Introducing Wood Panelling {And A Dream Dressing Room}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Our cottage curves around a corner. This means that the kitchen and the room above it (the guest bedroom) have what is essentially, a kind of diagonal slanted wall. Some may view this as a cute quirk or a unique feature where as for me personally, it just hurts my eyes.

In the fullness of time it was always the intention to “straighten” these walls internally with a method that would provide some kind of storage facility in the void space that would automatically be created by correcting the angle.

The kitchen curves will have to wait until we fully extend and re-model the downstairs but for those of you that follow me on instagram, you may know that I have managed to persuade my long suffering husband, that the guest bedroom should also serve as a dressing room for yours truly. I am very much an advocate of your home working around the way you want to live, and not sticking to traditional expectations of what particular spaces ordinarily should be used for.

I would use a dressing room every day, and it would make me very very happy indeed. I would see it as a small sanctuary where I could disappear for a while and have some time to faff and make myself look presentable, ready to face the reality of the daily grind where I endeavour to run a business, maintain a semi-organised household and juggle a crazy three year old and a newborn.

The family home I grew up and where my parents still reside, has a dining room with beautiful oak panelled walls. When I occasionally have a video call with the team from there they joke it looks like a posh library or a place of sumptuous grandeur. I have never really considered introducing panelling to my own abode until faced with this slightly peculiar on-the-wonk situation. I figured panelling would a) look lovely b) I could paint it a colour to make a bit of a statement c) I can have “secret” cupboards within it to store shoes, bags and all sorts of trinkets.

I have also decided to introduce a panelled wall in the nursery – purely for aesthetic reasons. And as we were considering having bespoke cupboards in the snug/playroom we’ve put together all of the required details and have already had a quote from a carpenter. He is coming over this week to take final measurements and discuss and draw up the exact design.

I am very excited. A dedicated dressing room is like a childhood dream. I am finally fulfilling my 13 year old self’s obsession with MTV cribs-esque fantasy. It feels like a small personal victory and a reward to myself for it being exactly a year to the day since my book Your Day Your Way was released.

In the header image above you will see a snowy depiction of my curve-around-a-corner cottage and my Sunday colour scheming “shelfie” effort which I’m hoping to achieve in the aforementioned room of girlhood dreams. I bought a “colour fan” book from Farrow & Ball over the weekend and am officially in love with Oval Room Blue. I have also purchased a rather fancy sofa bed from (sadly seemingly no longer available) so I can drape (also see “throw haphazardly and leave in an untidy pile”) my garments across it as well as provide somewhere for friends and family to kip overnight.

Do you have a wooden panelled wall? What was your childhood fantasy in terms of imagining ” The house you would live in when you were a grown up”? And what are your thoughts on Oval room blue? I’m also a fan of “Pigeon” but I may keep that for the nursery/and or the snug cupboards.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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32 thoughts on “Introducing Wood Panelling {And A Dream Dressing Room}

  1. Ah this will be lovely! I have always wanted to live in a house with two different staircases! I just love the thought of choosing how to go upstairs…

    1. Hi Bex, I used to have two staircases! It was quite novel for a while but a pain to have to hoover two sets of stairs!

  2. Also obsessed with panelling here as we’re doing the boot room as our first inside project (white tiles down a mud track – clever previous owners) and my current obsession is panelling that fits with an early Victorian cottage. Lots of the panelling I see on Instagram is very Georgian and I’m not sure it would go? Thinking more a tongue and groove behind the coat hook to protect the wall from mud splashes. If anyone has any tips let me know.

    We’ve just gone with Ikea for the playroom. Didn’t seem to make sense to pay £3k for built in units which we’ll only use until the kids are 6 or 7. Imagine as they get older we’ll change the space into a library and second study.

    1. Good grief Rebecca, 3K? we’ve been quoted less than that for all of the carpentry in all 3 rooms.

      Choose the panelling you like the most – tongue and groove sounds nice, but then Ikea doesn’t fit with the Victorian era either so I don’t think panelling that is of the Georgian era would matter one bit as long as you like the way it looks.

