The Elements - Wood
Whilst different woods create different fragrances when burnt and burn at different rates which is wonderful if you have an open fireplace or log burner, its flowing grain and tight knots make it a beautifully tactile material that can be used in its raw state as a sculptural adornment, or can be made into fine furniture, flooring, doors, work surfaces, windows, shutters, ceiling or wall panelling and a whole lot more. It comes in a fair range of natural colours including yellow, grey, orange and red, brown and their spectrums all of which can be finished with a wide variety of coloured dyes, or a basic wax polish, teak or Danish oil, French polish or a soft sheen, matt or high gloss varnish depending on the effect you wish to incorporate in your design.
Wood brings nature’s beauty into the home, softening cold rooms with its natural warm glow whether your design is modern, rustic or stately. From the timber cruck frame work of a cottage to the lofty oak beams of a stately home wood creates a feeling of age and maturity. Rich, dark wood floors and furniture whilst costly can when coupled with softer tones such as ivory or cream create an understated grandeur. A four post bed or large dining table make the spaces they occupy feel opulent and welcoming, their polished surfaces positively glowing as if declaring ’look at me, aren’t I beautiful’. Wooden floors can make a room feel warm and inviting when coupled with a rug to add a touch of contrasting colour. Polished surfaces draw out the natural beauty of wood with all its knots or fluid looking grains to remind us of the unique beauty of nature and that whilst no longer a tree it still expands and contacts, a living, breathing material that needs to be cared for and maintained. Like the branches of a tree that reach up towards the light, if you are thinking of creating a loft conversion consider the space being in those branches and what a wonderful place it would be. With the right planning and design your loft could become a ‘tree house’. Beams made of natural branches and solid wood floors when coupled with summer or autumn leaf colours would enhance the feeling of being up in a trees canopy, whilst a dormer window will infuse the space with dappled light and birdsong on a summer’s eve and make a marvellous place from which to survey the surrounding land and watch a sun rise or sunset.
Things to consider when using wood –
Colour – Choose the type of wood as if picking a complementing colour.
Type – Some woods whilst beautiful are not as durable as others so consider what it is to be used for. Pine is soft and oak is hard and there’s everything in between.
Source - Remember to source responsibly. Sustainability is paramount.
Whether you are building a house, extension, or furnishing a room, like our ancient ancestors who used it to build fires, wood is a material that cannot be ignored. It enriches our lives and makes a home - it is deserving of respect and must be protected for the generations yet to come.