I recently did a facelift for a condo corporation on two lobbies. The buildings were relatively new and in good condition. The materials chosen by the builder, however, were dated and not particularly well put together. Budget was limited, and there were many residents who had many different opinions, so they hired me to come up with a solution to turn these into lobbies that the residents and visitors would enjoy. Here are the two lobbies before.
Early on I was told that the wood panelling had to stay. However I knew that removing the panelling was the least expensive and most effective change to make. Not only did the panelling make the lobbies feel like a lodge, the red tones and striped elements of the panelling were wreaking havoc on the various floor and wall tiles it had been paired with. With the use of presentation boards and a chance for the residents to visualize the improvements, approval was granted. The siding was removed, the space grew visually, and the tiles immediately looked better.
With the addition of chair rail, lighting, accent wall covering, paint, furnishings and art, this is what the lobbies became.
Removing the panelling was definitely the right choice. It can be hard for people to remove materials which are still in good condition. People tend to have an even harder time covering or removing wood. Most people do not visualize well what a change will bring. Does that describe you? If you can open yourself to the possibilities and get some help with visualizing, you may find that you wish you had made the changes long before.