When it comes to fast and affordable makeovers, paint has been the secret ingredient for years. If you didn’t like the color of your dark wood cabinets, a coat of white paint could brighten up your kitchen in a matter of hours. But if you’re someone who’s always been appalled by others who paint over beautiful wood, we’ve got good news: natural wood is back.
This trend was huge in the ’80s and ’90s and (as all trends do) it’s come back into style again. But the key to embracing it without letting your home feel like it’s past it’s prime is balancing the rich color of wood with modern influences (like all-white walls) and bold and colorful furnishings that won’t get lost against the brown.
For example: Instead of covering up the original wood in this New England home, designer Nina Farmer actually mapped out her design plan around this feature. The results? Light walls brighten up the space, while a colorful sofa and armchair hold their own against the deep wood.
Unlike what you might have assumed, wood doesn’t have to be dark and traditional. Not only does light wood give this material a modern spin, but it’s bright and happy, too.
Even though most home makeovers we spot on Pinterest would probably opt to cover this wood-paneling with white paint to create the popular shiplap look, this designer embraced the natural grain of the wood and used it as a focal point in the room.
Designer Shon Parker is such a fan of natural wood that he opted to install walnut paneling in this Atlanta, Georgia home’s entryway. This gave the space a more formal vibe, but still feels current thanks to the white ottoman and colorful rug.
If you want to give a nod to the time period in which this trend originated, go with funky, modern furnishings, like homeowner Bailey McCarthy did. This amber-glass tulip table with swivel chairs pops against the natural wood bookshelves and offers the perfect spot for game night.
Meanwhile, if you want to ease into this trend, go with statement pieces, like the natural wood beams in this Connecticut kitchen. Designer Susanna Salk even picked out a reclaimed wood island to complement the original beams, resulting in a rustic, yet modern design.
Naomi Stein of Design Manifest shows another way to ease into this trend with your island. She matched the color of the wood under her waterfall countertop to her floors to create a seamless transition that pops against the rest of the white and blue design.
And stylist Emily Henderson didn’t shy away from the retro style when it came to her studio. She and her team used a Douglas Fir, a softwood lumber, which has simple and minimal grain. It’s natural, clean and so pretty.
When done right, this trend is a blast from the past we can more than get behind.
[h/t Apartment Therapy]