What types of woods should I consider for indoor home furniture
What types of timber should I know for home furniture
When it comes to indoor furniture, people often ask about what are the best material? Whatever your interior style — Scandi, modern, industrial, farmhouse, rustic or something else — timber slots in seamlessly.
Wood is beautiful, versatile, dynamic and tough as nails. With the right care, it can last for generations. Timber is timeless! Whether it’s a coffee table, dining room table, a set of drawers, a cabinet, desk, chair, bed frame, table top or something else, knowing the best types of wood to use for furniture is essential for any would-be furniture DIY-ers.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of choice. The world is home to many incredibly diverse species of timber.
As a leading NZ importer of solid timber furniture from across the world, perhaps we can help! Here are some of the best types for building furniture, ideal for your next project.
The best wood for furniture?
The best kind of wood for furniture can depend on what aesthetic you have in mind, your budget, as well as the amount of wear and tear you expect this furniture to endure. Let us look at some of the best options.
Oak is a gorgeous, classic, and extremely dynamic choice. It is also highly dense, making it one of the strongest types of wood for furniture.
There is quite a bit of variety in the colour of oak. Two popular species include the golden-brown European Oak and its typically paler cousin, American Oak.
It is an undisputed furniture classic, working well in pale, airy Scandinavian-style interiors as well as modern, eclectic, and contemporary designs.
A gorgeous oak coffee table, for example, is at home in almost any setting — even in the most rustic or dark of industrial settings!
American Oak offers a much more subtle and lighter finish, but still has plenty of character and is a great choice for adding natural touches to interior designs.
A few extra notes on oak: It produces fantastic results when machining and is also suitable for steam bending, gluing, staining, and finishing. As well as being resistant to fungal attacks, oak’s incredible strength makes it a highly popular, solid choice for any furniture project.
A species like American Black Walnut is a fantastic choice for those looking to introduce a dash of premium darkness into their homes.
This dark wood’s extraordinary, outstanding color, texture and grain has won it a lot of fans. As a dense hardwood, walnut performs superbly for high-impact furniture within the home.
The dark browns and purplish hues that characterize this wood work well in darker rustic and industrial designs. It is also popular for modern settings, where the color palette is kept simple and contrasted.
Walnut’s chocolate-brown color also works exceptionally for furniture in traditional settings, and possibly even Scandi interiors as a ‘break’ from the predominantly airy, white surroundings.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Walnut can command a higher price than some other fellow hardwoods.
Check out this beautiful American Black Walnut Entertainment unit made by Oak Furniture Store.
Species like American Hard Maple are just one of many dynamic pale woods that create beautiful furniture thanks to that creamy white color and those warm golden hues.
Maple is right at home in any bright, airy modern design — particularly Scandinavian interiors.
Maple species come from cold-climate trees, too, which makes them extremely hard wearing and remarkably strong. Oh, and did we mention that Maple is also non-toxic?
Although Maple generally works very well and finishes excellently, the high density can make things slightly more challenging at times.
After a beautiful, scratch resistant cherry timber? That is exactly what you will get with a species like American Cherry.
Over time, its luscious, warm pink-reddish brown tones will slowly darken with exposure to light — a great choice for a country farmhouse design or cottage-style interior. This rich deepening color can also provide a nice contrast within any modern or Scandi design.
If you are doing a bit of woodworking and creating your own furniture, cherry should be near the top of your list. As well as being non-toxic, it’s renowned as one of the best all-round woods for workability thanks to stable, straight grain that machines superbly. Check out this chest of drawers designed made manufactured by OFS.
Cherry also steams well, making it perfect for curved designs. Be warned, though, staining can occasionally give blotchy results, so consider using a sanding sealer first.
As a slow-growing, exotic species, Zebrano can come in at a higher price point than other more widely commercially available species — like Cedar, Oak, Cherry, or Maple.
Hardwood or softwood for interior furniture?
Timber furniture should be built to last, provide a long-term return and look incredible. As such, the best woods for interior furniture are usually hardwoods. Generally, these come from trees that grow more slowly, providing them with greater density (‘hardness’).
As we’ve discussed above, some of the most popular furniture hardwoods are Maple, Walnut, Cherry and Oak, although there are many exotic options if you’re looking to make a statement.
Softwoods like NZ pine, usually come from faster-growing coniferous trees, meaning they are a lot cheaper, but generally less desirable as a result of their tendency to scratch and dent. That said, they may still be suitable for low-impact areas of the home and as a way of saving on budget.
Softwoods usually perform better outdoors as a result of natural durability. Interestingly, however, Cedar’s natural aroma and oils can repel insects, making it popular for closets and wardrobes.
- Ashley Lin