Decorating with wood – 10 of the best ideas

From original beams and plywood walls to antique and junk-shop finds, we show you how to bring wood into your home. Find more decorating ideas at

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.

Similar pitcher

Ferm Living

1/10 Artwork

kitchen with plywood wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Emma Lee)

Kai Samuels-Davis at The Cold Press

2/10 Living room with salvaged wood furniture

living room with wooden flooring and wooden furniture

(Image credit: Future PLC/Heather Hobhouse)

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.

Similar furniture
The Real Wood Furniture Co

3/10 Living room with museum frames feature

living room with white wall and museum frames feature

(Image credit: Future PLC/Damian Russell)

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.

Another Country

4/10 Hallway with zebrano wood

zebrano wood hallway

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tony Timmington)

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.

Zebrano wood
Vincent Timber

5/10 Kitchen with log-pile wall

kitchen with wooden log wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/James Merrell)

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.

Similar basket
Laura Ashley

6/10 Home office with wood panelled wall

wood panelled wall home office with wooden table

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

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.

Similar table
The Old Cinema
Labour and Wait

7/10 Kids’ room with wood accessories

kids bedroom with wooden flooring and bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan West)

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.

Bunk bed
Bed set
Nordic Elements

8/10 Bedroom with plywood wall

bedroom with marine plywood wall and wooden cot with white bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC/Armelle Habib)

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

Robbins Timber

9/10 Kitchen with original wood beams

kitchen with original wooden beams

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

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?

Harvey Jones
Stone Tile Co

10/10 Bathroom with teak bath

bathroom with white wall and wooden bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/Robert Sanderson)

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.

Similar bath
Wooden Baths
Similar blinds
Apollo Blinds


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.