Zooey Deschanel created a contemporary twist on this rustic decor feature – and it's an on-trend way to elevate a living space

The actress modernizes a wooden room with the simple DIY of painting the walls white – and her move is increasingly popular among designers

(Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth via Getty Images)

If there are two interior decor elements that we can say with full certainty will never go out of style, it's white paint and wood features. Combine the two and be doubly sure that a timeless design choice has been achieved.

Need proof? Look no further than Zooey Deschanel's parlor room. The actor and musician recently shared a video on her TikTok page in her bright and airy piano room, showing off the high-ceilinged space. We were particularly taken with how nicely the white, painted wood walls complement the wood parquet floors, giving off a modern rustic aesthetic.

According to experts, interest in natural, country-inspired interiors is very much on the rise, with variations on rustic living popping up across the country.


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'With expensive housing and cost-of-living convincing Americans to move toward a more rural lifestyle, rustic, country aesthetics within the home are becoming an increasingly popular choice every year,' says Chris Alexakis, co-founder of CabinetSelect.

'More and more homeowners are choosing to create cozier spaces that embrace the natural world.'

For those who don't want to commit to traditional rustic elements – i.e., raw wood and cabin-esque decor – white, painted wood is an excellent compromise.

'Painting wood panels white, as Zooey Deschanel did in her living area, is a great way to maintain some of the rustic charm of the natural material while slightly modernizing the space,' says Homes & Gardens' editor Jennifer Ebert. 'It's the perfect marriage between organic materials and modern living.'

We love how Deschanel has modernized her space with additional black decals on her windows, though there are still sprinkles of rustic decor via her antique, framed painting, and wall paneling.

'Modernizing wood with paint is one of the simplest and most cost-effective home DIYs,' Ebert states. 'I would recommend choosing a warmer white to enhance any additional wood details. You can also incorporate other natural, textured items into a white and wood space, such as cotton and linen.'

This could be in the form of something as large as a sofa or as small as a rug. The best part of both a white color scheme and the use of wood is that both this material and color are timeless, so we can be sure that our base will always stand the test of time (however we style it).

Shop the Deschanel-inspired edit

Below, find some living area pieces that would look fantastic in a white and wood scheme.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.