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Versatile and beautiful, wood is one of the most widely used materials in the home. No matter what the style of your interiors – staunchly traditional or ultra contemporary – chances are a good proportion of your furniture is wood, be it solid, veneered or painted. Wood can also be the material of choice for walls. So of the moment, the downfall is the high maintenance, especially if used in a busy kitchen. Be sure to maintain this glorious facade with oil or wax. Here, a palette of wood, leather and marble accented with artisan pieces and pops of colour offers a modern approach to blending the natural and hand-made.
Kai Samuels-Davis at The Cold Press
The cabinet, side table and sofa stand in this living room were created from wood found in a salvage yard. Furniture, as shown here, can be made from pieces of solid wood joined together. Don't be discouraged when sourcing salvaged wood - even when damaged, wood can often be restored to its former glory, so you can make the most of auction room acquisitions or junk-shop finds. Any dents and scratches become part of the patina of age or, if preferred, can be sanded down and refinished. The backdrop of soft white walls gives the room a restful and tranquil feel.
The Real Wood Furniture Co
Mid-century flair meets contemporary craft in this characterful living room. With their pinched waists, these elegant stools echo the silhouette of Dior's New Look. And a low-slung oak sofa always adds a louche line. Oak is one of the most popular choices for furniture (solid and veneer). It is durable with an attractive grain and less susceptible to damage from sunlight than other woods, making it a great choice. And what's not to love about this unique feature wall? Made from wooden crates and oak frames that have been glued together for a contemporary take on art.
This hallway is part of a kitchen extension built to let in light via the large window. Zebrano wood panelling covering the walls and ceiling creates a cocoon-like feel. A window seat provides the perfect view of both the inside and outside, and the striped look of zebrano adds warmth. Teaming it with white creates a very modern look.
Wooden logs contrast beautifully against the crisp, white walls and contemporary artwork. Despite being a simple idea, the space between the beams filled with chopped logs, is an eye-catching focal point and ensures the log fire will always be easy to top up.
There are myriad reasons why wood has been the material of choice for the home for millennia. It has strength, resilience, natural beauty and adaptability. In the right circumstance, it adds equal measures of warmth and drama. Traditional wall panelling - once a 17th-century dining room staple - is repurposed here in this rustic home office to add to the cosy garden-room feeling.
Embrace the more mature look for your kids' room, especially when thinking about longevity. While slick, this room is still playful and will take them well into their teens. The sleigh-style bed and giant puzzles mean they might even fancy an early night. Made from birch plywood and veneer, the bed brings a Scandinavian feel that is then enhanced by the use of glass and polished woods and softened with cow hide rugs. Every touch is thoughtful and the main elements (bed, flooring) are extremely durable, making them ideal for a child's room.
Wood makes such an unexpected statement when it is used across a whole wall - think panelling or tongue-and-groove. But apply the look in a bedroom via smooth panels of ply and you'll get a whole new neutral in an original take on the wooden wall. Softer than the softest white; warmer than the warmest grey, wood has a covetable look all its own.
Similar marine plywood
Original beams frame this kitchen area beautifully, adding warmth and texture to the white and modern scheme. The flagstone flooring helps tie the look together, while a double-bowl farmhouse sink is ideal for a busy kitchen. The iroko worktops are naturally resilient to water and stains. Remember to regularly treat your wooden fixtures to keep them in tip-top condition. With a water-resistant finish, such as oil or wax, you can have worktops that will last a lifetime. Now what's for dinner?
Teak has long been favoured for furniture. As an oily wood, it is naturally water resistant so it works well in wet areas. In this bathroom, the teak veneer has been coated with a polyurethane lacquer for extra protection. Its uniform colour gives consistent results, but don't forget to regularly oil your teak furniture. Easy to apply and maintain, oil offers durable qualities and will nourish the wood.