We painted over the panelling and that helped brighten the room, along with new carpet.
We attempted to take the wallpaper off that was above all the chair rail in this room but it was put on directly to unprimed drywall. So to take it off we were damaging the drywall and would have had to replace the drywall. I found another solution though, and bought a wall liner wallpaper online for cheap, put it up and painted over it and now no more floral striped wallpaper.
This room is so long and narrow that we seperated it into 2. We have a reading area behind the couch to fill in that space (ignore the giant piece of sheet rock leftover from the laundry room redo).