reclaimed wood

Reclaimed Wood Paneling: How To Add The Right Finishing Touch To Your Restaurant

What do you think of when you hear the phrase wood paneling? If it’s a dark den or a basement room that would have been all the rage during the heyday of the Brady Bunch, toss that image aside! While wood paneling made of cherry, oak, and beech was a stylish choice for rec rooms designed between 1960 and 1976, that darker look would not fly with top designs today that are heavily focused on bringing light into a room. As with many design trends of decades past, wood paneling is back and this time around it focuses on creating clean, attractive lines with reclaimed wood. Restaurants across the country are utilizing reclaimed wood paneling in creative ways to give their spaces a modern, rustic flair that makes guests feel at home.

The Advantages Of Wood Paneling

There’s a good reason why wood paneling was such a popular pick in the mid 20th century — and why it’s made such a resurgence in today’s design trends. Even before the 1970s iteration of wood paneling, carved panels of mahogany and pine adorned rooms in centuries past. While the aesthetic value of these classic designs was certainly a benefit, wood has been used on the interior walls during any generation for these specific advantages.

Excellent Durability:

Wood has been used for centuries to construct buildings, ships, and furniture. As a naturally occurring material, it can stand up against the elements.oday’s varnishes and finishes protect wood even more. When you use wood paneling for an interior design, it will hold up in a way that drywall and paint could never. With routine maintenance and proper cleaning, wood panels can last in a room for decades while withstanding all knicks, scrapes, and dents with ease.

Ease Of Installation:

Although wood paneling can have an intricate and complex look once constructed, fitting the panels together is fairly simple. The installation process for wood paneling varies depending on the type of paneling that you choose. Tongue-and-groove wood paneling is extremely easy to put together, as the panels are designed to fit together like puzzle pieces.

Improved Insulation:

Why have settlers built cabins made of wood for centuries? Here’s a hint: it’s not just because about 30% of the Earth’s landmass is covered by forests. Wood is a natural insulator. Just as it trapped warmth for those early cabin-builders, wood paneling will improve the thermal insulation of your restaurant. During the winter, you can expect your heating bills to drop as the panels keep the warmth inside. When you need to turn on the air conditioning in the warmer months, the paneling will prevent the cool air from escaping.

Unrivaled Aesthetic Value:

Interior walls made of drywall and decorated with paint are all too common. Wood paneling offers a design that is distinctly different. When done right, walls made with wood paneling look elegant and rich. They emphasize the natural beauty of the wood while creating a clean and smooth surface. For onlookers, these aspects will be pleasing to the eye and create a relaxing atmosphere.

Types Of Wood Paneling

To avoid the blunders of wood paneling from decades ago, you need to know about the stylish types that are offered now. Many different types of spaces successfully use wood paneling in their design scheme, including restaurants, doctor’s offices, bars, cafes, and corporate lounges. The type of wood paneling you use will dictate the appearance of the space and the atmosphere that is created.


This variety of wood panel is laid horizontally. When it lay out, the panels overlap. This trait has given this type of wood paneling its name. Shiplap has grooved boards, known as rabbets, that fit together tightly. This tight fit is especially effective at creating a weatherproof seal and keeping a space well-insulated. Shiplap wood panels are very popular with cottage-inspired homes that want the warmth and texture of natural materials and match the home’s exterior.


This type of wood paneling has a similar look to shiplap. The panels run horizontally across a wall to create a classy and clean look. The panels still appear as if they are overlapping one another, but in reality, they are put together by connecting the tongue of one board to the groove of another. The interlocking nature of them also provides an efficient weather-proof seal and is a good technique to boost insulation.

Reclaimed Wood:

When you use reclaimed wood paneling in a space, it immediately creates a textured, warm, homey look. Reclaimed wood is a popular choice for bars, restaurants, and gastropubs all over New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and other metropolises. This type of paneling is environmentally friendly, as it is made from existing lumber that otherwise get discard, and offers a sturdy foundation for your design. Reclaimed wood easily infuses a space with character! Not to mention, it’s a very practical choice for building purposes.
How To Design A Space With Reclaimed Wood Paneling

The opposite of a cold and clinical minimalist design, reclaimed wood paneling make your restaurant feel warm. And welcoming to anyone who steps through the doors. The comforting atmosphere will make them want to come back. And will encourage them to tell their friends about your wonderful space. Once you’ve decided on reclaimed wood paneling, the next hurdle is complementing it with other design elements. Browse through these design ideas to find the perfect inspiration for your restaurant.

Capitalize On The Wooded Theme:

Once you find the right reclaimed wood paneling, you have the option of using that throughout the rest of your restaurant. Use tabletops made of reclaimed wood with the same color or a complimentary one. Construct a reclaimed wood floor as well, and your guests will feel enveloped in warmth and comfort.

Mix With Exposed Brick:

The rustic wood and exposed brick combination is a very modern, urban choice. Exposed brick on its own can feel too industrial. But by complimenting it with wood paneling you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Go With Green:

A popular design choice is based on incorporating indoor plants and gardens, as the vibrant green of plants and trees compliments reclaimed wood paneling very easily. Guests will feel immersed in nature, which is especially perfect for organic or all-natural restaurants.

Create A Country Feel:

For cafes and restaurants that are aiming to make guests feel like they are in their second home, a pastoral design is a good way to go. Naturally, distressed wood paneling brings personality into the walls and makes a space feel cozy. From there, compliment the coziness with artfully mismatched tables. And chairs and large couches that invite someone to relax there for hours.

As a design choice the appeals to nearly everyone, reclaimed wood paneling can turn any space into a home. Make your restaurant the favorite of locals, tourists, and anyone else who happens to come through by outfitting it with wood paneling that speaks to their sense of comfort.

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