Los Angeles Loft


Dear Sarah,
I am going to be moving into a great home that I just rented in July. I love everything about it except for the fact that the living room has knotty pine on all the walls. I asked the land lord if I could paint over it and she said no… I fear it is going to be like living in an outdated cave!… Please give me some ideas on how to decorate a room with this dark paneling!
Thank You!


Hi Heather,

This is a great question! Dark knotty pine paneling can seem intimidating at first, however it can be embraced and enjoyed if decorated correctly. Pine paneling adds a rustic charm to any room and gives the space a nice golden hue. Knowing this, I compiled a list of guidelines and ideas for you to use when decorating your living room. To demonstrate how these guidelines work, and to help inspire you, I have added pictures of rooms that look great with knotty pine paneling. I hope this helps you move into your new home worry free and energizes you to create a beautiful living room.
Sarah Biz

Tips and Tricks for Decorating a Room with Knotty Pine Walls

  • Use a large light-colored carpet and light-colored furniture to help brighten the room.
  • Add a bookcase(s) to the room to break up the vertical lines of the paneling.
  • Place a mirror across from a window to reflect the outdoors (not more knotty pine) and to help make the room feel brighter.
  • Add lots of lights/lighting to the room.
  • Use bright/white lamp shades on all lighting.
  • Add Light-colored and/or shiny accessories to the room.
  • Cover one of the walls with a light-colored fabric, curtain panels, or a tapestry.
  • Use semi-sheer natural fiber window panels to let lots of natural light in.
  • Hang light-colored artwork with bright white mattes. Illuminate the artwork if possible for more light in the room.
  • If going for a beachy/nautical style, place a white bead board screen in the room.