Design & DIY

5 ways to bring the warmth of wood into your living space

One of the joys of being at the cottage is being surrounded by trees—and it’s something that is often lacking in city living.

But even if you’re surrounded by suburbia, you can keep that woodsy cottage feeling year-round by bringing wood into your interior decor.

Wood is incredibly versatile—it can be warm and inviting, sleek and modern, or simple and rustic. Depending on how you use it, wood can add texture, colour, and visual interest to any space, whether it’s large, small or in-between.

Re-think wood

Wood paneling has come a long way since the days of the knotty pine 1970s rec room, and it’s now available in an enormous range of colours and finishes. Choose repurposed barn board in a mish-mash of different sizes and depths to bring a rustic touch to a bathroom or a single wall in a dining room. Smooth, glossy cherry panelling can offset modern metallic appliances in a kitchen and bring a touch of warmth to a space that might otherwise seem a little chilly. And, of course, you can work with knotty pine, too—just whitewash it to lend an airy, beachy feel to a living room or den.

Incorporate wood furniture

Wood never seems to go out of style when it comes to furniture. Hot trends right now include barn-board dining or kitchen tables, and Arts-and-Crafts-style chairs, tables and sideboards. Whether you prefer sleek lines, rough rustic, or classic elegance, showing off the natural beauty of wood furniture is easy with bright pillows, charmingly mismatched tableware, or funky ceramics. 

Show off structure 

If you’re lucky enough to have wood molding on your walls or ceiling, show it off by bringing out its natural colour or playing it up with contrasting paint. It isn’t a sin to paint wooden elements like ceiling beams—just keep in mind that you can open up a room by painting wood a light colour, or make your room seem cozier by keeping it natural.

Add accessories

Accessories are an easy way to bring woody warmth into your space. From burled-wood bowls to coasters to clocks to vases, you can find decor items with a touch of wood to match almost any style. Bamboo window coverings or seagrass mats—while not technically wood—can also add an organic feel to a space.

Use your imagination

Even if you don’t the time or budget to work with real wood, there are lots of options available, from photographic wallpaper murals to use on an accent wall to atmospheric, wood-inspired wall decals and sculptures. All these can create a feeling of actually being in the woods without leaving the four walls of your house—not a bad deal if it’s snowing outside.


Want to put these tips to use in your home or cottage? Find everything you need to love your space here: