Nothing can brighten and liven up a room like a lush house plant. Just as plants add a dose of happy, nothing can add warmth to a room like real wood. I know white, light, bright, and airy rooms are all the rage right now, and I even love the look. But I also love contrast, and there’s just something perfect about the combo of white and wood. I’m a self-proclaimed lover of natural elements, including but not limited to wood, plants, leather, linen, cotton, and metals. To each their own, but I see a lot of beautiful rooms that could be amazing if only a bit of wood was included.
So, how do you go about incorporating wood pieces without overwhelming a space? Start with a small item, like a side table, mirror, picture frames, or lamp. You’d be surprised at how much character just that small item can add to a room. Don’t belive me, just look at the difference a mirror made in our main bathroom. Before:
When choosing and adding larger furniture, wood detailing can add a lot of character. Look for classic, clean lined pieces with wood accents in natural places. An exposed frame, legs, even heavy wear areas of arms.
Avoid wood additions to odd places, like the top of the back of a sofa. I’m totally thinking of a couch my parents used to have on that one.
Even though this petite sofa is 90 percent fabric, the slim lined exposed wood frame offers a touch of wood with a beautiful grain.
For larger furniture, I think the most important thing to consider is the grain. Grain is impossible to change, so if you want a more refined look, typically finer grained wood is a better fit. If going for a rustic look, a heavier or more prominent grain may be ideal.
Furniture is one thing, because it isn’t permanently attached, therefore easy to replace, but what about cabinetry? Of course white cabinetry is an easy option due to the go with anything simplicity, but cabinets can look stunning in wood. That’s not to say all wood varieties are created equal. Pine, oak, poplar and such are prime candidates for painting based on availability and price point. Finer, more expensive wood varieties are better suited to cabinetry. When choosing wooden cabinets, I prefer to stick with unstained, natural walnut. For the last ten or so years, it has been a favorite of mine and pairs nicely with many finishes.
Keep in mind that trends come and go, and try to avoid the dark, nearly ebony tones of the 70’s or honey oak that plagued the 80’s and 90’s. When in doubt, keep wood cabinets as clean lined and simple as possible, opting for flat slab or shaker fronts.
Solid wood cabinets can cost considerably more, especially depending on the species. Consider creating a wood wrapped island, which will give that warmth, without the added expense of wooden perimeter cabinets.
If you’re hunting for furniture at thrift shops, Craigslist, or estate sales, keep in mind that solid wood or thick veneer can be refinished. A thorough sanding can erase dents and scratches as well as a terrible stain color. Don’t walk away from a piece with good lines just because of an ugly finish. I’ve found that most often, I prefer a mid tone warm stain. Special Walnut from Minwax is usually my choice for fresh or refinished wood around our house. In this post alone, I used that stain on the campaign style mirror, the mid-century modern chairs, the wood frame sofa, as well as the bed and night stands seen below.
Though I’m far from a fashionista, I love how easy it is to slip this watch on for a casual accessory.
I love that it’s a unique, but not glitzy or flashy addition to my daily outfits that usually consist of jeans/shorts and a t-shirt.
Now it’s your turn to get a wood watch on your wrist. Go ahead and enter the giveaway here, where one lucky winner will win a $75 coupon code. All other entries will receive a $20 coupon code, so get your entries in before the giveaway closes July 28th at 11:59pm.