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Add Warmth and Mood to Your Interior Design with Wood

Add Warmth and Mood to Your Interior Design with Wood

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 12th Mar 2013

The magnificent paneled sitting room of Bamburgh Castle --

Bamburgh Castle exhibits a classic, dark-paneled treatment common to English estates of the day. The dark wood finish confers a real warmth to the room, which is heightened by the red leather sofas.

You may not have the privilege of living in a magnificent castle, a la Downton Abbey, but you can create many home decor effects — from the warmth of a paneled Victorian drawing room to the cool of a mid-century modern lounge — by using wood throughout your interior design. Let’s look at how wood can change the mood of a room.

In general, wood adds warmth to a room. Darker wood finishes feel warmer, while lighter, blonder finishes feel cooler. But all of them help you create an inviting interior.

A recycled wood ceiling adds warmth to this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design --

Jeremy Levine Design uses recycled wood to add warmth to this modern kitchen.

In this modern kitchen by Jeremy Levine Design, the medium-tone ceiling of recycled wood warms up a space that could otherwise come across cold and industrial. Note also how the wood ceiling draws the eye upward, making the ceiling feel higher. I love the play between the wood tone of the ceiling, the light wood cabinets, and the floor (is it cork?). This kitchen is a great example of balancing hot and cold design elements.


Blue and white bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table --

Blue and white rice bowls really pop when displayed on an ebonized table.

Beyond the generally warm feeling wood adds to a room, wooden furniture and other elements also can create a real sense of drama in your decor. Check out this shot of an ebonized table at an Asian restaurant. Doesn’t that black background really make the blue-and-white rice bowls pop? When you use richly colored wood furniture in your design scheme, you can play off that to create stunning color contrasts. Besides an ebonized table like this one, think in terms of painted wood architectural elements hung against a neutral wall, golden oak wood floors with chocolate leather furniture, or brightly painted chairs in a white dining room. When you’re working with wood, you can customize the finish to create the effect you want.

Monochromatic wood tones combine to create a warm, inviting dining area --

Our client Isabelle creates a warm, inviting space with monochromatic wood tones livened up by the plate display in the sideboard.

Our clients know a thing or two about using wood furniture to warm up a room. Here, Isabelle uses antique furniture to create a monochromatic dining area that’s anything but boring. These pieces all work in harmony (along with her gorgeous wood floor!) to create a calm, inviting dining area. And, really, shouldn’t a dining room be all about peacefulness? For contrast and color, Isabelle displays plates on her sideboard and hangs a richly colored tapestry on the wall.

These homeowners create contrast in their natural wood decor by adding a dark French antique buffet --

If you love natural wood tones in your decor, add some lighter or darker wood elements for contrast. Here, the dark buffet warms up the cooler blonde beams.

Our clients Jamie and Bill obviously love the look and feel of natural wood in their design. They purchased the beautiful French antique buffet at right from us. The darker tone of the buffet provides a nice counterpoint to the exposed blonde beams. And the red sofa adds color and drama. Well done!

As you can see, incorporating wood furniture, flooring, or paneling into your design scheme can help you create a warm environment that says, “Stay awhile.”

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!