      1. Bloody hell. Book them NOW!

        Ours came out as super expensive and we had 3 quotes for comparisons. We’re Cheshire so I don’t know if that makes a difference. I think sometimes they see the size of the house and think “they have money we’ll just whack on some extra” although we don’t and its going to be a long term project.

        We wanted proper cupboards almost wardrobe like that wrap around the room. I didn’t think the quotes were that bad as the Jali people Lauren has used came up at £2.4k for something similar and that wasn’t even bespoke.

        Colour wise, I’ve been stalking Lauren’s white posts. We need LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT in our house. I’m not brave enough for colour.

        And yeah, I am trying to eliminate Ikea from the house but it was £85…..

    2. We did tongue and groove walls in the nursery of our previous house, I LOVED IT and am looking forward to doing it again in our small WC and possibly our back hall in our new house. We just measured and bought the room and got the wood at the local wholesaler, we finished the top with a ‘hockey stick’ (I think that’s what it’s called). My Father in Law fitted it for us and then we painted it in a grey/mauve colour. I think it total it cost us £120 for the room. xx

  3. This sounds absolutely amazing. Having recently moved and eagerly begun making plans to transform our home into our own, RMS is basically becoming my bible. I’ve already harassed Lizzie about her in-between-wardrobe dressing table, the hubby and I are settled on attempting Lauren’s DIY alcove shelving for the lounge (very unlike two DIY amateurs), Rebecca’s big open plan kitchen is the stuff of my dreams when we get round to slightly remodelling the kitchen / diner, and now I am lusting after your wood panelling ideas Charlotte!! What a stylish bunch you are, I’m SO excited to see progress pics and probably copy with pride 🙂 xx

    1. ha ha copy away! And DIY is very brave, James and I are officially useless so need all the tradesman help we can get 🙂 Your home is going to look fab x

  4. A dressing room is the dream!

    In terms of wooden panelled walls in our abode, I would love to have a tounge and groove hallway to protect the walls from all the welly scuffs and pushchair-bashes. x

    1. Oooh sounds lovely! It’s our stairs that seem to get the most bashing, and with the impending arrival of the baby it’s only going to get worse…. x

  5. Another fab of oval room blue. We’ve just moved into a period house that needs ALL the decoration and updating and, after three rooms being painted different shades of light grey (!), I’m taking the plunge with oval room blue in the study. It’s so rich but fresh. Now to go away and research wood panelling for our guest bedrooms…!

    1. Rich but fresh! That’s exactly it Katherine – I love it. Your home sounds like an amazing project, please do send us some pictures along the way x

  6. LOVE wood panelling! Hoping to panel our hallway when we do it up and tongue and groove the bathrooms and back hall! It’s cheaper than tiling and I love how it looks. Love your choice of colours. The previous owners had painted the walls in the kitchen in F&B ‘Bone’ which isn’t unlike pigeon, but more a green grey than a blue grey, and I love it. Not sure I’d have been brave enough but so glad they did it and it has inspired me to be bolder with my choices.

    1. Ooo Helen I’m not sure I’ve really investigated bone…*goes off to investigate the colour fan* 🙂

  7. I am really keen to add some panelling to our bedroom, just need to work on my husband who doesn’t really see the point of adding something that is ‘purely decorative’ especially as he’d be the one doing the work! This is my inspiration photo if you are interested…

    1. Kirsty that’s lush – I’ve been to a Neptune store and Oh my goodness I wanted it ALL. I think as long as you can get the panelling done at a reasonable price it’s a similar concept to wallpaper, and I’ll probably grow bored of it less quickly…..or at least that’s the reasoning I’ve used to persuade him indoors x

  8. I have been longing for panelling on the hall, stairs and landing for quite some time. I don’t think it will be happening. I don’t want to pay somebody to do it and I think it will be beyond us. I am consoling myself with ideas of calamine on all walls, doors and skirting and bits of black dotted around. Not sure how exactly that will work yet.

    Oval room blue is a contender for my living room once that is plastered and has built ins sorted. I currently have ammonite which I’m actually loving more and more as time goes by, but I want a light grey sofa and don’t want it to blend into the wall. I’m thinking of a lighter blue on the wall and then hits of midnight blue around the room.

