Do you remember the 70s and early 80s when wood was king?
Oak panelling and flooring almost became a status symbol and the more you had, the more grand your home.
Fast forward to the late 90s and people start furiously demolishing, removing or painting this formerly exalted decorative item in an attempt to ‘get rid of all the honey oak’.
For a time wood panelling became synonymous with tacky and retro was almost a four letter word in design.
Sometime in 2014 wood snuck back on the scene, it did it quietly and without controversy and we began to see walls covered with wood, laminate or wood grained tile once again.
Nobody even saw it coming, no one set up road blocks or spike belts to prevent this offensive style from rearing its ugly head and now wood panelling is back in vogue.
Of course it’s better and cooler than the 70s retro creepy basement dungeon décor and it’s far more beachy and coastal than the 80s overindulged over panelled excess but it is still wood panelling dressed up with a new hipster urban vibe.
The wonderful thing about wood in any area (or era) is that it provides one-of-a-kind texture to a space and is the most versatile and easiest to manipulate.
You can shape wood to any profile, stain or paint and you have a lovely feature in any room in your home.
Not only does wood build your home and support its structure, it also comes inside after a long day, takes off its coveralls and puts on a dashing tuxedo as your design guest of honour. The versatility, beauty and strength of wood is why it has never really gone out of style and has simply adapted and changed its appearance to fit into any decorating period.
Wood is amazing because the older it gets, the more valued and coveted it becomes.
We crave the personality of vintage furniture pieces and will troll the deepest bodies of water to retrieve wood from wreckage.
Do you think anyone would submerge to retrieve a couch from 1940 or lovingly remove a ceramic tile installed in 1972 to re-use in their new home?
Other design items age and become obsolete in the design world but wood seems to keep renewing itself, the older and uglier the better as we recondition and refinish it to a beautiful luster.
History is represented in wood, stories and lives are shaped with this fabulous product.
The beauty queens like maple and walnut become furniture and are gently sanded, lacquered and put on display.
The gnarly and not so pretty ones are used for structural support or are burned to give us warmth and an irresistible place to gather.
No other element on earth is as useful as wood, regardless of its appearance or strength. A gem is discarded or devalued if it is flawed but wood is simply repurposed and given a new home – it is a marvellous evolution.
It’s time to embrace wood once again and bring it up off of the floor and allow it to decorate walls, ceilings and fireplaces again. The trend is back, readers, and I encourage you to consider it for your home design projects, you will not be disappointed!
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.