the return of paneling

I’ve been seeing a lot of woody paneled rooms lately. For the past few years we’ve all been avoiding the dark, traditional den look. But the new paneled rooms have some great twists that have me craving a library room of my own.

From Elle Decor by John Saladino:

The lighter coloring of this paneling and the punch of color on the furniture keeps this room from feeling heavy, serious, and dated. Aside: I just love the arch detail of the doorway.

Similar to this room, which also features a lighter wood finish, and spare eclectic furnishings to keep the mood light as well. From Elle Decor:

Vicente Wolf’s Library Room in the Kip’s Bay Showhouse also puts a spin on a room with dark paneling by adding white, modern furnishings and photography, for a graphic effect.

These rooms work today because the wood provides an earthy, warm feeling, a sense of history, and a point of contrast to other lighter rooms in the house. The key is finding the right elements to keep it updated.

What do you think? Have you done anything interesting with a den or paneled room in your house?