By Ande Waggener
A current and ongoing interior design trend is personalizing your space — filling it with furniture and home décor that has significance to you. One of the popular ways to do this is with woodcrafts and custom wood furniture.
I am fortunate to be married to a man who loves woodworking. I already have a few custom pieces he’s built. When he retires, I’m sure I’ll eventually replace all our wood furniture with his work. My dad was also a woodworker, and I have several special accent pieces he has built. Including these uniquely and totally “me” items in my home gives my room design nuanced character it would lack if everything came off an assembly line.
If you don’t have access to a woodworking “honey-do” and don’t have the funds to purchase a substantial piece of custom wood furniture, you can still incorporate the warmth and personality of woodcrafts into your home. Smaller handcrafted wood pieces are affordable and easy to find online or at local craft fairs.
Here are six interior design ideas for using woodcrafts in your home décor.
1. Wood for Function
One of the most cost-effective ways to get woodcrafts into your décor is to purchase handmade wood pieces that have a function. An easy way to do this is with wood utensils or wood cutting boards.
These types of woodcraft kitchen helpers can be used every day, and they’re also beautiful enough to be left out for décor. Wooden bowls can do this double-duty as well.
If you do have access to a woodworker, consider having a small functional piece created for you. When I told my dad I needed a bulletin board but didn’t want to have to look at the mess I was going to pin on it, he built me an enclosed bulletin board.
I get to look at beautiful oak grain in my office instead of my haphazard diagrams and papers.
2. Wood for Storage
Another great functional way woodcrafts can be used is for storage. Many woodworkers offer for sale custom wood boxes in many sizes.
For example, my father made me a box to hold all my art supplies.
It can double as a desk and a place to stack some books as well.
My dad also built this open storage box. He originally made it to hold firewood, but since I now have a gas fireplace, I use it to store shoes we slip on when we go outside in the woods with the dog.
Not only is the box beautiful and functional, but it also fills what had been a low bare spot in the room, which leads me to the next way to use woodcrafts.
3. Wood for Empty Spaces
Once you place the large furniture in your room design, you can often end up with “dead zones,” funny little voids in the room that look like they need something but the something is unclear.
Small wood-crafted pieces work beautifully for this. My mom, for example, tucked this collapsible wood table my dad built in an open spot next to her entertainment center.
She used a wood bench he built in another décor gap.
Using woodcrafts in this way plugs holes in your design scheme. Also, the wood pieces can balance the larger furniture and add a warm tone to your room.
4. Wood for Perching
The bench above could also be included in this category of woodcrafts: wood designed for holding up your backside.
Every home needs places to perch easily, places to put on or take off shoes, places to park yourself for a moment while you’re talking on the phone or with a family member. You don’t always want to take a formal seat on the sofa to do something quick.
Handcrafted wood stools are just the thing for perching. Tall ones can be tucked under kitchen counters.
Short ones can be placed near a doorway for easy shoe changes.
Wood grains are so distinct and beautiful that they turn stools into décor instead of just utilitarian seating.
5. Wood for Connecting
Often in a room design, you need some connecting piece to hook together an accent and the rest of the room’s décor. This gap in design can especially happen if you have furniture pieces that aren’t ideal but they’re just what you have to work with.
This happened to me when I redesigned our living room. The entertainment center matched my old color scheme but not so much the new one. When I purchased a vase, I loved that it fit with the new room décor, but it seemed out of place with the old wood furniture. My husband came up with a clever idea. He made a wood cutout that echoed the shape of the vase. All he did was sketch the shape on poster paper. He then used that as a pattern for the wood and used his router to cut out the shape on quarter-inch plywood. He added a little paint and glued the cutouts to the old furniture. Voila, an updated piece of furniture that blends beautifully with the new vase and the rest of the room.
Instead of matching the vase exactly, we chose to paint the whole cutout red because the black speaker provided the red/black balance. That’s the fun of wood cutouts: You can do whatever you want with them.
Wood cutouts can add eye-catching individualism to your décor.
6. Wood for Art
Sometimes woodcrafts don’t want to do anything but look pretty. And that’s okay too. Wood can be crafted into some pretty amazing sculptures.
If you’re creative and have a saw, some screws, and a screwdriver, you can even make your own modern wood art piece.
Using the sculpture in the above photo as a jumping off point, you could choose any sizes or types of wood you like and combine them to make something that specifically suits you and your space.
No matter what your design style is, there’s a place in it for charming woodcrafts. Because no piece of wood is ever the same, handcrafted wood items will add a dash of engaging originality to your interior décor.
Have you found an interesting way to include woodcrafts in your home? Please share your ideas.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Ande Waggener and www.shutterstock.com