The natural elements of wood furniture, flooring and other accessories can add a peaceful, rustic, and historical element to the home that few other materials can match. It reminds us of a time when log cabins were abundant, Doc Holliday was making his rounds, and vigilante justice was a commonplace.
[Wood can be defined as: “a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees, and other woody plants. It has been used for thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers.
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The chemical composition of wood varies from species to species, but is approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements (mainly calcium, potassium, sodium,magnesium, iron, and manganese) by weight. Wood also contains sulfur, chlorine, silicon, phosphorus, and other elements in small quantity.”]
There is a distinction between ‘lumber’ and ‘timber’. Lumber is generally used as an umbrella term in North American construction work, but elsewhere it simply refers to trees that had been chopped down. Timber refers to wood that’s been already cut to certain specifications, and ready for use. In the middle ages, oak was largely used for most construction projects - and your everyday beams, floors, doors, and walls. Today, much more varieties of wood are used for building, structural reinforcement, and other, decorative uses.
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You can make a few wood furniture pieces yourself, just for the heck of it. Floating wood shelves require just a couple of 2-by-4s, and a small alcove in the wall.
Wooden benches are iconic, simple and add extra seating in a pinch. Dinner tables also fit the minimalist mold, and can capture the lumberjack vibe.
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This storage cabinet can be easily made, it’s functional, and fits the mold of the 19th century furniture.
For the outside of the home, wooden decks can make the backyard look great, and provide a leisure zone for your friends and family. A new trend in woodworking is a freestanding deck, which doesn't require as much construction time, and can be put anywhere in the yard.
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There are a number of other easy wood projects you can start with. Fireplace inserts, storage boxes, wooden spoons, a jelly bean dispenser, a wood beer mug, creative bookshelves, boomerangs, tobacco pipes, abstract wall art, jigsaw puzzles, and a sheath for a cutting knife. Check online for instructions on how to get started with these, and other ideas you may come across.
When choosing materials, make sure you go with the solid hardwood - which is the strongest of the wood products. It’s also the most durable. Get yourself some rags, a high-quality brush, and apply a coat of finish to preserve the shine. Check with your local hardware store to see which stain or wood cleaner is best for your needs.
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The best part of all, is that wood goes with all types of interiors, and furniture from any era. Mix it in with your mid-century modern, contemporary, traditional, transitional, classic, victorian, rustic, industrial, and even stone-age furniture.