11 Wood-Wrapped Interiors That Radiate Warmth

11 Wood-Wrapped Interiors That Radiate Warmth

This is not your grandmother’s wood paneling.

As a design element, wood’s got a lot to give. Its grain adds natural texture and warmth to a space, and the material can be used in seemingly unlimited ways (we explored its shapeshifting qualities in an episode of our podcast, Raw Materials 3 Ways). It plays nice with other mediums and wears well with age, whether given the shou sugi ban treatment or cut down to form elegant floor and wall patterns. Best of all, it’s a renewable building material with comparatively low carbon emissions. These picks from the print archive showcase some exceptional cases wherein wood plays against the grain.  

An Architect's Chilean Island Hideaway

Architect Guillermo Acuña’s sprawling getaway lines the coast of Isla Lebe in the Chiloé Archipelago in Chile. He developed it in stages, first building a boathouse with a modest living space, then adding two cabins and later remodeling the boathouse. An avid sailor, he often sets out to explore the nearby fjords. The upper floor of one of the cabins features a wood-burning stove, beanbag chairs, and a hanging paper lantern.

The two-story, flat-roofed residence, wrapped in glass and wood, is indeed an anomaly among the traditional gray stone cottages of West Yorkshire. Designed in 1954 by architect Peter Womersley as a wedding present for his brother John, the home stands on one and a half acres of lawn and woods overlooking the majestic Pennine Hills.

Zen-like in its simplicity, the weekend home of Michael Neiswander and Nick Corsello is an Eastern oasis tucked into the mountains of North Carolina.  In each room, a single wall was clad in reclaimed poplar.

In Bar Harbor, Maine, a 2,500-square-foot wood-and-stone cabin designed by New York’s SPAN Architecture principals Karen Stonely and Peter Pelsinski sits on waterfront property. Throughout the cabin, custom built-ins, like a folding table by local woodworker Rick Bradbury, pack maximum utility into a streamlined package.

Desai Chia Architecture harvested plagued ash trees from the client’s property and used them for interior millwork, flooring, and trim. Working in collaboration with local architect of record Ray Kendra of Environment Architects and Delta Millworks of Texas, the firm clad the dwelling’s exterior in cedar that was intentionally burned to protect it from fire, insects, and age. The
process is called shou sugi ban.

Tucked under a grove of towering fir and cedar trees, Aaron and Yuka Ruell’s house in southwest Portland is long and lean, its structure carefully sitting upon the suburban landscape with large expanses of glass, a bountiful use of wood, and generous overhangs, all markers of its vintage. It’s a bright beacon of 20th-century Pacific Northwest design—refreshed for today. In the living room, the painting is by Geoff McFetridge and the wood paneling is original to the house. "Jewel-y color and simple shapes—they feel right in this house," says interior designer Jessica Helgerson.

Teaming up with architect Craig Steely, an industrial designer and a mechanical engineer find just the right design for a striking slatted wood and glass home on a San Francisco hill. At street level, the wooden garage door opens its toothed maw. The master bedroom is defined on the north side by a series of indoor louvers, which allow the couple to frame and manage their views.

Masahiro and Mao Harada of Mount Fuji Architects Studio wanted to break with the traditional definition of a house when they designed this small Tokyo home. They achieved their goal by using the same wood material for the ceiling, the walls, and the floor, creating a space that flows beautifully.

An 800-square-foot addition expands the Virginia home of Lauren and Josh Stegall. Built for $120,000, the structure has a large window overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway and Sugarloaf Mountain.

Arba, the architecture firm founded by Jean-Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine, designed a 1,786-square-foot residence for Dominique Jacquot 45 minutes outside Paris. The house is her sanctuary from city life. The house has four varieties of wood that relate to one another with a similar material vocabulary. "It is all about finding ways to assemble pieces of the same nature," says Lamine. Glass doors printed with a serigraphy technique (above) are on two sides of the house. Jacquot sits at a dining table and benches designed by Arba and built by Menuiserie Ressy.

As International Style modernism flourished in the mid-20th century, architects in the Pacific Northwest developed a regional version, fusing the glassy transparency of Mies van der Rohe and Richard Neutra with a reverence for natural wood and pitched roofs. Acclaimed local architect Saul Zaik had built the wood-clad Feldman House in Southwest Portland in 1956, and was then renovated in 2015.

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