Hard Materials II




With the hard texture and lightweight density, Cedar wood is appropriate for cladding and panelling within interior design. London Bridge Station has the ceiling of the main concourse with Western Red Cedar cladding. With the fully concealed fixings it is visually appealing, as well as practical as the wood had sound absorption qualities meaning it absorbs the noise created from the trains and passengers below. There are no knots in cedar wood and with a straight grain this means it can lend itself to many styles. Cedar is a versatile material suitable for all designs such as Industrial, Coastal, Eclectic and so on. As cedar is a naturally stable wood and unaffected by humidity and moisture damage it is perfect for outdoor use and often seen in exterior fencing, chairs and tables. Cedar works well with many finishes can can create exquisitely rich red and brown colour palettes. A sustainable wood that once preserved can be fitting for garden furniture. The oil that comes from cedar wood has anti insect and moth properties, so cedarwood is commonly used for wardrobe and cabinetry in bedrooms as to limit damage to clothing.


Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is ideal for building constructions and exterior use due to its ability to handle humidity, moisture and its robust texture. It is the 1st choice for contractors for lumber framing in house constructions (window / door frames) due to its stiffness and strength. A simplistically versatile material, Douglas Fir can enhance countless interior styles, expressly sophisticated spaces with a comfortably warm mood in the home. A versatile material that could work within assorted styles such as a mid-century home, Hollywood style or even a French Country house. Legendary Architect John Pawson designed a wooden chapel in Germany that is built out of 61 Douglas Fir logs. Teaming with the wooden flooring company Dinesen, Pawson constructed this exceptional and breath-taking chapel with a focus on the warmth and tactility of the wood, that will evolve and change appearance overtime, causing the wood to become ‘part of the forest it inhabits’.


Douglas Fir can be revealed to outdoor elements as it is resistant to moisture and insect infestation, therefore mostly exploited in the framing and construction of exteriors and interiors. In the Seattle home designed by Shed Architecture and Design, we see how Douglas Fir can flatter both outdoor and indoor styling, as the natural wood material is juxtaposed with the industrial metal cladding. There is an ease in the design yet a welcoming and one of a kind tone to the house formed by the tactile Douglas Fir window frames and ceiling beams. Douglas Fir has a straight grain with tight knots and an ability to hold staining and finishing well creating a neat, crisp and clean look to the wood. From the early 20th century Industrial Period dumbwaiter cabinet, to avant-garde mid century furniture , the wood can craft pieces that will fit into versatile homes enthused by multiple styles, eras and design movements.



Pine wood is frequently applied in Shabby Chic, Country style interiors due to the distinctive inviting hue palette combined with a neat, straight grain. A distinguishable simple wood, free of knots that builds a sense of comfort, clarity and warmth in the home. Made use of indoors, a softer wood option that can warp if exposed to humidity and moisture outside, as well as stain a yellowish tint. A prevalent selection for wall panelling and flooring, seen in the Mexican house (bottom left) designed by architect Delfino Lozano. This house indicates just how Pine encourages an organic feel and tone to a home, uplifting light from outdoors to compliment the interior. Pine is a lightweight, cost-effective material so can be utilised in generous quantities seen in Lozano’s design with the ceiling, walls and floors all panelled in Pine wood. Initially observed in the early 18th century during the Queen Anne period, as a parquet flooring and staircase detail, Pinewood is a skilful preference for furniture, as it has high strength and light density with the capability to stain easily and finish well. Sturdy items of furniture such as dining tables or wall shelving compliment the tactile, warmth to the wood in clean, minimal spaces. An organic, naturalistic feel, this material can operate in several interior styles and spaces, however the lighter colour does lend itself to mid-century, modern spaces.



Pine functions in various interior styles but is extremely common in modern, minimalistic and rustic country interiors. This is due to the characterful wood grain and knots that add texture and fascination to any given space. As well as the practical element to the material with its resistance to splitting and ease of construction, it can be used as building materials for outdoor use as well as interior. This is seen in the Kamakura house designed by Japanese architect Kensuke Watanabe. In this home the spruce wood columns act as support for the roofing and walls, but also as an aesthetically pleasing feature with the angled structure and impression of bringing the outdoors in.


As Spruce is lightweight but of average strength and medium density, not used for flooring within interiors as repeated wear and tear, such as chairs, table legs etc  would damage and weaken the flooring planks. Instead Spruce furniture pieces focus on the visually distinctive grain, with the annual rings that form the marrow, sapwood and heartwood being visible. These dark knots on the light coloured wood are characterful and alluring on distinct furniture pieces such as the mutli-purpose unit designed by Daniele Cristiano for brand Formabilio. This furniture piece showcases the cutting edge practise of spruce wood items, with the solid wood coated with a natural oil finish to indicate the unique wood grain patterns. The ability for Spruce wood to endure outdoor conditions, such as humidity and moisture mean it can be utilised in exterior furniture items such as the outdoor shoe wrack and also more thrilling design ideas such as the indoor spa sauna.



Yew is well known for the individual, distinctive patterns that track through the wood grain. This is evident in the kitchen interior by British brand Roosodesigns. They have used Yew wood and epoxy resin to fill in the naturally created holes throughout the wood. This unique design is striking and certainly one of kind. Yew is befitting these more extensive and daring interiors. Due to the limited availability and expense of Yew wood, there are minimal examples within interior design featuring Yew as a primary material. Yet it is an exciting and courageous substance owed to the resistance to wear and tear combined with ample elasticity and durability. Yew wood is individualistic in nature and consequently utilised within remarkable and sensational pieces of furniture. An example of this is the 19th century Windsor chair, usually made with a combination of Elm and Yew wood. As Yew had a relaxed elasticity it was regularly employed for the curved, high-back and arm rests on these chairs. This pliability means it is also beneficial for home accessories such as a curved salad bowl. A highly lavish material used for high-end furniture, such as the Regency wood cabinets in which Yew could be carved and moulded into a storage unit with open shelving and a shaped pediment. Modern furniture design highlights the wood’s unique grain, with the combination of resin to showcase the unique patterns twisted in the wood.