Chances are, you either love your knotty pine walls or you hate them -- there is no middle ground. Luckily, solutions exist for both those who appreciate the dark, rich appearance of this wall treatment and those who can't wait to change it. Either way, learn to decorate knotty pine walls in attractive, functional and artistic ways that embrace their rustic beauty and add distinct flavor to your home's design.
1. Knot So Shabby
Knotty pine and shabby chic coexist quite nicely together when you lighten the walls with a little thinned-out white paint. Sand them thoroughly first, seal the knots with an oil-based shellac primer, then add water to white latex paint to create a weathered, whitewashed appearance -- the perfect backdrop for a space decorated in shabby chic. Decorate your newly lightened walls by hanging a colorful old quilt with a floral motif; distressed picture frames; and a grouping of vintage, hand-crocheted doilies that have been starched to perfection. Add white eyelet curtains and layers of vintage linens.
2. Pining for a Man-Cave
Allow the natural look of knotty pine to set the mood in your space when you decorate the room to resemble a hunting or fishing lodge. Great for the mythical man-cave, a lodge-themed room might include a pair of real or papier-mache moose antlers mounted over the fireplace, boat oars crossed above the door, a fake bear-skin stretched across one whole wall and a grouping of taxidermy trout mounted on plaques.
3. Knotty Little Cottage by the Sea
Transform the dark, woodland look of knotty pine by painting it a bright, cottage-by-the-sea color. When you sand, prime and paint walls a pale, smooth turquoise or bright white, it's easy to imagine you're only three steps from the beach. Hang coral-colored roller shades at the windows and mount a grouping of shadow boxes containing conch shells and driftwood on the wall. Mount sets of weathered wood shutters flanking the insides of the windows and use fabric that's covered in nautical stripes to create wall hangings and throw pillows.
4. Primitive Pine by Design
Country Primitive, or Early American design, is a natural choice to complement knotty pine walls. Early Colonial American homes were built of logs and wood slabs that created a look similar to that of knotty pine. Shop your local antique stores for wall decor such as punched-tin pie plates, tea-dyed gingham curtains, weathered wooden signs with hand lettering, and items with a star motif. Old, woven baskets, needlepoint samplers and pottery in the colors of muted red, white and blue go far in evoking a primitive feel in a space.