As a designer, I’ve always been fascinated by materials, trends and concepts which flow in and out of collective popularity. But, there has been one material which has endured over time, and that’s timber.
For almost 10,000 years, timber has played a significant role in building design and construction – as well as interior and furniture – due to its high quality, availability, sustainability and versatility.
But, despite its role in history, timber is increasingly dubbed as the ‘material of the future’, as it has the ability to be as strong as steel but much lighter, more adaptable and extremely environmentally friendly.
In fact, research has shown that timber can reduce carbon in the atmosphere rather than adding to it, with a tonne of timber framing removing a tonne of carbon. Steel framing by comparison emits approximately 3.5 tonnes of carbon for every tonne produced.
As people are becoming more environmentally conscious, the demand for using sustainable materials within the home has undoubtedly risen – a theme which has been highly considered by designers for many years.
With the world’s population increasing and the pressure on densely populated cities becoming apparent, a key role as a designer is to provide a space which improves urban lives, as well as having an eye on the environment.
Understanding how we live, or how we want to live, is a key consideration for selecting materials and finishes within the home.
Timber works in any environment, whether it’s there to soften the interiors of an apartment situated in a concrete jungle, or to provide beautiful natural accents to a home in the countryside.
Recently I’ve been designing my own home, in Queenstown. The spectacular scenery and landscapes in the region have been a source of inspiration.
Considering natural materials as part of my build and interior choices was an easy decision to make as it’s allowed my home to become a reflection the surrounding environment.
Here are five ways to incorporate timber into your home:
1. Hand crafted timber furniture
With the rise of monochromatic rooms, hand-crafted timber furniture adds a sense of ‘connection with nature’ to any room.
Easy to maintain, timber furniture can easily be passed on after use, or be upcycled into something new.
2. Timber flooring
Being a dominant feature in a house, timber flooring makes a room feel naturally warm and relaxing.
Timber is a very forgiving material and if you do scratch or stain the floor, overtime it will either blend in or disappear. Alternatively, consider sanding the timber and the floors will look as new.
3. Internal window sills
While you may have aluminium on the outside, having an internal timber frame on window sills brings a subtle warmth and sophisticated detail.
4. Timber wall or ceiling linings
In the design of your home’s interior you need to consider a balance of materials in order to create a space which also feels comfortable and homely.
If you are using dark carpet or even concrete, which is quite a cold material, adding timber into the walls or ceiling creates a stunning balance.
A weathered piece of timber which has been outside for decades or part of an old barn or bridge can create a talking point within a space.
For a more polished look, beautiful timber and heritage panelling can be used in a contemporary fashion in hallways, staircases or on walls.
Jonathan Goss is a Senior Interior Designer with Warren and Mahoney and is based in Queenstown.
Source: Stuff News
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