Hard Materials I


Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 15.18.19


Beech wood has an unaffected fresh, pale colour making it a great fit for modern, scandinavian style interiors. A robust, hard wearing wood, and scratch resistant with very good flexibility during construction meaning it is suitable for the building of houses.  Beech wood can fashion a warm, modest and uncomplicated design within an interior. A pale palette that invites light, peace and harmony into your home, fitting for simplistic, clean interior spaces focused on crisp, unassuming design. Beech wood is known for its odourless quality, and with no smell or taste to the wood it is frequently used within the kitchen at home, either for countertops or home accessories such as food containers. A crisp, clean colour palette indicates the aptness for doors and flooring, used within varying style and décor in the home without diverting or overwhelming the eye. The simplicity of the wood with a straight, close grain signifies a minimal style and suggests contemporary furniture design. Ercol tables  designed by Lucian Ercolani 1956 exhibit this, well-made design teamed with mid-century motivated smooth curves generating a progressive yet timeless charm centred around the natural beech wood.



Traditionally applied within the kitchen in interior design, the wood is supple with a low stiffness, easily workable due to its fine, straight grain it can be cut, carved and moulded to many shapes. Impervious to rot and decay imply practical use within the home, but it is not recommended for exterior use as oxidisation can weaken the wood. It has a delightful smooth texture and satin feel, and together with the dark, rich colouring this enriches a room to feel polished, welcoming and memorable. Cherry wood gained popularity during the Empire Style period (1804 – 1830) and was used to create dramatic and elegant fine furniture. In recent years Cherry wood suits many styles within interiors from traditional, to contemporary and finally a mid century modern kitchen. Cherry wood acts as a bold statement within this open plan living room and kitchen, in a residential home designed by Azman Architects.



A highly desirable wood for the home, Mahogany is an admired choice due to its hardy qualities, lush colouring and endurance to the elements. A material that works in many interiors, chiefly traditional or transitional homes but in recent years eclectic and maximalist styled spaces. The interior of a New York home designed by Bates Masi Architects expresses the exclusive and exceptional method Mahogany wood can be developed as wall, floor and ceiling panelling, with variations and richness in colour acting as a stunning showcase to the home. Mahogany is a prevalent selection for furniture design, first employed throughout the Early Georgian period (1714 – 1760). Marks and irregularities in the grain of the wood are often seen as advantageous and complement the exclusive quality of the wood.

Screenshot 2019-07-16 at 15.22.14.pngThe legendary Eames Lounge chair and ottoman, a staple within the mid century design movement, showcases the bravura and form of mahogany use in furniture, as the wood wraps around the base of the leather seating forming a specimen that is restful yet refined.



Maple wood is very affordable and lasting, thus an exceedingly popular wood for interior design. The distinctive colour, vigour, silky straight grain and capability to stain well also have increased admiration for this material through the years. Maple can absorb stain that simulates the grain of other expensive woods (such as Cherry or Mahogany), making it a reasonably priced option. It is worth to note that when using Maple wood flooring, as there is slight variation in the light coloured hue, the entire quantity needed for any given space should be purchased all at once to avoid any disruption to the colouring across the floor sheets in one interior space. In a natural state Maple wood has a light cream, fresh colour and soft texture. This wood enhances many design styles, but works particularly well in minimal, scandinavian inspired interiors. It must be noted Maple wood is not well matched for exterior or outdoor use, as it is only slightly resilient to decay and rotting. Maple wood has been described as a ‘breath of fresh air’, as the light coloured, renewed impression functions in countless spaces. Maple wood furniture is habitually modern and contemporary, with the distinctive colouring and smooth grain producing unique, chic and fresh furniture.

Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 16.02.58


Oak wood lends itself to contemporary, bohemian and country style interiors, with a pure, crisp palette and finish, as well as the natural colouring with characterful knots and grain. A timeless style that can function within any interior, Oak lightens and gives an spacious, renewed mood to any space. Particularly well matched to scandinavian interiors with an organic, simplistic quality to the wood that flatters this era / design. Oak wood was first used for flooring during the early 18th century within the Queen Anne period. It was also employed during the Arts & Crafts design movement (1861 – 1890), by designers such as William Morris in the high-quality manufactured interiors and furniture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Oak Room is a great example of this in which the welcoming, dark stained oak compliments the moody stained glass. Oak wood is vastly enduring, signifying its suitability to numerous furniture styles. It can bear stain well and finishes effortlessly, so can be moderated to suit most styles with interior design, it should be noted, however, that to increase permanence oak wood should be frequently stained. As it has hard wearing and long lasting properties it is often used for kitchen accessories and utensils, such as chopping boards, and homewares, such as the window blinds.


The iconic Wishbone Chair designed by Hans J Wegner exhibits Oak wood furniture in the most simplistic yet elegant manner. The natural material fashions a sinuous shape that is progressive yet timeless. This style combined with the organic oak wood demonstrates the superb craftsmanship and lightness to the furniture piece.

Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 15.40.21.png


Walnut wood has a distinctly stylish and opulent look and feel befitting to luxurious, high-end design schemes. The lush and inviting colouring alternates from a light coffee brown to dramatic chocolate brown the wood is regularly used within interiors to generate an enveloping comfortable yet elegant atmosphere. There is a wide variation in the colour and grain within walnut wood that makes it very interesting to employ within an interior space. It is matched to French inspired or historical styles such as art deco or nouveau motivated designs. Walnut wood generally has a tight straight grain, but sometimes will have waves or curls that can enrich the character. Walnut is a costly option and consequently used in smaller quantities, such a veneer with the look of walnut or as wall panelling, seen at The Berkeley Bar and Terrace in London, designed by Bryan O’Sullivan Studio. The walnut wood panelling fills the lower half of the bar walls and helps create a understated yet contemporary style to this space. Walnut wood is most commonly used for furniture pieces and interior joinery as it is very durable and can add a touch of opulence and sophistication to any space. A hard, stable and shock resistance wood makes it a reliable material for sturdy and strong furniture pieces. It is also resistant to humidity, moisture and heat making a great option for exterior pieces of furniture and more unusual items such as a wooden freestanding bathtub.

Screenshot 2019-07-17 at 15.49.28.png

Walnut wood first appeared with design during the 17th century within the Restoration Period 1660-1689, and has remained a luxurious and opulent material for handmade craftsmanship and quality furniture items. The Davenport desk, 1870 from the Victorian era demonstrates this with the opulent brown tones and beautifully crafted details. Walnut wood is incredibly versatile and is due to its medium texture, lightweight density can be moulded and curved in elaborate shapes, so it is a popular choice for modern, contemporary furniture items as well. This is seen in the mid century style Nouguchi Coffee table designed in 1944 as well as the Bandido Studio designed Aura pendants and the David Dolcini ‘Lum’ floor lights  with the cylinders made from a dark walnut wood. These pieces are sleek, stunning and timeless and a perfect showcase to the ability for walnut wood to add opulence and elegance to any given furniture piece.