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All things wood: the low-down

Wood. Arguably one of the most diverse and beautiful raw materials we have to utilize in modern-day design. The first rule - there are no rules! However, it has the potential to overcrowd any space visually if a couple key things aren't taken into consideration first. In this article, we are so much getting into the ins and outs of each species of wood in general as much was we are looking at the overall effect wood(s) will have in your home and how to navigate through the decision-making process.

Before we get into the considerations, if you're not familiar with the vast world of wood species, you can take a little trip over here to familiarize yourself:


1. Application is everything. Often in design, we choose materials based on the aesthetic first. Sometimes that's ok. With wood, that can really backfire. For example, if you love the feel of a soft wood on your feet, you're not going to want to lay down a maple floor. If you are looking for a minimalist look in your home, using multiple heavy wood grains will likely not achieve the look you're wanting.

2. Pick your pattern. We've all seen these beautiful kitchens with butcher block counters. Have you noticed they are typically the focal point in that room? Even within book butcher block , there are several different grains to choose from. If you choose an edge grain (shown below), it actually pairs quite nicely with a hardwood plank. But say you want the end grain, which almost looks like a beautiful ornate basketweave (also see below). Solid patterns surrounding it are probably your best bet. . tread lightly when choosing a wood flooring . So in summary dark cherry cabinets , albeit beautiful, would not make a great combination with a heavy-grained (say cherry or hickory) surrounding wood.


3. The ebb and flow of colors and textures. There's no wrong way to do it however, it's not uncommon a client comes to us dissatisfied in their floor choice because it just feels too hectic with everything else they have happening in the house. 99.9% of the time, just about any wood grain looks phenomenal next to a solid paint.

amber interiors

wanderlust design

But also, mix them people! We love a good wood contrast, and a great example is the picture below featuring the darker wood beams and lighter cabinetry and flooring. It adds a richness to a room not much else can accomplish.

Nicole Franzen

Not sure if you've noticed, but wood paneling is back in a big way. Not just the viral "shiplap", but beautiful wall paneling straight out of the 70s. Go ahead, indulge! It's a relatively inexpensive way to create a very unique aesthetic. Again, solid colors complement this look well.

The Jungalow

4. Hacks & other tidbits. Sometimes you'll have a beautiful wood floor, and you want to throw some furniture into the mix that is virtually the same color and wood grain. Too matchy-matchy? Often, yes. Something we love doing is separating the two elements with a rug.

Nicole Franzen

Only one big DON'T comes to mind. We've seen it, which is why we're including it. PLEASE do not mix fake wood with real wood. We're not talking about wood floor and painted wood panels, that's all fine and dandy. We're talking about "wood-looking" vinyl, "wood-looking" porcelain, basically "wood-looking" anything. For example, you have some really pretty luxury vinyl on the floor, and you're changing your cabinetry. Please don't choose a real wood-grain. A paint or some other material would take the attention away from the fake wood floor, helping it to appear real. See what we did there? Magic.

That concludes our schpeel. Feel free to comment or ask questions. As always, thank you for reading.

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