Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ask a Designer: Exploring wood’s possibilities

By
From page HSR2 | September 13, 2014 |

Melissa Rayworth

Working with wood comes naturally to New York interior designer Dan Faires. He grew up in an old farmhouse and has been developing his carpentry skills for much of his life.

So in any house or apartment he occupies, he finds creative ways to decorate with this natural material. To rehab an apartment in Arkansas recently, he covered the dark pine floor with coats of glossy white paint, instantly brightening the room and making it seem larger.

But many homeowners have no experience working with wood, so they don’t realize, Faires says, how easy it is to make a home more beautiful by improving the existing wood or creatively adding new wood to walls, floors and even ceilings.

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn, creator of the Flynnside Out Productions design blog, agrees: “While different materials come and go with trends, wood is here to stay. Whether it’s for a home’s exterior, bedroom walls or for adding shade to your yard or deck, wood is an investment that will never go out of style.”

Here, Faires, Flynn and Betsy Burnham of the Los Angeles-based Burnham Design share their favorite ways to decorate with wood.

FEATURE WALLS

“Creating interior feature walls with soft woods is an amazing way to add a focal point to a room otherwise considered a ‘basic drywall box,'” Flynn says.

You can add decorative wood to a wall from floor to ceiling, Burnham says, or just part of the way up. Options include tongue-and-groove panels, bead board or traditional board and batten.

No matter what you choose, a decorative layer of wood is “so much more interesting than drywall and paint,” Burnham says. “It adds texture and interest and timelessness.”

Living room or bedroom walls are great candidates, but you can also use this technique to bring architectural interest to an alcove or corner that’s tough to decorate with art, Faires says. Or cover the walls of a small bathroom to remodel it inexpensively.

Another great spot to add wood: “Interior entryways, especially those in new construction homes, are a perfect fit for a wainscoting update, as it can make an entryway feel much more grand, add graphic impact, break up the monotony of drywall and also ensure a classic look,” says Flynn. “Wainscoting is probably one of the most traditional ways to use wood indoors, and it can be used impactfully in any room.”

DRAMATIC TOUCHES

We expect to see wood on floors and walls, but ceilings are also a great place to add it.

You can get creative with patterns, arranging panels of wood in a chevron or other shape, rather than horizontally or vertically.

“Overall, I say stick with a graphic pattern that’s large enough to read without becoming too busy,” Flynn says. “Diamond patterns are my favorite since they’re classic and work with many different styles of decor and architecture.”

And you can experiment with color. Wood ceilings can be painted the same shade as the walls for a sophisticated look or in a contrasting color.

If you’re really ambitious, add decorative wood to a ceiling or wall in a pattern you design yourself.

“I’ve drawn designs for full walls and had them built in wood, like raised molding that gives the entire wall a pattern,” Burnham says. She has undertaken complicated chinoiserie patterns, but you can plan a simpler pattern and ask a carpenter to cut and install the pieces.

Or consider a painted design: It takes time and patience, but with a roll of painters tape and several shades of paint, you can create your own painted pattern on a ceiling or wood floor.

CUSTOMIZED COLORS

If you don’t see the stain you want at the home-improvement store, find one that’s close and “talk to the paint guy,” Faires says. “They actually can create a lot of washes with water-based stains.”

Or bring a paint swatch and ask to have that color created as a water-based stain.

If you want to try creating a stain yourself, “heavily dilute paint with water,” Faires says, “which is kind of the old school way of doing it.”

Flynn recommends choosing a stain that is “dark enough to add a touch of sophistication, but light enough that the grain of the wood is properly showcased.” Dark walnut and pecan finishes are his favorites.

OUTDOOR BEAUTY

Don’t forget about wood outside. Decorative wood can add curb appeal to your home, Flynn says.

To update the exterior of a modern house, he recommends adding architectural interest with stained softwoods like pine. “This is an excellent way to introduce a softer material to a home otherwise outfitted with heavy, hard materials such as brick or stucco,” he says. “My favorite trick is to install it vertically rather than horizontally to instantly add the illusion of more height to an otherwise small or average-size house.”

Consider wood for privacy in your yard, too: “Wood lattice is a lifesaver for homes which sit close to one another,” Flynn says.

WHICH WOODS?

Although we often hear the term “hardwood floors,” much of the wood used decoratively in homes is technically “softwood.” These include cedar, pine, fir and cypress.

“Pine is an excellent choice as it takes both stain and paint well,” Flynn says. “Plus, it’s one of the most affordable and readily available species out there.”

Reclaimed wood salvaged from old buildings and barns is popular, but it’s expensive and hard to find, Faires says.If you like the look of aged, distressed wood, take new planks of cedar or pine and stain them with a gray wash, Faires says.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 33 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Water park to host first Easter egg hunt, swim

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14

.

US / World

 
California man attemps Guinness record as oldest pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Police: Man, woman found dead after medical office shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US releases military aid to Egypt, cites national security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objections law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
State Department found 4 emails about drones sent by Clinton

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Opinion

 
Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13, 20 Comments

 
State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7