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Nope, this isn’t a reference to living with a man! Although, having a guy for a roommate can sometimes feel as if you’re banging your head against teak. “Dead trees”. This is a reference to the surge in popularity for wooden interior designs.
As the cottage style gets recognition, it’s inevitable that wood is going to take over. And, the reasons are apparent. For one thing, it’s good for the environment as bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide. Plus, and this is the main thing, it looks spectacular.
However, like everything, there are pros and cons and it’s important to understand the negatives too. Otherwise, you may end up with a feature of the home that you find unbearable. Living with it, then, will be hard to stomach. So, it’s vital to look at the flip side of the coin and come to an informed decision.
Are you finding it hard to think of anything remotely negative off the top of your noggin? It’s not surprising because lots of homeowners are besotted with dead trees. But, they do exist and this post has five of them ready for you to tackle. Here’s to hoping your home isn’t too wooden!
One thing to note straight out of the gate is the cost of real hardwood. From beech wood to oak, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for the privilege. Sure, there are ways to lower the overall amount, but they won’t make it affordable. If anything, these tricks make wood a little less expensive but still out of the average homeowner’s price range. Unless there’s the bargain of the century taking place, then you need to think of alternatives.
An obvious one is to swap hardwoods with fakes. Laminate flooring is incredibly popular because it’s cheap and resembles real wood. Okay, it isn’t hard to tell the difference if you buy cheap faux.
However, the stuff at the higher end of the spectrum is very legit. Also, adding a deep stain adds to the style and makes it hard to spot the tell-tale signs. Before investing, be sure to research how much you will have to pay, and then decide whether it’s within the budget. No design feature is worth accruing crippling debt.
It Can Move
When you install panels on the walls, you don’t expect them to shift and change sizes. But, that is what happens with wood because it’s a living and breathing organism. For instance, it can expand in the heat and shrink in the cold. Usually, this isn’t too much of a problem as long as the contractors have considered this beforehand. Still, there are times when expansion or shrinkage can be an issue.
Panelling is the obvious example as panels are set to specific dimensions. As soon as there is displacement, then it can put the wall’s integrity at risk. The worse case scenario is that they swell or bend and end up breaking as a result. Or, you’re left with wall panels that look as if they have elephantiasis. To avoid any nasty surprises, homeowners have to ensure that they are correctly installed. Otherwise, there will be dimensional changes that are ugly and expensive.
It Doesn’t Keep
Ask anyone why they want wood and the instant response will be “it takes care of itself.” In truth, this isn’t the case because timber is subject to rot. A lack of moisture, and a loss of shine. In a world where climate change is an ever-present, the rotting thing can cause significant problems. If the wood comes into contact with H2O then it may start to lose its structural integrity. Aside from looking a mess, it will also cost a small fortune to repair. And, it’s something that needs fixing as soon as possible or else it will get worse.
Staining wood should help to limit the damage as the stain strengthens the molecules against the elements. Another fantastic trick is to keep wood away from the problem areas. For instance, basements flood all of the time, so don’t use timber down below. Erosion is important, but so are the aesthetics. Dry or non-shiny wood should be subject to wall or floor refinishing on a semi-regular basis. That way, it won’t seem old and tired. Plus, the finish adds to the structural integrity.
It’s A Specific Style
Using wood elements is fine because it is flexible, style-wise. There is a difference between a couple of features and a cottage-like abode. However, the latter is a specific style which is amazing but is quite rigid. In short, if you fancy a change, then it isn’t as if you can add a couple of contemporary pieces and revolutionise the house. To want something new is akin to starting over again. At the least, you’re going to have to remove a lot of the wooden elements to find the right balance. Not only is this costly, but it’s a hassle too. And, it’s inevitable because homeowners change interiors like the weather.
With this in mind, don’t be too heavy-handed with the lumber unless you’re sure it’s the style you want to live with for a long time. Instead, pick and choose pieces so that you can add and remove elements if necessary. Always think about the future as it’s never too far away.
Okay, every home is a hazard in some way, shape or form. But, wood is kindling that can catch at any moment. This isn’t to say it will happen and you should live in fear. However, it’s essential to understanding the potential pitfalls before covering your home in firewood. Stains and liquors are also very flammable, which only adds to the predicament. The trick is to avoid open flames. Although that sounds obvious, log burners are popular nowadays. Even though it would add to the style, a stray ember can catch and cause a fire. Instead, stick to central heating and electric warmth.
Wood is an amazing material, but it does have its cons. Always understand them to ensure you don’t make an interior design mistake.