What to do with this wood paneling?

Jessica Olivier
last month

We are closing on our new house in a week and planning what we want to tackle once we get into the home. We are pondering three things and would love to some opinions!

1. The family room has this wood paneling which makes the room feel pretty heavy. We gravitate towards light airy spaces so this room stumps us. We have gotten the advice to paint, not paint, take it down...Any thoughts?

2. If we keep the wood panels as they are, what hard floors could we put in here that wouldn't make it feel like a wood overload?

3. The family room shares a wall with the formal living room. We are thinking about opening up that wall between the rooms but putting pocket doors so they can be used as separate rooms or opened up for flow.

Thank you for your creative brains! This is our first dive into house projects like this.

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