With traditional looks ranging from mid-century modern to rustic-chic reigning in the realm of interior style, you may be wondering how you can incorporate this trendy, feel-good aesthetic into your home. Integrating the right form, finish and type of wood, whether in small accent pieces or as part of a widespread overhaul of furnishings, can transform your décor.
Including wood in your indoor environment is more than just good taste. It’s gaining traction as a meaningful health and wellness choice, said to reduce stress, increase a sense of wellbeing and lower blood pressure and heart rates. Enjoy the visual warmth of wood, and its obvious connection to nature, while crafting your ideal traditional, retro or vintage interior.
While a pastiche of styles from different eras is certainly in vogue, if your tastes run toward a less eclectic aesthetic you’ll want to start by identifying your preferences. You may gravitate toward the structure and quality of truly vintage pieces such as the dark finishes of Edwardian era antiques, or your taste may run toward the sensual curves of Art Nouveau pieces. Perhaps the sleek modernity of mid-century designs or the solid lines of Mission style furniture are more to your liking.
Regional wood furniture choices also vary widely; you may love the breezy look of driftwood, weathered and white-painted wood furniture unique to seaside cottages, or prefer the rough, natural look of distressed raw wood in a more Western style. Far-Eastern inspired traditional wood pieces range from the ornate carving of China to the minimalism of Japan and the broad, jointed pieces distinctive to Korea.
While wood comes in a range of finishes, the original texture or grain and the original shade often play a part unless a very heavy paint, finish or lacquer is used. When choosing wooden furniture for home décor, you might want to consider more than just aesthetic preferences. Wood density and finish vary, and delicate or polished designs with softer woods and permeable finishes are ideally suited for adults with a refined approach to their space, while hardwoods or distressed finishes are better suited to families and those seeking lower maintenance furniture options.
Once you’ve decided what types of wood best suit your taste and lifestyle needs, it’s time to start choosing the perfect pieces to redefine your space. This is the perfect opportunity to get creative – while wooden chairs and bookshelves are classics, try looking beyond to some of the unique options available.
In the kitchen, why not add functional and beautiful wooden ‘butcher block’ style countertops? A great way to incorporate this in a stand alone feature is with a floating island – with drawers and hooks around the perimeter, it makes an attractive and easy to clean piece for home chefs. Wooden bar stools or open shelving are great choices for the kitchen – distressed or natural wood looks particularly appealing as open shelves to display functional or decorative pieces.
In living spaces, you’ll find a beautiful range of wooden coffee, side and accent tables are a popular choice to present delightful design elements such as incorporated lighting or blended materials while meeting practical needs and presenting an overall traditional aesthetic. Shelves are another expected item that you can give an unexpected twist to by getting creative with unusual formats and finishes or keep things classic. Modern and futuristic wall shelves are available in decidedly unorthodox shapes, while rustic styles incorporate treelike elements for radiating shelves or branch hooks. Or go traditional and showcase your reads or collection behind glass doors or with a classic ladder attachment.
The perimeter of your room offers many opportunities to showcase wood design elements. Barn doors – sliding wooden doors – are enjoying great popularity, and the style can take on a less rustic and more polished look with twists like single-slab or bookshelf doors instead of the classic crosspiece barn format. Wooden shutters are another way to add class, function and visual interest in keeping with your chosen aesthetic. Available in a range of finishes, they’ll complement your interior design and bring the warmth and style of wood into your rooms opened or closed.
In the bedroom and bathroom, options range from bedroom sets with a wooden bed frame and coordinated supporting pieces to brilliantly unorthodox choices like solid slab bathroom counters. A headboard or feature wall of distressed, rustic, or weathered seaside cottage style wood is a popular choice, as are wall bracket open shelving, with the bonus of saving floor space. Wooden shutters can also a great choice in the bedroom, allowing filtered light and privacy with quieter and easier operation than many other window covering options, and certainly a more traditional style. For those who prefer minimalist accents, other creative additions include wooden bath-mats and mirror frames and storage.
Whatever your style, you’ll find it’s possible to craft an eclectic or faithfully curated interior aesthetic with gorgeous, healthy wood. Whether you’re an aficionado of classic vintage design, or are all aboard the rustic, distressed and reclaimed wood bandwagon, you can achieve a beautiful traditional feel with even just a few strategic pieces.