in wall coverings.

FWIW, I don't care for knotty pine either. Apologies in advance to anyone who loves the stuff.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 5:06AM
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arcy_gw

I read DH loves it, you are undecided. To me that screams give it a TRY! You asked about making your furniture fit..I would have to relax, move in, see what you end up with. Your color scheme flows from one house to another. You just have MORE of the wood but with the white floor and light furniture it may work. I have mixing wood issues. You said the kitchen will open up to this area. Assuming you keep the trim in the room it still needs to look married to the kitchen IMHO. Before I removed the paneling I would try painting. It is less mess and a fast inexpensive fix. We had a '70s basement with DARK, heavy, rough sawn paneled wains-cotting. The cave look just doesn't work for me. We painted, added wider baseboard and chair railing. I love it. Is there any chance you can convert the wood stove to a fire place? I think that is the piece that forces the room into a style that fights your present furniture. Most people with wood floors do a more durable surface at the outside entrances it seems.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:34AM
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Oakley

Alicia, your family room picture didn't show up. After looking at the larger picture of your room, I say keep the paneling as is. I didn't notice those stunning windows in the smaller picture. No way would I paint the paneling in there. However, I'd spiff up the FP mantel a bit.

Back to flooring. Like I said, I have two big dogs also, they have slid, done circles, brought in water on their feet and left pools of drool on the wood floor. Engineered. Nothing. However, one of my big dogs got loose when the floor was beig laid, ran to the LR, and proceeded to slide in fresh glue. Off to the vet we went! lol

You would probably add an area rug or two, so that helps quite a bit. I honestly think if you lay tile in that room it just won't be the same warm room you have now.

Maybe some fellow dog owners w/wood flooring can chime in.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:06AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The absolute first thing I would do is add additional lighting to the room. The cans that are there are the old fashioned ones, and there aren't enough of them. Also, and this may sound counter intuitive, but when you have a lot of large windows and natural light, it actually makes a room feel darker when you are more than about 10' from those windows. The windows create such a bright area, that the rest of the room seems dark in comparison. So, upping the artificial lighting, especially in the areas away from the windows, and using "wall washers" to put light directly on that wood, will take the space to a much more comfortable level where everything seems brighter.

Do the lighting, as it will need to be addressed regardless, and then pick a darker color for the ceiling. Lowering the contrast between the darker walls and lighter ceiling will actually make the room see larger, rather than the choppy feel it gets from having so much white overhead when the walls are dark. By the time you've done those two things and replaced your flooring and filled the room with furniture, I think you'll be happy enough with it. The only other suggestion that I might make would be that the walls and woodwork being the same exact tone aren't helpful to defining the room's boundaries. At some point, I'd want to refinish one or the other and choose a lighter or darker tone for one or the other.

You might also investigate cerused oak, as that would be a great compromise between lightening up the room with paint and keeping the wood for your husband. It can be a DIY job, and if you're on a budget, it probably should be a DIY, as it's not going to be cheap to have done. But it is a gorgeous way to emphasize the grain of the wood without it being so dark. The "easy" way to accomplish it with what you have there is to start by having the walls lightly sandblasted as that will remove the existing too shiny finish and expose the grain. There are a lot of choices in base color, with some even choosing almost black. To keep the "pink 80's whitewashed" look to a minimum, you want to have something with a hint of green to it to tone down the red in the red oak.









    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 10:48AM
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bronwynsmom

As requested, our previous living room (thank you, oakley...!), which was dark knotty pine paneling - also high quality, random width, beaded boards. As you see, we painted it a warm creamy ivory.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:50PM
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bethohio3

bronwynsmom--I love that room--it's so inviting! The texture of the paneling is really lovely.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:30PM
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mahatmacat1

holly springs (do you live in NC? We lived there briefly) -- you've educated me today. I always wondered what the name of that treatment was, and I thank you for posting it. It always catches my eye, and seems (to me) rather modern and a good compromise between painting and wood tone.

Off to research "cerused" wood finish...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:04PM
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jlj48

Just wanted to chime in that I agree with trying to live with it or make it work simply because your husband loves it. A restaurant we used to live near had fabulous walls that I always wanted to copy. It had nice dark wood paneling 3/4 the way up the wall with nice molding at the top. Above the paneling the walls were painted a light color. Your eye traveled up and the break up on the walls added a lot of interest. It also gave a nice place for artwork. Although I liked how it looked, I loved the idea of kids hand prints NOT SHOWING on my walls, and having my pretty artwork up high. Wish I had a picture.
Just don't be in a hurry. Take your time and live with it for awhile while you explore the different possibilities for the room.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 3:08PM
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bronwynsmom

Thank you, Beth. I loved that room, too. The long windows with the true divided lights were annoying to wash, but saved the rather ordinary proportions of the room - it was really about two feet too narrow. We painted the brick hearth and the brick around the firebox matte black, and took out two of the three ceiling beams. We'd have taken the other one, too, but it was holding up the second floor at that end of the house.

The room was just too small to manage the sort of English clubroom feeling that the original owners were trying to achieve. All that wood and brick just made it claustrophobic.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 6:21PM
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AliciaK

I love the ideas! I'm definitely going to try and work with the area before I do anything drastic. We're fortunate (and unfortunate depending on how you look at it ha) that we haven't sold our house yet so we can stay here if we decide to make any messy changes over at the new house.

I was over at the new house this morning as they've started the mold remediation so the carpet on the main level has been pulled out. The room looks very different with the bright white carpet gone and the warmer color of the OSB floor. It makes it a little easier to imagine how it would look with different flooring.

