As far back as the 16th and 17th centuries , wall panelling or wainscoting was popular as a decorative wall finish and also had the practical benefit of insulation and helped to hide imperfections and rising damp on the walls themselves. Originally the wall panels were made from oak wood ( wainscot oak) but by the middle of the 18th century oak wainscot was almost entirely superseded by softwood ( Norway spruce and Scots pine ) but the name stuck ! Today wainscoting allows us to be creative and decorative and panels can be made in almost any shape or material. As the pictures show, a room can be completely transformed by the addition of wall panels. This might just be the time to take the step towards the room you have always imagined.