Design Notes Archive

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion

One of our favorite things about old English houses is the abundance of wall paneling. Whether at chair-rail height, plate-rail or all the way up to the ceiling, millwork not only adds visual interest and depth to a room but a little paint can go a long way in transforming the wainscoting of yester-year into a thoroughly modern affair.

In one bathroom with a rather lofty ceiling, Brussels-based design firm Baden Baden swathed Georgian panels in misty blue as a way of grounding the space. Atop a classic tile pattern in a complementing palette, the resulting effect draws the eye in and practically cocoons the furniture. For New York designer Sara Story, red painted Arts & Crafts panels paired with Moroccan tiles and vintage lighting have an equally enveloping effect.

While you can commission a fully installed bespoke arrangement by the professionals, for the D.I.Y. type it’s an affordable (albeit time consuming) project that can be done with a bit of elbow grease and determination. James Mayor’s moisture-resistant MDF panels are a particular favorite. Simply supply your measurements and choose a style for a custom made kit that arrives at your door ready for painting and installation by your own hand. With materials sourced exclusively in the UK and each kit made locally by skilled craftsman, it’s our kind of company!

Photograph © Baden Baden, Sara Story