Jul 13, 2020
When it comes to home decoration, timber is a truly versatile material that will work in almost any decor style. Here are five looks that embrace timber details...
Taking its cues from old factories and warehouses that have been converted into loft-style apartments and studios, this look centres around raw and natural materials, including concrete, brick, steel and timber. More recent adaptations have seen softer, organic materials and pops of colour added to the look, which act in stunning contrast to the ‘harsher’ elements. It’s a look that’s edgy, minimalist and timeless, and is equally striking when carried through your entire home or just used here and there as a feature.
Industrial style places great value in natural imperfections, which is where timber comes in – think rich, exposed wooden floors or panelled walls, with knots and variations in the grain. Take a more modern approach by pairing honey-toned timbers with polished concrete and matte black fixtures. Furniture pieces should be quite minimalistic and free of unnecessary carvings or adornments, often made from timber or steel, or a combination of both. For a quick hit of industrial style, opt for heavy timber doors or a pallet base for your bed.
Inspired by the architecture and decoration of the luxury seaside homes of Long Island – a popular holiday spot for New Yorkers – Hamptons style is light and bright with a sophisticated, beachy vibe. It’s a look that has translated well to Australian interiors because the natural textures, linen textiles and oceanic palette work so well within our own coastal landscape.
Classic Hamptons style favours a crisp and clean colour scheme of white, cream, grey and blue, with timber elements providing warmth and contrast. Timber floors are a popular feature – inside and out – usually in pale grey or whitewashed tones. Woven rugs made from jute, sisal or cotton provide warmth and softness underfoot. Kitchens are mostly white, featuring shaker-style cabinetry and timber accents via door handles or bar stools. Furniture and storage provide yet more opportunities to introduce some statement timber pieces – think a beautiful sideboard in the living room, a dresser or linen chest in the bedroom or a grand, French Provincial-style dining table carved from oak.
Also referred to as farmhouse style, the country trend revolves around rustic décor and hard-wearing furniture. These homes often take inspiration from their bushland surroundings, with muted tones and natural textiles quintessential choices. Practicality and longevity are key, which makes timber an ideal inclusion thanks to its strong, durable nature.
Timber can take many forms in country homes, starting from the floors up. Wooden floors are customary, as is timber wall panelling. Exposed timber beam ceilings make a lovely feature of pitched rooflines, while sliding barn doors have undeniable bucolic appeal. Classic country-style kitchens might have a timber benchtop or shaker-style cabinet doors. A central wooden table often takes the place of the kitchen island, acting as both work area and a gathering place for meals – look for one with turned legs for extra rustic flavour. Open shelves made from timber can be a lovely contrast against white walls. In bathrooms, a timber vanity or wooden stool are the perfect accompaniment for white tiles and a clawfoot tub.
Clean lines, soft tones and simplicity – these are the cornerstones of Scandinavian style. It’s fuss-free and pared-back, with an emphasis on warmth, comfort and family togetherness. As such, rooms are open-plan in design and often revolve around the dining table where meals are shared – it’s certainly a look that gels well with our Australian way of life.
In Scandi-style homes, there’s a preference for natural elements, which means hardwood floors are a mainstay. The timber is whitewashed or made from pale timber species like pine or beech, to bring lightness to a room. Likewise, functionality rates highly, with furniture made from natural materials like timber using traditional craftmanship. These furnishings often double as decoration and include clever storage features to minimise clutter. To nail the style, combine your timber pieces with white elements – for example, white kitchen cabinetry with a timber benchtop, a wooden dining table with chairs painted white or an all-white bathroom with a timber feature wall.
This sleek and timeless look was popular in the 1950s and 1960s – hence the mid-century tag – and never really lost its momentum. Natural materials and sculptural forms are a key feature, making the style compatible in almost any modern home. The concepts of open-plan living and indoor-outdoor flow, which were relatively new at the time, are now fundamental to the way we design our homes today.
The focus is on functionality, with furnishings designed simply with no unnecessary flourishes. Wooden furniture, in particular, is a big part of this look – think credenzas, armchairs, glass-topped coffee tables and bar stools. Look for pieces made from darker timber types like walnut, cherry wood or teak, with rounded legs and arms. Mid-century modern décor likes to use a wide variety of materials, including timber. It’s commonly used in flooring, but also in feature walls or ceilings to not only bring warmth and texture to a room, but provide a connection to nature and add to the overall timeless aesthetic.