Wood is a unique natural material; so flexible, durable, warm and beautiful – there really is no wonder we love to use it in our homes. Whether it’s the scarred antique oak of a dining table, the blonde pine of modern shelving or the rustic texture of sea-roughened driftwood, they all work their magic in contemporary interiors.
So how can you welcome some woody-wonder into your home? Why not start with wall panelling? Go for the Swiss Chalet look with floor to ceiling pine, with it’s warm hues and unique knotty grain, it offers a cosy and timeless look. Alternatively, you could opt for a historical mood and fit classic period style wooden panelling – painted in heritage shades for maximum impact, this type of approach is frequently used to mask plaster that is in poor shape or for a quick fix in older homes.
Wooden flooring keeps bare feet happy, as it is warm and smooth to the touch. Modern engineered flooring or cheaper laminate alternatives come in a range of finishes. Whether it’s teak, mahogany, walnut, cherry or maple that gets your vote, you can source flooring that enhances any room in your home.
Using wood as an interior design material lends harmony to a room. On the floor and on the walls, you can even use wooden window treatments to create a streamlined and sleek effect. Try cafe style shutters as an elegant and relaxed alternative to fussy, dust-trap curtains – you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
If you want to add a classy twist to the furnishings in your home, take a trip to your local auction house to check out what is on offer. Older tables, chairs or wardrobes are invariably of a better build-quality than modern equivalents so snapping up pre-loved items can be a shrewd move. Mid century modern sideboards and shelving built along Scandinavian design principles are particularly sought after for their exquisite credentials as well as their dashing good looks. Also keep your eyes open for statement wooden furniture that has been painted – such items are often overlooked at auction. Returning a fine, paint-plastered refectory table, desk or dresser to its original glory would make a satisfying and rewarding DIY project.
Any room can benefit from the positive wood-effect. Kitchens light up when they are fitted with worktops in glowing walnut or cherry. Bathrooms shift into another gear when hardwood surrounds are fitted around the bath or sleek mahogany floors are put down. Boudoirs purr with class when a carved wooden bedhead, ebony four-poster or a pine platform bed is put in place. In short, if it’s wood, it works.
If you need any more convincing about the joys of wood as your interior friend, consider the practical side. For family homes, wood is a near perfect ingredient due to its easy clean, long lasting and practically maintenance free temperament.
Does your home need a little class action? For inspiration, start researching the many stylish interiors that exploit the beauty of wood– you may be surprised at what you find…