By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service
When it comes to creating character, some may argue there is no substitute for wood. Real wood is unique, no two pieces identical.
For many reasons, wood is one of the main — if not preferred — materials of artisans. These days, many interior designers and homeowners are also looking to wood more than ever as a way to infuse one-of-a-kind or unexpected design elements into a space.
Love the look of wood but need some ideas? Here are some top tips.
• Look for an inspiration or conversation piece. A single showstopping wood piece can help make a bold statement in a room.
• Buy local. This is an opportunity for you to purchase a signature piece and support your community.
• Consider organic shapes or elements such as live edge. These are design elements in which instead of a saw cutting a straight line, the natural edge of a piece of wood is shown or enhanced.
• Protect your wood furniture by using a natural wax or orange oil. Never use chemical cleaners.
• Attend your local artisan fairs and curated shows. These events provide a prime opportunity for you to look, feel and touch. Even if you don’t see exactly what you may be looking for, you will have an opportunity in most instances to meet the artisan or craftsman and discuss the options of them creating a custom piece.
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• Don’t be afraid to pair different woods together. While it is often best to pair similar tones of wood in a single space, one can mix different species of wood in a room.
• Purchase solid wood items as opposed to products that may be veneered. There is nothing quite like the durability and quality that comes with purchasing an item made of solid wood. Alternatively, many items are often made using what is known as a veneer, in which a thin piece of wood is typically glued over particle board.
• Consider an all-wood dining table. This can serve as a signature decor element.
• Look for opportunities to place small, signature wood pieces into a room such as a stool, side table or bench.
• Place wood elements into rooms that may feel overly cold or stark. Wood instantly helps warm up a space.