Use Of Wood In Interior Design

Wood is one of the most used materials in interior design and it is considered as one of the most sophisticated. There are many reasons why it is used a lot in the design industry. Firstly (but not most important), it is a material that is perfectly adaptable to many different design styles; by using different types of wood and by applying different finishes to the surface, it matches perfectly with a modern design, contemporary, but also with a more industrial, traditional and classical style. There are few materials in design that can be so versatile to become as popular as the wood.

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A natural material

Together with stone, it is one of the most ancient materials used in construction and in furniture production. Although we live in modern cities and we are continuously surrounded by technology, we always feel attracted from nature. From the healthy food we eat, to the research for holidays in remote places, the nature is always present in our lives and natural products are often present in our homes.

Matching wood with other materials

Another reason for the wood to be one of the most used material in interior design is that it can be easily matched with other materials. The new tones of the wood vary from lighter colors to darker ones and being neutral they’re never too dominant as a strong color, like a green, red, or blue. If we think to the raw concrete, for example, we can use it in interior design if we want to give a modern or industrial style, with a cold feeling. Wood, thanks to its various natural tones and infinite tones possibilities when lacquered, can create different styles and it’s perfect to be combined with either stone, for creating a more traditional style, or concrete, to create warmth in a colder environment.

How much wood to use in a project

This will depend on the style we want to create and from the feeling we want to have in a space.

Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most inspiring architect and designers believed the design needed to be in harmony with the environment. This is the reason why in a mountain or countryside cottage we see more stone and wood used in the construction; they create a sense of warmth and cozy feeling.

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Different qualities

As there are many varieties of wood, this material is perfect for any budget project. From low budget project to high end ones there are thousands of possible use of wood in the furniture and design industry. High end wooden design products are usually sourced from sustainable forests, worked with professional process aimed at maintaining a natural effect, but maintaining strength and durability.

The surface and frame of a design product can be either in solid wood (portion of wood directly taken from the trunks) or in veneer (subtle layer of wood applied to a core panel in mdf, particle board or plywood). As designers, the most common question we are asked by our clients is if it is true that solid wood is better than veneer. Unfortunately, the wood world is so complex that there is not a right answer to this question. There are products that are better if made in solid wood and others where the use of veneer is preferable. In design we can find very low-quality products in solid wood and excellent ones made in veneer. There are many features for both types of wood depending on the production process, wood type used and final product; we will discuss these further in more blog articles.

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Sustainability is one of the most complicated and controversial topics when approaching the wood design. The wooden furniture production chain is starting from forests when the trees are cut, then the wood is selected, stored, dried in the factory’s warehouses, and then it is processed for the creation of design furniture. To have a sustainable product each of these steps needs to be analysed: certified forests need to have replantation schemes so that for each plant that is cut there is a replantation of another one. The cutting process (that might seem not sustainable at all) is paradoxically very sustainable, as thanks to the cutting, the soil can get more sunshine and rainwater, and the forest is cyclically regenerated with young and healthy trees throughout years and generations. This is obviously only the beginning of the production chain; sustainability needs to continue at all the levels of the chain, including energy used for production, transport of different parts, furniture transport and of course the lifecycle of the furniture. A timeless and durable product doesn’t need a replacement for many years; while a fast fashion design product made with poor quality needs to be replaced more often and more waste is created.

Wood is for sure the most used material in design and – from our point of view – the most beautiful, but it is also one of the most complex ones. Interior designers’ priority is to be informed on the features and details of the wooden products they select, helping their clients to understand what is best for their home and how wood can enhance the quality of the interiors of their homes.