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I have wood paneling in my house, are drapes out of the question?

Work with your wood paneling, not against it.

Work with your wood paneling, not against it.

Many older houses – especially those in the rustic style – have wood-paneled walls. Whether you live in a cozy cottage by the beach or an adorable cabin in the woods, many people find that this detail, though attractive, can be hard to incorporate into modern decor.

Whether you're trying to work in a classic couch, or prefer your woodworking to be a different color, you can sometimes feel painted into a corner when you live in a paneled house. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Rather than thinking of your paneling as an obstacle you have to overcome, it's best to consider it an architectural detail that you can highlight in your house. Especially given the popularity of certain wooden decor, like reclaimed wood these days, your paneling can look modern and fresh if you outfit the rest of your room correctly.

Best of all, because wood is a natural color, you won't have to worry about it matching with everything else: it's a neutral. These days, the best way to integrate your wood paneling into your house is to decorate as if it weren't there at all. Rather than attempting to conceal or downplay it, simply make sure that the rest of your accessories are bright enough and consider yourself lucky that you don't have to choose a wall color.

For a situation such as this, large drapes in a bright neutral or white will look best. This kind of window treatment typically looks fresh and modern anyway, and it can lend some much-needed brightness into the space that you're decorating. Sometimes, attempting to downplay a feature of a room or home that you didn't pick can actually make it stand out more. You might have better luck just going with it.