Comment: Panelling’s back, but can ’70s tongue-and-groove please be forgotten?

Could this style of panelling possibly be due a comeback?

Could this style of panelling possibly be due a comeback? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Interiors trends come and go, and what was considered awful a few years back may now be the biggest thing since avocado bathrooms.

Take panelling, for example – but, naturally, not as we once knew it. Oppressive mahogany is no more, and these days everyone – well, everyone who knows about such things – is painting their panels for a fresher, more modern look.

As someone who hates the exposed wood look almost anywhere apart from on the floor – and especially on walls – this sounds like a positive move.

It also takes me back to my last brush with panelling – ah, the memories.

A few years back we were renting a Victorian terraced house with wooden floors, characterful fireplaces and dodgy tongue and groove panelling.

It was a style touch that added little to the wall of the small, dark room it covered, apart from making it look excessively wooden (the floors were enough, really).

Anyway, a neighbour popped in one day to deliver some pork scratchings for the dog, and informed me that she had the same panelling in her house, and it was actually Victorian didn’t I know.

I didn’t, but I had two small children at the time and was operating through a fog of sleep-addled confusion so I assumed she was correct.

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After we gave our notice, we had a week or two of potential tenants trooping through, taking in the many wooden wonders the house had to offer.

One woman’s look of horror at the sight of this wall of dreams/nightmares has never left me.

“Apparently it’s Victorian,” I said, no doubt wielding at least one small child.

“’70s more like,” she sniffed, stalking out of the room. Talk about the scales falling from your eyes.

What had that old neighbour been on about? And why on Earth had I thought she was right?

It’s probably since been painted…