Warm, organic textures and materials are what people love around them in their homes. Wood is the perfect natural material that brings nature into your home and commands respect at the same time. Regardless of your decorating style, there is a wood that meets your comfort level and will symbolize strength and tranquility simultaneously. From flooring to architectural details wood is one of the most versatile materials for your home. Here are 20 of the best uses for wood in your home, from architectural elements to décor, we have you covered!
1.) Add wood architectural detailing: Want to make an ordinary wall have formality and distinction? Add wood moldings like crown and wainscoting to a simple wall and watch how it transforms. To add distinction to furniture, try using moldings and rosettes to enhance the beauty and bring visual interest.
2.) Wood flooring patterns can add beauty to a space: In hallways, foyers, and large rooms, consider using parquet wood tiles in a decorative pattern. Try using contrasting wood colors and varieties instead of an area rug. Parquet can also be used as a border around the perimeter of a room or used subtly
3.) There is a wood for every budget: Wood is very versatile in décor as well as in budget. For those that want high variety exotic woods, Brazilian Rosewood, Teak, and Ebony are gorgeous and unique. Flooring and select furniture utilize these gorgeous but pricey woods. For those that want less expensive wood, White Oak and straight grained Maple are beautiful without the hit to the wallet. Use these varieties in a cabinetry and furniture.
4.) Consider using cork for all of its benefits: May people don’t know that cork is a wood made from the cork oak tree and has remarkable qualities when used in the home. Cork flooring is soft under foot and has great sound reduction properties. Use cork in areas with a lot of foot traffic and noise, like a children’s playroom or hallway. Cork is also eco-friendly and comes in variety of colors and patterns. Cork is beautiful in wall and ceiling panels too!
5.) Group wood décor together to add visual interest: In popular home furnishing magazines you can see how designers group wood bowls, artifacts of varying colors and sizes together to create mini themes. Whether it’s on a coffee table, amongst books in a bookshelf, or even on a kitchen counter, wood décor groupings are easy to create. Use treasures of your own, or visit thrift, and antique shops to gather “artifact’ looking décor.
6.) Use wood in exterior detailing of your home: Wood has always been an exterior home material that is versatile, strong and when taken care of – can last for years into the future. Wooden columns, balustrades, and moldings can add definition to your exterior façade. Especially used on front porches, entryways and around windows and doors. When using wood outside make sure the wood has been pressure treated. This is wood that has been injected with chemicals to keep it insect, termite and fungal free when used outside.
7.) Re-use wood in your home decor: With the recent onset of great eco-friendly ways to decorate your home, reusing wood materials in new ways in your home can give your home a new look. Consider using old wood doors as headboards or a new table in your home. Wood siding can be sanded and refinished to use as carpentry wood for home décor projects. One note: do not use palette wood that is usually found behind grocery stores and warehouses. This wood is used to move food, chemicals, dirt, etc… and can harbor germs and bacteria.
8.) Mix and match wood varieties: Long gone are the days when the wood of the floor had to match the wood in the furnishings and crown molding. In today’s world different varieties are mixed and matched and leave a sense of excitement in what would ordinarily be a boring room. To add an eclectic aesthetic to your kitchen use different wood on your upper and lower cabinets! It sounds strange, but the result is a beautiful mesh of two worlds. Choose a counter top material that blends with both woods to pull the look together.
9.) Wood ceilings aren’t just for home libraries: When wood is used on the ceiling it gives the room a natural and warm sense above your head. Coffered and paneled ceilings can be simple or intricate. If you want to save money use laminates that look like wood and can be applied to walls and ceilings.
10.) Consider using wood window treatments: Wood shutters, blinds and bamboo shades are a nice touch of organic appeal to your space. Wood shutters tend to keep light out when closed, and look beautiful from the outside of your home as well as inside. Blinds and shades are less expensive than shutters and are easier to install. Depending on the type of wood, window treatments can add up cost wise when pricing them for your home. Consider putting the more expensive treatments in the public areas of your home and save the inexpensive ones for bathrooms and utilitarian spaces.
