Friday, 26 February 2016 00:44

Knock On Wood

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Knock On Wood

One of the hottest trends in contemporary kitchen and bathroom design is timber, but this classic material never really goes out of style. Kate Milton investigates how to incorporate wood into your home.

This year’s international design fairs saw timber and natural finishes taking centre stage. While getting back to nature is something that society is looking for, timber has always been in the design consciousness, as both a versatile material to work with and a stylish option. It hasn’t always been the obvious choice for kitchens and bathrooms, but now is timber’s time to shine.

The beauty of timber is that it comes in so many varieties, so it is not simply one brown fits all. From pale and creamy shades through to deep black, with gold, pink, and silver in between, there’s no limit to the shades on offer. This means that no matter what style your home, timber can create your desired look.

It’s all in what colours you use, and what materials you pair it with. A dark timber with brick walls creates a raw industrial look, medium brown combined with white finishes is elegant and modern, and golden timber paired with stone is rustic heaven.

Here, we look at a few simple ways to include timber in your kitchen and bathroom, which you can individualise to suit your home.



Timber benchtops in kitchens and bathrooms provide a stunning focal point. An island bench made from the wood of your choice will set the tone for your kitchen, which you can follow through with matching accents.

Wooden benchtops in bathrooms also look elegant, and add some warmth to what can sometimes be a sterile room. Timber can be waterproofed before installation, so you don’t need to worry about water damage.

If you feel uncomfortable using timber as a benchtop in the kitchen, the easy solution is to build the body of the benches out of wood, but finish off with another material top, such as stone. This can create different looks depending on your colour and texture choices, but any combination will look striking.

Cupboards and Drawers

A simple and classic way to incorporate timber into a room, cabinetry made from wood is beautiful and durable. Choose your timber based on your focal points; pick a colour to complement or contrast with your benchtops and walls.


The traditional timber feature! Floorboards go in and out of fashion, but always remain in style. Floorboards are perfect for a kitchen in an open- plan house, as they create continuity throughout the home. Like tiles, they are easy to clean and wipe up spills.

This is also why they’re great in bathrooms, and again, they add warmth that tiles may not. They provide a homely feel without sacrificing style.


A secondary feature in both the kitchen and bathroom, but no less important, timber shelving adds a beautiful touch. Wood is the go-to choice for shelving, and while shelves are essential for storage and display, they also offer the chance to include subtle hints of timber without making a bold statement.

Every bathroom needs a door, so make yours wood for a contrast to your walls. Choose a timber that matches any other timber features you have in the room for a cohesive look. If it is your only timber feature, you have the whole spectrum of timber shades to choose from!

While open-plan kitchens may not have any doors, separate kitchens can take advantage of this styling tool. Even though you may never close the door, the timber will add a finishing touch to the room.


Whether you have open-plan living and your dining room is located next to your kitchen, or you have a separate kitchen that needs a table, you can create a seamless flow by using the same timber for your table as elsewhere in your kitchen.


If you’re not ready to commit to a large dose of timber in your kitchen or bathroom, you can make the most of this style with smaller pieces.


Chopping Boards

The best material for chopping boards is a hotly debated topic, but wood boards are often

a favourite with professional chefs. Invest in a beautiful Australian timber board for a timeless kitchen piece that will endure a long time.

Serving Items

Bowls and serving utensils look beautiful when carved from wood. You can keep some on display on your benches or as a fruit bowl, and save the rest for serving meals. There’s something special about salad in a wooden bowl.


Make the most of your island benchtop with wooden stools that make it perfect for casual dining. With all furniture, it is always worthwhile having a custom piece made to meet your requirements, although it is not always in everyone’s budget. With smaller pieces like chairs, you can have a beautiful set designed to perfectly suit your kitchen, from the colour to the shape and height.

A stool in the bathroom is always handy as well. Whether full-height or a shorter option, they’re great for putting clothes and towels on, helping to reach things stored up high, or to place your book and glass of wine on while you take a bath.

Timber in small features is also effective, and adding wooden containers for holding utensils can be just as striking as a large timber item. It’s a good way to try the style out, before deciding if you want to invest in a bigger commitment.


Towel Rack

A freestanding wooden towel rack is beautiful, and easy to remove if you decide you don’t like it! You can also try wooden towel hangers that simply hook over the top of the door. These are a cheap and temporary way to try out wooden accents, and a helpful and space-conscious method for hanging towels.

Mirror Frames

Small design features can make a big difference. Try a mirror with a wooden frame to see how it immediately changes your bathroom. Then you can look into expanding timber into window frames, shelves, and even a wooden bath!


This includes everything from your soap dish to your makeup box. Buy individual pieces to get a taste of how wood works in the bathroom. It’s another easy way to bring some homeliness to your bathroom, especially if you have an all- white aesthetic.

Timber may be a trend this year, but home builders have been using timber since, well, they started building homes. The difference is that now we have the ability to create beautiful as well as functional designs, and know that timber can last a lifetime in both durability and elegance.

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