Wood Slat Walls: 17 Stunning Lobbies Leading the Trend

Get a closer look into the trend we’re seeing everywhere, from San Francisco to Dubai.

Wood slat walls gave midcentury modern interiors their distinct look in the 50s and 60s—now they’ve made their way into commercial interiors in a whole new way. It’s easy to see why: wood slats instantly create a warm and inviting ambiance while providing a dramatic backdrop to the reception area.

Wood paneling in a midcentury style house.

Also called wood cladding and timber paneling, these panels improve acoustics and embrace sustainable practices. The natural properties of wood make it an excellent sound-absorbing material, effectively reducing noise levels and creating a quieter environment.

Looking for inspiration? Check out these examples that will take your lobby to the next level.

The bold type: Add a contrasting logo

Less is more when it comes to slat wood panels—opt for an all black or white for the logo, whichever contrasts best with the chosen wood color.

Custom slat wood wall with oversized painted white logo behind seating area at the Palo Alto office of Sapphire Ventures, an enterprise VC firm. (Photo: Garrett Rowland)
Logo on custom oversized, custom slat wood wall in the lobby of VGXI, a full service biotechnology company in Texas. (Photo: Keith Isaacs)
Minimalist serif letters on slat wood wall at the reception area of Taraf, a boutique property developer and asset manager based in the UAE. (Photo: Yamini Krishna Photography)
Minimalist serif letters on slat wood wall at the reception area of Taraf, a boutique property developer and asset manager based in the UAE. (Photo: Yamini Krishna Photography)
Black logo on freestanding slat wood wall behind reception desk at the Düsseldorf office of Indeed, a worldwide employment website for job listings. (Photo: Matthijs van Roon)
Metal logo on slat wood wall behind marble reception desk at the Melbourne office of EFM, a supply chain company. (Photo: SpaceCraft)
Metal logo on slat wood wall behind marble reception desk at the Melbourne office of EFM, a supply chain company. (Photo: SpaceCraft)
Custom freestanding perforated wood panel with white logo behind midcentury style brass and white reception desk at the Chicago HQ of McDonald's, an American multinational fast food chain. (Photo: Garrett Rowland)

Pretty brilliant: Illuminated logos

Take things up a notch by adding white light to the logo, which creates a focal point and adds a level of polish to a space.

Large illuminated logo cut from slat wood wall at the CRISPR Therapeutics R&D Headquarters in Boston, MA. (Photo: CRISPR)
Illuminated logo on slat wood wall behind seating area in the lobby of Tezman, a global rock drilling machinery company based in Istanbul. (Photo: Altkat Architectural Photography)
Slat wood screen in front of illuminated logo at the office of ArabClicks, an e-commerce service in Dubai. (Photo: Bahr Al Karim)
Illuminated logo on freestanding slat wood wall behind reception desk in lobby with custom light art at Zogenix, a biotechnology company in Emeryville, California. (Photo: Emily Hagopian)
Illuminated logo on slat wood wall for the flight themed reception area of WOJO, a co-working space in Paris. (Photo: Shoootin)

Mix it up: Wood slats as wall accents

Want to include a bold brand color? Showcase the logo on a solid color, and incorporate wood slats as accents to bring warmth into the space.

Corporate logo on blue wall with custom slat wood accents in the atrium / lobby of Scoular, an agricultural supply chain company in Omaha. (Photo: William Hess)
Detailed white logo on concrete wall with wood slat wall accents at the Cairo location of Unilever, a British multinational consumer goods company. (Photo: Nour ElRefai)
Full color logo on glossy white wall with geometric slat wood design at the Nokia North America HQ in Dallas, TX. (Photo: Wade Griffith)

Shadow play: Carved-in logos

For something a little unexpected, skip color altogether and opt for depth instead. The result can be stunning, especially with strategic use of light and shadow.

Logo cut into custom dark wood slat wall behind reception desk at the Los Angeles office of Jerde, an architecture and design form. (Photo: Eric Laignel)
Logo cut into custom dark wood slat wall behind reception desk at the Los Angeles office of Jerde, an architecture and design form. (Photo: Eric Laignel)
Light wood slat wall with subtle CNC debossed logo at the Prague office of MSC, a cargo shipping company. (Photo: Alexander Dobrovodsky)
Modern, large-scale slat wood lobby sign on concrete wall at the San Francisco lobby of Slack, an American cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services.
Modern, large-scale slat wood lobby sign on concrete wall at the San Francisco lobby of Slack, an American cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services.

Top 5 Tips Designing with Wood Slat Walls

  1. Consider existing furnishings. Complementing existing wood accents will help create a cohesive look throughout the space.
  2. Go beyond the walls. Wrap corners or extend panels to the ceiling for a dramatic look.
  3. Practice sustainability. Choose domestic woods from responsibly maintained forests that plant seedlings faster than trees are cut down.
  4. Keep it simple. To achieve a zen-like environment, opt for simple furnishings and plenty of open space.
  5. Budget wisely. Custom millwork is labor intensive, so be sure to leave enough room in your budget.
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