Whether you opt for sleek, mirror-polished surfaces or a rough-hewn rustic look, wooden accessories suit every style and decor. Wood is versatile and durable, and as it’s a natural material each wooden item you own will have a unique grain and pattern. We take a look at how to make an impact with wood.
Oak is a very hard and robust wood, used for everything from building work to decorative bowls – in fact, there are records of oak roof beams lasting for over a thousand years. It’s very hard wearing when used outside, as it contains high levels of tannic acid which act as a preservative, so unlike teak it doesn’t need treating. Good quality oak isn’t cheap, but if you’re planning to commission or buy a set of furniture to last a lifetime, it’s definitely a wood to consider.
Beech is a clean and hard wearing wood with a characteristic pale, bright appearance. It’s very strong, making it a good choice for flooring or worktops, and its pale colour makes it a popular choice for modern homes.
Birch is paler than beech and gives a light, almost Nordic feel to a room. Despite its light colour it’s extremely strong, and a popular choice for contemporary furniture. Its bark contains natural waxes making it waterproof, and birch bark is sometimes used as roof tiles in Scandinavian countries.
Lime is a pale yellowy colour, and is soft enough to allow it to be carved with precision. It also stains well, as the colour helps bring out the natural lustre of the wood, and it’s a popular choice for furniture.
Yew has beautiful, unusual colouring as the rich brown timber is dotted with little clusters of tiny knots and reddish accents. It’s very slow growing and therefore expensive, and is often used for decorative accessories such as bowls and platters.
Wood that’s good: Top five wooden accessories for your home
Add some distinctive wood pieces to your home, through furniture or accessories.
1. Oak stool, Burlanes Interiors
The uncluttered design of this simple wooden stool allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through. Handcrafted in Canterbury, this stool is a perfect addition to your kitchen or bathroom. £198, available from Burlanes Interiors.
2. Torrington beech headboard, Natural Mat
This robust, stylish, strut-fitted head board is made from FSC beech timber, and is available in natural or stained beech. A version is also available in white American oak. Prices start at £250, available from Natural Mat.
3. Birch wood wreath, Red Lily
This unusual wreath, £14.50, is made from layers of birch bark, and would make a great alternative decoration for Christmas. Supplied with white hanging ribbon. Available from Red Lily.
4. Kay Bojesen oak elephant, Rosendahl
We love how the natural grain on this elephant, £170, looks like textured skin and adds to his sweet, quizzical expression. Designed in 1953 by Kay Bojesen, these oak figures are now beautifully handmade by the Danish Rosendahl group. These toys will become family heirlooms, and this elephant would make an ideal christening gift. Available from The Scandinavian Shop.
5. Teardrop lamp, Hemmesphere
For a quirky feel, try this teardrop-shaped lamp, £89.95, cleverly made from beech wood. It mimics the curved lines of the light bulb, and the wooden frame lends a soft glow to the room. Light shines through the outer sculpture of the lamp to project a waffle like effect into the room casting soft shadows. Remove the base to increase the intensity of the light shining into your room and use the base to prop up the body of the lamp to make an eye-catching floor lamp. Available from The Glow Company.
(Top image credit: Shutterstock)