A brand new floor can leave walls looking uninteresting. Once upon a time you had a choice between emulsion and wallpaper: that’s not true today. Other options can be more creative, interesting, warm, cosy and durable.
One option is wood. A traditional way to wood clad a wall – usually only available to the wealthy – was to use planking, either full height or capped by a dado rail. If you like this rather formal traditional solution, you can achieve it today in a lighter and cheaper way, using interlocking engineered woods, with all the rich choice of grains and colours they provide.
For a more modern and adventurous look, you should certainly consider panneau. These have the look of wooden blocks and can be quickly fixed to the wall and built up in simple brick-like patterns. They are actually staves attached to backboards that fit tightly together with a finger joint, so the job of creating a flawless wall isn’t as heavy and difficult as the finished results will suggest (but don’t tell anyone). With a little extra ingenuity and labour, it’s possible to create designs using diagonals, parquet-style chevrons or herringbone arrangements.
Blocks are available in many different varieties – smooth and polished, symmetrical but rough finished, or with the look of rough hewn blocks straight from under the woodsman’s axe. Panneau is often derived from old farm buildings and wine casks, preserving the amazing qualities that you can only get in vintage materials and, of course, they’re recycled and environmentally friendly.
If you’re unsure of a full wall, they are also ideal for making features out of pillars, planters and storage units.
Panels are easily bonded to your wall with instant grab silicone or other adhesives. When you have uneven walls, panneau is a great alternative to re-plastering, It’s okay to use a few headless pins where needed.
Like other timber, some blocks benefit from occasional redressing with maintenance oil – check with your supplier.