Exploring Wood Textures – Brown is Beautiful!


It’s one of the planet’s biggest interior design myths. And it’s probably why, during the long years when interior design meant bland hotel-style interiors, fewer and fewer people were using wood inside their homes. Yes, wood is brown. But brown is beautiful! It’s subtle, and it lets you create a quiet, calm backdrop against which to add plenty of vivid colour and vibrant decorative pizzazz.

Gorgeous wood textures to brighten up your interior design

Most people think dark colours make a room look smaller. But that’s nonsense. As any interior design professional will tell you, using darker colours on your walls – and even the ceiling – actually makes a room look much bigger.

This is great news for those of us who adore the look, colour and feel of real wood. It’s heartening for people who prefer richly coloured textures and personality-filled rooms over pale, light interiors. And it’s bang on trend as far as today’s recycling and re-purposing Zeitgeist is concerned.

All of which probably explains why so many contemporary interior design styles are using wood to create texture as well as deliver an illusion of space. If, like most of us ordinary folk, you need to make the most of the small-ish amount of space you have, decorating with wooden accents is a great way to do it.

How to create space with textured wooden flooring

Most wooden floors feature the same pattern running through the entire floor. There’s the texture of the wood itself, i.e. the grain and the knots, plus the pattern the floorboards, wooden tiles or parquet pieces make when they’re laid – two lots of beautiful texture in one. But there’s another design advantage: because the same or a similar pattern runs through the entire floor, it creates a real feeling of continuity, which in turn helps open up the space.

Engineered oak flooring might be your best bet, expensive but long lasting and particularly beautiful. Laminate flooring is cheaper, although you can buy top quality stuff with a 25 year guarantee. It comes in all sorts of stunning textures and a huge range of colours and textures, smooth and rough, from pale oak to deep, dramatic ebony black.

What about a wooden ceiling or wood panelled walls?

Now that shabby chic, Shaker style, traditional French decoration and eccentric, eclectic mixes are back in fashion with a vengeance, you can take wood much farther.

How about using rustic wooden elements in your home? You could even go as far as cladding your walls – or just a feature wall – with a combination of pale and dark woods, creating a stunning, warm, dramatic textured finish. Wood is also a good sound and heat insulator so you might even save a bit of cash on your energy bills while you’re at it.

Going off-piste with clashing textures and furniture styles

What a relief! Instead of feeling we have to make every piece of furniture in the room match, mixing and matching is the name of the game for 2015. Which means you can have a splendid time combining furniture made from dark and light woods – and everything in between – with creative abandon.

How about an old English oak chest from the 1800s, so dark it’s almost black, combined with a light oak French country sideboard and a modern hardwood coffee table in a gorgeous reddish wood, all wax-polished to a high sheen?

Interior design – Wood accessories

Do you live near the coast? If so the beach could provide a thrilling resource in the guise of driftwood. The best bits are smoothed and shaped by the sea, salt-bleached to a lovely silvery grey. You can use smaller chunks of driftwood to create a frame around a mirror, for example. Just glue it direct onto the glass with No More Nails glue, or onto an ordinary wooden mirror frame.

Then there’s sculpture. A large piece of textured driftwood can stand in a corner of your room, simply leaning against the wall. You could ‘pot’ it in an attractive container filled with beach pebbles or garden centre-bought slate chunks. Or even hang it from the ceiling using a section of old rusty chain for an ultra-modern impact.

Wonderful wooden wall panels

Wood wall panelling is a big design hit right now because it reflects the Shaker trend so well. You can buy brand new wood panels for bathrooms, kitchens, lounges and dining rooms, more or less any room in your home. They come in all sorts of colours and textures, some traditional and some hyper-modern. You can even buy genuine antique wood panelling…at a price. Here are three handy resources to inspire you:

  1. The Wall Panelling Company
  2. Antique wood panelling

Textured wood wallpaper – Talk about chic!

Wallpaper manufacturers have stepped into the breach, responding to the trend for funky wood textures.  You could decorate an entire room with wood textured wallpaper panels or just one feature wall. These cool new wallpapers deliver an outdoorsy feel, mixing industrial style with country home décor and about as far from traditional floral wallpapers as it gets.

Think muted colours and strong outdoor textures: rust, wood and even concrete. If you’re wary of going too far, grab some wallpaper samples and test-drive the look. Remember there’s much more to wallpaper than walls. You can use it on furniture, to line bookcases, decorate your staircase risers, as a funky border around a room, on the panels of your interior doors, on the ceiling, the bed head, or even the fireplace. The rule is this: there are no rules.

Which wood texture wallpaper to choose? You could try the innovative designs of Suzanne Yates or Graham & Brown, whose gorgeously innovative papers bring the outdoors indoors with earthy textures and natural colours, both calming and elegant.

You can also buy these, all absolutely stunning:

  • Wallpaper printed with a fabulous silver birch trees design
  • Wood panel wallpaper in a selection of pale to dark shades
  • Wooden logs wallpaper, featuring piles of rustic cut logs photographed end-on
  • Wooden plank textured wallpaper in a choice of fab colours
  • Realistic shabby chic pastel distressed wood panel effect wallpaper, plus a beautiful, more brightly coloured version
  • Wood plank wallpaper in all sort of lovely shabby chic textures and finishes

Here’s some wood textures wallpaper inspiration

What’s the wood interiors project you’re most proud of?

We’d love to hear about your favourite interior wood triumph. Alternatively, if you have any questions about wood finishes and the products we recommend to achieve them, we’ll be delighted to help – just give us a call.


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