(HIT) - It's a great time to think about ways to spruce up the home in the coming season. American Hardwoods are a versatile and sustainable material as well as a confident choice that can be incorporated into multiple aspects of a home, whether it is furniture, flooring, cabinetry or moulding.
The American Hardwood Information Center, the authoritative resource for consumers and professionals seeking information about American Hardwoods, offers the following 12 American Hardwoods tips.
Get a distressed look Hand-scraped American Hardwood flooring is popular now. It gives a distressed old-world look with timeless appeal, most popular in wide planks. When a homeowner is ready for a change, the hand-scraped look can be sanded away and refinished.
Keep it light Lighter shades of painted hardwood are hot right now - especially soft neutrals like pale grays, whites and nudes. This look is becoming increasingly popular on furniture such as dressers, nightstands and tables.
Consider cherry Although neutral, pale shades are trending, rich cherry hues, on the contrary, are prevalent as well. Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc.'s (AHMI) 2011 Furniture Styles and Material Use Survey, conducted at the High Point Market home furnishings show, reports that American cherry is widely seen in bedrooms, dining rooms and home offices.
Create contrast When it comes to hardwood design, think contrast. Industry experts suggest choosing American Hardwood flooring that is slightly lighter than the lightest color of the grain in the kitchen cabinets - this combination can really make a room pop.
Outdoor inspiration Outdoor-inspired interior furniture, made with hardwoods, that looks like park benches or lawn chairs is a noteworthy design element highlighted at the recent High Point Market. Homeowners can get the look by selecting interior furniture with unique curves, or pieces that highlight the natural whorls, knots and texture of the wood.
Give your fireplace a facelift A fireplace often acts as a focal point of the room, so consider hardwood mouldings to liven it up! Use decorative American Hardwood medallions and other ornamental period-style mouldings to add visual interest to a plain mantel face, or if spacing permits, add side-shelving to the mantel for displaying valuables.
Creative cabinetry Thinking of a kitchen redesign? Think about varied cabinet height to accommodate both children and adults in the family. Also consider sliding drawers, rollout shelves and Lazy Susans that make items easier to reach. For assured durability, choose cabinets made of solid American Hardwoods such as maple, cherry, oak or alder.
Go traditional or contemporary AHMI's 2011 Furniture Styles and Material Use Survey found that traditional American Hardwood looks are currently trending over contemporary styles. Whichever your preference, American Hardwoods are a versatile material, allowing homeowners to achieve either look.
Add warmth with wainscoting Wainscoting is a type of wood paneling most often used to decorate the lower three feet of a wall. It wards off damage - scratches, dings and the like - while adding character and great architectural interest to any room.
Charming chair rail Chair rail is functional as well as decorative; it helps protect areas where chair backs might damage the wall. Styles include a single piece of wood, called a moulding profile, or two or more different mouldings can be combined to create a built-up profile. They are often used alone, but are also used to top wainscoting to give it a clean edge.
Mix and match Combining different wood textures and colors in a room can really make it pop! For example, in the kitchen try a light wood island and contrast it with deeper hued cabinets.
Add flair with finishes The type of finish applied to American Hardwood floors can vary the look, so there's no need to replace your hardwood flooring, just revitalize and refresh. Dyes, toners and stains can add rich color while glazes can help even out a light or dark area of the floor. These finishes can easily complement a home's style, but should only be applied by professionals.
For more design ideas and trends, and to learn more about different American hardwood species, please visit www.HardwoodInfo.com.
About the American Hardwood Information Center
The American Hardwood Information Center is the authoritative resource for consumers and professionals looking for information about American Hardwoods. The Center provides information on how to select hardwood species and build with American Hardwood products and offers advice from industry experts on decorating, care and maintenance and design trends. The Center's goal is to promote the use of American Hardwoods in home and building products ranging from flooring, cabinetry and millwork to furniture and building materials. For more information on American Hardwoods, visit www.HardwoodInfo.com.
Info Courtesy: Home Improvement News and Information Center. Photo courtesy of Mullican Flooring and the American Hardwood Information Center.