wood beam ceilingWood may be known for its timeless visual appeal, but there’s nothing static about the way people showcase it in American homes. Designers, homeowners and DIYers are re-discovering the warmth and beauty of wood. From inventive new uses to re-interpretations of existing styles, here are five fresh ways homeowners can incorporate wood in their homes.

Statement walls
Paneling, wainscoting and appearance walls are big trend setters. Different types of interior wood finishes reflect different styles. For example, leaving wood paneling unfinished can create the ambiance of a coastal beach house or a rustic cabin. Designers also like to mix different woods and finishes on appearance walls to add visual depth to a room.

Playing with scale
Designers are also playing with the scale of wainscoting, using it to enhance smaller rooms. A wainscot treatment brings the eye up and makes a room feel a bit taller, adding dimension and scale to smaller spaces.

Crown molding bridges the junction of walls and ceilings – a prominent visual location where an architectural accent can really shine. A contemporary use of molding is to apply a larger size of molding relative to the scale of the room. A larger baseboard, for example, grounds a room with higher ceilings, creating definition while maintaining flow in open floor plans.

Natural color and texture
The natural color of different woods reflects a certain tone, depending on which type the homeowner opts for. Darker woods, for example, lend a modern or glamorous touch, and lighter woods create a softer, more airy look.

In addition to color, each species’ unique grain patterns complement and enhance a variety of interior styles. For example, the light and consistently lineal pattern of fir works well with a contemporary interior with its clean lines and greater symmetry. Wood with a more pronounced grain pattern, like pine, lends a more traditional and rustic feel.

Finished ceilings
Often homeowners forget about the ceiling, leaving it exactly as it was when the house was built. However, wood on the ceiling can add architectural interest to the room, and attract the eye upward to explore the space.

Use wood trim, plank, decking or even siding on the ceiling to raise the decorative elements in the room to a new level. Visitors will be sure to stop and pause when they first notice the attractive style of the “fifth wall.”

Reclaimed wood
Upcycling wood found in barns and older buildings gives homeowners the chance to bring new life to beautifully aged wood. Reuse barn doors for headboards on beds, or create a table out of old wood planks. Sliding doors are also popular in homes that don’t have the space for a hinged door.

Weathered wood has a unique quality that can really add character to a space. Leave the wood weathered or grayed, or you can refinish the wood for a polished look.

For more project inspiration, visit the Wood, Naturally website.

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