Design in Depth: A Way With Wood

October 5, 2011

By Stacy Kunstel

What is it about wood?

I’m just obsessed with wood in interiors these days. No, not furniture–wood on walls. It started while on a scouting trip with Lauren Giglio of Hutker Architects. We visited a location being worked on by project architect Erin Levin and watched as craftsmen hung real wood planks horizontally in the entryway to a new home. The wood was warm and real, textural and inviting. I had to take a snapshot of the beautiful grain.

Then I remembered that the house on the cover of our July/August issue (also designed by Hutker Architects) had a kitchen and family area covered in horizontally hung wormwood that I had been crazy about as well.

Photo by Michael Partenio; click to see more

There’s something about having that much texture on the walls of a room that just seems so right, particularly this time of year as our thoughts turn to nesting. But do we really need to put that much raw wood on the walls? The look may fit houses with more contemporary lines, but what about in a traditional setting?

A few weeks ago, while shooting a Brooks & Falotico project for New England Home, I saw what appeared to be a very similar but more refined wood on the walls of the family room in a traditional home. Even as I touched it I would have sworn it was the real thing until interior designer Carol Vietor told me it was actually a paper she had hung in the room. A brilliant solution, showing the look can work in a more formal area.

Photo by Michael Partenio

The paper is by a French company called Nobilis.

I feel the same way about faux bois furniture as I do about wood walls. Its texture is so appealing. I would love to see an outdoor bench like this one by Napa Home and Garden in an entry way or mudroom.

What do you think about exposed wood in interiors? Is it for you? Let us know!