AMW03 - We have a great view look straight out into trees! I attached a pic. We have a huge creme colored microfiber sectional that I am planning on putting in the room. I'm planning on buying some new rugs and curtains - the few rugs I currently have won't be big enough and the curtains I have are too short. So that gives me a chance to bring in different colors. My current color palate is the golds, browns, greens, reds, and creme colors. I really like the idea of the beams across the ceiling like in the picture you posted. The mantle is actually just a slab of wood - doesn't appear to have been treated or anything. And it doesn't match any of the wood. Just thrown up...seems a little unfinished. I'd like to do something different to tie it in a little better. It's only about 4" wide so you can't put or hang anything on it.

Hollysprings - I agree completely with the lighting and painting. The can lights are just in weird places. We are going to redo the lighting in the kitchen so I'm hopeful that we can do the two areas at the same time. But it definitely needs more lights. I've been looking at different ceiling colors. I think right now it's painted that stark ceiling white.

Bronwynsmom - Your room is beautiful!

Joanie38 - Very true statement about the walls - I hadn't thought about that yet!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 4:16PM
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work_in_progress_08

Another poster here who has painted paneling and never looked back. DH found our home on the first day it was listed. When I did a first walk through, the dark paneled wall in the LR was going to be a dealbreaker for me. DH assured me that once it was painted, it would look totally different. As soon as we made settlement, one of the first things we addressed was that one wall in our LR. DH was right. Also, I agree with painting your ceiling the same or one shade lighter of the wall color you choose, should you decide to paint your paneling.

Having huge windows on our first & second floors, our views are similar to that you posted. Our home is situated on a 3 acre wooded property.

With regard to the hardwood floor, I will tell you that I've had 100 lb labs since I've lived in this house (2 & 3 at a time, LOL), and hace never had a problem with their nails and the hardwood. We also have an inground pool and the dogs together with many different aged kids over the years who've spent plenty of time in, without making a pitstop to dry off before taking a run into the house. No damage whatsoever.

I would live with the paneling for a bit. Then, if you both hate it, either give painting it a whirl, or totally remove it and hang drywall. I really don't see the benefit of removing the paneling to sell. Sadly, IMHO, installing drywall in those spaces will just serve to make them appear as those in many development homes, which isn't what I believe you're looking for either.

Great points were made about the large windows and issues with lighting despite them. I've dealt with that in my own home. When you live in a wooded setting, you need to address avoiding a black hole look at night as well as any daylight issues with large expanses of glass.

Please keep us posted (w/pics) on your progress. Congrats on the new home. I love the privacy that our property affords us, as well as the awesome views of the changing seasons and all sorts of wildlife. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:35PM
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wi-sailorgirl

We did a half-house remodel almost two years ago now and actually went to great expense to have the random-width wood paneling in our house custom made so that we could then paint it. I'm relatively certain it was original to our 1938 home.

As others have said, paneling is either a look you like or not. I never would have expected to like it but it suits our house and obviously its something we love or we wouldn't have gone through the massive hassle we did to get it made and painted.

This isn't the best picture of the paneling, but you can see it on the wall to the right and on the wainscoting. It continues on the wall above upstairs (open to the living room) which is where we had to have it recreated.

As for wood floors with dogs ... have no fears. I have two Newfoundlands for a total of 275 pounds of dogs and the floors look great. We had them refinished 10 years ago and so far so good. They are a very light color, which I think helps. Also we put tile in the kitchen where the back door is, so most of the dirt/water, etc. is off their feet by the time they get to the wood floors.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 11:22PM
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bronwynsmom

Newfies! What lovely dogs.

Completely off topic...I also love Great Pyrenees, and during one phase of my extreme youth, I thought it would be too cool to have one Newfie and one G.P., so I could walk one huge black dog and one huge white dog around the park...happily, I got over that affectation!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:10PM
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mahatmacat1

wow...we have cats and their claw marks are completely visible on our white oak floors, around corners where they've tried to slow themselves down to make the turn. They don't weigh anything near 100 lbs, not even together :)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:31PM
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tinam61

Perhaps engineered wood is different Fly? I don't know. We have wood floors (real wood nail down kind) and a dog. But our dog is about 10 lbs. I've not seen any scratches. I did make a little dent by knocking something off the mantel!

To the original poster - I think painted paneling can be beautiful. I also think that the tile floor - with your pets and more so with a pool, might be just what you need. Especially since you have it now and know you love it. I think you can add to the warmth with rugs. You can also insulate underneath the floors. We have a basement and we insulated under all our wood floors (and tile) mainly for energy efficiency, but I would say it would help with sound also.

All that said, I might live with the unpainted paneling for a while and see how you like it. Put in your floors, furniture, etc. and see what you think. You can always decide to paint later.

Please keep us posted on what you do - lovely home!

tina

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:18PM
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jab65

Absolutely gorgeous view from your windows. I'd keep the panelling, bring in your cream-colored furniture, soften the walls with window coverings, and bring in those beautiful out-door colors in your rugs, pillows, and art. Also agree that the lighting and a different mantle will really help.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:54PM
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tinan

Real wood holds up quite well to dog nails - some variation among wood species of course. Engineers floors IME do not - scratched within weeks by little cats claws. it also dented if you dropped anything on it, and warped if you got any water on it. Ours were shaw walnut - beautiful but IMO not tough enough to be floors. We have never had any other floor show wear from our cats' claws!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 3:56PM
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tradewind_64

ITA with Flyleft that good wood paneling can be gorgeous in an understated matte finish. To my eye, a shiny clear coat detracts from the earthy beauty, and is never necessary unless it's a houseboat:)

But painted paneling can have its own charm, too.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:49PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I would paint it. Agree about no worries re: dogs and hardwoods.

OT. We had a Newf when I was kid. They are amazingly wonderful dogs. Bronwynsmom, my best friend growing up had a Newf and a Great Pyranees. I always thought that was a cool pair of pups!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 8:21PM
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