Hello…it’s me…Collin Kayser. It’s been a while since I have written for the blog but I am excited to share with you some expert opinions, thoughts, and inspirations that have been on the forefront of my mind. When tasked with writing this blog, on a subject that I am familiar with, I thought long and hard on what that topic would be. Then it hit me, like a freshly milled 2×4…WOOD.

Perfectly suited for this Thursday post…a little #TBT is that I grew up in and around the lumber industry.  The smell of fresh sawdust is a scent I am all too familiar with. This post is paying homage to my past and a reflection of the present. Who doesn’t love wood? It is the backbone and support to most of our homes. However, in interior design it can drastically shape, shift, and influence the look of a project. I want to explore the use of wood in different applications with some helpful hints that can be beneficial as you embark on any future new home build or remodel.

Look Up

Using wood on the ceiling instantly makes a statement. In a vaulted space, it draws the viewer’s eyes up and enhances the drama of the room. It adds warmth and a level of structure and stability to the space. As seen in the Sandhill Crane project by GHID, the Western Red Cedar is both on the interior and exterior ceiling. Cedar has a natural occurring resistance to moisture, decay, and insects. Therefore, it is the perfect material to bridge the gap between the interior and the exterior of the home.

Helpful Hint: when using cedar, be sure to select the grade of lumber appropriate for your home and the application. The appearance of select knotty is quite different than clear vertical grain heart.

To the Left, To the Right

The use of drywall and paint has become the norm in the home building industry. Long gone are the days of wood paneled walls of the 60’s and 70’s….or are they? As a designer, it is our job to push our clients to think beyond what is comfortable. With the right architecture, setting, and client, wood paneled walls are quite stunning. Consider this: using plywood or dimensional lumber as the finished wall interior. The tone is neutral. The grain movement is interesting. The result is unexpected.

Helpful hint: consult with your painter or local paint store. Treating the wood will ensure the longevity of the material and will keep your walls beautiful for years to come.

What’s Old, is New

In recent years the use of reclaimed and distressed wood has gained mainstream popularity. Here in the PNW, we don’t anticipate this design trend losing ground anytime soon. Looking at these designs, all completed by GHID, you get a sense of the dramatic impact a single material can make within a space.

Helpful hint: when sourcing old or reclaimed wood, always make sure the wood has been inspected, dried, and rid of any rot or insects. Or look for an alternative like Better Than Barnwood, a Portland-based company that re-creates the look of old wood at a fraction of the cost.

Down Under

Lastly, don’t forget about the floor. Hardwood floors will set the tone for the home—either acting as a subtle backdrop or stunning statement. In most cases GHID designers specify pre-finished engineer wood floors. The floor is comprised of a plywood substrate with a stained real-wood veneer. From light stains to dark, high gloss to roughly textured, and narrow to wide plank widths, the possibilities of engineered wood floors are endless.

Helpful hint: don’t forget, all woods perform differently. Consider the Janka rating of the wood you are interested in. The Janka rating measures the wood’s hardness and ability to resist denting and wear.

Remember, wood is good. Don’t forget about it being an important element within your interior. If you ask yourself…”what wood I do?” and you don’t know the answer? Consult with an interior designer right away.

Happy New Year,