Modern homes are full of all kinds of materials from plastics to metals to fabrics. Wood also remains popular – but not as popular as it once was.
Centuries ago, wood was used for everything from furniture to flooring. Now many of us have metal bed frames, plastic countertops and ceramic tiled floors.
While these alternative materials all have their own great qualities, none of them quite have the same well-rounded benefits as wood. Below are just some of the great reasons to start using more wood in your home.
It’s one of the greenest materials
Wood is completely natural. Compared to plastics and metals, it is a much more environmentally friendly choice of material. While wood does involve cutting down trees, there are lots of ways in which it can be made sustainable so that it causes less environmental damage. This includes sourcing wood from renewable forests in which new trees are continuously planted to replace old ones, as well as recycling used wood (often known as reclaimed wood). Minimal energy is also consumed while harvesting, transporting, recycling and converting wood in relation to other materials.
When used as a construction material, wood can meanwhile have insulating properties, which can help to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Wood also remains a renewable source of fuel for heating a home – many modern homes are now using wood pellet burners to providing heating instead of relying on gas.
Wood is very durable
Wood is an incredibly durable material that makes it well-suited for building furniture with. A wooden chair or table can last generations with little maintenance required. The likes of teak can even last over 25 years without being treated, making it a popular choice for garden furniture (teak is particularly weatherproof compared to other materials).
Of course, if you do decide to treat wood, you can further extend its life. This can include adding wax, shellac or oil to prevent damage from moisture. You can even laminate wood to make it more resistant to liquid damage and scratches. While less eco-friendly than using raw wood, these treatment options can give wood a durability that surpasses most other materials. For instance, laminated wooden countertops are far less likely to scratch and stain than stainless steel or stone countertops.
Wood suits every style of home
Wood has proved itself to be a timeless and versatile choice of material that can be worked into practically any style of décor.
If you’re furnishing your home in a traditional Victorian style, hardwood floors and ornate dark wood hand-carved furniture is a must. If you’re opting for an ultra-modern and minimal décor style, flat-pack light wood furniture and wooden slab cabinets are certain to look the part.
Wood can also be rustic or industrial. Chunky wood furniture can be a great option if you’re looking to replicate a country house farmhouse feel. Meanwhile if you’re going for an industrial style, reclaimed wood tables and reclaimed wood countertops can be ideal.
The same cannot always be said for other materials. Plastics often look out of place in a historic setting while metal can lack that rustic feel. This is largely because there are so many different tones of wood and so many ways to work with wood.
There are so many applications for wood
You can use wood for so many different applications. This includes many applications that many of us don’t think about.
For instance, when decorating a rustic kitchen complete with a farm table, you could consider opting for a wooden ceiling fan over the farm table rather than using a metal or plastic fan to stay in keeping with the feel. When it comes to blinds, wooden shutters can often be a great natural alternative that may be great in an older building when you don’t want to use curtains. In the bathroom, wood can even be a material choice for shower curtains and toilet roll holders.
There are also many disposable items that we use that are typically made from plastic that can also be substituted for wood alternatives. This includes bamboo toothbrushes and toiletries in wooden containers. With a growing demand for eco-friendly products, more companies are producing these wood disposable alternatives.
Wood is cost-efficient
Another great reason to opt for a wood is that it is often low-cost. While there are certain expensive luxury woods that you can opt for, there are many cheap alternatives for those on a budget. These woods are often used for flat-pack furniture and drop-fit wooden flooring and are often a lot higher quality than plastics and metals of the same cost.
Some wooden items even have the ability to gain value as they age. Hand-crafted wooden items, while often more expensive to buy, can often appreciate in value. The same cannot be said of many plastic and metal forms of furniture.