    I can’t imagine pink and blue flowing very well though – might end up feeling like a nursery. I shouldn’t be thinking about this anyway – I have a kitchen to deal with and a bathroom currently undergoing its second bout of redecoration 😳

    1. I’ve thought the same about pink and blue, but I think it largely depends on the shades. The blue we’re having is quite rich and the pink will be more of a faded rose type shade – we also have charcoal thrown in to make it look less soft/slightly erm…..edgier?! it takes time to put these things together doesn’t it. I do my own head in about it 🙂

  9. Ooh I love a bit of panelling! In my dreams, not in reality yet, but when I win the Lottery and can buy an enormous house in the country there will be panelling!! I like Oval Room Blue, we have a brighter blue (Fired Earth’s Blue Ashes, not sure if it is a current colour or not?) in our spare room (soon to be the baby’s room) and it is wonderful, it makes me so cheerful every time I go in there. I’m quite a fan of F&B’s Inchyra Blue and am waiting for an excuse to repaint our lounge, hopefully in the next year, but paired with pigeon too. I look forward to seeing the results!!

    1. Annie Inchyra is the paint tag on my shelves to the far right – also lovely. I’m glad to hear a colour makes you feel cheery, I feel that’s what our home needs a bit of, at the moment it’s grey, grey and grey and does lack personality if I’m honest x

      1. I think even with grey you can jazz it up with accessories, I say go bold although I appreciate not everyone likes that style!! We have a grey master bedroom, but we paired it with bright yellow (almost chartreuse) curtains and cushions to add a serious pop of colour, everything else is grey or white. My LO’s room is a pale green colour, but paired with hints of coral (and she is about to get a navy blue design on her wall if I get my act together!), the spare room is the blue I mentioned above, and our kitchen, although essentially a bright white box, has bright yellow chairs, a navy sofa and red cushions. Small details but they make all the difference to me. Even with more subtle colours, I think you can easily add some personality to grey, which I love btw, but I agree sometimes it just needs an injection of something extra to bring it to a new level. I’m sure whatever you choose to do will be lovely.

      2. We’ve used Oval Room Blue in our living room and have just repainted the kitchen units in Inchyra Blue (you can see both on my insta The one thing I would say is that the colours change so much in different lights, and I actually prefer the Oval Room Blue in the evening, it take on a much more grey tone and I can find myself just sitting and staring at it!

  10. So jealous Charlotte, I’ve wanted a dressing room from the moment I saw Cher in Clueless and her amazing wardrobe 😂 (love your colour scheme) x

    1. Pah hahahaahahahha I knew there was a film I’d seen in my youth with a closet of dreams 😂 (I must have seen Clueless 456 times – one day I was always going to own some Alaia….I still don’t unfortunately) x

  11. Oval Room Blue is a yes from me. Just decorated the downstairs loo in something very similar but just a generic B & Q option. Big change from just a white box but I love it…after a bit of a colour wobble before the tiles went on and shelves went up.

    I’d love to have stairs that turn. No idea why but that’s what I want. In the meantime I might just have to consider paneling for my boring straight up and down stairs.

  12. With our move-in date set for next week, I’m literally sitting here with a pen writing down all mentioned paint colours for a nosey. Let the swatching commence!

    As for wood panelling, I wouldn’t be able to pull that off in my characterless 70’s abode, but I absolutely can’t wait to see how it turns out in your place. It’s such a beautiful look!

  13. This post is the dream! Sending the link to my husband for future reference – we’re buying a Victorian property that needs a lot of work (sadly, I don’t think a dressing room is on the cards just yet). Can’t wait to see how it all turns out for you.
    PS – LOVE oval room blue x

  14. Your dressing room plans sound gorgeous, can’t wait to see the progress! As of next week our whole living room will be Stiffkey Blue. I’m a bit nervous as it’s quite a dark room to begin with but hoping it’ll be snug and cosy with the right lighting & accessories!

  15. Hi Charlotte, sorry to go off grid from the paneling conversation but do you happen to know where the pic came from of the bracket/shelves? Apologies as I realise that the blog post was some months back now.

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