3 Ways to Create a Wood Slat Feature Wall

midcentury modern bedroom with a walnut vertical wood slat accent wall behind the bed

As we all continue to spend more and more time at home, it feels like we’re also all getting a little bit better at interior design. Or maybe, we’re just realizing how bad we used to be, and making a concerted effort to be better. And honestly, that’s beautiful. Trying to be a little bit better every day is what life is about, and sometimes that means ditching the “live laugh love” aesthetic (or even better, the taped-to-the-wall Pulp Fiction poster 

aesthetic) and elevating our living space. After all, the inside of our home is as personal a reflection as the clothes we wear, and creating a space that feels unique yet on-trend is one of the most satisfying things you can do.

As trends evolve, they continue to pull inspiration from around the world and throughout the 20th century. A mix of midcentury maturity with Scandinavian minimalism seems to float through our IG feeds and Pinterest boards, but creating those effortlessly whimsical interiors all the influencers have is no easy feat. It’s tough to be unique without mixing too many styles and losing the cohesiveness, but on the flip side, creating a clean look that doesn’t just feel like a Wayfair/West Elm catalogue is a challenge in its own right.

One piece of advice that will never lead you astray is to incorporate accents made from natural materials. No matter your style, nature’s beauty will always have a place in great design. From stone, to leather, to wood, there are endless possibilities when it comes to adding that X factor to your space.

Today we’re talking about the slow reemergence of wood wall panelling, specifically wood slat wall panels. Wall paneling has been used in various ways in almost every design style throughout the years, from wainscotting in the 50s, to the walnut wall panelling of the midcentury, and more recently, the shiplap that’s been a centrepiece of the modern farmhouse aesthetic.

A lesser known, yet highly regarded hidden gem of the interior design world is the wood slat wall panel. Wood slat feature walls combine elegant, sleek lines with authentic wood grain, creating a timeless intersection of natural and human design. Wood slat wall panels have been popping up around the corners of the internet for a little while, and while they look gorgeous, figuring out how to achieve the look is not always easy. Luckily, there are a few ways you can go about incorporating this gorgeous feature into your home, and we’re serving them up on a silver platter for you right here.

DIY All the Way

If you want something done right, something-something-something. Exactly. If you have an abundance of time and space, you can definitely create a wood slat wall panel from scratch.

You’ll need:

  1. A tablesaw to rip the slats, starting with either planks (2”x12”s) or plywood sheets.
  2. Palm sander
  3. Level, drill, etc. (we’re assuming that if you have a literal table saw, you have the basics too)
  4. Wood primer (for softwoods such as pine), wood stain, brushes for application
  5. Paint (for painting the wall behind, usually black is perfect for creating that oh-so-sexy contrast)

wood slat feature wall in living room

Source: Simply Aligned Home

There’s some great videos on Youtube demonstrating how to do this. It’ll probably take a weekend or two for the experienced DIYer with all the right tools at home, but it’s definitely possible. Even with the elevated cost of materials right now, this will probably be the most budget-friendly option.

Wood Slat Wall Panels (Semi-DIY, beginner level)

For those that don’t have a TableTurboCut 9000 lying around, this route is probably for you. You can actually order pre-made wood slat wall panels straight to your door. They’re already fastened to a black felt backing, so all that’s left for you to do is attach them to your walls. If you can hang a picture frame, you can probably hang these, too.


Wood slat wall panels for tv wall in mid-century modern living room

 shop the look button

While not as cheap as doing the entire project yourself, they’re still great value considering the convenience and how incredible they look.

To install these, you’ll need just a drill and a level for the most basic installation. If you’re installing into drywall, make sure you find the studs or use drywall anchors.


installing wood slat wall panels into wall using a screwdriver


From there, it’s really as simple as pre-drilling your holes, and using black screws to screw through the felt into your wall. If you’d like to take it a step further, you can use a hand saw or circular saw to cut the panels to specific lengths, or add extensions to make them longer if you have higher ceilings.

Really, the possibilities are endless.

Custom Made Bespoke Wood Slat Wall 

If you’re emotionally and financially ready to pull out all the stops, this is for you. Hiring a professional contractor and/or woodworker to create and install a bespoke wood slat wall in your home allows complete customization, without having to do any of the actual work yourself. They'll help you with design, source the materials, and make it happen. 

staining piece of wood in woodshop using a brush

If you like the sound of that, you're not alone. Contractors of all kinds have been stretched thin for years and their rates reflect that demand/supply imbalance. But, if you truly shudder at the idea of touching a drill or a level, then this is definitely the option for you. Kick your feet up and relax!

You can use local classified listings (Facebook Marketplace, TaskRabbit etc.) to find contractors, but make sure to always ask for references and photos of past work. It’s a complicated task and you want to get it done right.   


And there you have it, three options for three budget levels to help you create the wood slat feature wall of your dreams. Whether it's the living room, bedroom, office or otherwise, this look is the perfect mixture of timeless design and modern aesthetics and it will undoubtedly transform your home.

Continue reading:

Elegant Accent Wall Ideas to Elevate Your Bathroom Walls

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