1. Home
  2. .
  3. Blog
  4. .
  5. Trends & Inspo
  6. .
  7. Showcase: Tongue and Groove Wall Panels for Every Room
green tongue and groove wall panelling in master bedroom by cedar and suede

Showcase: Tongue and Groove Wall Panels for Every Room

Tongue and groove wall panels have become more and more prevalent on the interior design scene. And there’s one very good reason why: they’re freakin’ phenomenal.

When I filmed Changing Rooms (coming soon to Channel 10 – woohoo), I used tongue and groove wall panels in one of the rooms. That’s probably about as much behind-the-scenes goss from the show I’m allowed to tell you. But I wanted you to know that I love these panels because I’ve actually used them. And let me tell you, the results were amazing!

What I found most exciting about these panels is how much they transform a space. What was a flat room suddenly becomes a thousand times more interesting because there’s texture on the walls. The lines – be them horizontal or vertical – lead the eye in a particular direction. So you can make a narrow room feel wider by fixing them horizontally. Or you can make a room with a low ceiling feel taller by running them vertically.

On the show, I ran mine horizontally across a long wall in a living and dining room. It really unified the spaces and made the open plan living area feel massive. I won’t tell you what colour I painted them, but it was definitely daring 😉

easycraft tongue and groove wall panelling in white bedroom with blue feature wall  home beautiful blue tongue and groove timber wall panelling in bedroom

Tongue and Groove Panels, or VJ Panels?

Tongue and groove panels are often referred to as VJ panels. The VJ stands for ‘vertical join’, which makes sense considering they are, for the most part, fixed vertically on the wall.

They’re essentially the same thing. VJ panelling was the more popular term because older-style homes featured a lot of it. Not only on walls, mind you, but right up onto the ceiling too. The bedrooms above are a great example of how you can add interest to a space simply by having vertical timber panels running up the wall.

You’ll also notice the two rooms have gone a bit colourful. White panels are very popular in bohemian or coastal homes. But don’t feel you have to go for white paint all the time. I love the room directly above because the bold colour makes the space feel quite rich, cosy and inviting. You just wouldn’t get the same effect with a white wall.

All of the images in this post I found via Pinterest. Such a good resource for ideas like this. Keep scrolling as we take a look at tongue and groove wall panels applied to other spaces.

home beautiful tongue and groove wall panelling in living room with grey sofa grey tongue and groove wall panelling in coastal living room by gunnersen black tongue and groove wall panelling in boho living room

Running Tongue and Groove Panels Horizontally

As I already mentioned up to, I ran tongue and groove panels horizontally when I applied mine on Changing Rooms. It’s not the preferred direction but I love them like this. It carries the eye around the room, and how good do they look when painted in a dark colour like black or charcoal? I love the room above with its rich wall, weathered timber and plush grey sofa. What a stunner.

It’s also worth noting that you can get tongue and groove wall panels in different sizes. Some are thinner, others thicker. It’s also worth taking some time to consider which is right for you. The thinner the plank, the more lines you’ll have featured on the wall, and so the busier the surface will feel – especially a smaller room. In a large space, it can actually be a wise idea to cover all the walls in tongue and groove. It feels more intentional.

Below you’ll see the panels travel from wall to ceiling and I’ve gotta say, I’m super impressed. What a way to make a statement. The black beams are also giving me life! I would very much like to live here.

eboss nz tongue and groove wall and ceiling wall panelling australian design review tongue and groove wall panelling in white bathroom cedar and suede tongue and groove timber wall panels in bathroom cedar and suede tongue and groove timber wall panelling in bathroom with marble wall

Let’s not Forget Panels for Wet Areas

There’s no reason why tongue and groove panels have to be sent to the bedroom or living room. Take a look at the three images above and I’m sure you’ll agree they’re pretty phenomenal in wet areas like bathrooms.

I’ve also seen the panels put in laundries as well and they look sublime. The two images directly above (and the hero image in this post) I know are from Cedar and Suede, and I love that they’ve decided to paint the panels in a soft grey. Again, so much better than a stark white wall. And if you want more inspo on moving away from light walls and going over to the dark side, check this post out next.

Oh, and if you want to buy tongue and groove panels, check out Easycraft – they’re awesome products and Bunnings stocks them. Super easy to find!

I’d love to know if you’re going to apply these to your walls. Drop me a comment below and let me know. I want to apply them in my own living room. Just have to get my partner over the line, so help me convince him!


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Related Posts​

12 Responses

  1. Hi
    Am looking for a tongue and grove panel measuring 5 feet by 5 feet with a nice black beading around the edges painted in a light duck egg blue, this is to mount some very expensive glass fishes on a display wall, what will be the price
    Can you help please.

  2. I love tongue & groove panelling. I’ve gone a bit crazy in our reno with it but I think it works well.
    In the kitchen and dining area I have it on the ceiling. Down the hallway I have it up to picture rail height with wallpaper above. I have it on the wall of the stairwell which draws the eye upstairs. In the bathrooms I’ve teamed it with herringbone subways. Behind our bedhead and my son’s two single beds. One wall in the media room, Oh and in the study nook!
    In my husband’s office I’ve used the Easycraft Chevron and I’m planning to paint it a golden mustard.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I’m about to paint a house that has daggy 80’s timber panelling running horizonrally to about 1/2 way up the walls. Originally I was going to paint it white with colour on the walls above, but now I’m wondering whether to paint it all the one colour to make it disappear. What do you think?

    1. Hi Francesca, what’s the style of home and the furniture? Either all neutral of colour above the panelling will work if done well. I can’t say if you should or shouldn’t try to make it disappear without more information. I wouldn’t go too colourful above the panels if that’s the way you go, that will probably date pretty quickly. Something subdued would last longer.

  4. Are these panels pvc type or wood planks? If you could send some links on the material greatly appreciate it

    1. Hi Daren, the materials can differ depending on what you’re trying to achieve and your budget. Bunnings for example has a whole lot of options listed under “lining panels” which are sheets you install together like you would with tiles.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I’m just wondering if you are able to share the colour of the dark feature wall in the living room picture above please? The room with the tongue and groove horizontal panels and the white soft furnishings.
    I’m after a black/charcoal colour and would appreciate your recommendations. I love your design skills. I am signed up to your newsletter.
    Thank you DONNA McKinley.

  6. Was so keen to put these onto 2 walls in our new build but price came in nearly 5k so had to go unfortunately. Everything is double brick in Perth so all required a batonned frame over internal bricks. If you have found a wallpaper that gives a similar effect please share.

  7. Love the VJ. Will be applying this over existing blockwork at our beach house and they will feature in our extensions heavily

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

Latest Articles