Wooden slat wall in elegant restaurant interior

When talking about wood as a material for wall treatments, nostalgic images of the 70s’ dark panels may involuntarily come to mind. Despite the fact that the taste for that particular look is long gone, wood wall treatments have never really left the stage. They have always found their way into residential and commercial spaces, albeit in more refined and aesthetically pleasing forms that appeal to the contemporary eye. Today, slat walls are a popular choice in interior design, and there are plenty of reasons for it. 

Photo above: Theory Acoustic 3D Wall Paneling by From the Forest on Wayfair

With a modern, clean and minimalist look, yet with a presence that demands attention, slat walls  rarely go unnoticed. Above all, it’s because of their texture and geometry. Dressing up a bare wall in any kind of material takes it out of the ordinary and creates a look that has more chances to get attention. When it comes to slat walls, the warmth and natural feel of the wood combined with the orderly patterns of the slats create the perfect mix for the contemporary taste that craves both nature and order.

Wood slat plank system before installation

Wood Slat Plank System from Materials Inc.

Their 3D built and the texture of the wood makes a room instantly look richer and more sophisticated. Whether choosing light or dark-tones, incorporating slat walls into your design feels a bit like pampering your own space with that little detail that makes all the difference. While slat walls can be stained or painted, natural shades are excellent in creating a sense of natural beauty and a familiar, warm and cozy ambiance.

Wood slat plank system after installation

Wood Slat Plank System from Materials Inc.

Beyond their aesthetic, however, the benefits of slat walls extend to functionality. Quality wood slats are durable and resistant to wear and tear, making them excellent choices for high-traffic commercial spaces. In addition, they are easy to maintain, clean up, and keep fresh and inviting.

Even more, they help improve acoustics in noisy spaces by absorbing sounds. This is of no little importance if you want to create an intimate atmosphere in a restaurant or one that is calm and conducive to intellectual efforts in an office.

Slat wall and ceiling in natural oak

Solid Wood Acoustic Wall Paneling by Porpora on Wayfair

In a restaurant, shop or any other physical business, slat walls can become part of the brand identity. This is because they have a strong presence and never fail to make a statement. They provide an excellent background for logos, neon signs, art or accent pieces, or they can simply shine by contrast with other materials, especially with natural ones. 

While using wood as a wall treatment tends to bring in a rustic feel, this is not necessarily the case with slat walls. Painted ones, especially when the shade used is darker, have a definite modern look that exudes elegance and style. 

Elegant black slat wall paired with beautiful marble

Solid Wood Acoustic Wall Paneling by Porpora on Wayfair

When it comes to shapes or designs, the choices are far from limited. Irregular slat widths introduce an element of nonconformism into the design, while retaining the strict sense of order given by their impeccable geometry.

Wood slat system in gray

Tambora Kirat Wood Slat System from Materials Inc.

Rounded slat soften the look of the walls and invite you to touch them. This is a wonderful option if you want to create a familiar look with a slightly playful side. 

Light-toned wall treatment with rounded wood strips

Single Bead Tambour Wall Paneling by Designs of Distinction® Furniture Findings on Wayfair

Scalloped slats take the design even further. The depth and shadows of the wall treatment bring the wall to life, while its graceful lines create a pleasant sense of movement.

Slat wall with scalloped planks

TimelineWood Slat Wall Paneling by Timeline Wood on Wayfair

Of course, if you decide to incorporate slat walls into your design, you are not relegated to the traditional vertical style.

Horizontal strips in a restaurant's paneled wall

Theory Acoustic 3D Wall Paneling by From the Forest on Wayfair

Even more, you can get creative and use the same material in atypical ways, such as beautifying your countertop base or even your furniture. Using wood slats for both a wall and an accent piece unifies the space and suggests a clear design goal and vision.

Furniture covered in rounded wood planks

Single Bead Tambour Paneling by Designs of Distinction® Furniture Findings on Wayfair

Solid or engineered wood isn’t your only choice when it comes to slat walls. In fact, other materials can offer you the same aesthetic along with a different set of benefits that you may find more suitable for your particular situation.

For example, ceramic or porcelain products can give you a similarly textured look and the warm feel of natural materials. Being heat-resistant, they may be a better choice for walls near stoves or fireplaces. Due to their low porosity, porcelain slat walls are virtually waterproof, making them a great option for humidity-prone areas or as a splash-resistant wall treatment. They can also help prevent the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria, which is crucial for areas with hygiene standards and requirements.

Ceramic wall cladding of triangular shape

Mutina Rombini Triangle Red Porcelain Stoneware 3D Wall Cladding by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec on Archiproducts

Ceramic slat walls have the same potential when it comes to various shapes and designs. This “triangle” porcelain stoneware 3D wall cladding, for instance, dresses up the walls and gives them more dimension.

Porcelain stoneware slat wall in restaurant

Mutina Rombini Triangle Red Porcelain Stoneware 3D Wall Cladding by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec on Archiproducts

To benefit from their aesthetic but without breaking the bank, you can use the same materials to install wainscoting. Echoing the same look in a soffit or another element of design can bring the space together and take full advantage of the visual appeal of slat planks.

Porcelain stoneware wainstcoting in casual cafe

Mutina Rombini Triangle Red Porcelain Stoneware 3D Wall Cladding by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec on Archiproducts

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

See our Small Store Design Extravaganza: Commercial Interior Design and Branding 01 book about branding small businesses from logo design to construction, with colorful images, offering insightful explanations every step of the way.

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