Why we love timber panelling

Use VJ boards as an easy way to add character to a home, whether old or new
John Downs

In House Rules this week, Shayn and Carly’s slightly suburban Sunshine Coast home got an injection of country character partly through some clever use of timber panelling.

VJ stands for vertical join, and is also known as tongue and groove panelling. It is a common element on interior walls in many Queensland homes, but used to be less commonly seen in the southern states. Available at most hardware stores or timber yards, it can be installed by an experienced handyman, or a builder at a reasonable cost.

Usually painted white (although the rich blue paint in the main bedroom in Team Queensland’s home was a great twist), it is a relatively simple way to give a house architectural depth without knocking down walls or adding expensive or complex structures.

Why we love timber VJ panelling
(Credit: House Rules)

Many of the teams got on board with its use, especially Katie and Alex who created the show-stopping feature wall in the master bedroom.

House Rules judge Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen loved the rich peacock shade of the bedroom, adding that the texture of the boards allowed the colour to be softer and more romantic than if it had just been a painted wall.

He added that the challenge with this project was about adding personality to the existing house, without going over the top, which is where the timber panels started to make their presence known.

Why we love timber VJ panelling
(Credit: House Rules)

Judge Wendy Moore agreed, saying that VJ panelling is such an Australian style. “It instantly creates either a coastal vibe, or a country vibe, depending on how you use it, and where you use it,” she says. “And it’s so easy to add to any house, you know? You can add it to any room. It feels intrinsic quite easily.”

“I think it adds character that feels believable. It doesn’t feel artificial.”

Wendy Moore, House Rules judge

We believe that another reason that VJ panelling has become so popular is that it also works as an Australian take on classic Hamptons-style homes, which often include wainscoting as a common feature, or white painted wooden kitchen joinery.

Vertical lines help to elongate walls, giving modern homes the appearance of added height. They are also a great way of uniting different areas in an open-plan home, visually connecting a timber hallway into a kitchen/dining/living space.

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