How to Update Wood Paneling in Commercial Spaces

Revitalizing a commercial space with fresh wood paneling isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a transformative step toward redefining the environment in which businesses operate. This guide serves as your compass in navigating the vast sea of options and strategies to update wood paneling, ensuring your commercial space doesn’t just keep up with the times but stands out with timeless elegance.

The Essence of Modern Wood Paneling

Let’s start with the basics: understanding the essence of wood paneling. Traditionally, wood paneling brought warmth and character to spaces, but the old, dark, and often dated styles can feel oppressive in a modern setting. 

Today, updating wood paneling means infusing contemporary design with the warmth of wood, while maintaining a professional and sleek look. Contrasting light woods with cooler-toned elements like concrete, dark wall paints, and metals can create a more inviting space that inspires creativity and provides a more comfortable working atmosphere. 

Selecting the Right Type of Wood Paneling

The first step in this transformation is selecting the right type of wood. The market offers a plethora of choices, from rich oaks to light birch, each bringing a unique feeling to the room. 

Consider the existing color palette and lighting of your space. Lighter woods can brighten up a room and make it appear more spacious, while darker woods add sophistication and depth. 

Sustainability is also key. Opting for eco-friendly options like reclaimed wood not only adds a story to your space but also aligns with modern environmental consciousness.

Wood Textures

Texture plays a significant role as well. Gone are the days of flat, lifeless surfaces. Today’s wood paneling comes in various textures – from smooth and polished to rustic and hand-scraped. Textured wood paneling adds dimension and tactile interest, making the walls not just a backdrop but a focal point of your space.

Decide whether you want a wood with a rich grain or one that looks more even throughout. This will help you narrow down the type of wood species that best suits your design preferences. 

Choosing a Wood Panel Design

Now, let’s talk design. Modern wood paneling is not just about covering walls; it’s about creating an experience. 

Consider horizontal or vertical wood slat wall panels, or even diagonal installations for a dynamic touch. Mixing wood tones can add a contemporary twist, while a uniform look offers a more classic and cohesive feel. 

Also, wood doesn’t have to be confined to the walls. Think of ceilings and built-in furniture, using wood paneling to create a sense of continuity and flow throughout the space. Wavy, curved panels over ceilings can create a more free-flowing and vibrant energy. 

Lighting and Technology

Lighting is your ally in this upgrade. The interplay of light and shadow can dramatically alter the mood of a room. Use spotlights, track lighting, or even natural light to accentuate the textures and tones of the wood, creating an inviting and warm atmosphere.

Incorporating technology seamlessly into wood paneling is another aspect to consider. Think of integrated smart lighting, hidden compartments for wires, or even acoustically optimized paneling for meeting rooms. These features ensure that the functionality of your space is not compromised for the sake of design.

When you’re planning your project, determine parts of your wall surfaces where cutouts will need to be provisioned for. As an example, you may need to have cutouts in the wall panels to accommodate signage, screens, or other features that would otherwise compete for wall space. 

The Finishing Touches

When it comes to finishing touches, the choice of finish can greatly influence the final look. Matte finishes offer a modern, understated elegance, while glossier finishes bring a more traditional and polished look. It’s not just about the aesthetics, though. Consider the practicality – in high-traffic areas, a durable finish that can withstand wear and tear is essential.

Finally, remember that updating wood paneling is not just about following trends. It’s about creating a space that reflects your business’s identity and values. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek, minimalist look or a warm, rustic feel, the key is to create a space that resonates with the people who use it – a space that not only looks good but feels right.

Update Your Commercial Space’s Wood Paneling 

Updating wood paneling in commercial spaces is an opportunity to infuse new life and character into your business environment. 

By carefully selecting the type of wood, playing with textures and designs, smartly using lighting, choosing the right finishes, and integrating technology, you can create a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and faithful to your brand’s identity. Remember, it’s not just about the wood; it’s about the story it tells and the experience it creates.

If you are looking to update wood panels for your commercial, educational, or government space, choose our solutions at Rulon International. With over 30 combined certifications for sustainability, the ability to design bespoke solutions at scale, and years of experience designing for just about every vertical imaginable, let us be your partner in enhancing your space’s aesthetic. 

Get started by viewing our wood panel gallery or schedule a discovery call

how to update wood paneling



Discover 2024's
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Discover 2024's
Design Trends