Including wood in the interiors is the simplest way of giving your home an opulent makeover. Whether your house follows a classic, rustic or contemporary design you always have options of incorporating wood in its various aspects. Wood has a timeless charm associated with it. With the inclusion of wood and its variety of available colour and texture – like that of teak, walnut and mahogany – an element of surprise in the interior décor can easily be introduced.
Half timbered houses of Germany or indigenous two to three storey wooden buildings of northern India continue to earn our admiration for their superb structures. These are preserved as heritage properties. Antique wood furniture is considered sought after collectors’ item due to its beauty and durability. Wood constitutes one of the basic elements of feng shui and according to this ancient belief system it has the capabilities of promoting growth and regeneration. When used in conjunction of other organic elements it also harnesses the power of creativity. So let us see how we can introduce wood in our homes.
Intricately designed wooden staircase is another highly valued item in any home. Different types of wood stairs are now available for you to choose from. Contemporary houses can make use to mono stringer, arched or spiral staircases. For a traditional building single or double winder stairs as well as grand staircase with single and double bull nose looks impressive. Double height libraries of many historic buildings still retain their beautifully carved spiral stairs made of wood. The choice, however, depends on the availability of space, type of room where the stair is being installed and budget.
This modern wooden stair is designed by Broda Schody-Dywanowe. More economical hardwood stairs are those that are made of beech, poplar, white oak and hickory. Cherry, walnut, maple and birch tend to be moderately prized. Teak and mahogany are good options for a more luxurious set up. The colour and texture of wood, covered only by preservatives, look best when left exposed.
Hardwood flooring tends to add a touch of glamour to any house. The benefits of having wood flooring are manifold. It is soft and has natural insulating capabilities, absorbs sound, ecologically sustainable, boasts of unparalleled beauty and considerable solidity. Traditional hardwood flooring prefers the strength and durability of oak, maple, mahogany, hickory and walnut. Choosing the right type of wood suitable for a particular place and climatic condition requires some amount of research and expert intervention.
Classic parquet hardwood flooring is prized a possession of any home. A number of different wood types, including bamboo, is employed to obtain an elegantly decorated floor. Hardwood flooring was once a staple of many houses and even commercial spaces, particularly those belonging to a colder climate. But with unplanned and sometimes illegal deforestation and concerns of deteriorating environmental conditions, it is fast becoming a rarity. Engineered wood flooring is mostly being used instead. Besides wood flooring you may even have wood panelled walls and ceilings.
The easiest way of incorporating wood in your home is by gifting yourself and your dear ones beds made of wood. Wooden beds are available in a plethora of designs. From traditional canopy, four poster, sleigh beds to more modern divan, panel and platform beds, the options are many. So, survey the interior of your house carefully and think of the type that would best suit your existing décor.
Unlike floors and staircases, beds can sometimes be made of softwood, because it is easier to create intricate patterns in it. However, softwood beds are not necessarily brittle. Red sandalwood and cedar are two popular types of softwood used for creating highly ornate beds. Both wood types have natural moth repellent properties and are gently aromatic. Among hardwood mahogany, rosewood, cherry and elm are more highly valued options. Ash, fir, oak and pine are also used for these types of furniture. Buying veneered wood beds could be a more affordable option as well.
Giving your kitchen worktop and table a wooden makeover would be another excellent idea. It is more affordable than premium quality granite, but equally stylish. Whether your kitchen wears a shabby chic or country look, wood worktops will be a fine addition to any theme. Once again you will be confronted with an array of choices. Oak, walnut and African teak or iroko are the commonest ones to be used for this purpose. All three are durable with oak being the strongest among the three. It is of a darker shade though. So, if you prefer a more golden hue then African teak would be a better option.
Wenge presents one of the darkest available tones and would be great if your kitchen is dominated by white, dark grey and black shades. Bamboo also makes a fantastic kitchen worktop. Unique patterns of zebrawood or engineered wood with similar looks can incorporate a fun element in a space like kitchen.
Don’t ignore your front door, especially when you are trying to introduce wood in your home. A front door made of beautifully crafted and durable wood will make an instant impression in every visitor’s mind. Besides, sturdy wood provides an additional layer of security. Nearly all the hardwood already mentioned here are appropriate for crafting a front door. White knotty birch, pine, poplar, cypress and clear alder would produce doors in lighter shades, that is, if you don’t coat it with paint. Juniper is also a highly appreciated and time tested wood type for the doors. Asian countries have great affinity to sheesam, sal (shorea) and deodar (Himalayan cedar).
Choose a suitable door design that complements the wood type and structure of your house. When it comes to styling, each region has its own specialties. A double eye Versailles door looks as special as Japanese sliding doors. Contemporary doors tend to be narrower and less ornate. No matter whichever you choose, remember, a knock on your door should sound special.
Touch wood! You are blessed with a patch of green land which you can now use to build your own wood cabin. Having a wood cabin for oneself is one of the most cherished fantasies that people tend to carry life long. You may even consider building one and gifting it to your child on his or her birthday. A wood cabin can be used for hobby purposes, as an extra shelter or building a home office as well. Nowadays, it is even possible to buy a readymade wood cabin and install it in the garden.
Pine is the commonest wood type used for the building wooden cabins. Cedar, spruce, birch, fir, cypress and hemlock are also utilised to craft beautiful log homes. These are built to last and are often capable to withstand extreme weather conditions. Though the design of both the exterior and interior of a log home will largely depend on the purpose it is built for, try to give it a cosy and decorative feel to create a sort of retreat that is not too far away from your own doorstep.
Take some time out to check some of our other ideas of outdoor furniture here.