Thumb through any home and garden magazine and you will see the allure of vintage inspired rustic wood. It is evident through the deliberate efforts to make new furniture look old. It is also evident through the continued use of reclaimed materials in home building and furniture design. Reclaimed materials are given a new lease on life in a design world where everything old is new again! It is clear that the older wood appears, the more appealing it becomes. The appeal of “rustic chic” extends into the realm of outdoor living designs as well. Homeowner’s want their new deck to look old, and some are making the choice to use wood in lieu of materials that display no imperfections.
Design trends come and go, but the attributes associated with wood have never gone out of style. Wood is coveted for its rustic appearance and its natural flaws. Streaking, veining, knots and even worm holes are all appealing aesthetics of wood. Many times the more knotted the wood is, the more people want it. Knots create more of a visual sense of the natural state of the wood. The more rustic the wood appears, the more character the wood has. When you look up the definition for the term “rustic” it reads made of the rough limbs of trees. This explanation defines rustic and speaks volumes about the characteristics homeowners are looking for when they make the choice to use wood.
The imperfection of the tree adds to the character of the wood
Many times clients will call and tell me there wood has some checking. Checking is a natural part of wood’s aging. Checking can safely be as much as six inches long. Wood is natural and porous and therefore it is expected to expand and contract. This is why clients choose wood. These are the elements that give the wood character. By the function of wood aging you get some rustic appeal like checking.
Knottiness in wood also delivers a rustic appearance. Clear wood which is made from the innermost part of the tree is less likely to contain knots, but is a lot more expensive. Different grades of wood will display different degrees of knottiness. The knots should not be of concern because they are part of the timber, are tight and will not fall out.
The very nature of certain types of wood lends itself to a rustic appearance. Cedar and pine are commonly used in outdoor structure design. Pine is more yellow where cedar is more gold. Pine is a softer wood than cedar and will expand and contract more than cedar. Cedar naturally contains oils that won’t allow for as much expansion and contraction as pine. Ipe’, even though it is a dense hardwood will weather to a rustic grey patina if left alone.
The popularity of wood with more character has come full circle. Thirty years ago, redwood was the most popular choice for decks. It was a status symbol to own a redwood deck. Over the years mahogany and cypress have both had some popularity. Cedar has been popular for many years and today is still our most commonly requested wood in outdoor designs. So you see everything old is new again.
If you are looking for a way to incorporate naturally beautiful wood like cedar into your outdoor living space, Archadeck of Columbus can get the job done. Our diverse selection of exterior materials can turn your boring space into rustic chic. Contact us today for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730