11.) Use decorative wood screens to divide a space: Try using wood room dividers to break up a space visually or to add another use for a room. Antique and artisan screens come in a variety of styles, colors and heights. Wood screens can also be used as head boards in the bedroom!
12.) Wooden beams add architectural interest: There was a time in residential architecture that exposed wood ceiling beams were covered with drywall and hidden from plain sight. Over the years exposed wood beams add architectural interest and can add a rustic aesthetic to the room. Heavy timber – such as reused railroad tracks/ties are especially popular in ceiling design. For a more refined look, beams can be finished smooth and stained in a variety of colors and finishes.
13.) Do it yourself wood finishing projects are endless: Is the antique wood furniture in your garage collecting dust? Why not sand down the original finish and add a new stain color? For rooms that you want a pop of color, paint furniture with a bold accent or choose a color from the existing palette of the room. Do it yourself (DIY) projects allow you to personalize wood furniture, décor, mirror frames, etc… into your own works of art. Visit your local craft store or surf the internet for more do it yourself wood projects.
14.) Frame artwork and family photographs in wood frames: Wood is versatile and timeless. From light oak and clean streamlined frames to bold mahogany styles, there is a wood frame waiting for your personal touch. Look around the room to see what existing color palette is currently being used. Consider going one shade lighter or darker to add contrast and to draw the eye to the subject of the framed work. Look in popular furniture magazines to see how they display collections, family photos and artwork.
15.) Make a room feel bigger with lighter woods: When choosing a wood color for furnishings take into account how the large the space is. Lighter wood can make a small space feel more spacious while dark wood tends to command a presence and will swallow a small space up. If your room is too large consider using a mix of various complementing varieties of wood to give the eye separate areas of the room to focus. This wall make the room feel more cozy and not so vast and cold.
16.) Wooden bead board can hide imperfections: Bead board is pieces of wood applied to walls to help with heavy traffic and abuse. Originally, bead board had a utilitarian application, although today it also has a decorative function. Solid, stained wood bead board is popular in formal dining rooms, libraries and home offices to give a refined look. Bead board also comes in pre fabricated veneer panel sheets. The veneer can resemble your favorite exotic wood for a fraction of the price.
17.) Shop online classifieds for treasure finds: Still trying to add wood furniture to your home but you don’t have the money to spring for new furniture? Try online classifieds and don’t be afraid to haggle down the price! When considering buying, make sure you look at the sturdiness of the piece, and the condition in which they are selling it. Don’t take anyone’s word over the phone.
18.) Invest in one dynamic piece of wood furniture: Create a focal point in your space by using a curio cabinet, an entertainment center or even a butcher block island in the kitchen. These investments will add a base that you can then add small accessories like pillows, collectibles or decorative kitchen counter décor to enhance. When wood is taken care of it will last for generations and will look better year after year.
19.) Wood is a perfect material for a fireplace mantel: Large pieces of timber that are rustic and unfinished are perfect mantels for nature inspired homes. For more traditional homes, consider using wood detailing carved into the mantle and fireplace surrounds. Wood can extend above the mantel with crown molding. While on the wall and vertical supports, ornamentation can be added for a classical architectural feel.
20.) Wood head and foot boards set the scene in a bedroom: The bed is the main focal point of any bedroom. Depending on your personal style, a wood head/foot board can change a room instantly. For a dramatic feel a wood sleigh bed or four poster canopy bed is a dynamic way to catch the eye. For a more subtle look, a clean lined Mission style bed maybe for you. Regardless of your choice, a wood head/foot board bed will be a pleasure to wake up in every morning.
When wood is added to your home the possibilities of décor are endless. For every budget and style there is a wood to help you create the ideal home. Re-purpose wood and use it in new ways to give old life to a pre-existing piece of wood. Refinish furniture, search yard sales, and rummage through your attic. Whether the wood is old or new, it will always make your home feel natural and warm.