When many of us think of using wood in the home we think of old, dated and dilapidated furniture and worn down old cottages. The more enterprising and forward-thinking amongst us though see wood for what it is, a blank canvas through which we can decorate our homes in startlingly attractive and unique ways. Wood is a building material that has been used in homes for hundreds of years with good reason. It's sturdy, malleable, aesthetically pleasing and quite comfortable underfoot. Though the homes of the past were decorated in dark, varnished varieties, the modern fashion is for more natural, warm and light woods and even reused woods that can lend any home a unique, 'vintage' aesthetic without succumbing to the drab, antiquated designs of yore.
The Living Room
Though carpeted floors are undeniably comfortable they can also attract stains and might not provide you with the exact 'look' or 'vibe' that you're going for. Wooden floors can give a living room a more 'modern' and 'formal' look that has been particularly popular with younger, professional couples of late. If you want a little more comfort (and let's be honest here, most woods can be a little hard and cold) then you also have the option of using softer woods or reclaimed woods. These will have been softened by years of wear and tear, then reconditioned to make them suitable for home use. Whilst we're in the living room of course it would be churlish not to mention how much a well-designed, wooden coffee table can bring to the room. Here you might want to go with stained, well-aged wood as any marks attained through use will only add to its unique charms.
Though there are other options available, our beds have traditionally been constructed from wood for centuries. And as these frames will be covered by sheets and mattresses, the aesthetics of the wood are not as important as they might be in other circumstances. In this case it's important to use strong, durable wood (such as Pine or Oak) that is able to withstand years, perhaps decades of pressure. The headboard on the other hand you might want to be a little more attractive (for obvious reasons). In this case, softer woods such as Poplar are more aesthetically pleasing and can even be used as blank canvasses for some surprisingly detailed wooden carvings. Sticking with the bedroom, you will also more than likely require some drawers or cupboards in which to keep your clothes are 'unmentionables'. Don't limit yourself to the conventional wooden drawers either; there are all manner of options available to the more eccentric homeowner.
If the living room is your homes 'heart', the kitchen is its 'brain', the place where things get done. The kitchen table is the 'hub' around which our home lives revolved and any hub needs to be sturdy and large enough to accommodate the whole family. Kitchen surfaces and cabinets are also traditionally constructed from wood but that doesn't mean you have to be traditional with yours. By using strong, bold woods with very little staining and offsetting them with equally bold, black granite, you'll achieve an incredibly striking balance.
Whilst it's obviously not suggested that the bathroom fittings themselves should be built from wood (can you imagine ever being comfortable in a wooden bath?) there is no reason why the floors or even the walls can't be. The resulting style might give your bathroom the feel of an upmarket sauna, but then for many who are looking for a more 'cosmopolitan' vibe, this look could prove rather attractive.
Of course, there are some parts of our homes which have always and will always be constructed with wood; doors for example. Even after hundreds of years a material has yet to be found that can replace wood as the perfect building material for the portals we use to enter and exit our homes. The modern world is blighted by perhaps too much change but as long as we continue to require homes in which to live, work, play and relax, wooden units, decoration and constructions will have a place in our lives.
This article was written by Amy Elliott. A media graduate with a passion for writing and DIY and home interiors, she regularly contributes her ideas online and works for UK Oak Doors in managing the blog and coming up with creative interior ideas.