In the 60’s wood panelling was both the style of the era and a quick and cheap way to get a house “decorated”. It is deemed that the popularity of wood cladding rose potentially due to the builders who sought to build and sell inexpensive and affordable houses. Following WWII and the huge amount of babies being born meant that more families than ever wanted the security of their own homes. So inexpensive houses were being built as quickly as possible to cater for the demand and as it takes far less time and skill to install, it became the preferred option for builders. Panelling was the cheaper less time consuming and needed less skilled workers than to hang, tape, mud, sand down and prime and paint drywall. Due to the rise in demand and then the popularity in this style of furnishing and décor, wood finished wall and ceiling cladding became the design craze of the era for many years. In the 60’s it was hard to find a home without some form of wall or ceiling cladding. Most homes were furnished with the cheaper alternative of pressboard laminate panelling however the more expensive option of real woods like walnut, birch and teak were adopted by high end home owners.
Prior to the 60's, most home walls were made of lathe and plaster, which is a very labour and cost intensive way to build. In today’s world it is difficult to find tradespeople who have the skills to construct this type of wall anymore. Although drywall was invented in 1916 it was not used much until the 40's, it became the favourite wall material after that for most homes. Wall and ceiling cladding was just the next step in quick, low skill building. Most homes started with panelling installed in converted basements, lofts or family rooms. In cheaper constructions however it was often found in bedrooms, living or even dining rooms. The more traditional wall and ceiling cladding white tile or marble look panelling was also used in bathrooms and kitchens. And it was widely used for remodelling older homes because it could be used to cover up old lathe and plaster walls without the mess and headache of demolishing them.
Although ceiling and wall panelling started to lose popularity in the late 70’s early 80’s its big sister is back and taking the world by storm due to its totally different look, feel and somewhat classy appearance and eco-friendly nature! This is part of a larger trend in the design world, not only where everything 60s and 70s, once reviled as gross and dated, has suddenly become retro-cool but due to cladding’s evolution in to a versatile and beautiful surface covering. Wall and ceiling cladding has developed so far since the 60’s it is truly a force to be reckoned with. It has evolved in to a product to suit all budgets, styles and skills and is being adopted by young home owners through to large estates. Cladding comes in so many variations of colours, textures, designs and looks it is hard to tell it apart from more traditional wall and ceiling coverings, yet it stands firm in its own right. Put the new designs, colours and construction alongside it’s eco-friendly and hygienic nature, fire retardant surfaces, ease of installation and maintenance and it would be hard to make an argument against this new era of wall and ceiling cladding.